How Does TCM Fight Viruses?

TCM is peculiar in its fight against viruses. Regardless of the type of the virus, TCM first assesses symptoms of invasion of these viruses into the body, such as dizziness, thirst, fever,etc. and determines attributes of the disease (Yin and Yang, Cold and Heat, etc.) based on the symptoms, then treat the symptoms according to these attributes. So when the viruses die the disease would heal. Therefore, from the TCM perspective, there is no need to worry about updated variant of future viruses. Whenever a new virus appears, we can alwaystreat it using the same principle.

TCM treatment is usually achieved by changing internal environment (adjusting Yin, Yang and Five Elements). Therefore, eventually it is the body’s self-healing power that cures adisease. During the past few decades, Western Medicine has been studying various antibiotics to fight cold viruses. But viruses would also adapt to fight against these new antibiotics. In the end, no drugs will be left to use. This is a war that will never end.

Typhoid fever is like an unexpected catastrophe. You can’t predict when it will happen to an individual. We can only try to keep warm, enhance human immunity, and not let chill invade the body. If chill had already invaded, it must be handled properly. There’s no need to take antibiotics each time, or the chill will become source of all diseases.
When prescription of the TaiYang Disease is used to treat a cold, the speed could be very fast. I once knew a friend who was a pharmacist who was very interested in TCM and even got an American TCM license. I asked him: “Do you take Western medicine or Chinese medicine when catching a cold?” He looked at me surprisingly: “How can TCM treat cold?”

Nowadays many doctors of TCM still take Western medicine to treat a cold, the reason is they do not understand the basic TCM classic – “Treatise on Febrile Diseases”.

A male J, about 35 years old, Chinese. One day he had a fever with sore body and cough. The fever still persisted after taking Western medicine, and coughing became even more severe. After three days of torment, he came to see me. After giving him a dose of “Daqing Dragon Soup”, the fever was completely gone within about 30 minutes, so was the feeling of dull pain in his lungs.

This article is based on the content of “Deciphering TCM” by Tongmei Pan; the original book was written in Chinese.

What Is Typhoid Fever in TCM?

Simply speaking, typhoid fever in TCM is a disease when cold was not completely eradicated. Usually people will ask: “A cold is caused by a virus. What does it have to do with chill/cold?”

Western Medicine believes that colds are caused by viral infections. Therefore, antibiotics must be used to kill these viruses in order to treat the cold. Chinese Medicine practitioners believe that colds are caused by chill/cold, which does not come off too scientific according to Western Medicine. Therefore, many people think that it is impossible for TCM to cure colds.

Is cold caused by viruses? I think this answer is yes and no. I suggest that everyone do an experiment. If you live in San Francisco, try move your bed next to the window at night,open the window, wear only underwear, don’t put any covering on the body, and last for one night. San Francisco’s nights are usually very cold, and after getting up the next day, you will immediately have running and stuffy nose, or even as severe as a fever; this is the typhoid fever. So now is it only relevant to viruses?

Someone may ask why sometimes one member of the family catches a cold and the others would start getting it too. Isn’t it obviously caused by a virus?

In fact, according to TCM cold can be caused by two factors: 1) It was observed that some colds were caused by viruses in ancient times, which was called “plague”. Most plagues CAN be treated by “Seasonal Febrile Disease Theory” of TCM, and with good results. 2) Some colds, however, are caused by exposure to chilly environment.

Therefore, if an individual simply suffers from a cold caused by chill, it can be treated according to theory of “Treatise on Febrile Diseases”; if a cold is caused by plague (virus infection), and the symptoms are the same as typhoid fever, it can still be treated according to theory of “Treatise on Febrile Diseases”. If the symptoms are different, then treatment based on “Seasonal Febrile Disease Theory” would be effective.

This article is based on the content of “Deciphering TCM” by Tongmei Pan; the original book was written in Chinese.