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Archive for the ‘H1N1’ Category

Dec
31
SHANGHAI has vaccinated some 1.92 million people at risk from swine flu or seasonal flu, the city’s health bureau said yesterday.Over 1.354 million people from vulnerable groups such as medical staff and students and teachers at primary and middle schools have been given swine flu shots since mid October.About 571,000 people in the at-risk population for seasonal flu have received vaccinations since the middle of December, the bureau said.As of yesterday, the city had confirmed 3,063 swine flu cases since the first patient was diagnosed in May. Seven people, including a five-year-old girl, have died.The city’s health authorities said both vaccinations are safe and have no serious side effects.Shanghai’s facilities for disease prevention and control estimated that more than 90 percent of vaccine recipients have been protected.”Though the city has suffered repeated cold spells recently, the number of primary and middle school students who asked for sick leave due to fever and other flu-like symptoms has dropped greatly,” said Song Guofan, a Shanghai Health Bureau official.Health officials said the swine flu epidemic is stable, but warned that January and February is the peak flu period.”There could be a higher risk of flu viruses spreading in the New Year and during the Spring Festival as large numbers of people will be traveling,” Song said.”We encourage people in the at-risk population for swine flu to get vaccinated and practice good personal hygiene.”

Dec
18

Some Chinese remedies have been recommended by the government in the fight against human swine flu.

The Chinese Medicine Department of the Hospital Authority Friday announced five Chinese remedies believed to help prevent infection by influenza, including human swine flu – especially for the populace of Hong Kong.

“Considering the environment of Hong Kong, the five remedies are medically tailored to Hong Kong people with reference to Hong Kong’s circumstances and the physical condition of Hong Kong people,” said assistant professor Cao Kejian from the School of Chinese Medicine, the University of Hong Kong.

Cao, in addition to three other Chinese medicine practitioners, was invited by the Hospital Authority in May this year to formulate influenza preventatives. They have also been to Beijing to have further discussions with the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine and came back to Hong Kong with a set of suggested Chinese medicine remedies from Beijing which were then refined to meet the specific needs of Hong Kong people.

One of the remedies said to be especially appropriate and effective for the winter-spring season in Hong Kong is reportedly able to prevent both colds and influenza. It contains su ye, jing jie, sang ye, and ju hua, 10g each plus 3g gan cao.

“Su ye and jing jie can prevent cold while sang ye and ju hua can help prevent influenza,” Cho said, adding, “Thus, this remedy can help people avoid both cold and influenza.”

Another Chinese medicine practitioner, Wang Yongqin, senior lecturer of the Clinical Division, School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, recommended that Hong Kong people have lighter meals instead of having an excessive fatty and oily diet in the winter, for a healthier body and prevention of flu. Spicy foods, he advises, should also be avoided as they may create too much heat in the lung and lead to flu.

“More vegetables and fruits are recommended, but avoid deep fried and spicy foods,” said Wang.

There have recently been claims that chili and garlic can help prevent flu, but Cho said they were just rumors and there was not any official proof of such efficacy.

The 14 Chinese medicine clinics under the Hospital Authority are providing information about the five remedies concerned on the Authority’s website at http://www.ha.org.hk/chinesemedicine. Different people with different physical constitutions and conditions should choose different remedies, and are strongly advised to seek a physician’s advice on selecting the best remedy for themselves.

Specific medical prevention and remedies aside, maintaining good health and a strong immune system through good health practices and diet are crucial, according to the Hospital Authority.
[HONG KONG]

