A herbal formula shown to reduce deaths of hospitalised Covid patients by 50% could lead the way for new therapeutics against COVID-19 and its variants.

With the current increase in Coronavirus cases here in the UK, new research into the use of traditional herbal medicine could offer new hope to patients and reduce the burden on the NHS this winter.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US has just granted approval for a randomised control trial to study the treatment of active Covid infection with a modified version of a well studied Chinese Herbal Formula, Qing Fei Pai Du Tang (QFPDT). Research from Chinese Hospitals showed that the use of QFPDT reduced mortality by up to 50% and prevented severe symptoms in those admitted with Covid. These results are now being followed up by researchers in the University of California (UCLA).

The 21 ingredient herbal treatment combines four formulas that have been traditionally used for their antiviral, anti-inflammatory and organ protective effects for centuries. Many of the herbs have also been recently studied for their ability to block viral replication and prevent SARS-CoV2 spike protein binding to ACE2 receptors. This is thought to be the basis for its effectiveness in limiting the severity of symptoms and preventing serious complications associated with COVID-19 and its new variants.

Andrew Shubov MD, one of the lead researchers in the project, stated: “At the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, we have been working since 1993 to bring East Asian and other Integrative approaches to the modern medical system for diseases where standard treatments fail. In March of 2020, it became clear to us that the 2000-year history of treating epidemic viral illnesses in Chinese Herbal Medicine should be considered as a treatment option for COVID-19. Given that a major limitation to its recognition outside of China is the lack of high quality evidence, we set out to design a double blinded RCT to study QFPDT, which among several available therapeutics, was best suited to this form of clinical trial”.

Here in the UK, the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine has been keenly tracking research developments overseas and members have gained valuable experience in treating the after-effects of Covid, more specifically focussing on the safe, effective treatment of Long Covid with Chinese Herbal Medicine.

RCHM CEO Conny Cooper says that such therapeutic treatments can provide hope to those suffering from Covid and its after-effects. “Traditional medicine has an incredibly long history of treatment of viral epidemics and the use of powerful herbal formulas could offer safe, effective, supportive treatments alongside conventional therapy. This research marks an important step in helping to recognise the pharmacological effects of these potent medicinals. It could open up effective healthcare choices for patients who otherwise have very few options.”

RCHM members have been involved in an innovative research project here in the UK treating frontline health workers with herbal medicine since last summer. The Jade Screen Project has generated considerable experience in treating Long Covid, for which there is currently little or no other help. Initial results have been hugely encouraging and the project coordinators are soon to release the data.

Alongside the vaccination rollout, there is an urgent need for supportive early treatments that help reduce cytokine storm, inhibit SARS CoV-2 binding to receptor sites, and prevent cardiovascular complaints including blood clotting. QFPDT is a unique treatment that aims to reduce the severity of Covid infection by deploying herbs that are active in these mechanisms and is a hopeful addition to currently suggested treatments.

28th September 2021.


https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04939415FDA Approved Modified Qing Fei Pai Du Tang for UCLA/UCSD double blinded randomized controlled trial
Dr. John Chen: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and TCM: Scientific Research and Clinical Evidence of Chinese Herbs 
FDA Approved Modified Qing Fei Pai Du Tang for UCLA/UCSD double blinded randomized controlled trial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K31XspYLiTY
Lihua Zhang, et al, Association between use of Qingfei Paidu Tang and mortality in hospitalized patients with COVID-19: A national retrospective registry study, Phytomedicine, Volume 85,2021,153531, ISSN 0944-7113, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2021.153531
Potential Targets for Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Review of Qing-Fei-Pai-Du-Tang and Its Major Herbs https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32668969/
Traditional Chinese Medicine as Potential Therapy for COVID-19 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32907358/

The Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine

Established in 1987, the RCHM (Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine) is a professional organisation with over 300 members. We work to uphold standards of excellence in Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) and its allied practices in the UK, with our areas of focus being educational standards, safeguarding the public, professional standards and ethical practice, information and legal recognition.

The Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine is registered in England under company number 14001848 at 21-27 Lambs Conduit Street, London, United Kingdom, WC1N 3GS (no visitors).
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