Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has recently become a public health concern worldwide. The use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) may have substantial impact on COVID-19. In this review, we summarize the disease pathogenesis, clinical outcomes, and current applications of TCM for the treatment of COVID-19.
The pathogenesis and clinical symptoms related to severe respiratory disease were described many years ago in TCM texts. The ancient book of TCM Huang Di Nei Jing (Inner Canon of Huangdi) was written during the Western Han Dynasty of China (dated approximately 99 B.C.E.-26 B.C.E.); the text recorded a plague that could transmit disease from human-to-human with symptoms that were similar to those described for COVID-19. Three additional texts, notably Shang Han Za Bing Lun (Treatise on Cold Damage Diseases) written by Zhang Zhongjing (200 C.E.-210 C.E.), Wen Yi Lun (Theory of Plague) and Wen Re Lun (Translated Theory of Warm) written by Wu Youke (1642 C.E.), recorded therapies and formulas that were effective at treating infectious diseases; among them, the classical prescription Da Yuan Yin and the use of human variolation were considered as means to prevent smallpox. Currently, the use of TCM has resulted in remarkable improvement and alleviation of symptoms in COVID-19 patients.
Since late December in 2019, the coronavirus disease 2019 has received extensive attention for its widespread prevalence. A number of clinical workers and researchers have made great efforts to understand the pathogenesis and clinical characteristics and develop effective drugs for treatment. However, no effective drugs with antiviral effects on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 have been discovered currently. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has gained abundant experience in the treatment of infectious diseases for thousands of years. In this review, the authors summarized the clinical outcome, pathogensis and current application of TCM on coronavirus disease 2019. Further, we discussed the potential mechanisms and the future research directions of TCM against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.
The current study applied network pharmacology analysis and molecular docking method to study the potential mechanisms of Chai-Ling decoction (CLD), an empirical formula derived from the classic ancient prescription Xiao-Chai-Hu (XCH) decoction and Wu-Ling-San (WLS), on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The classic ancient prescription XCH and WLS decoctions originated from the ancient book of Chinese medicine Shang Han Za Bing Lun (Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders, 200-210 C.E.), written by Zhang Zhongjing. Previous studies have demonstrated that XCH can alleviate fever, cough, and fatigue, which were the primary clinical outcomes of COVID-19. Besides, WLS decoction has shown apparent effects on attenuating gastrointestinal symptoms. CLD, derived from a modification of XCH and WLS decoctions, is used to treat the early-stage of COVID-19 in the Prevention and Treatment Guidelines of Damp-Heat Syndrome of “Taiyin” Lung (respiratory system in the theory of traditional Chinese medicine) Epidemic Disease (coronavirus pneumonia). However, the mechanisms of action of CLD in COVID-19 remain unclear.
Background: Chai-Ling decoction (CLD), derived from a modification of Xiao-Chai-Hu (XCH) decoction and Wu-Ling-San (WLS) decoction, has been used to treat the early-stage of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the mechanisms of CLD in COVID-19 remain unknown. In this study, the potential mechanisms of CLD in COVID-19 were preliminarily investigated based on network pharmacology and molecular docking method. Methods: Initially, the active components and targets of CLD were screened based on Traditional Chinese Medicine Systems Pharmacology Database and Analysis Platform and PharmMapper database. The targets of COVID-19 were obtained from GeneCards database. The protein-protein interaction network was established using STRING database to analyze the key targets. Gene Oncology (GO) analysis and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analysis were also conducted to evaluate the pathways related to the targets of CLD on COVID-19. Moreover, the compound-target-pathway network was established using Cytoscape 3.2.7. Subsequently, the molecular docking method was performed to select the active compounds with high binding affinity on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is the key target of SARS-CoV-2 in entering target cells. The possible binding sites were also visualized by a three-dimensional graph. Results: Network pharmacology analysis showed that there were 106 active components and 160 targets of CLD. Additionally, 251 targets related to COVID-19 were identified, and 24 candidates of CLD on COVID-19 were selected. A total of 283 GO terms of CLD on COVID-19 were identified, and 181 pathways were screened based on GO and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analyses. CLD might alleviate the inflammatory response and improve lung injury to treat COVID-19 through interleukin 17 signaling, T helper cell 17 differentiation, tumor necrosis factor signaling, and hypoxia inducible factor-1 signaling. Besides, molecular docking indicated that beta-sitosterol, kaempferol, and stigmasterol were the top three candidates in CLD with the highest affinity to SARS-CoV-2 and ACE2. Conclusion: Our study identifies the potential mechanisms of CLD on COVID-19 and beta-sitosterol, kaempferol, and stigmasterol may be the key compounds that exert antiviral effects against SARS-CoV-2.
