The Hong Kong Hospital Authority (HA) announced on Sept. 28 a study of clinical data of Chinese medicine in the treatment of recovered COVID-19 patients, indicating that Chinese medicine treatment in the recovery period can promote the resolution of residual symptoms, and improve lung functions and body constitutions.
The study was conducted between September 2020 and December 2021. The research team collected clinical data of 150 recovered COVID-19 patients, of whom more than 60 percent were women and more than 30 percent were men, ages ranging from 18 to over 80 years old, mostly middle-aged.
During the infection period, patients often experienced fever, fatigue, dry cough, muscle or joint pain, and headache.
The study found that recovered patients had lower lung function performance than their same age group when taking the walk test.
After 3 to 6 months of Chinese medicine treatment, their lung function improved, and the compliance rate increased from 5 percent to 15 percent, but 85 percent of them still did not meet the standard.
Studies have also shown that more than 70 percent of the recovered patients have a deficiency of both lungs and spleen or a deficiency of vital energy, and more than 40 percent have both. After treatment, 16 percent of the recovered patients achieved a balanced body constitution.
The clinical symptoms of the recovered patients also improved. 35.7 percent of the recovered patients stopped coughing, 28.6 percent of them recovered from shortness of breath, and 36.5 percent of them recovered from fatigue.
The study pointed out that the concept of holistic treatment in traditional Chinese medicine is not aimed at specific clinical symptoms, but is aimed at the patient’s body constitution, lifestyle, and habits, to increase their immune system, therefore eliminating the factors that lead to illnesses.
Bian Zhaoxiang, Associate Vice-President of Hong Kong Baptist University, said that studies have shown that Chinese medicine can effectively promote the resolution of residual symptoms, and improve the lung functions and body constitutions of recovered COVID-19 patients.
The research team is composed of the HA, the School of Chinese Medicine at Hong Kong Baptist University, the School of Chinese Medicine of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the School of Chinese Medicine of the University of Hong Kong, and 7 Chinese medicine clinics and teaching and research centers.
The research has been published in an international academic journal Chinese Medicine, it is the first internationally published clinical research from Hong Kong that focused on the effects of Chinese medicine on COVID-19 rehabilitation.