© 2020 Xiang Xin, Zhong Zhen, Li Xiangmei

2020 – № 1 (19)

For citations: Xiang Xin, Zhong Zhen, Li Xiangmei (2020) O preimushhestvah TKM v lechenii novoj koronavirusnoj infekcii [On Advantages of TCM in Healing New Coronavirus Infection.]. Medicinskaja antropologija i biojetika [Medical Anthropology and Bioethics], 1(19).

About the authors:

Xiang Xin, MA, is a leading doctor at Changchung TCM University (China)

Zhong Zhen, MA, is a Staff Physician at Changchung TCM University (China)

Li Xiangmei, MA, is Deputy Director of the Center for TCM Development and Application in Russia (Moscow)

Keywords: coronavirus, healing diseases in accordance with the three factors, TCM, healing

Abstract. The new coronavirus has become a global threat for people’s life and health. Today, in the People’s Republic of China, partially due to widespread use of Traditional Chinese Medicine Methods (TCM), the epidemiological situation is under good control. In the process of healing with TCM means, on the one hand, fever, constant coughing and other symptoms are decreased; on the other hand, the risk of quick disease flow is decreased; the patient’s quality of life increases noticeably. The article reviews the application ways of the theory “Treating Disease in Accordance with the Three Factors”.


The spread of the new coronavirus infection has become a threat to life and health of many people in the People’s Republic of China and globally. Today, the epidemiological situation seems to be under control in PRC. Partially, this was achieved with the wide use of TCM. It has been described that healing with TCM means brings about a considerable relief of the symptoms: body fever decreases, constant coughing disappears, while the risk of quick progress of the disease goes down, which is advantageous for the patient’s life quality.

In the frameworks of TCM, for treating COVID-19 patients the theory known as “Treating Disease in Accordance with the Three Factors” is applied. It is about the factors such as the season, landscape conditions and person’s peculiarities. In other words, the patient is prescribed a therapy that takes into consideration the season, region of residence, his physical constitution, gender, age, and other parameters. This theory plays a leading role in treatment and diagnostics of diseases; it is also an embodiment of TCM concept and its method of “the Four Diagnostics Components”.

In January 2020, after approval of the third trial version of “Protocol for Treating Coronavirus Pneumonia” it was amended with a new section. In the same protocol’s versions 4 to 7, the coronavirus was classified as “an epidemiological disease”,in TCM classification. Because the coronavirus mainly attacks the lungs, the basic pathogenesis is interpreted as “moisture, heat, intoxication, emptiness”. Accordingly, it was recommended to treat the disease taking into account the local climate and patient’s bodily constitution. E. g., it has to be taken into consideration that in winter and spring, when the infection initially spread, Yan Qi (male energy) increases, Yin cold (female Yin energy) does not disperse. That is why emphasis in the treatment process is on boosting Yan Qi, removing moisture and dispersing cold. However, one needs to consider the local factors, such as the ration, eating habits, use of heating installations, local climatic peculiarities.

In many Chinese provinces, these approaches were realized; treatment protocols and manuals on prescribing drugs were issued. E. g., the protocol in Yunnan Province listed classification of people into five categories (close contact, low immunity, high threat, basic disease, vulnerable group) and into three types of bodily constitution (heat, cold, neutral group). In Henan Province, people were classified into two groups according to their age (adults and children) and two types of bodily constitution (regular and special). In Heilongjiang Province, people were divided according to age principle: children, middle aged people and elderly.

In 225 clinics of Hubei Province, where COVID-19 patients were treated, the percentage of TCM use was 83.3 %. In 24 provinces and cities of China, stage-by-stage treatment with TCM means was conducted: on various disease stages various vegetative medicines were applied.

PRC has a vast territory lying in various climatic zones. In the state lives a multiethnic nation. Taking this into consideration, while prescribing coronavirus treatment one should be guided by the Principle of the Three Factors, i. e. regard the landscape, climate and patient’s personal characteristics. PRC academic circles are certain that TCM should participate in the disease prevention and treatment process. Today, we need to continue treating patients based on the Three Factors and reveal all possible efficient and safe means and methods, all advantages that can be used in battling COVID-19.


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