SARS Update: SARS Cure? Traditional Chinese
medicine being put to use against SARS virus
May 12, 2003 07:56:00 GMT
Shanghai. (Interfax-China) - Though there is as yet no effective
vaccine or antidote for the SARS virus, a Chinese traditional
medicine formula has seen good clinical responses from infected
SARS patients, according to Chinese authorities. The continuous
use of a traditional Chinese medicine remedy in Guangdong, the
original area for the first reported SARS cases, has succeeded
in a much lower death rate when compared to that of Beijing and
SARS Cases and SARS Cures
The Guangdong Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital has received
a confirmed 112 SARS cases since January 2003, among which 105
have been cured and left the hospital, and 7 patients have died.
All SARS patients were treated by Chinese traditional medicine
The leader of the Chinese team researching the use of Chinese
traditional medicine against SARS, professor Deng Tietao, with
Guangdong Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, gave an exclusive
interview to Interfax from his home in Guangdong Province.
In order to implement Guangdong's successful anti-SARS traditional
Chinese medicine formula nationwide, China's State Administration
of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM) issued a circular to assign
the Guangdong Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital to summarize
the formula used, which has recently been released to the public
on the front page of the domestic traditional Chinese medicine
newspaper, Zhongguo Zhongyiyao Bao.
The official formula was written under the supervision of a group
of experts, led by professor Deng Tietao.
Does This SARS Cure Treat the SARS Virus Directly?
The traditional Chinese medicine remedy does not react to what
kind of microbe the SARS virus is, or what kind of genetic effect
the virus undertakes after entering a human body, it instead reacts
directly to the symptoms that occur during the period the human
body is infected with the virus, Deng told Interfax. The goal
of traditional Chinese medicine remedy is not to kill the virus
but drive it away. That is why traditional Chinese medicine can
cure some severe illnesses, even it does not have a microbiological
make-up, he explained.
Hong Kong, which suffered a higher death rate in SARS cases before,
has begun to utilize traditional Chinese medicine. Representatives
of the Hong Kong Health Department visited Guangdong Traditional
Chinese Medicine Hospital several days ago, Deng disclosed, and
two doctors from this hospital have already been invited to Hong
Kong to help treat SARS patients there.
The expert group has divided the SARS illness into four phases,
namely an initial phase, a medium phase, a peak phase, and a recuperation
phase. The four phases have different symptoms, and patients in
different phases should be treated by different formulas. For
- patients in the initial phase can take huo pu xia
cen tang (soup of the leaf of wrinkled giant hyssop), while
- patients in the recuperation phase should take xia
shen tang (adenophora root soup) or mai dong tang
(dwarf lily turf tuber soup).
In addition to the traditional Chinese medicine formulas, according
to the different symptoms in the separate phases, intravenous
injections of compounds can be introduced, such as of yu xing
cao zhen (cordate honttuynia), dan shen zhen (salvia mitiorrhiza),
deng zhan xi xin zhen (fleabane), or shuang huang lian zhen (coptis
chinensis franch). As to weaker patients, 5 to 10 grams of American
ginseng root can also be taken per day.
Li, an official with the Guangdong Administration of Traditional
Chinese Medicine (GATCM), told Interfax that both China's Ministry
of Health (MOH) and the Hong Kong Health Department came to Guangzhou
for a scientific exchange about one month ago, regarding SARS
SARS Symptoms Vary With Each Person, and So Do Chinese Herbal
Traditional Chinese medicine remedies are carried out based on
symptoms relating to each individual case. While SARS patients
regularly have different clinical symptoms, such as different
fever temperatures, and different length of the four phases. So,
the released formula is just a general guide, instead of an all-purpose
recipe for curing SARS, which could mislead doctors, according