The Power of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Battle against the COVID-19

In the past two years, COVID-19 has gone back and forth. In the battle against the epidemic, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has not been absent. It has fully and deeply participated in the prevention and treatment of the epidemic, showing its unique advantages, which has become a major feature of the “Chinese Way” to fight the COVID-19. From the beginning of the epidemic in Wuhan and Hubei to the present, TCM has played an active role in the treatment process in China. Recently, the World Health Organization released the WHO Expert Meeting on Evaluation of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Treatment of COVID-19 on its official website, issued by international experts from WHO following an online evaluation meeting in late February and early March.

In China, TCM is an important part of China’s medical and health undertakings, with its own unique advantages in certain fields of treatment of diseases, which plays an indispensable role in the outbreak of an epidemic throughout history. It has a long history and reflects the understanding of life, health, and disease in China.

At the beginning of 2020, when the epidemic hit Wuhan and Hubei, China immediately organized a team of TCM experts to rush to the front line. According to data from March 2020, more than 70,000 confirmed COVID-19 patients used TCM, accounting for 91.5% of the total number of patients. Clinical efficacy observation shows that the total effective rate of TCM has reached over 90%. In 2021, the intervention study of TCM in Yangzhou, Jiangsu and Chengdu, Sichuan during the epidemic also showed good preventive effects.

Traditional Chinese Medicine can effectively treat COVID-19, reduce the transformation from mild and ordinary condition to severe and critical condition, shorten the virus clearance time, improve the clinical prognosis of patients with mild and ordinary symptoms, reduce the mortality rate, and has a good preventive effect in the prevention of COVID-19.

Treatment based on syndrome differentiation is a tradition of TCM. As early as January 22nd, 2020, in the early days of the virus outbreak, TCM was included in the third edition of the COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment protocol released by China. Under the framework of the latest national diagnosis and treatment protocol in each period, local TCM research institutions and experts work together and adapt effective and realistic plans for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation to fit  the actual situation. In March this year, at the request of the Hong Kong SAR Government, the Central Committee Aid Hong Kong Anti-epidemic TCM Expert Group went to Hong Kong to cooperate with the SAR Government to provide guidance and advice on the application of TCM in the treatment of COVID-19 patients and the prevention of severe illness. The expert group has also formulated a special diagnosis and treatment protocol for a large number of infected elderly people.

The anti-epidemic effect of TCM is also being recognized by foreign countries gradually. As early as March of 2020, China took the initiative to cooperate with the World Health Organization to share the information on the participation of TCM in epidemic prevention and control, and translated the latest version of TCM diagnosis and treatment protocol into English, making it available to the world and proactively giving to those in need. The protocol contained valuable experiences gained from the management and treatment of tens of thousands of patients in a short period.

China has been taking action to contribute Traditional Chinese Medicine to the international battle against the epidemic. The culture of TCM contains the health and wellness concepts and practical experience of the Chinese nation for thousands of years, embodies the broad wisdom of the Chinese nation, which is a treasure of Chinese civilization. Giving full play to the unique advantages and roles of TCM in disease prevention and treatment will not only help build a healthy China but also benefit the world and mankind.