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Dec
18

Chinese medical specialists announced Thursday they had developed a Chinese herbal medication to treat the A/H1N1 flu.
Seven months of scientific and clinical studies showed the remedy, called “Jin Hua Qing Gan Fang,” was effective in treating A/H1N1 flu patients, said Wang Chen, president of Beijing’s Chaoyang Hospital.
“It can shorten patients’ fever period and improve their respiratory systems. Doctors have found no negative effects on patients who were treated in this way,” he said.
“It is also very cheap, only about a quarter of the cost of Tamiflu,” he said at a press conference held by the Beijing Municipal Government.
Tamiflu, a product of Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding, was recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the treatment of the A/H1N1 flu.
“The municipal government has gathered the most outstanding medical experts in the Chinese capital to develop the new medication,” Zhao Jing, director of the Beijing Municipal Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said at the press conference.
Over the past seven months, more than 120 medical specialists, led by academicians Wang Yongyan and Li Lianda from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, had participated in the research, she said.
The municipal government earmarked 10 million yuan (1.47 million U.S. dollars) for the project, she said.
“Medical experts proved the effectiveness of Jin Hua in treating A/H1N1 flu from both the basic scientific studies and clinical studies,” she said.
The basic scientific studies lasted for almost five months and were conducted by experts from the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Beijing University of Technology.
“In vivo and in vitro, experiments on mice and rabbits show JinHua can bring down a fever and resist the A/H1N1 flu virus,” said Huang Luqi, vice president of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences.
Thursday’s Beijing Daily hailed the new herbal medication as the “world’s first traditional Chinese medicine to treat the A/H1N1 flu”.
Citing medical officials, the paper said “Jin Hua” was picked from among more than 100 classic anti-flu prescriptions based on traditional Chinese herbal medicine.
“Science workers proved its effectiveness through medical experiments on more than 4,000 mice and clinical studies on 410 patients with slight A/H1N1 flu syndrome,” it said.
The “Jin Hua” prescription had been adopted in many local traditional Chinese medicine hospitals, it said.
Zhao Jing said 11 hospitals nationwide, including Chaoyang Hospital and Ditan Hospital in Beijing, had conducted clinical studies on “Jin Hua” and gave positive assessments.
“We are applying for patents for ‘Jin Hua’ both at home and abroad,” she said.
“We are further developing the medicine and trying to present it to the whole country and world as soon as possible, thus offering an alternative to treat the A/H1N1 flu,” she said.
The Chinese mainland has reported almost 108,000 A/H1N1 flu cases, including 442 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.
Dr. Cris Tunon, senior program management officer at the WHO Representative Office in China, said Thursday the “WHO welcomes the clinical results,” as the traditional Chinese medicine offered a low-cost treatment of A/H1N1 flu.

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Nov
05

Some TCM prescription that may prevent swine flu:

Prescription 1 :
Applying to physical sturdy or over-alcohol crowd, it is consisted of:
Puerarin 15 grams, Radix scutellariae 10 grams, Wrinkled Gianthyssop Herb 10 grams, Raw Wheat seed 10 grams, Raw liquorice 5 grams. Efficacy: removing heat and dampness, relief evil through surface.

Prescription 2:
Applying to physical weakness or spontaneous sweat or getting cold easily crowd, it is consisted of:
Radix astragali 20 grams, Radix sileris 10 grams, Atractylis ovata 10 grams, Honeysuckle flower 10 grams, Raw licorice 5 grams. Efficacy: cleaning and supplement, preventing cold and wind, encouraging Qi, resisting exogenous pathogenic factor.

Prescription 3 :
12 grams of mulberry leaves, chrysanthemum 12 grams, 10 grams of almonds north, leaves 12 grams, 15 grams Puerarin, Health Adlay 15 grams, 15 grams of root, Platycodon 12 grams, 12 grams Phillyrin, Folium 15 grams, silver spent 12 grams, 6 grams licorice, those Chinese herbs mentioned above should be washed and they are soaked in water; 15 minutes should be taken to boil with Wu fire. The recipe taste better. Sugar should not be put in them when taking it.

Prescription 4:
The National Chinese medicine Administrative bureau issued Chinese medicine Prevention Plan of A/ H1N1 Flu. Chinese medicine Prevention Plan of A /H1N1 Flu prescribe traditional Chinese medicine formula on how to prevent flu for different group of the population:

Formula is 10 grams radix pseudostellariae, 6 grams folium perillae, 10 grams radices scutellariae, 10 grams fructus arctii to crowds of fragility and easy affection of exotenous wind-cold.

The formula is 5 grams herba taching, 5 grams Lithospermum officinale L., 5 grams crude liquorice to crowds of red complexion, oral pharynx and sometimes nose dry.

The formula is 10 grams folium perillae, 10 grams herba eupatorii and 10 grams pericarpium citri reticulatae to crowds of dark complexion and sometimes abdominal distension.

The formula is 6 grams ageratum, 6 grams folium perillae, 10 grams FLOS LONICERAE and 10 grams crude hawkthorn to children of easy excessive internal heat and putrid sour breath.

The above decoction for oral use is 1 dose every day which decocted by clear water with once in the morning and evening. 3-5 doses are advisable.

