China promotes herbal remedies for the coronavirus

With the outbreak of Coronavirus in China, efforts for medicinal remedies have elevated. A recent claim by Chinese scientists about the use of liquid made of honeysuckle and flowering plants attributed to a large scale buying of the traditional medicine product.

It however did not take long to cast a doubt upon its effect, especially after the media outlet Xinhua reported about that the concoction “can inhibit” the virus. Reports suggest the product was sold quickly both online and at stores, the product however caused skepticism on Weibo, the Twitter-like platform in China.

Furthermore, an interview with one of the researchers also highlighted the potential side effects of the product.

On the other hand, concentrated efforts are observed from Beijing to incorporate the use of Chinese traditional medicine (TCM) in the fight against the quickly spreading virus. In addition, researchers from the state-run academy are also known to study the effectiveness of the plant commonly known as the Japanese knotweed.

This has further also sparked a debate about the potential uses and effectiveness of TCM, history of which dates back to 2,400 YEARS and still remains popular in modern day China.

According to a statement released by Marc Freard, a member of the Chinese Medicine Academic Council of France, the traditional product finds usage in treating people showing symptoms of fever and thick phlegm. He however also admitted that TCM “lacks scientific standards of efficacy” since it was based on “individualized treatment.”

On the other Fang Shimin, a popular writer in China, famous for his campaigns against academic fraud, commented the popularity of traditional medicine “panders to nationalism and has nothing to do with science.”

President Xi Jinping also validated the TCM as a “treasure of Chinese civilization” and said at a meeting in October that it should be given equal importance as other treatments.

China is “working hard to spread the message internationally about its traditional culture,” and medicine is a part of this, Freard commented.

Based on sources from the state news agency Xinhua, it is a lucrative industry in China worth more than $130 billion in 2016 — a third of the country’s entire medical industry.