The purpose of this paper is to review the medical system and measures of prevention and control instituted for the plague that occurred during the late Ming Dynasty (1551-1644 C.E.), with the aim of providing guidance for the prevention and control of plague in the present day.
Early records of plague in Chinese medicine can be traced back to the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 B.C.E). In the late Eastern Han Dynasty (184-220 C.E.), natural disasters and wars led to a wide breakout of plague. Deeply touched by the suffering of people under the plague, the famous doctor Zhang Zhongjing (150-219 C.E.) recorded many classical ancient prescriptions in his medical monograph Shanghanlun (Treatise on Exogenous Febrile Disease) (219 C.E.). Subsequently, as a result of imperial corruption, natural disasters, and frequent wars, the plague that occurred during the late Ming Dynasty was the second greatest plague in Chinese history after the outbreak of plague at the end of the Han Dynasty. During the many struggles that occurred during the plague, a group of great medical experts emerged and devised a series of prevention and control measures, which have the potential to play a key role in the prevention and control of plague today.
The plague of the late Ming Dynasty (1551-1644 C.E.) was long lasting, affected a wide range of the population, and had serious consequences. The purpose of this study is to review the medical system in place at the time and the measures instituted to prevent and control the plague during the late Ming Dynasty. Information on the history of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 C.E.), local chronicles, and related research literature were consulted and analyzed in terms of duration, geographical area, and other dimensions of the epidemic. Because of the abnormal climate, wide range of natural disasters, and the impact of war, the epidemic spread over a wide area during the late Ming Dynasty. The government’s epidemic prevention measures were affected by war and other factors, resulting in poor control of the outbreak. However, in terms of the medical system in place during the Ming Dynasty, some of the thinking and methods of prevention and control of the plague were historical and progressive. Some outstanding physicians such as Wu Youke (1582-1652 C.E.) appeared during this period. His theory of plague prevention and control had a profound influence on the formation and development of pestilence deterrence in later generations. In the late Ming Dynasty, rich experiences and measures of prevention and control were accumulated in the struggle against the plague. These methods and experiences also have a significant, positive guiding influence on the prevention and control of plague in the present day.
This review introduced the current major anti-inflammatory natural active molecules based on their chemical structures, and discussed their pharmacological mechanisms.
Natural active molecules are key sources of modern innovative drugs. Particularly, a great amount of natural active molecules have been reported to possess promising therapeutic effects on inflammatory diseases, including asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis, enteritis, metabolic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. However, these natural active molecules with various molecular structures usually exert anti-inflammatory effects through diversiform pharmacological mechanisms, which is necessary to be summarized systematically. In this review, we introduced the current major anti-inflammatory natural active molecules based on their chemical structures, and discussed their pharmacological mechanisms including anti-inflammatory molecular signaling pathways and potential target proteins, which providing a referential significance on the development of novel anti-inflammatory drugs, and also revealing new therapeutic strategies for inflammatory diseases.
Regional ethnic medicine (REM) and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) have unique experience in the treatment of cancer pain.
There are many different aspects of the treatment of cancer pain in REM and TCM.
TCM and REM are important cancer-assisted treatments in China. Especially for the treatment of cancer pain, TCM and REM are important alternatives.
REM and TCMare both important parts of traditional medicine in China, and they have their own characteristics in the understanding and prevention of diseases. This article compares the understanding, the theoretical prevention and treatment guidance and the clinical application of the REM and TCMon the cancer pain.
