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Chinese herbal medicine (CHM), used as an adjunctive treatment to standard care (SC), helps to improve treatment outcomes in COVID-19 cases. Australian and American authors included seven studies, comprising a total of 732 adults, in their meta-analysis. Compared to SC alone, CHM plus SC had a superior effect on reduction of symptom scores (standardised mean difference [SMD] -1.30), on inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) levels (mean difference [MD] -11.82 mg/L), and on number of patients with improved lung CT scans (risk ratio [RR] 1.34). Evidence from some studies suggested that CHM as a co-therapy might even lower the fatality rate. Two sets of herbs predominated in the granules, decoctions, and patent herbal medicines used against COVID in the trials. The first set - Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae Japonicae), Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae), Huan Qin (Radix Scutellariae) and Shi Gao (Fibrosum Gypsum) - have antiviral, antibacterial or anti-inflammatory activities. The second set of commonly used CHMs was Ma Huang (Herba Ephedrae) and Ku Xing Ren (Semen Armeniacae Amarum), which can help to relieve respiratory congestion and coughing. No significant adverse effects of CHM were recorded in the included trials.

Chinese herbal medicine for COVID-19: Current evidence with systematic review and meta-analysis. J Integr Med. 2020 Sep;18(5):385-394.