How the coronaviruses are seen in traditional Chinese medicine

TCM and Western medicine have different theoretical systems for understanding infectious diseases. Western medicine is based on pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, spirochaete, chlamydia, mycoplasma, protozoa, etc. These are pathogenic microorganisms. Coronavirus belongs to the virus one kind, so western medicine thinks this pneumonia is caused by coronavirus.  TCM is not this concept. TCM’s understanding of infectious diseases is analyzed from the changes in the climate of the natural world. Because the climate is different throughout the year, there are six Qi: wind, cold, heat, dampness, dryness and fire. The characteristics of the climate, people live in nature, adapt to this climate, will not cause disease, which is called six Qi, is a normal climate change in nature. However, if the climate change exceeds the normal limit, the human body cannot tolerate it and cannot bear it, which leads to disease, which is called six evils.

Six evils are abnormally Qi, and this climatic characteristic is beyond the normal range, which will lead to disease. In addition to wind, cold, heat, dampness, dryness, and fire, there are also plague and epidemic evil. This mild poison and epidemic qi does not mark the nature of the lesion itself, but emphasizes its contagious nature. For example, this time, pneumonia caused by coronavirus, Chinese medicine regard it as epidemic disease, which means its strong contagion. It is thought that all infectious diseases are called febrile diseases, and the concept is a bit biased. why? Some epidemics cause the lesions to be cold, while others cause fever. Some clinical manifestations are cold and some are hot. That is to say, some patients are particularly afraid of cold at the beginning, and at the same time they are feverish. They are mainly afraid of coldness. Fever is not as obvious as being afraid of coldness. This is called cold and severe fever. It is very strong, and it was called cold plague in ancient times. If the patient presents with fever as the main cause, the fever is severe and the chills are mild, and if it is highly contagious, it is called warm epidemic. In terms of the cause, it is called exogenous wind-heat, and if it is contagious, it is called febrile disease. Therefore, our Chinese medicine’s understanding of the epidemic is not just the warm epidemic that people now say, there are also plagues and cold epidemics.

In the history of traditional Chinese medicine, the incidence of infectious diseases is quite high, especially before the founding of the People’s Republic of China. In the old society, these infectious diseases were not well protected due to inadequate protection measures at the time, and people’s living conditions were not good. According to the literature, the Ming and Qing dynasties had an epidemic on average every four years, with a very high morbidity and a high mortality rate. At that time, the protective measures and treatment measures could not keep up, so there were many such diseases in history. In the process of treating Chinese medicine, Chinese medicine is constantly summing up experience. Each type of infectious disease occurs is different. It has variations. This year, new and sudden infectious diseases have come. In the clinic, doctors are constantly Summarize experience, and sum up experience on the basis of a large number of dead. In other words, infectious diseases are not only infecting patients, they are not only spreading among patients, doctors are human beings, and they are also being infected. Therefore, every infectious disease strikes is accompanied by the death of the patient and the death of the doctor. It can be said that our theory of TCM in exogenous theory is based on a large number of dead people and is a valuable experience summarized from clinical practice. Each epidemic has a new summary.

Although the epidemic power is different each time, it has something in common. They are all infectious diseases. Generally speaking, they have fever, and other symptoms are similar. Therefore, the ancient medical scientists summarized it, and finally after a long historical period, at least in the course of one or two thousand years, summarized it into a set of mature experiences, and formed the epidemic febrile disease theory in the middle and late period of the Qing Dynasty. More than 1800 years ago, Zhang Zhongjing’s Treatise on Febrile Diseases came out. That was a major breakthrough in Chinese medicine, and the formation of the school of oncology was another major breakthrough. Therefore, the recognition of traditional Chinese medicine from the beginning of “Treatise on Febrile Diseases” to the formation of the school of febrile diseases, the two schools together, the epidemic of foreign diseases, including epidemics, has been very profound and very comprehensive.

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