Chinese turn to traditional remedies to fight Covid

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Himalaya Times
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As Covid-19 rips through China's vast population, making millions sick and fuelling a shortage of drugs, many are turning to old-school traditional medicines to battle the aches and pains of the virus.

President Xi Jinping has promoted traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) since the start of the pandemic, while health officials have hailed its "important role" in fighting the coronavirus. Encompassing a range of treatments from herbal remedies and massages to acupuncture and diets, TCM has been used for thousands of years to treat all manner of ailments.

Critics say it is pseudoscientific and ineffective in treating actual illness, and there is little peer-reviewed data to back claims of its efficacy. But millions in China use it, often in conjunction with modern medicine to alleviate symptoms.

The World Health Organisation only recommends Covid treatments that are based on chemical drugs. While western medicine remains the preferred mode of care in China, but proponents of TCM say combining the two is effective in treating Covid-19.

Experts have taken to television to praise TCM since the start of the pandemic, with one product in particular benefiting from intense promotion by authorities. Many users are convinced of its usefulness, with some studies suggesting it can help alleviate symptoms. Capsules of the medicine were given to all Hong Kong residents when a Covid wave hit the city last year.

Throughout the pandemic, TCM doctors and self-taught practitioners have taken to the internet to share recipes and health protocols.

-AFP

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