Traditional Chinese medicine remedies can help those with COVID-19 recover faster and relieve symptoms such as fevers, a senior Shanghai expert said on Wednesday.
Wu Yingen, a tenured professor at Longhua Hospital, said the curative effect of TCM has been proven during treatments for local COVID-19 patients.
The Lianhua Qingwen capsule, for instance, can effectively inhibit the replication of the dominant Omicron variant and repair cell damage it causes, Wu said at Shanghai's daily COVID-19 press briefing.
"However, we don't suggest people take the capsule to prevent COVID-19, because it also has side effects," Wu noted.
He said Lianhua Qingwen can be used mainly for asymptomatic infections or mild symptoms, which account for a large majority of the new cases in Shanghai.
Local TCM experts have concluded infections from the Omicron variant fall under "dampness-evil" in TCM theory, which can be treated under the principle of clearing heat, dampness and stagnation, Wu said.
Such TCM treatments have been rapidly promoted across Shanghai's designated hospitals and are effective, he added.
The hospital affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine has also developed a remedy consisting of five common TCM herbs, including silver flower, forsythia and licorice, which have few side effects. The remedy was used to prevent COVID-19 in medics at the hospital, Wu said, and is available on its Internet hospital.
Other common TCM remedies for colds, such as Yupingfengsan powder and Buzhongyiqi soup, are also effective against COVID-19.
People should ask a professional TCM doctor for tailored prescriptions to prevent or treat COVID-19, he said.
TCM's role in COVID-19 treatment is included in the ninth edition of the "Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol for Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia" released by the National Health Commission.