COVID-19 Prevention – The TCM Perspective (Traditional Chinese Medicine)

The recent Coronavirus Outbreak has created a health crisis all around the world!  With limited resources to combat this crisis, the staggering increase of confirmed cases each day continues to overwhelm our hospitals.  We need to do our part to reduce strain in our healthcare system by not getting sick!

What can we do to protect ourselves from the Coronavirus?  This is the TCM perspective!

An article published on PubMed, dated February 17, 2020, discusses the Use of Chinese Medicine in the Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).  It mentions historical records and clinical evidence of preventing contagious respiratory viruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and H1N1 Influenza with Chinese Medicine.  Based on these records and evidence, it is concluded that Chinese Herbal Formula can be used as an alternative approach for the prevention of COVID-19 in high-risk population. 

 An article published on PubMed, dated February 17, 2020, discusses the Use of Chinese Medicine in the Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)


In the article, the use of Chinese Medicine to prevent infectious diseases was traced back to ancient TCM practices with references in Huangdi’s Internal Classic (黄帝内经  Huang Di Nei Jing).  The principles to protect the body from pathogens are by Tonifying Qi, Dispersing Wind, Discharging Heat and Resolving Dampness.  


This can be done by making a tonic or tea with an Herbal Formula containing the following herbs: Radix astragali, Radix glycyrrhizae, Radix saposhnikoviae, Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae, Lonicerae japonicae flos and Fructus forsythia. 


Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of each herb!


Radix astragali (黄芪  Huang Qi)


Huang Qi is more commonly prescribed as 北芪 Bei Qi performs its actions on the Lung and Spleen Meridian Channels.  In TCM, it is used to tonify Qi and improve endurance, therefore it is used for:

  • Palpitation, chest congestion, shortness of breath, weak and slow pulse
  • Phlegm retention
  • Regulating blood sugar and blood pressure
  • Reducing Edema
  • Frequent or lack of urination
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Numbness of the limbs


Radix glycyrrhizae (甘草  Gan Cao)


Gan Cao is considered a Superherb that has actions on all 12 of the Meridian Channels.  In TCM, it is used for tonifying the Spleen, enhancing Qi and clearing Heat and toxins.  It is used to:

  • Expel Phlegm
  • Suppress and Relieve Cough
  • Relieve palpitation and shortness of breath


Radix saposhnikoviae (防风  Fang Feng)


Fang Feng has actions on the Bladder, Liver and Spleen Meridian Channels.  In TCM, it has the following actions:

  • Antipyretic (fever-reducer)
  • Antibiotic
  • Antiviral
  • Inhibits pain


Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae (白术 Bai Zhu)


Bai Zhu has actions on the Spleen and Stomach Meridian Channels.  In TCM, it is used to alleviate the following conditions:

  • Flatulence with diarrhea
  • Abundance of phlegm
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitation
  • Edema
  • Sweating
  • Lack of appetite


Lonicerae japonicae (金银花  Jin Yin Hua)


Jin Yin Hua has actions on the Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach and Heart Meridian Channels.  Please refer to out “Boost Immunity With Honeysuckle Flowers to Prevent Coronavirus (COVID-19)” Article for a more detailed description. 

Fructus forsythia (连翘 Lian Qiao)


Lian Qiao has actions on the Heart, Liver, and Gall Bladder Meridian Channels.  In TCM, it:

  • Clears heat, toxin and nodules
  • Expels wind heat from a Common Cold
  • Promotes blood circulation
  • Promotes urination
  • Antipyretic (fever-reducer)
  • Antibiotic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiemetic (stops vomiting)



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