Response to misinformation about Chinese herb treatment of COVID-19
Please appreciate this response, written by a highly trained and experienced US practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine, to the information released by NBC about the dangers of using Chinese medicine to treat COVID-19. The...

Please appreciate this response, written by a highly trained and experienced US practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine, to the information released by NBC about the dangers of using Chinese medicine to treat COVID-19. The views shared by NBC are those of a person who has spent the majority of their career slaughtering traditional Chinese medicine. In fact, huge amounts of research and experience in China over the past few months show that the majority of patients are being greatly helped to recover from this pandemic, through the use of the state-approved herbal treatment which , in many cases, is administered to their homes. My partner has done an excellent job in responding to each of Dr. Ernst's points below.

I recently read the article referenced above regarding the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and COVID-19. The unfortunate conclusions and one-sidedness of the article led me to speak of the ignorance surrounding Chinese herbal medicine. The article states that "scientists warn against use" and that they (Chinese herbs) could be harmful and "present direct and indirect risks to patients", quoted by Dr. Edzard Ernst, professor emeritus of complementary medicine in the United Kingdom. University of Exeter. He goes on to state that “TCM mixtures can be toxic, contaminated or adulterated with prescription drugs; they can also interact with prescription drugs, ”Ernst said.

First, TCM mixtures should only be prescribed by a licensed TCM practitioner who has spent years learning the drug. Chinese Herbal Medicine in granular form is pharmaceutical grade and tested for adulterants, chemicals, pesticides, and thin layer chromatography is used to determine the correct genus and species of the plant. His argument that Chinese medicine can be contaminated and / or adulterated and that the entire medical system should not be used is to say that because Zantac was recently taken off the shelves because it contained NDMA, no one should never use pharmaceuticals because they can be. adulterated.

He also claims that TCM mixtures can be toxic. Yes, some herbs do have some level of toxicity, however, over the drug's 3000 year history, the way the herb is prepared and the amount given in the formula negates the toxicity and increases the safety of the herb. . For example, pinellia herb (ban xia in pinyin) is poisonous when harvested but when prepared with ginger the level of toxicity is negated. Pinellia is sold only in prepared form, so there is no chance of consuming it raw. We have specific dosage guidelines to ensure the safety of prescribed herbs. Many of our herbs are considered foods, such as Reishi mushrooms, goji berries, and longnan fruits. They are incredibly gentle and safe. Anything over a prescribed dose can be toxic. If you drink too much water it can kill you. If you eat too many carrots, you will turn orange from excess beta-carotene (called carotenemia). Additionally, many prescription drugs can be considered toxic, but they are prescribed because the benefits of the drug are believed to outweigh the side effects.

Dr Ernst continues: “It can also give patients a false sense of security, leading them to neglect proven medications or therapies. First of all, there are NO proven therapies for COVID-19 at this time. If Chinese medicine can help lower fever, remove some of the sticky phlegm from the lungs, and help patients recover faster, how is that a "false sense of security"? No one is saying to neglect Western medicine. If a patient is discharged from the hospital saying they are not sick enough to be admitted, then what? A telemedicine consultation with a licensed practitioner who can prescribe herbal remedies can open up valuable options for many people in need. And if TCM can be used in hospitals (as it is in China) alongside other therapies that have not yet been proven, then why wouldn't we accept it as another tool in our arsenal to fight against this and save lives? As long as the practitioner is a licensed herbalist (Dipl. OM or Dipl. CH), they should work alongside hospitals to prescribe the correct formulas to individual patients.

The article goes on to quote: “The lack of details on the remedies contributes to doubting their effectiveness,” Dan Larhammar, molecular cell biologist and president of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said in a telephone interview. Mr. Larhammar is referring to the prepackaged herbal pills that are produced for the masses. TCM practitioners in China have developed these specific COVID remedies (such as jinhua qinggan capsules, lianhua qingwen capsules) because there are not enough TCM practitioners in the world to prescribe personalized formulas for crowds of people in need of these drugs. Additionally, there is a shortage of specific herbs that appear to be effective against this virus, making it more difficult for private TCM practitioners to prescribe on a large scale. Am I okay with using a capsule that could be used to treat everyone? Not really. Chinese medicine is based on the treatment of the individual. The Chinese have found a formula that would treat “typical” symptoms of COVID, although real practice doesn't work that way. And if the ingredients aren't listed, I would be hesitant to trust them as well.

