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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic since 2005; Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Discussion Forum.

Chinese Antivirals

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    Posted: March 08 2006 at 8:15am

I thought Iíd share with you what I have in my herb cabinet.  Iím working on my masters in Chinese Medicine and study Chinese Herbs in depth daily. These are herbs I have used with great success to treat myself and my kids.  Many of them are preventive and others successfully shorten the duration and severity of colds and flu among other ailments.   Chinese medicine is just beginning to make it into the mainstream and only recently has begun to publish studies and articles proving the effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine.  For thousands of years they have been used with great success but western medicine and consumers demand scientific studies. As I post, Iíll do my best to dig up the studies and inform you about what Iím placing my bets on as far as herbs go.  I canít recommend anything, just tell you what Iím doing and impart information. 


ISATIS ROOT (Radix isatidis baphicacanthi, Isatis tinctoria, Isatis indigotica)

ďBan Lan Gen TeaĒ found in any Asian market.  Raw herb also easy to find there as well.



Derived from the root of the isatis plant, which is a source of indigo dye. This botanical has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine. It is used in combination with other herbs to treat the common cold, sore throat, mumps, respiratory aliments, other febrile diseases and malignant tumors (1) (2). The leaves of this plant are one of the eight ingredients used in PC-SPES, an herbal formula used to treat prostate cancer. This herb is also used in Danggui Longhui Wan, a formula used to treat chronic myelocytic leukemia (CML) in China (8). Studies indicate that isatis plant has antimicrobial, antiviral (1) (9) and immunostimulatory effects (8). Recent anecdotal reports indicate that isatis root can be used to ward off Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) (4). Scientific study to verify such effect is lacking as SARS is a newly discovered disease. The connection is made mainly because isatis root has antiviral activities and has been used for other respiratory diseases. A classic Chinese medicine textbook points out that isatis root is not indicated in feeble patients (1). There are no known side effects or toxicities reported relating to the consumption of isatis root.




Radix isatidis baphicacanthi, Isatis tinctoria, Isatis indigotica


Ban Lan Gen


Ban Lan Gen Chong Ji


  • Bronchitis
  • Cancer treatment
  • Chest congestion
  • Common cold
  • Fever
  • Infections
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
  • Viral infections


  • Indirubin
  • Indoxyl-beta-glucoside
  • Beta-sitosterol
  • Isatin
  • Amino acids: Arginine, glutamine, proline, tyrosine.
    (1) (2)


Isatis root extract has anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and antinociceptive effects on animals.(3) Extracts obtained from the dried leaves of isatis have cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitory effects.(5) Isatis root also has immunostimulatory effects by enhancing reticuloendothelial system function. Indirubin, an active component of isatis, is a potent inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). It inhibits the proliferation of cells by arresting the cells in the G2/M phase.(8) Other alkaloids isolated from isatis can inhibit leukocyte function and reduce inflammatory response.(6) Some studies show that isatis also has antiendotoxic and antiviral activities.(9)


The pharmacokinetics of this substance has not been evaluated.


The effect of isatis or Ban Lan Gen on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is not known. Patients are warned that reliance solely on herbal supplements as prevention or treatment may induce a false sense of security from this deadly disease. Patients with suspected SARS should limit interactions outside the home. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that proper hygiene such as frequent hand washing and wearing a surgical mask should be used to prevent the spread of SARS.(10)


A classic textbook in traditional Chinese medicine points out that isatis root is not indicated in feeble patients.(1)


None reported


No clinical trials have been performed with this botanical.


(1) Bensky D, Gamble A. Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica. Revised Ed. Seattle: Eastland Press; 1993.
(2) Hocking G. A Dictionary of Natural Products. Medford (NJ): Plexus Publishing Inc; 1997.
(3) Ho Y, Chang Y.
Studies on the antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and anti pyretic effects of Isatis indigotica root.
Phytomedicine 2002;9:419-24.
(4) Saulny S. In Chinatown, An Outbreak of Fear. The New York Times 2003;April 4:D1
(5) Danz H, et al.
Identification and isolation of the cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitory principle in Isatis tinctoria.
Planta Med 2001;67:411-6.
(6) Molina P, et al.
Inhibition of leukocyte functions by the alkaloid isaindigotone from Isatis indigotica and some new synthetic derivatives.
J Nat Prod 2001;64:1297-300.
(7) Xu YM, Lu PC.
Experimental studies on immunostimulatory effects of the Isatis indigotica polysaccharide.
Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi 1991;11:357-9, 325-6.
(8) Hoessel R, et al.
Indirubin, the active constituent of a Chinese antileukaemia medicine, inhibits cyclin-dependent kinases.
Nat Cell Biol 1999;1:60-7.
(9) Wang T, et al.
Evaluation on antiendotoxic action and antiviral action in vitro of tetraploid Isatis indigotica.
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2000;25:327-9.
(10) Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Interim Guidance on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). [Accessed April 10, 2003]






