Search JIM Advanced Search

Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2023, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (5): 407-412.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2023.08.003

• Review •     Next Articles

The role and advantage of traditional Chinese medicine in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19

Ming Huang a, Yao-yuan Liu b, Ke Xiong a, Feng-wen Yang a, Xin-yao Jin a, Zhao-qi Wang a, Jun-hua Zhang a,c, Bo-li Zhang a   

  1. a. State Key Laboratory of Component-based Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 301617, China
    b. Department of Cardiology, the First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, National Clinical Research Center for Chinese Medicine Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Tianjin 300193, China
    c. State Drug Administration Key Laboratory of Evidence-based Evaluation of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 301600, China
  • Received:2022-12-08 Accepted:2023-05-04 Online:2023-09-20 Published:2023-09-16
  • Contact: Bo-li Zhang

The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a massive impact on global social and economic development and human health. By combining traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) with modern medicine, the Chinese government has protected public health by supporting all phases of COVID-19 prevention and treatment, including community prevention, clinical treatment, control of disease progression, and promotion of recovery. Modern medicine focuses on viruses, while TCM focuses on differential diagnosis of patterns associated with viral infection of the body and recommends the use of TCM decoctions for differential treatment. This differential diagnosis and treatment approach, with its profoundly empirical nature and holistic view, endows TCM with an accessibility advantage and high application value for dealing with COVID-19. Here, we summarize the advantage of and evidence for TCM use in COVID-19 prevention and treatment to draw attention to the scientific value and accessibility advantage of TCM and to promote the use of TCM in response to public health emergencies.

Key words: COVID-19, Traditional Chinese medicine, Prevention and control, Therapeutics

[1] Shun-xian Zhang, Xiao-xu Chen, Yong Zheng, Bing-hua Cai, Wei Shi, Ming Ru, Hui Li, Dan-dan Zhang, Yu Tian, Yue-lai Chen. Reduced SARS-CoV-2 infection risk is associated with the use of Seven-Flavor Herb Tea: A multi-center observational study in Shanghai, China. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2023, 21(4): 369-376.
[2] Fatma Uslu-Sahan, Ilknur Yesilcınar, Gonul Kurt, Elif Hancer, Gulten Guvenc. Effects of COVID-19 fear and anxiety on attitudes towards complementary and alternative medicine use in women with gynecological cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2023, 21(4): 377-384.
[3] Xiang-ru Xu, Wen Zhang, Xin-xin Wu, Hong-qiang Yang, Yu-ting Sun, Yu-ting Pu, Bei Wang, Wei Peng, Li-hua Sun, Quan Guo, Shuang Zhou, Bang-jiang Fang. Analysis of mechanisms of Shenhuang Granule in treating severe COVID-19 based on network pharmacology and molecular docking. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2022, 20(6): 561-574.
[4] Han-ting Wu, Cong-hua Ji, Rong-chen Dai, Pei-jie Hei, Juan Liang, Xia-qiu Wu, Qiu-shuang Li, Jun-chao Yang, Wei Maob, Qing Guo. Traditional Chinese medicine treatment for COVID-19: An overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2022, 20(5): 416-426.
[5] Marisa Casal. Improving the health and treatment success rates of in vitro fertilization patients with traditional chinese medicine: need for more robust evidence and innovative approaches. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2022, 20(3): 187-192.
[6] Andréa D. Fuzimoto. An overview of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 properties of Artemisia annua, its antiviral action, protein-associated mechanisms, and repurposing for COVID-19 treatment. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(5): 375-388.
[7] Miao-yan Shi, Shi-qi Sun, Wei Zhang, Xing Zhang, Gui-hua Xu, Xuan Chen, Zi-jian Su, Xiu-ming Song, Lu-jiong Liu, Yi-bao Zhang, Yi-le Zhang, Meng Sun, Qi Chen, Yan Xue, Hua Lü, Wei-an Yuan, Xiao-rong Chen, Yun-fei Lu. Early therapeutic interventions of traditional Chinese medicine in COVID-19 patients: a retrospective cohort study. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2021, 19(3): 226-231.
[8] Arthur Yin Fan, Sherman Gu, Sarah Faggert Alemi, Research Group for Evidence-based Chinese Medicine. Chinese herbal medicine for COVID-19: Current evidence with systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(5): 385-394.
Full text



[1] Jin-rong Fu. Establishment of multivariate diagnosis and treatment system of modern gynecology of traditional Chinese medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 22-24
[2] Hao Li, Ming-jiang Yao, Wen-ming Zhao, Jie Guan, Lin-lin Cai, Ling Cui. A randomized, controlled, double-blind trial of Huannao Yicong capsule in senile patients with mild cognitive impairment. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 25-31
[3] Jun Hu, Jian-ping Liu. Non-invasive physical treatments for chronic/recurrent headache. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 31
[4] Yi-ting He, Qing-lin Zha, Jian-ping Yu, Yong Tan, Cheng Lu, Ai-ping Lv. Principal factor analysis of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and their correlations with efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 32-36
[5] Jun Cai, Hua Wang, Sheng Zhou, Bin Wu, Hua-rong Song, Zheng-rong Xuan. Effect of Sijunzi Decoction and enteral nutrition on T-cell subsets and nutritional status in patients with gastric cancer after operation: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 37-40
[6] Jin-zhou Tian, Jing Shi, Xin-qing Zhang, Qi Bi, Xin Ma, Zhi-liang Wang, Xiao-bin Li, Shu-li Shen, Lin Li, Zhen-yun Wu, Li-yan Fang, Xiao-dong Zhao, Ying-chun Miao, Peng-wen Wang, Ying Ren, Jun-xiang Yin, Yong-yan Wang, Beijing United Study Group on MCI of the Capital Foundation of Medical Developments. An explanation on "guiding principles of clinical research on mild cognitive impairment (protocol)". Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 15-21
[7] Xue-mei Liu, Qi-fu Huang, Yun-ling Zhang, Jin-li Lou, Hong-sheng Liu, Hong Zheng. Effects of Tribulus terrestris L. saponion on apoptosis of cortical neurons induced by hypoxia-reoxygenation in rats. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 45-50
[8] Zhao-guo Li. Discussion on English translation of commonly used sentences in traditional Chinese medicine: part one. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 107-110
[9] Wei-xiong Liang. Problems-solving strategies in clinical treatment guideline for traditional Chinese medicine and integrative medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 1-4
[10] Wei Zhang, Xiang-feng Lu, Xiao-mei Zhang, Jian-jun Wu, Liang-duo Jiang. A rat model of pulmonary fibrosis induced by infusing bleomycin quickly through tracheal intubation. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 60-67