Chinese Herbal Remedy For H1N1 Flu, Treat A Flu With Chinese Herbs, Chinese Herbs Against H1N1 Flu

The outbreak speed of H1N1 flu (swine flu) is fast and nobody would predict precisely to what extent this H1N1 flu (swine flu) will affect human being’s life. In China some hospitals have adopted the traditional Chinese herbal medication to treat this disease and received expected good result. To share this information with all who are concerned with affection of H1N1 flu (swine flu), we present the prescription of Chinese herbal medicine here that was released online by Guangdong Provincial Chinese Herbal Medicine Hospital. This information is purely for your reference and we hold no responsibility for its actual result. The final decision will be made by your local doctor.

Some other flu-related natural prescriptions:
Prescription for symptom of sore throat and heat:
金银花 (Flos Lonicerae / jin yin hua) 15g
连翘 (Weeping Forsythia / lian qiao) 15g
薄荷 (Peppermint / bo he) 10g and the last element to be boiled
荆芥穗 (Spica Schizonepetae / jing jie sui) 10g
牛蒡子 (Greater Burdock / niu pang zi) 15g
桔梗 (Platycodon Root / jie geng) 10g
芦根 (Reed Rhizome / lu geng) 15g
生甘草 (Licorice Roots Northwest Origin / sheng gan cao) 5g

Prescription for symptom of heavy cough:
桑叶 (Mulberry Leaf / sang ye) 15g
菊花 (Florists Chrysanthemum / ju hua) 15g
薄荷 (Peppermint / bo he) 10g and is the last element to be boiled
连翘 (Weeping Forsythia / lian qiao) 15g
芦根 (Reed Rhizome / lu geng) 15g
桔梗 (Platycodon Root / jie geng) 10g
杏仁 (Bitter Apricot Kerne / xing ren) 10g
生甘草 (Licorice Roots Northwest Origin / sheng gan cao) 5g

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Oct
30

The mainstream media are now reporting the onset of a swine flu “emergency.” Yet controversy is raging over the safety and efficacy of the government-approved vaccine.

The strain known as H1N1 supposedly hits children and young people the hardest. The elderly are said to be similarly at risk. Deaths are being reported, as are shortages of vaccine at some locations.

Government officials are making the TV rounds, including Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, who says the vaccine is “safe and secure” and “right on target with an immune response.”

Yet Americans are deeply skeptical. According to a poll by AOL news, 61 percent say they do not plan to get the vaccine. Only 21 percent are “very worried” about the flu outbreak.

In fact the alliance between the federal government and the big pharmaceutical companies to push the H1N1 vaccine has ignited a populist revolt. The debate that is raging on Capitol Hill over national health care insurance had already exposed the health care industry as being far more concerned with profits than they are with people. H1N1 came along just in time to carry the revolt a step further.

An example of how the pharmaceutical industry is obsessed with the bottom line is shown by the difference in prices between proprietary medicines and their generic equivalents. A report by Life Extension magazine found that such well-known drugs as Celebrex, Lipitor, and Prozac had enormous mark-ups, topped by Xanaz, marked-up from 2.4 cents to $136.79 per 100 tablets!

No wonder many people are turning to alternative remedies, including improved nutrition or use of supplements such as vitamin C. To combat this, the government has gone on the attack, with the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission sending warning letters to over 140 product vendors. On the list is famed alternative healer Dr. Andrew Weil for statements on his website about his Immune Support Formula containing astragalus, an herbal mainstay of traditional Chinese medicine that is said to increase the body’s immune response.

Another natural preventive for flu and many other illnesses is simply to drink plenty of clean, filtered water, preferably fresh spring or well water, or water that has been ionized through an alkanization process. Recently the Natural News website published an interview done several years ago with a Dr. Batmanghelidj, who published extensive research that demonstrates how many illnesses for which doctors prescribe expensive and dangerous drugs are really caused by dehydration, including many diseases affecting the elderly. Click Here

One result of dehydration, for instance, is deterioration of the walls of blood vessels. In order to repair the damage, the body produces more cholesterol, which Dr. Barmanghelidj calls “a waterproof bandage” for the cardio-vascular system. Then, when this extra cholesterol shows up in blood tests, doctors prescribe powerful drugs like Lipitor which can have devastating side-effects. It would most likely be better simply to tell people to drink more water.

