Chinese Herbs to boost immunity against Covid-19 Featured

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As of 8th april 2020, Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has now reached more than 1.4 million known cases, spread to 184 countries, and caused more than 80,000 deaths. Convid –19 is a type of the coronavirus that attack the respiratory system causing lung damage and further stimulating the  innate immune system to repair the damage and clear  the virus.  When the immune response function at the optimal level, it helps clear the virus and to preclude disease progression from incubation and non-severe stage to severe stages. Following the infection of Convid  -19 some  develop  mild symptoms like  fever, itchy throat . Some developed no symptoms at all.  Patient who has underlying condition like hypertension, diabetes or kidney disorder tends to developed  more severe condition  and hospitalized for severe respiratory disorder. Acute respiratory distress syndrome became the leading death of the convid-19 patient. Some reported cytokine syndrome in which the defect immune system developed too much  immune cells like  cytokine  to  kill the virus  and also the   healthy organ then lead to multiple organ.  failure For the development of an endogenous protective immune response at the incubation and non-severe stages, the host should be in good general health to elicits specific antiviral immunity. However, when a protective immune response is impaired, virus will propagate, and massive destruction of the affected tissues will occur. About 15% of the confirmed cases progress to the severe phase, although there is a higher chance for patients over 65 to progress into the severe phase. One of the biggest unanswered questions is why some develop severe disease, whilst others do not. Clearly, the overall immunity of the infected patients plays a vital role in determine the disease progression of the condition.   See below some of the Chinese Herbal tea for strengthening immunity of the body.  1. Huang Qi (Radix Astragali) Milk-Vetch Root   
Nature:   Slightly warm 
Taste: sweet
Channel propensity: Lung, spleen 
Qi tonify herbs especially in lung and spleen Qi. Great herb for enhancement of the antibody response was associated with increase of T-cell activity in normal and immunosuppressed mice. Research showed the antiviral effect on coxsackie virus, herpes virus, avian infectious bronchitis virus which is a member of the coronavirus family.  It also has the immunomodulatory effect in acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD patient by promoting alveolar macrophage phagocytosis and ameliorate the inflammatory response in COPD patient.  2. Fang Feng (Saposhnikovia divaricata) Siler root
Nature:   Slightly warm 
Taste: acrid, sweet
Channel propensity: Lung, spleen, Urinary Bladder, Liver

It has been used traditionally for prevention of cold and flu. It is known as wind shield in Chinese, great herb to dispel wind in wind attack condition like common cold , or itchy skin. Its anti-allergic property is noted with significantly decreased serum levels of histamine, IgE, and IL-4, and then increased the serum levels of IFN-γ in ovalbumin induced Allergic rhinitis mice.  Its immunomodulating property may beneficial in preventing viral infection. The study postulated that the administration of the innovative TCM may have beneficial immunomodulatory effects for preventing viral infections including SARS.   
3. Bai Zhu (Atractylodes macrocephala or Atractylodes rhizome) 
Nature:   Warm
Taste: Bitter, sweet
Channel propensity: Stomach, Spleen

It is often used as the tonic herbs for spleen and stomach. Numerous of compound found in Bai zhu produced significant anti-inflammatory effects in acute and chronic inflammation in vivo models in mice.  The extract of Baizhu also show enhancement of the Lymphocyte proliferation, cell cycle distribution and increased percentages of CD4+ and CD8+ Tcells in vitro.   
4. Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae )Licorice root
Nature:   Neutral, Warm (when dried fried)
Taste: Bitter, sweet
Channel  propensity: Heart,  Lung,  Spleen,  Stomach

This herbs is known as the king of herbs due to its versatile medicinal benefit and propensity that enter all twelve channel. Not only it often used as qi tonic herbs for lung and general wellbeing, it also  used as a harmonizing agent for  most of the large herbal formula. Study shown enhanced significantly a specific antibody and cellular response against Ovalbum in mice, It can also enhance immune activities, and reduce oxidative stress in high-fat mice. The antiviral, antibacterial  and immunomodulating effect of Gao support its extensive use in  Chinese Medicine to treat cold and flu condition

5. Sheng Jiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens) raw ginger
Nature: Slight Warm 
Taste: acrid
Channel propensity:  Lung,  Spleen,  Stomach This is a common food can be found in everyday kitchen  in most nation. It is a home remedy for many cultures to treat the early sign of cold and flu. According to Chinese Medicine, its acrid warm property to dispel the wind cold from the body. It also calming for the stomach, often used in both western and eastern culture to stop vomiting. It also helps warm the lung and alleviate the cough according to the Chinese medicine materica. Studies also shown ginger exerts in vitro antioxidative, antitumorigenic and immunomodulatory effects and is an effective antimicrobial and antiviral agent. Animal studies also demonstrate effects on the gastrointestinal tract, the cardiovascular system, on experimental pain and fever, antioxidative, antilipidemic and antitumor  effects Chinese Herbs has been used more than two thousand of years with constantly modification on its used in herbal formulation based on different presented sign and symptoms of the individual and environmental changes. It is important to understand the natures of the herbs and its intended use. For the case of covid-19, two phases of immune response was identified. Immune support should be introduced prior or during early phase of infection but not the severe phase of the respiratory distress condition. The use of this might only be used cautiously by the Professional Chinese Medicine practitioner. As the treatment principle is very specific tailor for the pattern diagnosis with different presenting sign and symptoms other than treating the respiratory disorder condition only. 

 

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  1. Afzal, Μ., Al-Hadidi, D., Menon, M., Pesek, J., & Dhami, M. S. I. (2001). Ginger: An Ethnomedical, Chemical And Pharmacological Review. Drug Metabolism And Drug Interactions, 18(3-4), 159-190.
  2. Ayeka, P. A., Bian, Y., Githaiga, P. M., & Zhao, Y. (2017). The Immunomodulatory Activities Of Licorice Polysaccharides (Glycyrrhiza Uralensis Fisch.) In Ct 26 Tumor-Bearing Mice. Bmc Complementary And Alternative Medicine, 17(1), 536.
  3. Cheel, J., Van Antwerpen, P., Tůmová, L., Onofre, G., Vokurková, D., Zouaoui-Boudjeltia, K., ... & Nève, J. (2010). Free Radical-Scavenging, Antioxidant And Immunostimulating Effects Of A Licorice Infusion (Glycyrrhiza Glabra L.). Food Chemistry, 122(3), 508-517.
  4. Cheng, A., Wan, F., Wang, J., Jin, Z., & Xu, X. (2008). Macrophage Immunomodulatory Activity Of Polysaccharides Isolated From Glycyrrhiza Uralensis Fish. International Immunopharmacology, 8(1), 43-50.
  5. Chrubasik, S., Pittler, M. H., & Roufogalis, B. D. (2005). Zingiberis Rhizoma: A Comprehensive Review On The Ginger Effect And Efficacy Profiles. Phytomedicine, 12(9), 684-701.

Read 158 times Last modified on Tuesday, 12 May 2020 14:54
Lih Yan

Lihyan (Chloe) Teh has been working in multiple professions across the health and beauty industry as pharmacist, Chinese medicine herbalist, acupuncturist, hairdresser, makeup artist and beauty adviser. Lihyan is passionate in helping men and women to regain their vitality in heath and allow the beauty shine from inside out. She often works with patient with skin disorder, gynecological disorder, digestion and emotional health.

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