Every morning and evening, the 38-year-old was handed a bag of brown soup — a traditional Chinese remedy blended from over 20 herbs, including ephedra, cinnamon twigs and licorice root.
But unlike most patients around him, Xiong was skeptical of its efficacy and refused to drink it.
“In my opinion, it is a sheer placebo,” said, Xiong, who was discharged in late February from the makeshift hospital run by TCM doctors where no Western medicine was provided, apart from medication for underlying conditions, such as high blood pressure.
The “lung-clearing and detoxing soup,” as the herbal compound he was given is called, was part of the Chinese government’s push to use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Search for a cure
Scientists are working to find ways to stamp out the deadly virus. But for now, the mainstream antiviral treatments focus on relieving the symptoms — and that’s where China believes its ancient remedies can help.
So far, more than 50,000 novel coronavirus patients have been discharged from hospital, and the majority of them used TCM, Yu said, citing it as evidence for the efficacy of using Chinese and Western medicine in tandem
In another study of more serious cases, patients receiving combined treatments also left hospital sooner than the control group and had greater levels of oxygen in their blood and a higher lymphocyte count — an