from Western and  Eastern medical  perspectives 

Chinese Medicine to help defeat COVID-19


As many of us know COVID-19 can be completely asymptomatic yet you can still be a carrier and able to infect others. 


First symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to your typical cold & fly symptoms: 

  • Runny nose

  • Burning eyes

  • Sneezing

  • Sore throat

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Body aches

  • Headache

  • Fatigue 


At a later stage you may experience symptoms that are more unique to COVID-19:

  • High fever that is persistent and does not fluctuate throughout the day.

  • Chest oppression

  • Dry cough with phlegm that is difficult to expectorate due to sticky property of the phlegm produced under Coronavirus

  • Feeling of sand in the lungs

  • Loss of smell

  • Diarrhea and nausea


The goal here is not to progress into the pneumonia stage, which includes cytokine storm – an over activity of the immune system forcing a flood of immune cells into the lungs:

  • Severe lung inflammation

  • Shortness of breath, inflammation of the airway

  • Acute respiratory distress 

  • Multiple organ failure.

In addition to hyper-inflammatory injury, the lungs suffer physical injuries leading to lung fibrosis (scar tissue): 

  • Wheezing

  • Shortness of breath


Lymphopenia and thrombocytopenia is commonly seen in COVID-19 infected patients. Those patients show rapid development of the symptoms with worse clinical outcomes.

John K. Chen, Pharm.D., Ph.D., O.M.D., L.Ac.

a recognized authority in both western pharmacology and Chinese Herbal Medicine:

“Over the past 2000 years there have been at least 321 large-scale epidemics in China. Chinese medicine has served to fight life-and-death battles against various infections consistently through time and has successfully contained the spread of epidemics in a limited area and time. There has never been a similar tragedy in China’s history, such as the Spanish flu or the Black Death in Europe. These are examples of global plagues that killed tens of millions of people. In Chinese history, whenever a plague is rampant, Chinese medicine practitioners are always on the front lines to battle the disease. Many survived with the help of Chinese Medicine; so in this fight with the insidious and novel Coronavirus, Chinese Medicine once again should take a primary role in effective treatment and must not be absent in action!”

Principles of treating infectious diseases in Traditional Chinese Medicine are based on two ancient medical classics: “Treatise on Cold Damage Diseases” and “Warm Disease Theory”. Both of the classics are part of the basic program of Acupuncture and Herbology degree, therefore most Traditional Chinese Herbologists aka Licensed Acupuncturists in the State of California are well-trained to diagnose and treat any viral disease. Coronavirus is a new virus but the same principles of diagnosis and treatment are still applied and proven to be effective. As a matter of fact, many formulas that are used to treat SARS and H1N1 influenza can successfully address certain coronavirus symptoms. 


The most important concept of the "external attack" on the body is the concept of Zheng Qi - righteous Qi and Wei Qi - defensive Qi. In short, they represent the immune system. In Chinese Medicine we believe that if your Zheng Qi and Wei Qi are strong there is no means for a pathogen to invade the body. That is why Chinese Medicine focuses on boosting the immune system when dealing with this pandemic.


What happens if the pathogen manages to invade the body? We can compare it to thieves entering the house. We should expel the robber first, and then repair the damage. Therefore, the main idea in the treatment of viral/bacterial infection is to utilize exterior releasing methods, e.g. promote sweating. In doing so we prevent "the thief" from moving further inside leading to pneumonia or other complications.


There are multiple ways a virus can change in the human body depending on climate, one’s constitution, age and pre-existing conditions. TCM utilizes the unique tools of history taking & pulse and tongue diagnosis to identify a pattern that is specific to the infected individual. It can range from wind-cold and wind-heat invasion to phlegm and dampness accumulation and end with lung Yin deficiency or lung Qi deficiency during the recovery stage. If there is pre-existing lymphopenia and thrombocytopenia known as Qi deficiency and Blood deficiency in TCM, prognosis can be poor. Any constitutional weaknesses should be treated before the onset of the disease. We will be happy to assist you with that.


In order to be successful in the treatment of COVID-19 we should implement 4 rules:

  1. Strengthen the immune system. It means you need to eliminate all sugar and alcohol intake as well as dairy as it promotes phlegm formation. 

  2. Act quickly. Optimally, we need to treat the patient with herbal medicine within two hours of learning of their diagnosis. That is why testing is so important. This time in Wuhan, the number of people infected with this novel coronavirus resulted in a sudden escalation of pneumonia cases. Therefore, the treatment strategy employed must be efficient to address symptoms rapidly and avoid the pathogen penetrating deeper into the body and causing pneumonia, or to swiftly clear any pneumonia that has set in.

  3. Utilize a powerful/potent treatment. It means that the form of medication and the dosage has to be the highest to eradicate the virus before it replicated.

  4. Be preemptive. We must understand a typical disease progression (such as this virus’s tendency to enter the lungs and cause pneumonia), to anticipate and prevent advancement of the virus, which is one of the major strengths of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Depending on the stage we choose formulas that have antiviral properties, suppress hyper inflammatory response a.k.a. cytokine storm.


The goal of incorporating Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat COVID-19 is to slow down the disease progression into a more severe phase, minimize the symptoms, shorten the duration of the disease, ensure faster rehabilitation and complete recovery without chronic complications. 


Coronavirus might be new, but it is here to stay. There is a good chance that as much as 70% of the population will eventually get infected. The only real method to prevent it from happening is a vaccine that according to Dr. Anthony Fauci won’t be developed for at least another year and a half. There is no better time than now to seek holistic care that has proven through thousands of years as well as these past few months to be safe and effective in treatment of chronic and preexisting conditions, weak immune system, early stages of infection and a recovery phase.

Disclaimer: For readers who may have such an infection, contact and consult your primary physician, go to the hospital or the CDC immediately. For additional information, please contact the World Health Organization (WHO), the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Statements regarding dietary supplements or herbs have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. Mulberry Leaf Acupuncture & Herbs makes no guarantee or warranty with respect to any products or services sold. All content and media on this web page is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment; and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Never disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.