Treating Viruses with Chinese Medicine

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There is so much information in the media about COVID-19 right now. Some of it is right and some it is wrong, and the information is changing all the time. In this article, I am going to approach this topic based on my study of Traditional Chinese Medicine. There are many case reports of Chinese herbal medicine as being effective for this virus in all of its different stages.

I am a Chinese Medicine practitioner and herbal medicine is a big part of what I do. Plants are amazing. They have natural antibiotic, antiviral and even anti-fungal properties. The Chinese have been treating diseases for a long while. There are books written on herbal formulas for epidemics. I never really understood the classic books called, Wen Bing, and the Shan Han Lun but I do now – they make sense. The classics talk about pathogens starting from outside with symptoms like chills and fever, maybe sore throat and then moving inwards towards the lungs and other areas of the body. When we analyze these herbs with western medicine we find that many are anti-viral in nature. The ancients knew something! How do we proceed?

First – prevention. Use adaptogens and herbs that will strengthen your immune system. Everyone is individual. Some people also need their nervous systems calmed down as well. The elderly need to have their vital energy increased so they have some energy to fight the virus. There are some usual suspects like Huang qi (astragalus), medicinal mushrooms like reishi and cordyceps but there are many others. Chinese Medicine treats the person, so it is not a cookie cutter approach. We look at an individuals’ health.

The key is understanding that our bodies are all unique. Many have underlying conditions that affect their health. The immune system is complex and amazing. It is always working, identifying pathogens like viruses to target them. The immune system is made up of tissues, cells, organs, tonsils, digestion, bone marrow, skin, lymph nodes, spleen, mucous membranes. It is a system designed to keep you healthy. The immune system starts with our interactions with the world, the air we breathe, the food we take in and our stress levels. The Chinese call this our Wei qi or protective Qi. Make sure to take in good energy, like love, connection, sex and laughter because research shows it strengthens the immune system.

Getting sick? Besides zinc, having enough vitamin D, Chinese herbs given at the early stages works with the body’s ability to help the immune system fight the virus. Again, there are some standard formulas like Yin Qiao but someone might need other herbs added depending on the strength of the person. The key point here is that everyone is different. The virus can move internally quickly so we need to add different herbal formulas to treat the fever and cough. It’s not to say that we can cure the virus. We are just helping the body get rid of it in the most effective way.

When I was in China, over 20 years ago, I had a bad flu. I am not comparing it to COVID-19. But to say, I was determined to see how my medicine would help. I walked with a fever to the hospital to have the doctor there write me an herbal prescription. I boiled it in my crock pot in my hotel room. Other colleagues took western drugs. They left to go back to the US. I stood the course and got better. I was able to travel around South East Asia but I never forgot the power of Chinese Herbs.

Case study for prevention:
I did a telemedicine call with a woman who was not only trying to conceive but had an underlying lung issue. She was very scared about getting the virus because she knew that her lungs were already not in good shape. She was barely eating, and sleeping.and worried about her fertility. The order of operations was to give her supplements and lifestyle instructions to nourish her body. Yes, immune stimulants are good but they don’t address this particular person’s issues. I had to strengthen her digestion and calm her system. Custom herbal formulas changed this person’s nervous system and allowed her to decrease her sympathetic nervous system.

Case study 1 week into COVID
I sent herbs to a patient who was one week into the virus. He complained of fevers that came and went, bad fatigue, and tightness of his chest. He was a 32-year-old male who was already taking a lot of supplements for his energy. One of them was n-acetyl-cysteine which has muconogenic properties (loosening phlegm). Chinese Medicine has specific herbs for his stage. We have to give him some vital energy but at the same time, work on his lung energy.

As I am writing this, I know more will be revealed. Yes, social distancing is important, but it is also important to connect to one another through other means. Here are other suggestions

  1. Practice meditation
  2. Eat nourishing foods
  3. Exercise good to work the lungs
  4. Stay away from sugar.
  5. Know this is all temporary

Please contact me for telemedicine call and pass on this information. There are now studies being done at UCLA and other schools investigating Chinese Herbs for COVID-19. The Chinese published great results with a special formula for COVID and we are researching it here in the US. I feel it is important for more people to know about the amazing effects that Chinese herbs have and their ability to treat viruses. Every time I hear of someone who is coming down with COVID, I want to send them herbs, I want to help them. We all need to realize that nature has many secrets to helping our health. Spread the word!