TCM's role in health, wellness, and treating COVID-19
By Julian Waghann

Dating back to over 2,000 years, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has gained global recognition as more people are discovering its potential in relieving a wide range of ailments.

CGTN's Julian Waghann caught up with Xu Anlong, president of the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, for his insights into TCM, how it can complement Western medicine, and the role TCM has played in treating COVID-19.

Xu shared his experience, saying he got a severe disease in his childhood and antibiotics did not prove that effective. His further studies overseas also helped him better understand Western medicine and the relationship between Western medicine and TCM.

As for the difference between the two, Xu said they apply different approaches to treatment. For example, TCM not just focuses on particular organs or the symptoms. To cure headache, acupuncture therapy is performed not only on the patient's head but also other acupoints on the body. While the Western way employs pills to suppress the pain.

Xu said that in ancient times people paid more attention to climatic changes, and the balance between human body and nature. Diseases occur when such balance is lost, and TCM can help patients regain that balance.

TCM is also used to treat COVID-19. During COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, patients with light symptoms immensely benefited from TCM.

Zhang Zhongjing, a famous Chinese pharmacologist and physician of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD), produced the "Treatise on Febrile and Miscellaneous Diseases." Prescriptions from his works have been applied by TCM experts to clinical practice, and such efforts have helped cure many patients and made great contribution to the containment of COVID-19.

According to Xu, TCM is also popular in the international market. In Japan, they use Chinese classic recipes to prepare TCM products.

As the president of the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Xu has dedicated himself to TCM education. Founded in 1956, the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine is a prestigious university in China and has been well-known for its leading research on TCM.

(Cover: A TCM store in Hefei City, Anhui Province. /CFP)

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