Finally, the enormous pressure being brought to bear on the population to take the H1N1 vaccine has added to a huge and growing controversy over whether vaccines are safe at all. An increasing number of commentators are linking the growing use of vaccines to what some call an epidemic of childhood autism and other neurological disorders. Recall that the swine flu scare of 1976 led to discontinuation of the vaccine back then when it caused a number of deaths and a surge in paralysis from Guillan-Barre syndrome.

See for instance, the work of Dr. Andrew Moulden of Canada, whose work has linked vaccines to a “sludging” effect in the tiniest blood vessels in the brain which may be related to onset of such diseases as dementia, multiple sclerosis, autism, and even schizophrenia, along with many childhood learning disabilities. Dr. Moulen has even suggested a possible link between the frequent administration of flu vaccines to the elderly and the onset of alzheimer’s. Click Here

But there is an even deeper problem with modern medicine, which is that it is almost completely materialistic in its assumptions and approach.

Modern medicine views disease as a mechanistic process, caused either by “germs,” chemical imbalances, or genetics. This leads to the assumption that for every illness, there is a physical cure, either by killing the offending micro-organism, restoring chemical balance through a pill, or cutting out the failed or offending body part by surgery.

The materialistic outlook has even taken over the practice of psychiatric medicine. If a person is depressed, disturbed, anxious, or unhappy, don’t look at the possible causes in that person’s outlook, environment, diet, habits, addictions, or value system. Just give them an anti-depressent or even an anti-psychotic. Never mind that these drugs may just suppress symptoms or even reduce the person to almost a vegetative state. On the surface, at least, they seem to be “getting better” or at least causing less trouble!

But in some circles, an entirely different world-view is emerging. We know, for instance, about the holistic approach to medicine that sees a person as not just a bundle of chemical reflexes but a complete human being with a mind, heart, body, and spirit, all of which need to work more or less in harmony for optimum health to result.

But how often is this knowledge really practiced by people day-in and day-out?

A whole new industry of holistic health practitioners has come into existence, including those who practice acupuntrure, acupressure, reiki, hypnosis, massage, and body-work, including yoga, tai-chi, qi-gong, etc.There is also a growing awareness that a regular practice of prayer and spiritual devotion also benefits the whole person, including the physical body.

The deepest of these holistic practices may in fact be meditation. Meditative or contemplative prayer is a central component of religious practice within both the Catholic and Orthodox faiths, and meditation is the central discipline of all lines of Buddhism. Yoga also includes meditation, and in some types of yogic practice is the core discipline.

Are people who meditate more healthy? I am not aware of any scientific studies, but based on my own experience with many different types of meditation which includes association with various groups, schools, and teachers of meditation, I would have to say they appear to be. Or at least they worry less about their physical health, take illness more in stride, and are able to recover faster when it occurs.

One thing is sure: long-term practice of meditation on a daily basis seems to raise the energy level of the body. This makes a difference because the body is like an energy-filled vessel. If this energy leaks through negative emotions, unnecessary physical tension, and the constant churning of the mind, the body will suffer a general state of depletion, which is bound to make it more susceptible to disease. It also makes a difference if one avoids much of the jarring imagery churned out by the mass media through violent and disturbing films, TV programming, video games, etc.

These health-related factors which have been understood by traditional societies for millennia are also starting to be realized by millions of ordinary people in every walk of life. Combined with a nutritious diet, physical exercise, positive relationships, and productive work, a rich inner life of prayer and meditation produces a multitude of benefits, not the least of which seems to be improved physical health and greater resistance to infections such as swine flu.

By Richard C. Cook, Global Research 10/25/2009

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Oct
19

Yahoo Malaysia news reported that doctors at Ditan Hospital in Beijing claimed that a combination of various Chinese herbs had a 75 percent cure rate in the 117 patients treated there for swine flu.

http://malaysia.news.yahoo.com/bnm/20090723/tts-flu-herbs-993ba14.html

The government had allocated 10 million yuan (about $1.5 milliom US) to research treatment of swine flu using traditional Chinese medicine, including one study comparing results with Tamiflu treatment.

Doctors at Ditan Hospital first stared treating all patients with the antiviral drug, Tamiflu plus the herbal combination, but discontinued the Tamiflu for the non-critical patients within a month after determining that the herbal medication was effective by itself.

