Chinese Medicine & Epidemics 2

Traditionally practiced Chinese Medicine with diagnostic differentiation has been used for millennia to treat many of the same diseases we see today. it is frustrating to me that Chinese Medicine is not part of the conversation to help ameliorate Covid-19 severity.

I am certain 100% in my heart that Chinese Medicine can keep people out of hospitals and lessen the severity of symptoms. We have seen many examples of this from China and I have personally experienced it with my own patients and colleague’s patients. Chinese medicine does not act an anti-viral medicine, what it does is help restore function so the body can handle the viral insult. I see people hawking herbal products that are anti-viral but that puts the focus on the pathogen while Chinese Medicine focuses on the presentation of the person to choose an herbal formula.

In addition information about Chinese Medicine is being purposely suppressed. For example I run Google Adwords around my Stow office with keywords such as “acupuncture near me”. “find acupuncturist”, “Chinese Medicine herbalist”. However since March 10 Google is no longer displays any ads with ‘acupuncture’ ‘Chinese herbal’ . Google suppressed the ads! Why? Even more frustrating is that if one Googles “Acupuncture” “Chinese Herbal Medicine” a red Covid-19 warning box pops up.

In ancient China, over thousands of years, innumerable and valuable experiences have been recorded in the course of fighting epidemics. From 171 to 185 AD, there were several great pandemics in China. Thousands of people lost their lives. For this reason, Chinese medical practitioners in ancient China were already concerned with epidemics, which were described as ‘exogenous febrile diseases’ (EFD). Many Chinese medicine practitioners devoted their whole lives to the study of methods of prevention and treatment of pandemics. Since the Han Dynasty (206 BC to AD 220) nearly every medical book has emphasized the importance of the study of epidemics. There must be around 250 texts written on epidemics from ancient China.
Int J Infect Dis. 2007 Jul;11(4):360-4. “What happened in China during the 1918 influenza pandemic?” Click here to access.

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Since the Han Dynasty (206 BC – AD 220), especially since the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368 – 1911), China has accumulated rich experience in preventing and controlling contagious diseases. According to A History of Plague in China (Zhongguo Yibing Shijian), China has witnessed over 300 epidemics in the over two millenniums since the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – AD 24). Thanks to TCM, throughout the history of China, there has never been a tragedy in which millions of people died like the 1918 flu pandemic, and the Black Death, which swept across Europe in the 14th century. 
“TCM plays key role in containing epidemics in Chinese history.” Click here to access.

During this physical isolation I use tele-consults and detailed questions as well as tongue presentation to make a diagnosis.  I have studied many Covid-19 cases and know I can dial in a custom formula. Ideally we want to get a patient taking a formula that day or the next as Covid19 symptoms can change daily.  Understand that a person with similar symptoms may have completely different formulas based on their constitution and other symptoms.
Chinese Medicine should absolutely be a major part of the conversation to help mitigate the severity of Covid-19 symptoms. It is just as important in 2020 CE as it was in 200 CE in addressing epidemic illnesses.

Disclaimer – I am not a medical doctor. I have Master’s degree in Nutrition and Chinese Medicine. Please consult your physician before doing anything for prevention or treatment of COVID-19, and please seek the help of a physician immediately if you believe you may have COVID-19.



Yang Y1, Islam MS1, Wang J1, Li Y1, Chen X1. Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Treatment of Patients Infected with 2019-New Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2): A Review and Perspective. Int J Biol Sci. 2020 Mar 15;16(10):1708-1717. PMID: 32226288. [PubMed] [Read by QxMD]


Cheng KF1, Leung PC. What happened in China during the 1918 influenza pandemic? Int J Infect Dis. 2007 Jul;11(4):360-4. PMID: 17379558. [PubMed] [Read by QxMD]


Luo E#1, Zhang D#1, Luo H#1, Liu B1, Zhao K2,3, Zhao Y1, Bian Y1, Wang Y1. Treatment efficacy analysis of traditional Chinese medicine for novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19): an empirical study from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Chin Med. 2020 Apr 15;15:34. PMID: 32308732. [PubMed] [Read by QxMD]

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2 thoughts on “Chinese Medicine & Epidemics

  • Colette Harris

    Great to see you doing this and it is important to show that biomedicine is only one of a range of options for treating people with any condition but especially this one for the reasons you give. I am interested in your talk of viral insults. TCM’s principles do not include the concept of viruses so how does one reconcile this western based germ theory approach with TCM that was around long before the notion of viruses ever occurred to Europeans in the 19th century?

    • gmandler Post author

      Yes we need to get out of the biomedicine point of view and go back 2000 years to what was known. There is plenty of written history that Chinese Medicine was used to treat viral infections. In fact the Shānghán Zábìng Lùn. 傷寒雜病論 written by Zhang Zhong Jing 張仲景 who lived from 150-219 CE was written because they were in the midst of pandemics.
      It is a different language and they do not use the idea of a virus but do talk of external invasions. It is hard to make sense of it, just like it would be hard to make sense of reading Chinese or hearing someone speak Mandarin. (or any language for that matter.).
      Myself and colleagues of mine have undoubtedly kept many people out of the hospital the past 2 years with Chinese Herbal Medicine. It has had amazing effect for Covid and it is really unfortunate that it is not widely used. We do not need to know about viruses, we just look at the patterns in people based on symptoms and tongue. In person the pulse and abdomen are used, but for Covid patients it is all telehealth of course.
      Classical Chinese Medicine uses a language where by we see blockages and lack of movement. For example early on in the pandemic there were so many respiratory issues – it can often be translated to a Yangming block and we would use herbs to treat it. With Covid symptoms moved fast so people can have 3 different formulas in 3 days depending on how symptoms improved.
      To sum up the idea of external invasion existed long before the discovery of viruses by Ivanovsky in the late 1800s. Classical Chinese Medicine just called it something different.