COVID-19 Frontline: Chinese experts share TCM uses with foreign medics

Editor's note: On March 12, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and as of Wednesday (April 15), about 200 countries and regions have confirmed over 1,900,000 cases, according to the WHO. On CGTN's live program "COVID-19 Frontline," we invited medical workers and experts from Wuhan and from all over the world to share their experiences and take questions from social media, in the hope of providing more information for those who are battling against the pandemic.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been proven effective in treating patients with COVID-19 in China. According to China's State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it can lessen symptoms and increase the recovery rate and lower the fatality rate.

In the latest episode of CGTN's live stream program "COVID-19 Frontline," TCM experts including Huang Luqi, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and President of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences; and Li Hao, Vice president of Beijing-based Xiyuan Hospital of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, share their experience in COVID-19 treatment and control with medics from Poland and the United States.

Live: Chinese experts share TCM uses for COVID-19 with foreign medics

Global TCM doctors are attending live streaming discussion with Chinese TCM doctors. /CGTN

Global TCM doctors are attending live streaming discussion with Chinese TCM doctors. /CGTN

How to take care of elderly population with TCM?

Sandra Kahn, President of the Florida State Oriental Medical Association (FSOMA) in the U.S., said in Florida there is a large number of nursing homes and rehabilitation centers where COVID-19 is spreading massively. So she wanted to know how to use TCM to take better care of elderly people

Dr Li Hao explained COVID-19 attacks elderly patients in comprehensive manners, and most of the patients in critical condition are older and suffer from various underlying diseases. TCM aims at boosting their immunity. On the other hand, Hao recommended extra attention and care in daily nursing. 


Is there a specific TCM formula to treat COVID-19?

Colleen Regan, President of South Dakota Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Association, U.S., said in her state there is a resistance to the use of Chinese herbs in general, unless they are very simple. She wanted to know specific formulas she can use to treat the disease. 


Dr Huang Luqi suggested the "Huashibaidu" formula which is made into granules and easy to prepare. "Just like making a cup of coffee," he said. 

Huashibaidu formula is widely distributed in hospitals in Wuhan. The strict clinical comparison research has proved the effectiveness of "Huashibaidu" in treating patients with COVID-19.

What does Lianhuaqingwen capsules cure?

Chinese embassies in various countries have distributed health kits to overseas students, which include Lianhuaqingwen capsules. 

According to Dr Huang Luqi, Lianhuaqingwen has been approved by the Chinese Food and Drug Administration and promoted around China. It's proven effective in treating COVID-19 with mild symptoms, such as fever, coughing, and fatigue.


Will people get COVID-19 twice?

Marek Kalmus, President of Polish Society of Traditional Chinese Medicine (PTTMC), in Krakow, Poland, wanted to know whether someone who recovered from COVID-19 can get sick with the same disease again, and under which circumstances.


Miao Qing, Director of Respiratory Department at Xiyuan Hospital of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, explained that although those who have been infected with COVID-19 develop a protective antibody, there is still a likelihood of the virus reactivating.

He mentioned there was a patient who had been cured and discharged, but two months later, he was found positive again. He recovered soon after being treated. Plus, there was no large-scale transmission, meaning the transmission degree of the virus appears to be weaker in the case of reinfection.

How can TCM help intubated patients?


"Endotracheal tube insertion can cause multiple damages to the heart, lungs, and kidneys. Treatment should be individualized, so there is no fixed TCM formula for all critically ill patients," said Yang Zhixu, ICU Director at Xiyuan Hospital of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences. What TCM does is boost the patient's immune system to fight COVID-19.

In the later programs, more doctors and experts on the frontline in Wuhan will join in to share their experience with their colleagues from other parts of the world. And for those who have questions or confusions, you can also pose your questions with CGTN using #MyOpinionOnCOVID19 on Facebook.

Videos by Zhang Rongyi, Ge Kai

Cover image by Du Chenxin