In the article, hospital spokesman Dr. Wang Yuguang, deputy dean of the Centre of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine was quoted: “From our clinical tests and observation, the traditional method of treatment left no after effects and it is safe.” He added that the recovery period was shorter than in patients who received Tamiflu and the daily cost of the herbal remedy at about 12 yuan ($1.76 US) was lower as compared to Tamiflu treatment at 56 yuan ($8.20 US),

Wang would not reveal the actual herbs used, stating that the advantage of traditional Chinese medicine is that doctors can gear their herbal prescriptions to the specific patient’s condition. In his news briefing, he claimed that doctors at the hospital had recently used this approach with high-risk patients with good results. Given these findings, the Chinese government has apparently advised hospitals to use traditional treatment as a first line approach and resort to Western medicine only after Chinese medicine fails.

In the meantime, while 11 Chinese companies work on developing a swine flu vaccine to prevent the disease, Beijing Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital has introduced an A/H1N1 swine flu prevention herbal medicine pack which, according to Jin Wei, Deputy Director of the hospital, contains seven small packs of four types of herbs in combination and taken mixed with hot water as a tea or used as mouthwash. Jin Wei said the pack could even cure mild cases of swine flu, but that if patients did not recover after taking the herbs for seven days, they were advised to go to the hospital for further treatment.

According to the news article, the combination of the herbs is as follows:

Lonicera Japonica Thund (honeysuckle flower)-3 grams,
Isatis Indigodica- 3 gms,
Mentha Haplocalyx Brip (mint).-3 gms
Glycyrrhiza Glabra(licorice)-3 gms.

These herbs are available in Chinese herbal medicine shops. It should be noted that a search of the scientific literature, the web and discussions with infectious disease colleagues did not produce a primary source for these claims, so the herbs and their doses reported in the news article may or may not be accurate.

What are these herbs and what do they purport to do?

Lonicera
Laboratory investigations of lonicera have mainly focused on demonstrating anti-inflammatory actions. In vitro and animal studies indicate antibacterial and antiviral activity (mainly tested for seasonal influenza). In traditional Chinese medicine it is used almost exclusively for prevention and treatment of the common cold and upper respiratory tract infections, sore throats and general flu-like symptoms

Isatis
Also known as Woad root, this herb is thought to have very broad anti-infection properties, which partly explains its repeated use in these formulas. It contains the dye indigo (a crude form is used as the Chinese medicinal substance qingdai), which has been used worldwide as an antimicrobial medicine.

Mentha
These are Chinese peppermints and were described by the Chinese as early as 470 AD in the Oriental Materia Medica as a treatment for fever, headaches, excessive tearing, sore throat, oral and skin lesions, rash, and toothache. The principal active constituents of mentha are the essential oils, which comprise about 1% of the herb. They dilate peripheral blood vessels, inducing perspiration and alleviating aching.

Glycyrrhiza Glabra (European licorice)
Therapeutic use of licorice dates back to the Roman Empire. Hippocrates (460BC) extolled its use as an expectorant and gas reliever. It is one of the most commonly used herbs in the Chinese Materia Medica and is traditionally said to “harmonize” a formula in Chinese medicine, acting as a guide drug to enhance the activity of other ingredients, reducing toxicity, as well as improving flavor. In Western medicine it is commonly found in cough medicines. Recognized side effects of prolonged use includes hypertension, water retention, sodium retention and loss of potassium.

The theory in traditional Chinese medicine is that rather than using a single herb or a single formulation to treat an infection like flu, a collection of herbs and formulas working together will produce a better response in the patient. Many of these formulations evaluated in large scale studies in China from the 1950s through the 1970s claimed to demonstrate preventive properties. These findings, which appeared in Chinese medical journals and books, were reviewed at the Institute for Traditional Medicine (ITM) in Oregon. In a 2006 report, Subhuti Dharmananda, PhD, Director of ITM, explained that “while there is insufficient proof from these studies that Chinese herbal therapies can cure or impede influenza because of problems in methodology and reporting, practitioners of Chinese medicine and their patients are convinced of the efficacy of this approach.”

Routine prescription of Chinese herbs for seasonal flu or other therapeutic applications continues to be limited primarily to those countries like China, Japan and Korea where traditional herbal medicine is officially recognized. In other countries, including the US, herbs are available mainly through the work of licensed acupuncturists, naturopaths, and other non-M.D. practitioners, as well as through direct marketing of products to consumers.

