TCM effective in treating respiratory, lung diseases, experts say

Updated: Jul 3, 2023 Print
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Chinese medical experts have highlighted the role of traditional Chinese medicine in treating respiratory and lung diseases, as well as cancer during a recent news conference.

Zhang Hongchun, head of the TCM department at China-Japan Friendship Hospital, said their TCM prescriptions have proven effective in treating infectious respiratory symptoms, such as relieving and shortening symptoms of flu patients and alleviating coughing of COVID-19 patients in recovery.

Because it takes time for scientists to develop vaccines and targeted Western medications for infectious illnesses, Zhang said that TCM specialists are able to promptly formulate prescriptions by observing and analyzing condition of patients.

"Rather than fighting off viruses, TCM mainly focuses on regulating condition of the body, reducing inflammatory reactions and minimizing damage to organs," he said during a news briefing held on Wednesday afternoon.

Regarding interstitial lung diseases — illnesses that cause scarring of the lungs, Zhang said TCM medicines can help lower dosage of hormone, alleviate side effects of hormone and enhance immunity of patients.

Jia Liqun, head of the hospital's oncology department of integrated TCM and Western medicine, said that TCM therapies, when combined with Western medicine, can play a role in tackling precancerous lesions, alleviating adverse reactions of Western drugs and improving life quality of late-stage cancer patients.

For example, he said the incidence rate of esophageal cancer — cancer that occurs in a long tube that runs from throat to stomach — have been found to be high in some areas of Hebei, Shanxi and Henan provinces, and people with purple tongue are at higher risk of developing the disease.

"We found in screening programs that TCM therapies can be used to prevent precancerous lesions from progressing into cancerous cells," he said.

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