Chinese Herbal Medicine for COVID-19 Highly Successful: A Systematic Review

By Cathy Margolin
Cathy Margolin
Cathy Margolin
March 15, 2022 Updated: March 15, 2022

Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine (TCM) has made an important contribution to preventing and controlling Covid19 since the outbreaks began in 2020.

The NIH published a new study in PubMed Feb 28, 2022.  The study explains how researchers systematically screened literature of various randomized controlled trials (RCT) of Traditionally Chinese herbs used for Covid and what they found you will never hear about in legacy media.

After a Meta-analysis of 29 RCT’s involving 12,460 patients herbal treatments were found highly successful for both severe and critical patients. The study, (pls see below) found Chinese herb blends reduced the mortality rate of patients with severe Cov19 by 55%.

Chinese herbal medicine was also found to relieve clinical symptoms and curtail hospital stays, improve laboratory indicators and more.

In addition, within the randomized studies consulted, a large number of the Chinese herbs used for COVID19 had biological constituents which can bind to antiviral targets and down regulate inflammation and regulate the immune system.

Authors of the study will continue research into the components of these herbs and the mechanism of actions for Coronavirus diseases.

Republished from

Efficacy and Mechanisms of Traditional Chinese Medicine for Covid-19: A Systematic Review


Since the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has made an important contribution to the prevention and control of the epidemic. This review aimed to evaluate the efficacy and explore the mechanisms of TCM for COVID-19. We systematically searched 7 databases from their inception up to July 21, 2021, to distinguish randomized controlled trials (RCTs), cohort studies (CSs), and case-control studies (CCSs) of TCM for COVID-19. Two reviewers independently completed the screening of literature, extraction of data, and quality assessment of included studies. Meta-analysis was performed using Review Manager 5.4 software. Eventually, 29 RCTs involving 3060 patients and 28 retrospective studies (RSs) involving 12,460 patients were included. The meta-analysis demonstrated that TCM could decrease the proportion of patients progressing to severe cases by 55% and the mortality rate of severe or critical patients by 49%. Moreover, TCM could relieve clinical symptoms, curtail the length of hospital stay, improve laboratory indicators, and so on. In addition, we consulted the literature and obtained 149 components of Chinese medicinal herbs that could stably bind to antiviral targets or anti-inflammatory or immune-regulating targets by the prediction of molecular docking. It suggested that the mechanisms involved anti-virus, anti-inflammation, and regulation of immunity. Our study made a systematic review on the efficacy of TCM for COVID-19 and discussed the possible mechanisms, which provided clinical reference and theoretical basis for further research on the mechanism of TCM for COVID-19.

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Fig 1 The flow diagram of study screening


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Fig 2 The methodological quality of 29 RCTs


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Fig 3 Primary outcome (1) in RCTs


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Fig 4 Primary outcome (1) in RSs


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Fig 5 Primary outcome (2) in RSs


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Fig 6: Funnel plots of primary outcomes

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Find the study abstract here:


Zhao Z, Li Y, Zhou L, et al. Prevention and treatment of COVID-19 using traditional Chinese medicine: a review. Phytomedicine. 2021;85:153308. – PubMed
An X, Zhang Y, Duan L, et al. The direct evidence and mechanism of traditional Chinese medicine treatment of COVID-19. Biomed Pharmacother. 2021;137:111267. – PubMed – PMC
An X, Duan L, Zhang YH, et al. The three syndromes and six Chinese patent medicine study during the recovery phase of COVID-19. Chin Med. 2021;16:44. – PubMed – PMC
Liu M, Gao Y, Yuan Y, et al. Efficacy and safety of integrated traditional Chinese and western medicine for Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): a systematic review and meta-analysis. Pharmacol Res. 2020;158:104896. – PubMed – PMC
Xiong X, Wang P, Su K, et al. Chinese herbal medicine for coronavirus disease 2019: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Pharmacol Res. 2020;160:105056. – PubMed – PMC