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TURMERIC (Curcuma longa, Curcuma domestica )




Derived from the rhizome and root. This supplement is routinely used as a spice and coloring agent. Oral administration is well tolerated, but bioavailability is relatively low (5) (15). Following absorption, turmeric is rapidly metabolized. In vitro and animal studies suggest anti-proliferative and preventative effects of turmeric against cancer (10) (11) (12) (13) (16) (17). Results from a pilot study indicate that it may help alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (14). No significant adverse events have been reported. Patients with gastrointestinal disorders should not take this supplement. Recent animal studies indicate that dietary turmeric may inhibit the anti-tumor action of chemotherapeutic agents such as cyclophosphamide in treating breast cancer (3). More research is necessary, but it may be advisable for breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to limit intake of turmeric and turmeric-containing foods.





Curcuma longa, Curcuma domestica


Indian saffron, curcumin, jiang huang


  • Cancer prevention
  • Infections
  • Inflammation
  • Kidney stones
  • Stomach and intestinal gas


  Volatile Oil: Mainly sesquiterpenes and zingiberene and curcuminoids (curcumin)

  Electrolytes: Potassium

  Vitamins: Ascorbic acid, carotene



The mechanism of action is not fully understood. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and choleretic action. Anti-inflammatory action may be due to leukotriene inhibition. Its curcuminoids (curcumin) and volatile oil are both partly responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity. Curcuminoids induce glutathione S-transferase and are potent inhibitors of cytochrome P450. Turmeric acts as a free radical scavenger and antioxidant, inhibiting lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage. It also inhibits activation of NF-kB4, c-jun/AP-1 function, and activation of the c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway. In vitro and animal models of breast cancer show turmeric may inhibit chemotherapy-induced apoptosis via inhibition of the JNK pathway and reactive oxygen species generation. The isolated constituent alpha r-turmerone has been shown to arrest the reproduction and slaughterer activity of human lymphocytes, which may contribute to its anti-inflammatory action. Curcumin is more effective by parenteral injection than by oral ingestion. Curcumin has displayed antitumor activity and may be protective against some cancers, such as colon cancer. In laboratory tests, curcuminís antitumor actions appear to be due to interactions with arachidonate metabolism and its in vivo antiangiogenic properties.
(2) (3)


Bioavailability of curcumin is approximately 60-65% following oral administration. Metabolism is primarily via glucuronidation to glucuronide and glucuronide/sulfate metabolites (4). In vitro studies indicate inhibition of Cytochrome P450 1A1. Excretion of parent compound is primarily in the feces with metabolites present in the urine (5).


Recent laboratory findings indicate that dietary turmeric may inhibit the anti-tumor action of chemotherapeutic agents such as cyclophosphamide in treating breast cancer. More research is necessary, but it may be advisable for breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to limit intake of turmeric and turmeric-containing foods. (3)


Patients with bile duct obstruction, gallstones, and GI disorders (including stomach ulcers and hyperacidity disorders) should not take this supplement (6).


None known


Reserpine: Turmeric may reduce efficacy (7).
Turmeric may reduce efficacy (7).
Anticoagulants / Antiplatelets: Turmeric may increase risk of bleeding (7).
Turmeric inhibits camptothecin-induced apoptosis of breast cancer cell lines in vitro (3).
Turmeric inhibits mechlorethamine-induced apoptosis of breast cancer cell lines in vitro (3).
Turmeric inhibits doxorubicin-induced apoptosis of breast cancer cell lines in vitro (3).
Dietary turmeric inhibits cyclophosphamide-induced tumor regression in animal studies (3).


