Treating the coronavirus With Chinese Medicine

With Guest: Jin Zhao

Episode Qi126

The coronavirus that emerged in Wu Han earlier in this year has disrupted travel and business and has been a deep cause of concern as doctors throughout the world, and especially in China, strive to understand the nature of this pathogen. Conventional medicine brings it’s modern research techniques to this inquiry. While those of us in the Chinese medicine world seek to understand this modern epidemic disease through the lens and prisms of Chinese medicine.

In this conversation with Cheng Du doctor Jin Zhao we discuss his perspective on the illness induced by the coronavirus based on the observations and experience of a number of doctors he’s working with along with his own experience and his perspective gleaned from his long term study of various schools of thought in Chinese medicine.
In this conversation we discuss:
  • 瘟疫 wen yi, epidemic disease
  • The hospitals are full and sometimes people waiting to get in will turn to Chinese medicine
  • The Coronavirus is seen as a cold damp toxin
  • Ideas for treating this comes from the Wen Yi Lun and the Shi Re Bing Pian
  • Key Rx are Hou Po Xia Ling Tang and Jia Jian Zheng Qi San
  • Key herbs include, hou xiang, hou po, ban xia, and fu ling
  • Seasonal climatic factors that influence the situation in Wu Han
  • These patients tend to have thick, white, greasy tongue coatings
  • For some patients the condition will stay cold, but in others it turns to heat
  • No one formula for prevention as we have to consider a person’s unique constitution
  • Frequence with which the herbs need to be changed
  • Paying attention to the tongue coating is key in treating this illness
  • Consider the effect of western pharmaceuticals on the patient’s condition
Jin Zhao
Jin Zhao is a busy clinical practitioner and professor of Chinese medicine in Cheng Du. He comes from a family of herbalists and has a particular interest in understanding and blending the various schools of thought in Chinese medicine.
Links and Resources


The books Jin Zhao refers to are the:

吳又可 (瘟疫綸)
Discussion of Warm Epidemics, by Wu You-Ke

薛雪 (濕熱病篇)
Writings on Damp-Heat Pathogen Disease, by Xue Xue

The Main formulas that he uses as a base are:

藿樸夏苓湯,
Hou Po Xia Ling Tang

加減正氣散
Modified Zheng Qi San

Here's an example of the kind of tongue you'll see with the coronavirus.




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I’ve heard it said that for something to be heard — it takes someone to speak and another to listen.

Michael Max

Acupuncturist, Podcast Host
About me
I've always been more drawn to questions than answers. And the practice of medicine seems to more lively when infused with a sense of curiosity and inquiry. It's been delight and honor to be able to discuss our medicine with so many thoughtful and skilled practitioners.

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