Chinese Scientists Claim Herbal Remedies Could Help Fight the Deadly Coronavirus

Sunday, February 2, 2020 - 14:14

Chinese scientists have claimed that a liquid made with honeysuckle and flowering plants could help fight the deadly coronavirus.

According to the AFP report, as the death toll from the SARS-like pathogen sweeping the country continues to rise, shoppers have swamped pharmacies in search of "Shuanghuanglian".

The rush came after influential state media outlet Xinhua reported Friday that the esteemed Chinese Academy of Sciences had found the concoction "can inhibit" the virus.

State media sounded a more cautionary note on Saturday, with broadcaster CCTV publishing an interview with Zhang Boli, one of the researchers leading outbreak containment efforts, who warned of potential side effects from the medicine.

The People's Daily newspaper, a government mouthpiece, said experts advised against taking traditional remedies without professional guidance.

But the claim comes as Beijing looks to incorporate traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) into its nationwide fight against the virus, which has killed more than 300 people and infected over 14,000 in the country.

Traditional medicines were widely used in China in conjunction with Western methods during the 2003 epidemic of SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which killed 774 people worldwide.

The safety and effectiveness of TCM is still debated in China, where it has both adherents and skeptics. Though many of the remedies have been in use for hundreds of years, critics argue that there is no verifiable scientific evidence to support their supposed benefits.

So far, at least 300 people have died and thousands more have been sickened by the mysterious coronavirus. Apple, Starbucks, and McDonald’s have halted or severely curtailed operations in China.

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