Traditional chinese medicine and western medicine share similar philosophical approaches to fight covid-19

Fangfang Zhao, Zhenhong Yang, Ningqun Wang, Kunlin Jin, Yumin Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Though disciplines in the same field, modern medicine (Western medicine) and traditional medicine (Traditional Chinese medicine, TCM) have been viewed as two distinct and divergent fields of medicine and thus differ greatly in their ways of diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease. In brief, Western medicine is primarily an evidence (laboratory)-based science, whereas TCM is more of a healing art based on the theory of Yin and Yang and the five elements in the human body. Therefore, whether TCM and Western medicine could use similar philosophical approaches to treat disease remains unclear. It is well-known that vitamin D enhances immune function and reduces the spread of some viruses. Indeed, recent evidence shows that the blood calcium level is strongly associated with COVID-19 severity, and vitamin D supplementation has shown favorable effects in viral infections. According to TCM theory, the pathogenesis of COVID-19 is closely associated with cold-dampness, an etiological factor in TCM. Cold-dampness could be attenuated by sun exposure and Wenyang herbs, both of which can restore the vitamin D level in the blood in Western medicine. Therefore, TCM and Western medicine could share similar philosophical methods to fight COVID-19 and understanding their philosophical theories could achieve the maximum benefits for treatment of COVID-19 and other diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1162-1168
Number of pages7
JournalAging and Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Calcium
  • Cold-dampness
  • Traditional Chinese medicine
  • Vitamin D
  • Western medicine


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