Although Chinese research has recently been tainted by allegations of widespread fraud,
there is clearly much to be learned from the potential use of herbs to treat various diseases including swine flu. As Americans turn more and more to alternative medicine, it will be critical to have good scientific data to document the safety and efficacy of herbal formulations. It is important to remember that herbs, though “natural” often have strong medicinal properties that may include dangerous side effects.
- Deborah Shlian Miami Health Care Examiner

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Sep
29

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Recent clinical trials in Beijing show traditional Chinese medicine is effective in preventing and curing the A/H1N1 virus, commonly known as “swine flu,” according to a report Thursday in Chinese state media.

The report cited the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau as saying traditional cures were validated by five months of research, prompting the city to reserve 2 million doses of the unspecified treatment.

“The Beijing municipal government has invested 10 million yuan ($1.4 million) to test the effectiveness and safety of [traditional Chinese medicine] to treat A/H1N1 flu since May,” the report quoted the city’s chief of traditional medicine Zhao Jing as saying.

Zhao said that as of Sept. 1, a total 326 of 845 confirmed cases of A/H1N1 in Beijing had been cured with traditional treatments, adding that such cures proved “very effective” in combination with Western medicine.

The report also quoted Wang Yuguang, a senior expert with Beijing Ditan Hospital, as saying: “Clinical tests have showed that [traditional medicine] doses help reduce symptoms of fever, sore throat and cough. … No side effects and adverse reactions have been reported.”

Jun
10

Five Chinese drug firms have so far received seed viruses of A/H1N1 influenza from the World Health Organization. These companies are striving to have the first batch of the vaccine ready to go by August.

Researchers at this biotechnology company in Beijing are busy duplicating the seed viruses of the A/H1N1 flu.

It’s a critical step before the vaccine can go into production.

Zou Yong, manager of Quality Supervision Department of Sinovac Bitotec, said, “In order to meet the demand of large-scale vaccine production, we need to duplicate the seed one thousand times. The production period is expected to last 40 to 50 days. So we estimate the first batch of vaccines will be produced as early as the end of July.”

According to the State Food and Drug Administration, or SFDA, there are a total of 11 flu vaccine manufacturers in China.

Between them, they can produce 360 million doses a year. And of those 11, five have already received seed viruses from the WHO. The rest are scheduled to receive them by Saturday.

Meanwhile, China is waiting for the WHO to decide on whether the A/H1N1 flu should be categorized as seasonal or pandemic.

The SFDA says the scale and pace of the production will be decided by the spread and development of the virus.

Source: CCTV

May
29

By John Chen, PhD, PharmD, OMD, LAc

(Editor’s Note: Dr. Chen’s article is particularly timely in light of the current concern over swine flu.)

The first reference to infectious disease appeared in Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic), compiled in the first or second century CE. This text discussed re bing (hot disease), which refers to the various types of infectious disease.1
The understanding of infectious disease progressed further during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Many doctors recognized that these patterns of illness were significantly different from shang han (cold damage) patterns, so must be diagnosed and treated differently. Three of the most influential doctors during that era contributed to a new school of thought, namely wen bing (warm disease).2-4

According to this new theory, warm and hot disease plagued everyone, starting “from one person to the entire household, from one household to the entire street, and from one street to the entire village.” The disease first affects the exterior of the body and progresses to the interior, following the patterns of wei (defensive), qi (energy), ying (nutritive) and xue (blood) levels.5 Furthermore, the cause of these warm and hot disease have “no sound nor smell, and no shape nor shadow.” In addition, the warm and hot disease may be transmitted from one person to another via “heaven [air-borne]” or “earth [direct contact],” and affect individuals with low immunity.6

Many of the bitter and cold herbs and formulas used to treat these warm and hot diseases are recognized today to have remarkable antibiotic effects.7 Wen bing theories accurately described the origins and transmission of epidemic disease and the importance of the immune system in relationship to the pathogens. One of the fundamental concepts in traditional Chinese medicine is that “superior medicine prevents disease, and inferior medicine treats disease.”8 Prevention of infectious disease is certainly no exception since bacteria and virus tend to adversely affect those who have weakened immune systems. Many herbs and formulas that tonify wei qi can boost the immune system. Examples include:

