TCM and Epidemics

TCM and Epidemics

China has weathered many epidemics over 300 epidemics in over 2000 years.  Since the Han Dynasty of 206 BC-AD 220) and especially since the Ming and Qing dynasties ( 1368-1911) China has accumulated important information on how TCM ( Traditional Chinese Medicine)  plays key role in  preventing and controlling epidemics,  including SARS and the Bird Flu.

C-19 pneumonia causes damage to lungs.  It is different from bacterial pneumonia and other viral pneumonia which can be treated with antibiotics and anti-viral meds.  The body reacts with a cytokine storm, triggers respiratory distress syndrome that leads to multiple organ failure, and even death.  The primary difficulty in treating Covid-19 is to curb the overreaction of the immune system, which damages the lungs and causes organ failure.  The treatments available now can only mitigate symptoms.

So, how does TCM inhibit C-19?  TCM is most effective in prevention by enhancing and balancing the immune system of the body and alleviates inflammation caused by the over response of the immune system.  It can alleviate the symptoms of mild and moderate viral attacks, including fever, coughing, and bodily pain.  It can also ease symptoms of patients suffering from severe symptoms of hypoxia, such as fever, coughing, and shortness of breath.

This particular virus invades human cells through a spike-like protein on its surface that attaches to the ACE2 receptor (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) on the surface of the cell.  The ACE2 is like a “knob on door”, and the virus “hijacks” the “knob”: using its spike-like protein, opening the door into human cells.  Studies conducted at Stanford University and the University of Hong Kong suggest that baicalin in scutellaia baicalensis,  a TCM herbal ingredient, and herperetin in dried tangerine peel can combine with ACE2,  thus serving as a potential chemical compound for treating the virus.  The use of TCM has been shown to lower the risk of viral pneumonia, to reduce the time severe patients use ventilators, and to reduce their length of stay in the ICU. ( Journal of Critical Care Medicine ).  updated 1/04/2020

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