Human data:
James J. Curcumin: clinical trial finds no antiviral effect. AIDS Treat News 1996;242:1.
A randomized study of 38 patients to either high-dose or low-dose turmeric powder. Following 8 weeks of treatment, there was no demonstrated effect of turmeric on HIV viral load. A small increase in CD4 cells in the high-dose group and a consistent fall of CD4 cells in the low-dose group were documented, but neither result was statistically significant. This report of an abstract presented at the third annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections demonstrated no efficacy of turmeric in treating HIV.

Animal / In vitro data:

Li JK, et al. Mechanisms of cancer chemoprevention by curcumin. Proc Natl Sci Counc Repub China B 2001;25:59-66.
Curcumin has shown anti-carcinogenic activity in animals as indicated by its ability to block colon tumor initiation by azoxymethane and skin tumor promotion induced by phorbol ester TPA. Recently, curcumin has been considered by oncologists as a potential third-generation cancer chemopreventive agent, and clinical trials using it have been carried out in several laboratories. Curcumin possesses anti-inflammatory activity and is a potent inhibitor of reactive oxygen-generating enzymes, such as lipoxygenase/cyclooxygenase, xanthine dehydrogenase/oxidase and inducible nitric oxide synthase. Curcumin is also a potent inhibitor of protein kinase C and EGF-receptor tyrosine kinase. It is proposed that curcumin may suppress tumor promotion by blocking signal transduction pathways in the target cells.

Venkatesan N. Curcumin prevents adriamycin nephrotoxicity in rats. Br J Pharmacol 2000;129:231-4.
This study investigated the effect of curcumin on Adriamycin (ADR) nephrosis in rats. The results indicate that ADR-induced kidney injury was remarkably well prevented by treatment with curcumin. Treatment with curcumin markedly protected against ADR-induced proteinuria, albuminuria, hypoalbuminemia and hyperlipidemia. Curcumin restored renal function in ADR rats, as judged by the increase in GFR. The data also demonstrate that curcumin protects against ADR-induced renal injury by suppressing oxidative stress and increasing kidney glutathione content and glutathione peroxidase activity. This suggests that administration of curcumin is a promising approach in the treatment of nephrosis caused by ADR.

Kawamori T, et al. Chemopreventive effect of curcumin, a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agent, during the promotion/progression stages of colon cancer. Cancer Res 1999;59:597-601.
This study was designed to investigate the chemopreventive action of curcumin when administered (late in the premalignant stage) during the promotion/progression stage of colon carcinogenesis in male F344 rats. The study also monitored the modulating effect of this agent on apoptosis in the tumors. The results showed that the administration of 0.2% curcumin during both the initiation and post initiation periods significantly inhibited colon tumorigenesis. In addition, administration of 0.2% and of 0.6% synthetic curcumin in the diet during the promotion/progression stage significantly suppressed the incidence and multiplicity of noninvasive adenocarcinomas and also strongly inhibited the multiplicity of invasive adenocarcinomas of the colon.

Mehta K, et al. Antiproliferative effect of curcumin (diferuloylmethane) against human breast tumor cell lines. Anticancer Drugs 1997;8:470-81.
The antiproliferative effects of curcumin against several breast tumor cell lines, including hormone-dependent, hormone-independent, and multidrug lines, were studied. Curcumin preferentially arrested cells in the G2/S phase of the cell cycle. Curcumin-induced cell death was due neither to apoptosis nor to a significant change in the expression of apoptosis-related genes, including Bcl-2 p53, cyclin B and transglutaminase.

Rao CV, et al. Chemoprevention of colon carcinogenesis by dietary curcumin, a naturally occurring plant phenolic compound. Cancer Res 1995;55:259-66.

This study was designed to investigate the chemopreventive action of dietary curcumin on azoxymethane-induced colon carcinogenesis and the modulating effect of curcumin on the colonic mucosal and tumor phospholipase A2, phospholipase C gamma 1, lipoxygenase, and cyclooxygenase activities in male F344 rats. The results indicate that the administration of curcumin significantly inhibited incidence of colon adenocarcinomas (p<0.004) and the multiplicity of invasive, non-invasive, and total adenocarcinomas. Curcumin also significantly suppressed the colon tumor volume by more than 57% compared to the control diet. Although the precise mechanism by which curcumin inhibits colon tumorigenesis remains to be elucidated, it is likely that the chemopreventive action, at least in part, may be related to the modulation of arachidonic acid metabolism.


