By definition, Coronavirus is a respiratory disease caused by a virus that can spread from one person to another. Common signs and symptoms of this disease would be cold, cough, sore throat and fever. Science is finding ways of curing this disease for good. However, there is no medicine at presentthat can cure the COVID-19. With modern medicine yet to find an answer whether herbal medicines can treat coronavirus.
Before you understand more about the herbs that can be used to treat COVID-19, you need to know more about the disease and its nature.
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus is a virus that depends on the host for its survival. As it enters into the human body, it injects its genome into the cell. Consequently, the cell is used by the virus to multiple. This means that the cell becomes a primary agent for the production and survival of the virus. For the virus to be destroyed, it is important for the cell to be destroyed too. This is one of the primary reasons why finding a cure for Coronavirus is difficult. Today, this is a crucial challenge for scientists and doctors around the world.
Herbal medication may appear promising to help fight COVID-19. However, the medication has to be carefully monitored by a trained herbal practitioner. Based on the patient’s response to the herbal treatment, the dose needs to be modified. Traditional Chinese medication has been around for generations. No one clearly knows if TCM is worth a try or not. Many times, people believe that herbs can be used to cure infections caused by viruses. But, the question here would be: can TCM tackle the Coronavirus?
When COVID-19 started to spread, the mortality rate of Wuhan was around 2.6%. Two other regions that were affected by the virus would be Guangdong and Zhejiang. In both of these places, the mortality rate was somewhere around 0.1%. Many claim that the people in these regions were treated using TCM, even before they got infected by the virus.
Regions where TCM was administered had fewer deaths than places where traditional herbal medicine was not used. Details on how effective traditional herbs are is difficult to find. This is mainly because many patients were administered with traditional medicines in the form of modern pills. And, some patients were given Chinese herbs along with the support of artificial lungs.
In most cases, combining the benefits of traditional Chinese medicines and modern science can reduce the likelihood of death due to the Coronavirus. Patients who were first infected by the virus in China were offered a mix of traditional and modern medicines. And, all these patients recovered.
Some lab results (tests conducted in China) revealed that the COVID-19 can be controlled using an oral liquid called the Shuanghuanglian. When both modern science and traditional herbal medicines are mixed, it is difficult to understand which delivered the best results.
Now let’s venture into the herbs and traditional medications that can cure the disease caused by Coronavirus.
Herbs that can help curing COVID-19
Studies for identifying medications that can treated COVID-19 revealed 13 crucial compounds. These were 13 important compounds in most Chinese medications. Experts reveal that two of the compounds present in this 13 are found in 125 different types of Chinese medications. From this 125, nearly 26 Chinese medicines are categorized for supporting people with breathing problems. These herbs are capable of curing respiratory problems caused by viruses like the corona.
Apart from the 26 herbs, Cimicifugarhizoma, Meliaecor- tex, Coptidisrhizoma, Phellodendron cortex and Sephorasubstrata are capable of curing the mouse hepatitis virus. These herbs are also capable of curing illnesses caused by the porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus and the vesicular stomatitis virus. All of these herbs have a strong impact on the mouse hepatitis virus. And, experts believe that these herbs will be useful in testing COVID-19 too. In the absence of allopathic treatment, these herbal medications can be used as a part of anti-viral corona drugs.
Another interesting herb that is used in many hospitals and clinics around China would be Shuanghuanglian. As mentioned previously, this appears to be effective against the Coronavirus. This herb is an interesting blend of the honey suckle, Chinese skull cap and the forsythia. This herb is widely used for improving the body’s immune system. In fact, it has been categorized as an anti-viral and an anti-bacterial drug for centuries.
It would not be a surprise if this herb is effective as a medication for the Coronavirus. Many times, doctors and herbal practitioners use it for treating cold, cough and fever. Though the herb proves to be useful, there is little information on how it works against the infection. To be more precise, no one clearly knows which compound or combination of chemicals make the Shuanghuanglian effective in treating infections.
In the past, many papers were published to identify the power of Flavonoid seeds against the SARS infection. These seeds work by inhibiting the proteinase synthesis process of the virus. As a result, the virus will not be able to attach to cells, replicate the genome, multiple and then detach into newer cells. When this process comes to an end, the impact of the virus on the body reduces. Eventually, the virus will be cleared by the body’s antibodies, and the patient begins to recover. This is how most viral infections are cured. And, doctors strongly believe that this theory holds good for COVID-19 too.
The past: SARS
During the SARS outbreak, the World HealthOrganization invested a lot of money in understanding the impact of Chinese medicine. A hefty investment was made to learn more about the effectiveness and reliable nature of herbal treatments. Many factories located in Hubei were advised to manufacture a herbal drink. This drink had to be boiled and then given to patients. In the beginning, nearly 30,000 patients were offered with the drink. Locals revealed that the drink was consumed by both the sick and the healthy. It was treated as a preventive measure for the respiratory problem.
Likewise, a group of people in Guangzhou developed respiratory issues related to COVID-19, and they were administered a mix of modern and herbal medicines. In less than a week, their conditions improved and they tested negative for Coronavirus. Doctors believe that the herbs increased the rate at which the body responded to treatments.
In fact, medical staff who tested and treated the 58 patients showed no signs of infection too. It was just a matter of time before the importance and relevance of Chinese medicines against viral infections was shared across the country. Consequently, a group of researchers in China released a list of herbal medicines that can be used to treat Coronavirus. This list consisted of 12 to 15 effective herbs. And, the study empowered the country to prepare and find a suitable remedy for COVID-19. At the Jinyinthan hospital at Wuhan, numerous patients were cured with the help of Chinese medicines and modern science. A mix of both these technologies were used to help patients affected by the Coronavirus.
There is no scientificevidence that herbal medicine is a cure for Coronavirus as not much research has been done in this area. Yet, multiple patients have been treated, and many have recovered with the careful administration of TCM and modern medications. Allopathic medicines do have promising capabilities but TCM can help support the lungs and respiratory system.