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A case for traditional Chinese medicine

On Monday, Zhong Nanshan, head of the National Health Commission's expert group fighting the novel coronavirus outbreak, reportedly said that Lianhua Qingwen, a traditional Chinese medicine, is effective in treating COVID-19.

He said the condition of patients given the traditional Chinese medicine is improving two days earlier than those in a control group. Even the fever goes away faster.

Reports quoted Zhong as saying the traditional Chinese medicine weakly inhibits the virus, while repairing cells and checking inflammation. He advised the drug for patients showing mild symptoms of the disease.

Expectedly, the observation triggered widespread discussion on social networking sites.

Those who swear by modern medicine insist that Lianhua Qingwen has not undergone rigorous scientific testing and the actual scientific explanation behind its effectiveness is not clear yet. However, Zhong cited the control group, implying that the traditional Chinese medicine had proved effective at least once.

Besides, the idea is to save human lives from an unknown enemy that neither traditional nor modern medicines are capable of defeating. So anything that offers hope is worth trying. It is pertinent to ask why some are casting doubt on the treatment's effectiveness

Lianhua Qingwen's effectiveness against this raging disease is enough reason to give it due recognition and, considering those doubting its practice to agree to conducting more research for improving its quality.

Once the pandemic is over, it is time to conduct more research and apply set standards to judge the effectiveness of traditional Chinese medicine till a consensus emerges, perhaps opening the door for more such drugs to be accepted by the skeptics.

One could by all means doubt traditional Chinese medicine. However, instead of blindly arguing against it, one would do better to either provide strong evidence against it or help the progress of the traditional Chinese medicine industry as a whole. 


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