(1) Leung AY, et al. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics, 2nd ed. New York: Wiley; 1996.
(2) Blumenthal, et al. Herbal Medicine, Expanded Commission E Monographs. Austin: American Botanical Council; 2000.
(3) Somasundaram S, et al.
Dietary curcumin inhibits chemotherapy-induced apoptosis in models of human breast cancer.
Cancer Res 2002;62:3868-75.
(4) Asai A, Miyazawa T.
Occurrence of orally administered curcuminoid as glucuronide and glucuronide/sulfate conjugates in rat plasma.
Life Sci 2000;67:2785-93.
(5) Ravindranath V, Chandrasekhara N.
Absorption and tissue distribution of curcumin in rats.
Toxicology 1980;16:259-65.
(6) McGuffin M, et al. American Herbal Products Associationís Botanical Safety Handbook. Florida: CRC Press; 1997.
(7) Brinker F. Herbal Contraindications and Drug Interactions, 2nd ed. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications; 1998.
James J. Curcumin: clinical trial finds no antiviral effect. AIDS Treat News 1996;242:1.
(9) Li JK, et al. Mechanisms of cancer chemoprevention by curcumin.
Proc Natl Sci Counc Repub China B 2001;25:59-66.
(10) Venkatesan N.
Curcumin prevents adriamycin nephrotoxicity in rats.
Br J Pharmacol 2000;129:231-4.
(11) Kawamori T, et al.
Chemopreventive effect of curcumin, a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agent, during the promotion/progression stages of colon cancer.
Cancer Res 1999;59:597-601.
(12) Mehta K, et al.
Antiproliferative effect of curcumin (diferuloylmethane) against human breast tumor cell lines.
Anticancer Drugs 1997;8:470-81.
(13) Rao CV, et al.
Chemoprevention of colon carcinogenesis by dietary curcumin, a naturally occurring plant phenolic compound.
Cancer Res 1995;55:259-66.
(14) Bundy R, et al.
Turmeric extract may improve irritable bowel syndrome symptomology in otherwise healthy adults: a pilot study.
J Altern Complement Med. 2004 Dec;10(6):1015-8.
(15) Garcea G, et al.
Consumption of the putative chemopreventive agent curcumin by cancer patients: assessment of curcumin levels in the colorectum and their pharmacodynamic consequences.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Jan;14(1):120-5.
(16) Siwak D, et al 
Curcumin-induced antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects in melanoma cells are associated with suppression of 1kB kinase and nuclear factor kB activity and are independent of the B-Raf/Mitogen activated/extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase pathway and the Akt pathway.
Cancer 2005;104(4):879-90.
(17) Uddin S, et al.
Curcumin suppresses growth and induces apoptosis in primary effusion lymphoma.
Oncogene 2005:1-9


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Avian Flu and Other Epidemics

alert by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon, October 2004

Full article can be read at Institutes for Traditional Medicine.

STOP! Please note that this article is intended as an alert for health professionals who prescribe Chinese herbs. If you are seeking additional information not found in this article, do not contact the article author or the Institute for Traditional Medicine, but contact a health professional in your area who can provide information and herbal formulas. There are specific herb formulations mentioned in this article. Your health care provider may recommend other items that are deemed better suited for your particular situation. Health care professionals can recommend therapies that may be suitable for use by children. This article contains no information about herb formulas proven to be helpful for cases of the avian flu: there are no proven natural therapies for that disease.

There are growing concerns about a possible pandemic of virulent influenza, possibly from mutations of a "bird flu" that has cropped up in several countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, and Romania. Currently, this flu virus has a greater than 50% death rate associated with it, which is one of the reasons for the expressed fears about it.

The concern is that a mutation will arise that allows human to human transmission; in other words, the flu could be a sneeze away. Recent analysis has shown that the bird virus is genetically similar to the "Spanish flu" that caused the deaths of about 50 million people worldwide in 1918-1919. Those deaths included people who were relatively healthy; the death rate from the Spanish flu was only about 5%. We do not know how virulent the avian flu virus will be if it becomes a human borne disease (it may be considerably milder than it is now), but there are worries that there an international disaster of proportions difficult to imagine is looming.

