How do benign coronavirus patients take care of themselves? Five suggestions from Chinese experts
We’re now in the middle of a COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Although this virus is not as lethal as SARS, it is highly contagious. Currently, there is no vaccine or (scientifically validated) treatment for the virus. Patients infected with VIDOC-19 can therefore rely only on their own immune system to fight this virus (Zhang Wenhong 2020 a and b).
If you have acute respiratory difficulties, such as shortness of breath, chest tightness, etc., you should call the medical number immediately for hospital treatment.
However, if you just have fatigue, fever, aches and pains or coughing, you must consult your doctor by telephone without delay. In general, he will suggest that you stay at home and take appropriate medication, such as Doliphrane (paracetamol), a cough syrup, to relieve you. In this case, you may also follow the suggestions of Chinese medical experts and practitioners as listed below.
1- Ginger Soup with Licorice
Ingredient: licorice (4 pieces), ginger (10g)
Preparation: Cut the ginger into thin slices, add four pieces of licorice (preferably of the sugar-free type), pour 400 ml of water into a saucepan and boil for 20 minutes. As soon as the soup becomes lukewarm, you can take it directly, or add honey or lemon, according to your personal taste. Take this soup after your breakfast.
Effects: protects your lungs and your stomach.
Sources: 1- The initial formula comes from the medical work Shang han za bing lun (Treatise on Cold Pathogenic and Miscellaneous Diseases) written by the famous doctor ZHANG Zhongjing (150-154) of the Han period. This formula has been used several times against various epidemics in the past. The old formula consisted of 12 grams of licorice prepared with honey and 6 grams of dried ginger.
2- This recipe was shared during a special television program on China’s central channel CCTV4, « Chinese Medicine, Fighting the Epidemic », broadcast on 5 March 2020. Thanks to this recipe, none of the 1,200 staff at the People’s Hospital of Xutong Distraction in Xutong, Henan province, was infected with coronavirus. They also used other therapeutic methods to cure all patients with VIDOC-19.
3- In 2003, virologist Jindrich Cinatl and his team of Frankfurt University, conducted a research on the effect of high doses compound of a liquorice, called glycyrrhizin, on the multiplication of the virus in cells previously infected with SARS. Glycyrrhizin showed the most effective results among the elements tested. The article was published in the medical journal The Lancet:
Cinatl, J. et al. « Glycyrrhizin, an active component of liquorice roots, and replication of SARS-associated coronavirus ». The Lancet, 361, 2045 – 2046, (2003).
Notes: Since it is not easy to find licorice prepared with honey or dried ginger here, you may use granulated licorice or candy licorice that could be found in most supermarkets or pharmacies. You may find fresh ginger on the supermarket shelves. For children, they can take licorice sweets daily for prevention. But be careful, it is important to avoid excessive consumption of licorice, especially for people with high blood pressure. In addition, it is not recommended to take licorice during pregnancy. After consuming licorice ginger soup, if you feel the usual dryness of your tongue or your mouth, or an unbearable burning in your throat or stomach, please stop taking it.
2- A significant amount of warm water
Ingredient: consume about 1.5 to 2 liters of lukewarm water every day, and you can add a pinch of salt, if you can stand it.
Effects: balance water and electrolytes in order to maintain a stable internal body environment.
Sources: 1- Self-treatment note by Dr. ZHOU Ning, associate professor of the cardiology department at Wuhan Tongji Hospital. This note was published in the « Personnages -Weekend of the Journal du Sud » in China. Dr. Zhou had an acute fever of 38.9°C three days after his consultation with a patient on January 17, 2020. And he presented symptoms highly similar to a COVID-19 coronavirus infection. He underwent self-treatment for four days of home confinement, then recovered and returned to work on February 9, 2020).
2-Dr. JIANG Ronglin, Director of the Department of Intensive Care, No. 1 Hospital attached to the University of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Zhejiang.
3-« Diagnosis and Treatment of Pneumonia Affected by Coronavirus COVID-19 (Trial Implementation, Fourth Version) », published on January 27, 2020 jointly by the Office of the National Hygiene and Health Commission of China and the Administration Office of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
3- Stay warm
Suggestion: If you feel chills, it is recommended that you go to bed, while covering yourself well. You can also use a hot water bottle for warmth. If possible, take a footbath in the morning and in the evening (about 15 minutes each time, the warm water goes past your ankles).
Sources: ibid. 1 et 3
Vital points: Feng Chi, Yun Men, Zhong Fu and Tian Tu (as indicated in the pictures below)
Method: Press and knead vertically these vital points until you feel a slight pain. Press each vital point for 5-8 seconds at a time, with a duration of 3-5 minutes, to be done 3-4 times or more per day. You can also strike your chest with your fist with crossed fingers.
Effects: Pressing the Feng Chi point can eliminate colds, flu and relieves headaches by stimulating the meridians of the head. For the Yun Men and Zhong Fu points, they could help relieve coughs and asthma while reducing mucus and forcing the lungs for a good function.
Sources: 1- Summary of methods used by field hospitals in Wuhan, China http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2020-03/18/c_1125731556.htm
2- Doctor LIU Jianfeng, Deputy Director of the Institute of Documentation of Chinese Medical History of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. He recommended three external treatments against coronavirus: 1) Daoyin (Qigong), 2) massage and 3) acupuncture. https://kknews.cc/health/3xqnnmy.html
Demonstration video：Jun Miao
5-Daoyin, Qigong or Tai Chi
Method: By stretching the limbs of the body and adjusting the breathing, the exercise of martial arts such as Daoyin, Qigong or Tai Chi helps to work on the functions of your organs and strengthen your health. The training is easy to learn as the movements are simple. It could be practiced anywhere or anytime.
Effects: Practicing the circulation of your Chi to improve your health: clear the lungs, stimulate the kidneys and relax les cervical vertebrae, etc.
Movement: The fourth movement entitled « Peacock shows its feathers » from the Method of Conduct Qi (Daoyin), level 1, traditional Taoist style.
Master TU Yuanjian is the successor of two special kongfu schools called Yuejiaquan and Taoist Southern China School that focuses on the internal energy. He founded the international school of martial arts Tianxing Wudao (The Celestial Way of Martial Arts), and presided over the Daoyangchanxiu (Taoist Meditation Association) in Paris.
Sources : Ibid.
Notes: Doctor ZHANG Wenhong is a medical expert of the Shanghai Medical Treatment Team and Director of the Department of Infectious Diseases of Huashan Hospital, attached to Fudan University. On February 6, 2020, Zhang stated « The most effective drug against disease (COVID-19) is your immunity. The task of our medical staff team is to help the patients to make a good isolation, and to accompany them for two weeks in addition. After these two weeks, the patient’s own antibodies can recover. In this way, he can have a strong resistance to the virus. » (Zhang a) https://www.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_5814895?hotComm=true
On 17 March, Dr. Zhang Wenhong stated again: “The new coronavirus is not as fatal as we thought […] 80% of people do not need to be hospitalized. Benign patients can recover at home in confinement. Hospital beds should be reserved for critically ill patients. However, this new coronavirus is characterized by high transmission. In the first stage of the disease, you can hardly recognize it because the symptoms show so little that you don’t feel them at all.” (Zhang b) http://www.bjd.com.cn/a/202003/22/WS5e773f86e4b01e8b9150aa87.html
Writing & images : Jun Miao
Multilingual proofreading: Trong-Sinh Nguyen, Sylvie Royer, Yann Stoestel (Frenche), Huang Yu (English), Yu Xiang (Chinese)