Current Protocols for Treatment of Covid-19
PART 1 - PREVENTION
China is in the fortunate position of having a truly integrated healthcare system, where the collaboration between Western and Chinese medicine achieves the best of both worlds.
In the fight against the pandemic of pneumonia from 2019-nCoV Novel Coronavirus infection, there has been much research into TCM to formulate pneumonia prevention and treatment programs. Chinese herbal formulas harbour the unique potential to reduce fever and cough symptoms, limit disease progression, and improve overall immunity, and thus a person’s ability to mount an essential immune response to the virus.
They have certain formulas for prevention and treatment of Coronavirus, to be used as an integrated and comprehensive approach utilising both Western and Chinese medicine to ensure optimal patient outcomes.
The first stage, Prevention, is the easiest part to manage and predict. As we know ‘prevention is easier than cure’ and the formula is suitable for the ‘prevention of pneumonia due to viral infections, and the flu’.
Huang Qi (Astragalus), Bai Zhu (Atractylodes), Fang Feng (Ledebouriella) is a traditional formula called Yu Ping Feng San (Jade Screen) which boosts immunity. Astragalus has well known immune modulating properties. There is also some herbs to combat the ‘Damp’ nature of Covid too.
It also contains antivirals such as Jin Yin Hua (Honeysuckle), Hu Zhang (Japanese Knotweed), Lian Qiao (Forsythia Fruit), Yu Xing Cao (Houttuynia) and Ban Lan Gen (Isatis root).
In fact research has shown Ban Lan Gen was effectively used in combatting SARS-CoV (COVID-19 is 96% the same virus as SARS-CoV, so very similar).
PART 2 - DISEASE PROGRESSION - Mild to Moderate Symptoms
TCM doctors treat patients holistically rather than dispense a one-remedy-fits-all solution. However, with COVID-19, these are unusual times. Which makes the next stages more difficult to treat, partly because the progression of the disease can be fast and the symptom picture changes quickly as the virus enters into the deeper levels of the body. The other problem we have in the UK is that much of our materia medica has been banned and unfortunately some very useful herbs like Ephedra, Gypsum, Wild Ginger and Aconite are not accessible. (Another time, another blog!)
Based on the experience of TCM and the SARS epidemic (remember COVID-19 is 96% the same virus) we have some very useful formulas depending on what symptoms you are showing. An online consultation is essential at this stage to ascertain a patients needs.
PART 3 - RECOVERY - Long Covid
This is where Chinese medicine and other alternative therapies can be really beneficial.
The symptoms of Long Covid are far reaching and a consultation would definitely be in order to ascertain each patients’ needs. In general we want to support the immune system (Zheng Qi), build Spleen Qi and dispel Damp (achey muscles/fatigue, lack of taste/smell). We may also need to nourish fluids and support Yin as the virus/pathogenic factor can easily damage the precious fluids, resulting in heat/restlessness and night sweats. Protecting the lungs and regulating the blood if there are resulting chest pains or cough present.
Acupuncture helps to stimulate our bodies own natural healing response, by regulating fluid, draining damp, clearing heat/inflammation and tonifying our immune system.
Diet and nutrition are also important in the convalescing stage. Sweet, Bland foods such as rice congee with Lily bulb and Goji berries, or with Chinese Yam and Adzuki beans. Avoid overeating and consumption of alcohol, as well as the intake of greasy and fried foods. In addition, moderate exercise and adequate amounts of sleep and rest will all help to achieve a full recovery.
Think about some key vitamins like D3, Zinc and Vit C to help the immune system to bounce back and stay strong.
Please get in touch if you need any advise or have any questions about how Chinese Medicine can help you.