 Extensive efforts already underway to control this flu (e.g., destroying chicken populations that are infected, as well as eliminating potentially contaminated fowl and wild animals in the immediate vicinity) might be successful.  Looking back at the public reaction to the flu vaccine shortage that occurred last season, there are great concerns about the supplies of flu vaccine that would have to be developed and efforts are underway to enhance production capabilities.

An analysis presented this year indicated that flu vaccines may have a low efficacy rate, as low as 30% (which is still sufficient to justify their use in people who are at risk of death or severe debility from the flu). The low efficacy may be related to new flu strains arising (the vaccines are specific for certain strains, which must be determined before the flu season begins in order to make the vaccine in time). There are also flu drugs now coming into use, such as the inhalant Relenza (zanamivir), which was approved by the FDA in 1999, or the pill/syrup version called Tamiflu. Several countries are stockpiling supplies just in case. The efficacy of these drugs is also limited.

The avian flu is only one of the possible scenarios for a serious flu epidemic. Other flu viruses might be able to spread more extensively than before. During the past year, serious natural disasters (including the Indonesian Tsunami, the Gulf Hurricanes and their resultant flooding, the earthquake in Pakistan) and extensive war tragedies (including those in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Sudan) may be contributing conditions favorable to a more serious flu season. These conditions are related to mass movements of populations, development of unsanitary conditions, and disruptions in the normal supplies of foods and medicines. Although natural disasters and war have been a constant companion of mankind, as the human population grows, the effect of these problems on disease transmission can increase.

A 2004 U.S. planning document depicted a scenario where 89 million Americans became sick with influenza, flooding hospitals and overwhelming the medical system, with as many as 207,000 deaths. During ordinary influenza years, the disease is thought to kill at least 20,000 in the U.S. (some estimates double that number), mostly elderly persons with other existing health problems, particularly those who are immobilized by stroke or heart attack; those who have serious respiratory ailments such as pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and emphysema; and those with compromised immunity (such as those undergoing therapies that have immunosuppressive effects, as with some cancer drugs and anti-arthritis treatments).

In the 2003-2004 season, the flu strain that affected the U.S. was particularly virulent. It caused an unusually high number of fatalities in children (a total of 152 childhood deaths due to influenza for the 2003-2004 season). The influenza season usually peaks in November-December, with some early cases appearing in October and some lingering spread of the disease in January (in 2003, the peak occurred during the week of December 13-20), but the 2004-2005 season was unusual: it started slowly and the peak did not occur until February. Outside of these times (late Fall, early Winter), there are relatively few cases of influenza, but there are some other diseases that present symptoms similar to influenza and may not be distinguished from it without medical testing.

Last year, toward the end of the flu season, a California strain arose that appeared to cause very severe symptoms (the vaccine for this year includes protection from that virus, as well as from two other strains, one from New Caledonia and one from Shanghai). Vaccine supplies this year appear to be adequate for all those in high risk groups as well as others who are in circumstances where experiencing the flu is likely (health care workers, school teachers, etc.), so long as the spread of the disease follows the typical patterns.


Unlike the vaccines, Chinese herb therapies for influenza are not specific for the viral strain. Instead, they may have general actions such as to help boost the immune response to help eliminate the virus faster. At high enough dosage they may have some direct (but general) inhibitory effects on viral reproduction, and they may simply ameliorate some of the symptoms, thus making a serious infection seem mild. There is not one herb or formulation that is known to be a reliable treatment for flu; rather, there are a collection of herbs and formulas that have developed a good reputation.

During the period from the 1950s to the 1970s, several large scale studies were undertaken in China to evaluate the use of traditional herb formulas and newer herbal remedies to prevent and treat influenza, with favorable results reported for several compounds. While there is insufficient proof from these studies that Chinese herbal therapies can cure or impede influenza (because of problems in methodology and reporting), practitioners of Chinese medicine and their patients are convinced of the efficacy of this approach. Prescription of herbs for these purposes remains limited primarily to the countries where herbal medicine is officially recognized, such as China, Japan, and Korea. In other countries, the herbs have been made available mainly through the work of licensed acupuncturists, naturopaths, and other non-M.D. practitioners, as well as through direct marketing of products to consumers.

Practitioners of Chinese medicine in the U.S., Canada, and Europe will be called upon to provide natural therapies for influenza this year as before, with a potential for higher demand and with more concern about prevention strategies. It is worthwhile to review the therapeutic approach described by the Chinese and some of the readily available remedies (ITM formulary items will be described here; others are easily obtained).