“Recent reports in the Japanese journal BioScience Trends and the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine support various traditional COVID-19 treatments, but Larhammar said these studies and others like them lack scientific rigor - do not have sizes of. '' adequate samples, use vague terms and non-pharmacological concepts, or test too many herbal combinations to analyze specific effects. "

The "scientific rigor" which is lacking in the treatment of Chinese herbal medicine is due to a few important factors. First, the herbs are combined for specific reasons. The herbs work together in a formula and interact with each other at the molecular level to have a specific therapeutic result. By researching each individual component rather than looking for the holistic effect of the formula together, there is a reductionist view that is typical of the pharmaceutical industry. The complex interactions that occur with the Chinese drug combination have been studied for thousands of years. Second, the lack of "scientific rigor" is due to the inherent nature of our individualized medicine. If there are 20 people who have COVID-19, there would likely be 20 different formulas given to each of them (with some overlap of specific herbs found to be helpful with this virus). This makes it difficult for TCM to fit into the Western model of placebo-controlled, double-blind studies. There are no one-size-fits-all remedies. And to overlook its benefits, even as an adjunct to Western medicine in the treatment of COVID-19, is myopic. Yes, TCM terminology and its "vague terms" are not often understood by Western researchers, however, this is because ancient medicine used terms from the natural world to describe physiological events occurring in the body. Just because it doesn't meet the standards of modern medicine doesn't mean it is inferior.

"" It would be nice if the method reduced the symptoms a bit, and the more the better, of course, but if it forces the person to take more risks then we have serious problems, "Larhammar of the Royal Academy science from Sweden told me. People with the virus may resume interactions with others prematurely, thinking they are no longer infectious while taking traditional Chinese medicines, he explained. Others may believe it, thinking that it prevents them from contracting the disease, putting themselves and others at risk.

Whether people get better with or without TCM, this argument is completely illogical. If they have the virus and they are better, they should continue their quarantine for 14 days like everyone else who has a confirmed case. If TCM helps them, it could prevent them from going to the hospital and reduce the risk of their symptoms getting worse and the potential need for a mechanical ventilator, which is rare. Again, let's compare. If a doctor prescribes drugs to fight COVID, and the patient feels better and decides to venture out before the 14-day quarantine, the argument not to treat with drugs prescribed by a doctor as this will give patients a false sense of security now seems quite laughable. .

I hope this writing has dispelled some of the misconceptions surrounding an amazing drug. Hospitals in and around WuHan have been outspoken with the global Chinese medicine community in disseminating information to TCM practitioners on how best to treat COVID-19. The amazing community of TCM herbalists across America are ready to help those in need by doing herbal consultations through telemedicine. I have personally offered my services to the state of NJ to fight alongside doctors and nurses in local hospitals to bring TCM to help those in need. I think we should all be working together to save as many patients as possible using every tool available. Join me in the embrace of the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, and together we can conquer and heal the world.


Candace Jania, L.Ac., Dipl. OM

Whether you regularly whip up Michelin-worthy meals at the drop of a hat or your cooking skills are best described as “fine, ” you can always benefit from the helpful little tricks of others. Here, 14 of our friends’, families’ and coworkers’ most-used cooking tips.

There’s a time and a place to whip out that complicated coq au vin recipe you’ve been dying to try. A dinner party isn’t that time. With a new recipe, you’ll likely be chained to the kitchen the whole time, plus, when you’re trying something for the first time, there’s always the possibility that it could go horribly wrong. When cooking for a group, we always err on the side of tried-and-true crowd-pleasers.

You do hours of prep work on an intricate dish, only to be totally disappointed once you taste the terminal product. Bummer. Instead of putting in all that effort only to be disappointed, taste while you cook. That way, you’ll realize sooner that the dish isn’t tasting how you’d like it to, and you can make all kinds of last-ditch efforts to save it. This doesn’t just work for bad-to-OK meals. Tasting midway through and realizing how perfect a dash of cayenne or a squirt of lemon juice would be can take a great dinner to legendary status.

