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What is Lianhua Qingwen, and is it the Key to Curing COVID-19?

Medically reviewed by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD · Pharmacology

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jun 29, 2021

What is Lianhua Qingwen, and is it the Key to Curing COVID-19?

Lianhua Qingwen, a remedy in traditional Chinese medicine, has recently been approved for use in the Philippines. People who use this medicine claim that it can help relieve respiratory problems, and some even believe it can help cure COVID-19.

But what exactly is Lianhua Qingwen, and how effective is it when it comes to treating respiratory problems?

What is Lianhua Qingwen?

Lianhua Qingwen (LH) is a type of traditional Chinese medicine that reportedly can treat respiratory illnesses such as coughs, colds, and flu, as well as fever and muscle aches and pains.

It contains a combination of herbs that reportedly help treat these illnesses, or at the very least, manage their symptoms.

How effective is it?

Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, Chinese citizens have been using LH capsules to treat various illnesses.

And when the COVID-19 outbreak occurred, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine put LH capsules in the limelight as a means of curing COVID-19. This is partly in response to the lack of a cure for this deadly illness.

The usage of this medication is so popular that hospitals in China have been using LH capsules in conjunction with Western medicine in order to treat patients with COVID-19. With some even claiming that it can help cure the virus.

Additionally, researchers have also been looking into the effectivity of LH capsules as a form of treatment for COVID-19. What the researchers have discovered is that LH capsules are somewhat effective in managing the symptoms of COVID-19. However, LH capsules IS NOT able to cure the virus.

Other studies have found that the recovery time of COVID-19 patients who took LH capsules were faster. However, the testing methods used were not thorough and did not account for the placebo effect.

Is it safe to use?

Despite being approved for use in the Philippines, it is still important for people to be careful about the types of medications that they take. LH capsules have also not yet been approved in the Philippines as a treatment for COVID-19.

Right now, we only have very limited information available on these medicinal herbs. And most of the studies conducted regarding its effectiveness is still lacking.

In addition, Makati Medical Center has released a statement regarding the use of LH capsules in the country. In their statement, they say that LH contains “ma huang,” an herb where the drug ephedrine can be extracted.

Under the Dangerous Drugs Act, ma huang and ephedrine are controlled substances. This means that patients who wish to use LH need to get a prescription if they wish to use LH.

They also warn patients with hypertension and heart problems to be wary of this drug, because it can aggravate those conditions.

Is Traditional Chinese Medicine Safe and Effective?

traditional chinese medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine or TCM is an ancient system of health and wellness developed in China.

It involves the use of acupuncture, acupressure, tai chi, massage, and other similar methods as well as using herbal products to help cure illness and make people feel better.

One important aspect of TCM is the focus on holistic medicine and caring for a patient’s well-being. People who practice TCM usually combine different forms of treatment, such as acupuncture and herbal medicine to help treat illness.

This is based on the philosophy that the systems of the body are all interconnected, so a holistic approach is ideal.

Traditional Chinese medicine can conflict with Western medicine

Despite slowly gaining popularity in the west, Western medicine still does not wholly recognize TCM. This might be due to the fact that some practices of TCM are not based on established medical knowledge.

Another problem that some people have is that some herbal medications used in TCM contain plant or animal matter that have no known medicinal use. Researchers have also found that certain herbal medications contain drugs, heavy metals, or pesticides, which can be harmful to a person’s health. Some people have even experienced allergic reactions when using herbal medicines used in TCM.

However this does not necessarily mean that TCM is ineffective, or a hoax. Some practices, such as tai chi or acupuncture, are relatively low risk. Patients have reported improved well-being after undergoing such treatments.

Additionally, herbal medicines are seeing a renewed interest, as more researchers are trying to unravel the mysteries of certain herbs. It is very likely that some of the herbs used in TCM can eventually be incorporated into Western medicine to help in treating serious illnesses.

If you are interested in trying out TCM, be sure to talk to your doctor first. They can best help you find which approach would be safe and ideal. You can also be certain that you are receiving the best care possible.

Remember, healthy skepticism and open-mindedness go hand-in-hand. So it would be best to approach TCM with this in mind.

Check out more updates on COVID-19 here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD


Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jun 29, 2021

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