Chinese remedies recommended by the government in the fight against swine flu

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 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.

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