Plating pasta means tossing some onto a plate and finishing it with a nice dollop of sauce right on the middle, right ? Wrong. Here’s how to take your carbs to the next level : On the stove there should be two pans, one with pasta and one with sauce. Cook the pasta to al dente and transfer it into the sauce. Then, add a little bit of pasta water ( literally just the starchy water the pasta has been cooking in ), which will help the sauce cling to the pasta while also keeping it the right consistency. Perfection.

In the pursuit of the perfect steak, you have to be OK with your kitchen getting a little smoky. That’s because, to get the mouthwatering sear we’re all after, the meat has to be dry and the pan should be pretty damn close to smoking hot. Trust us, it’s worth a few seconds of a blaring alarm.

Most foods are ruined by too much salt. Steak is different. When it comes to seasoning your meat ( before you cook it ), more is more. Use a generous amount of coarse Kosher salt—more than you think you need. Since most cuts of steak are pretty thick, even though you’re using a lot of salt, it’s still only covering the surface.

This one isn’t too complicated. Whether you’re making avocado toast, pizza, fried rice or a burger, the addition of a fried egg on top will not hurt your feelings. Trust us.

This one seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve definitely found ourselves in a situation where we assumed we knew all of the ingredients that went into chocolate chip cookies only to find out that we had about half the required amount of brown sugar. Ugh. to avoid a mid-cooking grocery-store trip, read the recipe from front to back—carefully—before you start.

Prepping grains in mass quantities is less about taste than convenience. Rice, quinoa and even oatmeal last about a week in the fridge after being cooked. When we’re prepping any one of those, we double up our measurements and store the leftovers, which are then impossibly easy to use up throughout the week. Too tired to make dinner ? Heat up some leftover rice from the fridge and toss an egg on top ( remember ? ). Couldn’t be simpler.

So you fried up a pound of bacon for an indulgent ( read : delicious ) brunch. Great, just make sure you don’t throw out the grease in the pan. Instead, save it in the refrigerator or freezer ( it technically lasts for up to a year, but should be used sooner than that to take full advantage of its flavor ). Then, anytime you’re cooking something you typically prepare in oil, try cooking it in the bacon grease instead. You’ll never want to eat Brussels sprouts the old way again.

You’ve probably heard that whenever a dish is lacking a little something-something, the best thing to do is toss in some salt. But, we have it on good authority that salt isn’t always the answer. When you’re tasting a dish at the end and you think it needs a little oomph, often it just needs a splash of acid ( like lemon juice ) to round out the flavor.

You know the difference between a paring knife and a fillet knife, but do you know how to take care of them ? Or, more importantly, how to use them ? A set of good knives can be the difference between a stressful cooking experience and a great one. First, practice your knife skills. Look up tutorials on YouTube and practice chopping, slicing and julienne-ing. It’s amazing what you can do with your cook time when your prep time is shortened with solid knife skills. Then, once you’ve got your skills down pat, learn how to take care of your set. No one ever achieved kitchen greatness with a dull chef’s knife.

The key to tender, flavorful barbecue and roasts ? Cooking it on a low temperature for a long time. The same doesn’t go for roasting veggies. For crispy, perfectly cooked butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and more, remember the magic number : 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower, and you risk pulling a pan of blah carrots out of the oven. It might seem high, but to get the nice roasted flavor, you need high heat. And while we’re on the subject, stop crowding your veggies in the pan, which will also make them soggy.

You know how just about every cookie recipe suggests that you chill your dough in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, but oftentimes you don’t listen because you just want cookies now ? ! ( Same. ) Unfortunately, this step actually does make a difference. In addition to limiting how much the dough spreads while baking, chilling your dough intensifies the flavors and produces that perfect chewy, crispy texture we know and love.

It won’t do your breath any favors, but never ( ever ) scrimp on garlic. In fact, we typically double the amount a recipe calls for. Apologies to anyone who was planning on kissing us.


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