Classic formulas with immuno-stimulant effect10
Shi Quan Da Bu Tang (All-Inclusive Great Tonifying Decoction)11
Ren Shen Yang Ying Tang (Ginseng Decoction to Nourish the Nutritive Qi)12
Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang (Tonify the Middle and Augment the Qi Decoction)13
Si Jun Zi Tang (Four-Gentlemen Decoction)14
Yu Ping Feng San (Jade Windscreen Powder)15

Herbs with immuno-stimulant effect16
dong chong xia cao (Cordyceps)17
ren shen (Radix et rhizoma ginseng)18
dang shen (Radix codonopsis)19
huang qi (Radix astragali)20
bai zhu (Rhizoma atractylodis macrocephalae)21

Traditional Chinese medicine treats wen bing with heat-clearing herbs. Many of these herbs have remarkable antibiotic effects, including antibacterial and antiviral. In addition to traditional diagnosis and treatment, the following herbs and formulas more precisely target and treat infectious disease:

Classic formulas with antibiotic effect23
Yin Qiao San (Honeysuckle and Forsythia Powder)24
Huang Lian Jie Du Tang (Coptis Decoction to Relieve Toxicity)25
Long Dan Xie Gan Tang (Gentiana Decoction to Drain the Liver)26
Pu Ji Xiao Du Yin (Universal Benefit Decoction to Eliminate Toxin)27
Ba Zheng San (Eight-Herb Powder for Rectification)28

Herbs with antibacterial effect29
bai tou weng (Radix pulsatillae)30
chuan xin lian (Herba andrographis)31
huang lian (Rhizoma coptidis)32,33
hu zhang (Rhizoma et radix polygoni cuspidati)34
huang bo (Cortex phellodendri chinensis)35
huang qin (Radix scutellariae)36
ku shen (Radix sophorae flavescentis)37
pu gong ying (Herba taraxaci)38
shan dou gen (Radix et rhizoma sophorae tonkinensis)39

Herbs with antiviral effect
ban lan gen (Radix isatidis)40
da qing ye (Folium isatidis)41
jin yin hua (Flos lonicerae japonicae)42
lian qiao (Fructus forsythiae)43
ye ju hua (Flos chrysanthemi Indici)44

In Western medicine, the discovery of antibiotic drugs is one of the major breakthroughs in modern medicine. It enables doctors to effectively treat many different types of infections. Unfortunately, decades of abuse and misuse have led to growing problems of bacterial mutation and resistance. Many of these “super bugs” can only be treated with the newest and most potent antibiotic drugs. Unfortunately, many of them have potent side effects as well. The key points are to select the correct antibiotic drug with least potential side effects and make sure the patient finishes the entire course of therapy.

In traditional Chinese medicine, herbs and herbal formulas are also extremely effective for treatment of various infections. In fact, most modern pharmaceutical drugs were originally derived from natural sources, including penicillin (the oldest antibiotic) and gentimicin (one of the most potent). One of the main benefits of using herbs is their wide spectrum of antibiotic effect, with indications for bacterial and viral infections. Furthermore, most of these herbs are extremely safe, and do not have the same harsh side effects as drugs.

In summary, both drugs and herbs are effective to treat mild to moderate cases of bacterial infections. However, because drugs are more immediately potent and can be prescribed with more laboratory precision (via cultures and sensitivity tests), they are more appropriate for life-threatening infections, such as meningitis or encephalitis, or mutant strains of bacteria, such as beta-lactam-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). On the other hand, use of herbs is far more effective than drugs for treating certain viral infections, such as the common cold and influenza. Most importantly, herbs are much gentler to the body and safer than drugs. In other words, herbs treat infection without damaging the patient’s underlying constitution. This allows the patient to recover faster and become more resistant to secondary or re-current infections.

