The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future Volume 2
CHAPTER 7: Application of Chinese Herbal Medicine in COVID-19
Published:27 Apr 2022
Y. Tian, X. Qiu, X. Jiang, J. Huang, and F. Zhang, in The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future Volume 2, ed. M. D. Waters, A. Dhawan, T. Marrs, D. Anderson, S. Warren, C. L. Hughes, ... C. L. Hughes, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2022, pp. 197-220.
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Traditional Chinese herbal medicine has a long history in treating febrile diseases, according to the Shang Han Lun, a classical theory of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) developed by Zhang Zhongjing in the Han Dynasty. Some herbs have been formulated as prescription formulae or manufactured as finished medicines such as pills, capsules, or injections. The Chinese government has recommended specific TCM prescriptions alone or combined with Western medicine to treat patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Here, we introduce three prescription formulae: Qingfei Paidu decoction, Huashi Baidu formula, and Xuanfei Baidu formula; three finished medicines: Lianhua Qingwen capsules, Jinhua Qinggan granules, and Xuebijing injection; and several single herbs, such as Ephedra Herba, honeysuckle, Scutellaria, Glycyrrhizae Radix, Armeniacae Semen, Sophorae flavescentis Radix, and Curcuma longa. We review existing evidence on these traditional medicines and herbs for their related antiviral activities, efficacy, and underlying mode of action in virus-related diseases. Most of these drugs have been traditionally used in Chinese medicine for over a thousand years, and they have been proved to be safe in treating flu-like virus infections. It is necessary to further test their efficacy for treating COVID-19 and understand the underlying molecular mechanisms.