Chinese herb therapy, applied to address the first signs of influenza, might prevent the infection from developing into the full symptomatic disease. For persons who are highly susceptible to influenza and those who tend to experience severe symptoms, as well as during influenza seasons that are defined as being highly virulent or dangerous, it may be prudent to treat even the initial symptoms as though a severe disease was about to develop. These herbal remedies would be used in persons who are developing symptoms despite having been vaccinated (since there is the possibility of vaccine failure, especially later in the season when new strains might dominate) and could also be used along with drugs such as Tamiflu, which are not completely efficacious on their own.

To review key herbs that are used in these treatments, please see these articles:

Forsythia and Lonicera (antiviral herbs)

Shuanghuanglian (this article focuses on three antiviral herbs; the two herbs in the article above, plus scute)

Schizonepeta and Mentha (these herbs are used to alleviate symptoms)

Yin Qiao San (this article describes a common anti-influenza formula used in China; it includes forsythia, lonicera, schizonepeta, and mentha).

The Jade Screen (article about a formula for preventing infections and aiding recovery afterward)

A protocol using ITM formulations (which are prescribed by health professionals and are not sold in stores) could be designed in this manner (these dosages are for adults):

  • Ilex 15: 5-6 tablets each time, three times daily
  • Myrolea-B: 1 tablet each time, three times daily
  • Calmagnium: 1 tablet each time, three times daily

Ilex 15 (Seven Forests) is a complex formulation of Chinese herbs that are used to treat upper respiratory system infections. The pattern of herb combining follows principles used in producing two popular patent remedies from China: Yin Qiao Jie Du Pian and Gan Mao Ling. This formula has been used for 15 years. It is suitable for use by itself in the early stage of common influenza and other upper respiratory viral infections. In addition, there is a potent broad-spectrum antiviral combination called Isatis 6 that may be used alternatively or along with Ilex 15.

Myrolea-B (White Tiger) is a simple formulation of highly concentrated extracts from four Chinese herbs and one Western herb. The Chinese herbs include forsythia and lonicera, two of the key ingredients of Ilex 15 (and the main antiviral ingredients of Yin Qiao Jie Du Pian), thus boosting the dosage of these essential ingredients. Myrolea-B also contains the antiviral agents scute (huangqin) and terminalia (hezi). The Western herb in this formulation is olive leaf, which is one of the primary anti-viral herbs derived from the European tradition.

Calmagnium (White Tiger) is a comprehensive mineral and vitamin supplement (not a Chinese formula). The concept behind its use is that by providing optimal or even high levels of certain nutrients, the immune system has a stronger effect against pathogens. For example, it is considered possible that vitamin C, zinc, and selenium contribute to antiviral activity. The point of providing a broad nutritional supplementation, rather than just focusing on a few of the established ingredients, is to assure a more balanced effect. In China and Japan, it is increasingly common to prescribe nutritional supplements, similar to this, along with herb remedies.

The antiviral agents are expected to have their best effect at the earliest sign of infection and for the phase of the disease where the amount of virus is exponentially growing, perhaps the first three days of symptoms for influenza. After that, the virus comes under some degree of control, even though symptoms can persist. However, additional symptoms can be generated if a bacterial infection arises; typically, a bronchial infection develops, and it may persist for several days or weeks if not successfully treated (if herbal therapy is not successful, antibiotics should be used in cases of bacterial infections).

After the initial viral development phase, one may focus more on symptomatic relief, for example, deleting Ilex 15 in the regimen above and replacing it with a formula aimed at relief of symptoms, such as for nasal congestion, sore throat, or bronchial infection with cough.

For those who are worried about high susceptibility to influenza (due to past experience of frequent infection by cold and flu viruses or a high level of exposure to crowds), immune enhancing formulas, such as Jade Screen Tablets or Astragalus 10+, may be taken during the flu season (e.g., for up to about 10 weeks) in an effort to avoid developing a symptomatic infection after exposure. Jade Screen Formula (see article: Yupingfeng San about the traditional version made of three herbs, astragalus, siler, and atractylodes) and its variants are the most widely studied prescriptions for prevention of upper respiratory tract infections. Astragalus 10+ (see detailed analysis of formula: Astragalus 10+) is suitable for persons of middle age or older, as it also contains tonics for the kidney/liver as part of the therapeutic approach to immune enhancement. ITM has received reports that some patients successfully use Ilex 15 as a preventive; this formula may function in this role by helping inhibit the virus as soon as exposure to it occurs, perhaps being effective at dosages lower than those described here.

