TCM Lianhuaqingwen found effective in anti-coronavirus vitro test
By Guo Meiping

Lianhuaqingwen, a common traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been found effective against the novel coronavirus in vitro test, according to a research conducted by a team led by renowned Chinese respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan.

The medicine consists of 13 herbal components, and is used in the treatment of common cold and flu. Lianhuaqingwen has a curative effect on patients with mild symptoms and helps relieve fever, cough and fatigue.

Lianhuaqingwen capsule. /Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceutical

Lianhuaqingwen capsule. /Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceutical

The paper, which was published in Pharmacological Research last week, said that the medicine significantly inhibits the virus replication, affects virus morphology and exerts anti-inflammatory activity in vitro.

These findings indicate that Lianhuaqingwen could protect against the virus attack, making its use a novel strategy for controlling the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19), said the paper.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, Lianhuaqingwen has been recommended in the diagnosis and treatment guidelines of COVID-19 by 20 provinces, and extensively used at Wuhan's Huoshenshan and Leishenshan hospitals and other COVID-19 medical facilities.

Developed during the 2003 SARS outbreak, the medicine has been used in treating mild cases of COVID-19, said Zhang Boli, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, during a press conference on Monday.

"China has so far sent 100,000 boxes of Lianhuaqingwen to Italy," he said, adding that China might ship another 100,000 boxes depending on Italy's demand.

The application of TCM has become one of the highlights in the battle against COVID-19.

Yu Yanhong, party chief of the CPC Committee of China's State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said on Monday that 91.5 percent of confirmed cases in China opted for TCM treatment.

"Based on clinical curative effect observation, the total effective rate has achieved more than 90 percent," she said.

(Cover: A staff member in a traditional Chinese medicine pharmacy. /VCG)