References

1. Gilbert D, Moellering R, Sande M. The Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy. 29th Edition. Hyde Park, Vt.: Antimicrobial Therapy, Inc., 1999.
2. Wu You-Xing, also known as Wu You-Ko, circa 1580-1660.
3. Ye Gui, also known as Ye Tian-Shi, 1666-1745.
4. Wu Tang, also known as Wu Ju-Tong, 1758-1836.
5. Wen Re Lun (Discussion of Warm and Hot Disorders) by the apprentices of Ye Gui, 1745-1766.
6. Wen Yi Lun (Discussion of Epidemic Warm Disease) by Wu You-Xing, 1642.
7. Wen Bing Tiao Bian (Systematic Differentiation of Warm Disease) by Wu Tang, 1798.
8. Bei Ji Qian Jin Yao Fang (Thousands of Golden Prescriptions for Emergencies) by Sun Si-Miao.
9. Chen J, Chen T. Clinical Manual of Oriental Medicine 2nd Edition. City of Industry, Calif.: Lotus Institute of Integrative Medicine.
10. Chen J. Chen T. Chinese Herbal Formulas and Applications. City of Industry, Calif.: Art of Medicine Press, 2009.
11. Zhong Yi Fang Ji Xian Dai Yan Jiu (Modern Study of Medical Formulae in Traditional Chinese Medicine), 1997;652-4.
12. Guo Wai Yi Xue Zhong Yi Zhong Yao Fen Ce (Monograph of Chinese Herbology from Foreign Medicine), 1992;14(2):52.
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May
13

SWINE flu, or more accurately A-H1N1 flu, has alerted people around the world and in China where many people take anti-viral medication to prevent catching flu.

But anti-viral medicine is ineffective since flu strains mutate, and it can also be detrimental to health by building resistance, according to a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine.

TCM practitioners urge people to take the standard precautions – primarily frequent hand washing, airing of rooms. If you feel sick, see a doctor.

TCM regards and treats ailments as energy imbalances. It does not have a “germ theory of disease” but perceives pathogens as environmental factors such as pathogenic heat, cold, wind and damp.

Improving one’s healthy energy (qi) and boosting immunity can help defending against the flu, according Dr Wu Yingen, a member of the Shanghai Expert Panel on Preventing and Controlling A-H1N1 flu. He is the chief physician of Longhua Hospital attached to Shanghai University of TCM.

The ordinary flu virus usually attacks the respiratory system or digestive system, but A-H1N1 can attack one or both, says Dr Wu.

Although it is highly contagious – the virus can survive for up to 48 hours on surfaces – it is generally not fatal and is often mild. Patients exhibit some of the usual flu symptoms, including coughing, sore throat, headache, fever, weakness, muscle aches, diarrhea and vomiting.

A few patients develop very high fever (39 degrees Celsius or above), pneumonia, kidney failure or septicemia, which can be fatal.

Dr Wu advises those with symptoms to see a doctor right away, avoid public places, and wear a mask.

“The flu is likely caused by invasion of pathogenic heat, pathogenic cold and pathogenic dampness, according to its different symptoms,” says Dr Wu.

Sore throat and fever suggest pathogenic heat, aches and pains suggest pathogenic cold, while diarrhea and stomach ache indicate pathogenic damp, he says.

Dispelling the pathogenic energies while strengthening healthy energy is the strategy agreed upon by the panel to treat A-H1N1, he says.

To treat patients with respiratory symptoms, herbs like jiu ma huang (Chinese ephedra) and chai hu (Chinese thorowax) are recommended. There are also effective Chinese patent drugs including Banlangen chongji (radix isatidis medicinal granules), Shuanghuanglian (oral liquid composed of honeysuckle, baikal skullcap root and forsythia), and Zheng chaihu yin keli (Chinese thorowax granules).

To relieve digestive system symptoms, TCM recommends herbs like ge gen (radix puerariae) and ageratum. People can take patent drugs such as Huoxiang zhengqi zhiji (ageratum oral liquid) and Gegen qinlian (pills composed of radix puerariae, baikal skullcap root, coptis root and liquorice).

For those with high fever, chest congestion, irritability and breathing problems, TCM recommends patent drugs like Qingkailing pills and Angong niuhuang wan, mainly composed of herbs like cow-bezoar, cornu bubali, musk and baikal skullcap root.

These medicines are effective in treating other kinds of flu, according to Dr Wu. They only treat symptoms, however, and do not prevent people from catching flu.

Though A-H1N1 is highly infections, people in China don’t need to worry too much at this time, says Dr Wu.

“There are two peaks of annual flu attacks in China, one in January and February while the other in August and September,” says Dr Wu. “We are now in a low season and the flu has been controlled well so far.”

To prevent A-H1N1 flu, some people turn to medicines like anti-viral oral liquid, even though they are completely healthy. But this is unnecessary and unhelpful because it doesn’t work and extensive self-dosing can cause drug-resistance and make future treatment difficult.

TCM drugs like radix isatidis medicinal granules can help relieve symptoms, but don’t prevent this new flu or other flus, says Dr Wu.