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Covid: plant capsules, natural teas, acupuncture… how the Chinese language deal with themselves within the face of the epidemic

They’re against chemical medication or desire a complement, in order that they use natural capsules, natural teas or acupuncture: many Chinese language are resorting to conventional medication in opposition to the present wave of Covid in China.

President Xi Jinping repeatedly promotes conventional Chinese language medication (TCM) and the authorities reward its function within the face of the illness, along with fashionable medication which stays by far the popular mode of care within the nation.

Conventional medication brings collectively numerous practices (natural medicines, minerals or animal extracts, massages, acupuncture, dietetics, tai-chi gymnastics, and so forth.) and has been used for millennia.

Its detractors, many in China itself, see it as ineffective pseudoscience and level out that there are few scientific research proving its potential effectiveness.

However tens of millions of individuals use it within the nation, praising the digital absence of unwanted side effects, that are customary with typical so-called “Western” medication (fatigue, digestive and even endocrine problems).

Worker of a consulting firm in Beijing, Yu Lei, 38, was feverish throughout his Covid, so he made himself a cassier tea, a type of Chinese language cinnamon, with peony roots, licorice, jujubes and ginger, a decoction with reputed anti-inflammatory properties.

“In the course of the evening, my fever went down,” he advised AFP.

In response to its followers, Chinese language medicines act extra slowly, in an effort to regulate the physique and open a approach out (perspiration, urine, stool) to the pathogen.

“Within the household, we regularly use TCM. We desire it to Western medicines, which assault the signs however not often the supply of the issue,” says Yu Lei.

“We have no idea”

“Chinese language medicines” are usually decoctions, made on the prescription of a specialised physician. However right this moment, many Chinese language purchase ready-made medication immediately from pharmacies, with out a prescription, and whose packaging (capsules, pastilles, powders) is much like Western medication.

“It isn’t identified whether or not these therapies are efficient, as a result of they haven’t been studied in medical trials”, underlines nonetheless Ben Cowling, professor of epidemiology on the faculty of public well being of the college of Hong Kong.

“I do not rule out the likelihood that a few of them are efficient, however I additionally do not rule out the likelihood that a few of them could also be dangerous.”

For its half, the World Well being Group (WHO) solely recommends therapies based mostly on chemical medication in opposition to Covid-19.

Requested by AFP about TCM, she stated laconically advising international locations to “collect dependable proof and information on conventional medication practices and merchandise”.

Western medication stays largely favored by the inhabitants and hospitals.

However well being authorities and medical consultants invited within the media repeatedly guarantee that the 2 medicines can play “a complementary function” in opposition to fever, joint ache, cough and sore throat.

On the web, many autodidacts share their recipes for infusions, therapeutic massage methods or acupuncture level stress.

A 68-year-old acupuncturist, Li Wen pricks himself with just a few needles to fight his flu-like situation.

“Chinese language medicines are helpful in coping with the virus, however can’t kill the virus,” he stated.

Pears and leek

Towards a cough, Danni, a 39-year-old Beijinger, takes Pei Pa Koa, a syrup produced from plant extracts.

“Not as a result of I can not discover Western medicines”, which the Chinese language have generally struggled to acquire for the reason that explosion of Covid-19 instances, “however as a result of it’s efficient and soothing”, she says.

“I additionally make myself a soup of pears and scorching water with lemon, to appease the throat and for vitamin C consumption.”

A 70-year-old Beijinger, Cai Yongmao makes use of two Chinese language medicines with anti-inflammatory properties.

“I additionally make myself a leek-garlic-ginger broth to alleviate my sore throat,” he says.

“I’ve been utilizing vegetation for many years to remedy colds, coughs, respiratory illnesses… Why? As a result of I’m glad with the outcomes and the media typically reward their advantages.”

However many are unconvinced.

“We younger individuals know little about conventional medication. We desire Western medicines as a result of they’ve fast outcomes,” decide Grace Hsia, a 30-year-old director.

“Towards the fever, I took paracetamol and the impact was very quick,” says Li Na, a 36-year-old Beijinger. “Chinese language medicines are ineffective. Individuals take extra to reassure themselves, to inform themselves that they’re taking one thing.”

For Lan Jirui, physician of Chinese language medication in Beijing, the doubts surrounding their effectiveness are primarily attributable to self-medication.

“It is the identical logic as Western medication. If the drug is purchased on the prescription of the physician, it’ll in all probability be efficient. Whether it is purchased randomly from the pharmacy, then possibly not…”

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