Eastern vs Western Medicine

In “Rabbit in the Moon” we explored the benefits of various Chinese herbs. Recently the Annals of Internal Medicine published a study by Chinese researchers¬† showing that a traditional Chinese herbal medicine – maxingshigan-yinquiaosan- made up of 12 different Chinese herbs- may help reduce fever in people with seasonal H1N1 influenza virus as quickly as oseltamivir (Tamiflu), making this a potential alternative treatment when Tamiflu is not available.

The study was a prospective, nonblinded controlled trial performed in 11 hospitals from 4 provinces in China. 410 subjects ages 15 to 59 years with laboratory confirmed H1N1 were randomly assigned either Tamiflu, maxingshigan-yinquiaosan, combined Tamiflu/ maxingshigan-yinquiaosan or no medication for 5 days. Subjects in all treatment groups had significant reductions in the time it took for their fevers to resolve compared with the control group. Those that had the combined Western and Eastern treatment had a 19% faster resolution time than those treated with either separately.

Future studies like this may offer more herbal alternatives to Western medications.