Since the COVID-19 originated in China, you might think that Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM has a leg up in treating the virus. And you would be right! There is some evidence that there are some TCM techniques and methods that can help to prevent or relieve some of the symptoms of COVID.
Pakistani health authorities recently announced the completion of a successful clinical trial of Chinese traditional herbal medicine for treating COVID-19, as the South Asian nation enters a fifth wave of the pandemic driven by the highly contagious omicron variant.
The Chinese medicine, Jinhua Qinggan Granules (JHQG), manufactured by Juxiechang (Beijing) Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, is already being used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients in China.
“Since it was tried on patients with different variants of COVID-19, we expect it to be effective on omicron as on other variants,” Professor Iqbal Chaudhry, director of the International Center for Chemical and Biological Science (ICCBS) where trials were conducted, told the press.
The trials were conducted on 300 patients who were treated at home and would work on mild to moderate COVID-19 cases, Dr. Raza Shah, principal investigator in the trials, told reporters, adding that the efficacy rate was around 82.67%.
The trials were approved by the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan.
Pakistan reported 4,340 COVID-19 cases on Monday, the highest recorded in a 24-hour period in three months. Karachi, the country’s largest city, recorded a positivity rate – the percentage of tests coming back positive – of 39.39% at the weekend, the highest so far.
“In the last seven days, COVID cases in Pakistan have increased by 170% while deaths have also increased by 62%,” the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC), which is overseeing the pandemic response, said in a tweet on Monday.
Jinhua Qinggan Granules are a TCM herbal compound made up of honeysuckle, gypsum, honey ephedra, fried bitter almond, Scutellaria, Forsythia, Fritillaria, Anemarrhena, burdock seed, Artemisia annua, peppermint, and licorice.
It was developed as a TCM protocol for the treatment of influenza, and its success at the same led TCM practitioners and researchers to first suspect that it could have clinical benefit for COVID patients.