It is important to note that high doses of immune enhancing formulas may not be suitable for use in treating the flu during its primary active phase. The harmful effects of the flu at that time may include the adverse impact of a high immune response, and attempts to elevate that immune response will not only fail to have a substantial extra impact on the virus but may contribute to the severity of the symptoms. Thus, one should be careful about attempting to apply this approach. Usually, information about pathology of the virus that dominates a flu season will be available and can be checked to determine whether this immunological concern requires attention. Generally, the immune based therapies are applied either during a preventive health care phase of treatment or during a recovery phase when the dominant symptoms are reducing.

PLEASE NOTE: The side-by-side presentation of the following formulas
is not intended to suggest any particular pairings, it is for presentation only.

Ilex 15
maodongqing Ilex 14%
jinyinhua Lonicera 9%
lianqiao Forsythia 7%
banlangen Isatis root 7%
bohe Mentha.. 7%
juhua Chrysanthemum 7%
zhushagen Ardisia root 7%
jiegeng Platycodon 7%
lugen Phragmites 6%
jingjie Schizonepeta 6%
fangfeng Siler 5%
qianghuo Chiang-huo 5%
ganjiang Ginger 5%
wuzhuyu Evodia 4%
gancao Licorice 4%
jinyinhua Lonicera 25%
lianqiao Forsythia 25%
  Olive leaf 25%
huangqin Scute 20%
hezi Terminalia 10%
Four tablets provide:
(percentage of U.S. RDA in parentheses)
(55) Calcium 550 mg
(100) Magnesium 400 mg
(67) Zinc 10 mg
(100) Manganese 2 mg
(75) Copper 1.5 mg
  Boron 1 mg
(167) Chromium 200 mcg
(143) Selenium 100 mcg
(67) Molybdenum 50 mcg
(100) Vitamin A 5,000 IU
  ¶¬-carotene 10,000 IU
(1333) Vitamin B1 20 mg
(1176) Vitamin B2 20 mg
(210) Vitamin B3 40 mg
(400) Vitamin B5 40 mg
(2000) Vitamin B6 40 mg
(3333) Vitamin B12 200 mcg
(200) Folic acid 800 mcg
(333) Biotin 1 mg
(833) Vitamin C 500 mg
(75) Vitamin D3 300 IU
(167) Vitamin E 50 IU
(125) Vitamin K1 100 mcg
Jade Screen Tablets
huangqi Astragalus 25%
fangfeng Siler 18%
baizhu Atractylodes 15%
ebushicao Centipeda 12%
yuxingcao Houttuynia (e) 12%
beishashen Glehnia 12%
gancao Licorice 6%
Astragalus 10+
huangqi Astragalus (e) 12%
ciwujia Eleuthero (e) 12%
lingzhi Ganoderma (e) 10%
maimendong Ophiopogon 10%
n®Ļzhenzi Ligustrum 10%
heshouwu Ho-shou-wu 8%
roucongrong Cistanche 7%
baizhu Atractylodes 7%
gancao Licorice 6%
renshen Ginseng 6%
wuweizi Schizandra 6%
sangshen Morus fruit 6%
Isatis 6
daqingye Isatis 25%
huzhang Hu-chang 15%
xiakucao Prunella 15%
baihuasheshecao Oldenlandia 15%
chuanxinlian Andrographis 15%
jinyinhua Lonicera 15%

IMPORTANT REMINDER: There is no clinical evidence that the specific formulas mentioned above provide any protection from or effective treatment for influenza (or related disorders). The information about these formulas is given here to illustrate the types of ingredients that practitioners of Chinese herbalism (such practitioners are usually licensed acupuncturists) might give to their patients, including the dosage, the timing in relation to beginning of influenza symptoms, and the duration of use (a nutritional supplement comprised of vitamins and minerals is also mentioned). Such practitioners might recommend these specific formulas or many others that have a similar design. Several articles are referenced in the above description as a resource to learn more about certain of the ingredients and about related formulas described in the Chinese herbal literature

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You Can buy Indirubin?
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