CHINESE government papers have revealed that a shocking majority of the country's cases have been treated with traditional medicine. PUBLISHED: 05:00, 05:31,
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A recent white paper released by the Chinese government claimed that 92 percent of Chinese cases of coronavirus were treated with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
TCM is one of the world's oldest forms of medical practice and includes a range of treatments from herbal concoctions to acupuncture to Tai Chi.
Experts say China is seeking to expand the appeal of TCM both at home and abroad.
Healthcare professionals remain sceptical of its usefulness, and are unsure of it’s utility in treating COVID-19.
The Chinese government has touted traditional medicines for coronavirus treatments (Image: Getty) A white paper has claimed that 92 percent of Chinese COVID-19 cases have been treated with TCM (Image: PA)
TCM is widely championed in China, with the countries National Health Commission containing a special chapter for it’s use against coronavirus. State media has been highlighting it’s role in treating previous outbreaks, such as SARS in 2003.
In the 1970’s, Chinese scientists used Artemisinin, part of a herbal remedy from the fourth century, to find a cure for malaria.
Six traditional remedies have been advertised as COVID-19 treatments: Most prominiently used are Lianhua Qingwen - containing 13 herbs such as forsythia suspense and rhodiola rose - and Jinhua Qinggan.
Jinhua Qinggan was developed during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak and is made of 12 components including honeysuckle, mint and liquorice. The National Health Commission contains a special chapter for it’s use against coronavirus. (Image: PA) Related articles China India news: China wheels new weapon into region amid tensions
Supporters of the practice have argued that there are no downsides to the usage of TCM in treating COVID-19.
But the US National Institutes of Health said that while it may help with symptom relief, its overall effectiveness against the coronavirus is inconclusive.
Edzard Ernst, a retired UK-based researcher of complementary medicines, said that there is no science behind the recommendation to support it’s usage.
He said to Nature : "For TCM there is no good evidence and therefore its use is not just unjustified, but dangerous.”