Treating Corona Virus from a TCM Perspective

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Corona virus, Covid 19, has been an international topic of conversation and affected almost every corner of the world. It was first documented in China, in December 2019, and since then has become a global pandemic. While it is a new virus, its similarities to the Sars virus has given scientists a chance to move faster forward in understanding the disease. In the centre of the original breakout, in Wuhan Hubei Province, 85% of patients with corona virus were given, in their treatment protocol, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Due to the vast number of patients it was difficult to do a differential diagnosis and therefore certain standard formulas were used according to the degree of the disease. 

China has had a head start in understanding the genetic makeup of Covid 19. Genetically it is 96% identical to the Sars CoV 2. The race to create a vaccine was further spurred by the Chinese efforts to sequence the genetic material. The sequencing was given to academic institutions and companies around the world so as to quickly develop a vaccine, however, to have a viable vaccine which has undergone thorough clinical testing, this will take anywhere from one to one and a half years.  While a vaccine may help in the future, efforts need to be done today to slow the disease. 

It is believed that 70% of the population will eventually be exposed to the virus. With this in mind it is important to ensure a strong immune system. There are two similar formulas, used in the hospitals in the Hubei province, for prevention. These formulas support the immune system and have anti-viral properties. If the patient is already affected the treatment of the patient depends on the depth of the disease. In Chinese medicine there are levels to a disease and these levels dictate the depth of the disease. For example, if it is superficial, then it is affecting the head and throat, with symptoms of runny nose, headache and sore throat. The next level causes coughing, fever, and thick phlegm which affects the bronchi and then the alveoli. This thick phlegm is very difficult to expectorate and causes difficulty in breathing. Each layer goes deeper and is treated with a different herbal formula. 

What exasperates the problem with this virus is that it can also cause in later stages a cytokine storm. A cytokine storm in simple terms is an excessive uncontrolled immune response by the body causing inflammation, which in this case causes inflammation and fluid build-up in the lungs. This will obviously cause major respiratory distress. This is one of the last stages of the disease and causes many complications such as secondary bacterial pneumonia. 

After recovery if the patient has had any sort of obstruction of the lungs during the virus, there will be some level of lung damage. This may cause Lung Qi deficiency or if more severe a Lung Yin deficiency. In both cases the patient must be treated with acupuncture and herbal formulas to help to support the lung function. The treatment will need to be regular and will take some time before full recovery. In some cases, there may even be some permanent lung function issues.  

In order to flatten the curve and reduce the number of people with the disease a lot of countries are currently on lock down. What we can do in this time is focus on our own personal health. I suggest taking preventative herbal formulas, so as to support your immune system. Eat a healthy diet of fruit and vegetables and get a healthy amount of sleep. For a herbal formula for prevention or mild symptoms of the virus contact me on

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