Based on folklore and traditional wisdom, when a shepherd purchases a few new sheep from an unknown seller or from a distant place, he keeps them away from his old flock of sheep for a period of 15 days. This, in other words, is a unique practice of herd quarantine. The new flock is permitted to mingle with the old flock only after the completion of the prescribed quarantine period. In case someone tries to violate the principle of herd quarantine, the herd council will impose a rigorous punishment.
Whenever traits of virus-causing diseases, like cowpox, sheeppox, and goatpox, appear in cattle herds, shepherds anticipate its inescapability of viral infection and its inevitable outbreak and visualize that herd quarantine may not be a practical solution in the long run. Although shepherds are not exposed to the term “virus,” they have a solid understanding of the very existence of a foreign specie that damages the health of their herds. To mitigate and militate the repulsive repercussions of the virus, they purposively evolve a typical method of treatment named, potthi kattu, known as herd immunity. This can be observed in all remote Indian villages until today.
In the modern framework, the idea of herd immunity was first adopted in 1923 to denote the premunity or immunity of a given total population, examining the rate of disease fatality among populace at various degrees of immunity in an experimental research. The study recognized herd immunity as a naturally occurring phenomenon. During the mid-1930s, A.W. Hedrich’s epidemiological study of measles in Baltimore noticed a substantial decline in new infections after several children had been conscientiously exposed and immune to measles. In light of this, mass vaccination is performed to develop premunity among the masses; this process is called herd immunity in our modern medical sciences, as everybody of us naturally develops immunity after a due course of time.
In contrast to modern science, the original idea of herd immunity is not a natural process since inoculation or variolation is a must. This happens when the virulence of the virus is considerably condensed with the help of natural substances, like herbs and plants, and then the attenuated virus will be inoculated into the body of a healthier animal, where the spurious virus enters through the medical intervention of shepherds which will eventually infect the flock one after the other. By this means, the infection becomes mild, unlike the natural attack. The inherent antigens in animals will quickly respond to face the attack of the mild virus by producing awe-inspiring antibodies in order to develop immunity within a stipulated period.
Wound healing impairment and ulcers in the foot, with pain and disability, are common complications of diabetes. The present case report shows the effectiveness of leech therapy in combination with honey and curcumin dressing on disease progression in a patient with diabetic foot ulcer.
In Iranian traditional medicine, leeches are used to treat many diseases. Natural honey and curcumin are available for dressing all types of ulcers. Hakim Aghili reported several operative properties that make them appropriate for wounds. Medicinal leech therapy was first documented in a painting of an Egyptian tomb in 1500 B.C.E. Subsequently, the use of leech therapy for medicinal purposes increased dramatically in the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe and Asia. In 1960s, leeches were used in reconstructive surgery to eliminate intravenous congestion. In 1970s, leech therapy was used only in microsurgeries. The Food and Drug Administration legalized medicinal leech therapy in 2004.
Background: Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are common in patients with diabetes. The mortality rate of DFUs is ranked the highest after cancer. With advancements in modern medicine, leech therapy, a traditional treatment method for chronic wounds in Iranian medicine, has proven effective in relieving venous congestion. Herein, we aimed to observe the curative effects of leech therapy in combination with honey and curcumin dressing in a 77-year-old patient with a diabetic foot ulcer (UFC). Methods: Two medium-sized medicinal leeches were placed surrounding a grade 2 wound, based on Wagner’s classification system, located on the right first toe. The patient reported a visual analogue scale (VAS) score of 8. After leech therapy, the wound was covered with honey and curcumin, followed by oral administration of ciprofloxacin for 10 days. Results: Pain increased immediately after leech therapy (VAS: 9-10) but decreased significantly (VAS: 6) 2 days after the therapy. At the end of the 2nd day, pain completely disappeared. After 3 weeks, there was no wound on the toe. After 12 weeks, there were no traces of the wound. Conclusion: Leech therapy in combination with honey and curcumin dressing is effective against disease progression in patients with DFUs.
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