Retrospective Review of Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment of COVID-19 in China: Clinical Practice and Researches


In the fight against COVID-19 in China, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has played an important role in relieving symptoms, preventing deterioration, improving cure rate, reducing death rate, and promoting recovery. Since the third edition of the Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol for COVID-19 (simply referred to as the National Protocol), TCM has been included in the national guidance to tackle the epidemic. In order to make the international medical community fully understand the experience of TCM in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, we comprehensively reviewed the history, etiology and pathogenesis, prevention and treatment, rehabilitation, and clinical and pharmacological research of TCM used in the endemic. The COVID-19 is under the category of plague or pestilence in TCM. Herbal medicine treatment for COVID-19 is mainly performed based on the syndrome differentiation of three stages and four types. The method also applies to acupuncture and moxibustion treatments. Herbal medicine granules and injections are used flexibly, and Western medicine is adopted to rescue patients in critical conditions. In rehabilitation, the integration of Chinese and Western medicine can be used to improve the respiratory and somatic function of patients. The role TCM has been playing in fighting this epidemic is a further proof of the effect of TCM in preventing and treating infectious diseases, and the relevant experience has been summarized and sublimated.