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Traditional Chinese Medicine is effective for COVID-19
source:ScienceDirect 2022-05-31 [Research]
A systematic review and meta-analysis

Author links open overlay panelJiayiXuabcHongmeiLiubdeYuboFanbdBaohuaJif


Department of Applied Mechanics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China


Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Biomedical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100083, China


Oujiang Laboratory, Zhejiang; Wenzhou Institute, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wenzhou 325001, China


Key Laboratory for Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Ministry of Education, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China


Rehabilitation Hospital, National Research Center for Rehabilitation Technical Aids, Beijing 100176, China


Biomechanics and Mechanomedicine Laboratory, Department of Engineering Mechanics, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China




Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has played crucial roles in treating COVID-19 in China. But its effectiveness has not yet been widely realized/recognized over the world. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the clinical efficacy of TCM medicine in the treatment for COVID-19. We obtained the data of COVID-19 and traditional Chinese medicine from PubMed, MEDLINE, Web of Science and other databases, and searched from January 1, 2020 to January 26, 2022 to determine the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) without language restrictions. The review includes 26 randomized clinical trials including 2981 patients. The treatment of COVID-19 by TCM combined with conventional treatment is more effective than by pure conventional treatment in many aspects, including increasing of the effective rate [OR ​= ​2.47, 95%CI (1.85, 3.30), P ​< ​0.00001], fever disappearance rate [OR ​= ​3.68, 95%CI (1.95, 6.96), P ​< ​0.0001], fatigue disappearance rate [OR ​= ​3.15, 95%CI (1.60, 6.21), P ​= ​0.0009], cough disappearance rate [OR ​= ​2.89, 95%CI (1.84, 4.54), P ​< ​0.00001], expectoration disappearance rate [OR ​= ​5.94, 95%CI (1.98, 17.84), P ​= ​0.001], disappearance rate of shortness of breath [OR ​= ​2.57, 95%CI (1.13, 5.80), P ​= ​0.02], improvement rate of CT image [OR ​= ​2.43, 95%CI (1.86, 3.16), P ​< ​0.00001], and reduction of the hospitalization time [MD ​= ​−3.16, 95%CI (−3.75, −2.56), P ​< ​0.00001], and deterioration rate [OR ​= ​0.49, 95%CI (0.29, 0.83), P ​= ​0.007]. The findings of this meta-analysis suggest that TCM can effectively relieve symptoms, boosted patients' recovery, cut the rate of patients developing into severe conditions, and reduce the deterioration rate.