Avian Flu (Bird Flu) & TCM Formulas (Sun Ten Journal, No. 6, Mar 2006, Page 34-38)

Avian Flu (Bird Flu) and TCM Formulas

Sun Ten ITD Marketing

Shang-May Chen, M.S., L.Ac.

Abstract: Avian flu (bird flu) is an infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses. Cross infection to the human beings are at high risk. Some human cases have been reported in Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, and Europe. With avian flu threat to the world, there are still not efficient solutions to treat avian flu. The aims of this article is to increase people's awareness of avian flu by providing brief introduction of avian flu, clinical symptoms, ways of infection, clinical complications, ways of prevention, and commonly used Chinese Medicine single herbs and formulas fighting flu.


Due to high global awareness of avian flu (bird flu) and serious shortage of Western drugs and effective vaccines for prevention and treatments, the World Health Organization (WHO) is projecting an outbreak of bird flu which could affect millions of people. "...the H5N1 strain has demonstrated its capacity to infect humans and cause severe disease, with high fatality. The disease in humans has no vaccine to confer protection and no specific treatment once illness becomes severe." People show rapidly increased interests in anti-viral herbs and health supplements. We gather some information from all sources to provide you some ideas from TCM points of view. Like SARS, the clinical symptoms of bird flu belong to ¡¥Warm Febrile Diseases' ( Wen Bing ) in TCM textbooks. Of course, symptoms need to be differentiated by TCM practitioners and TCM ways before prescribing any herbs. We categorize most flu types of symptoms as exterior-wind symptoms, exterior wind-heat and exterior wind-cold are subtypes with interior deficiency conditions. So our treatment principles are releasing exterior wind evil, clears wind-heat if it's a wind-heat situation; dispels exterior wind-cold when a wind-cold situation.


Clinical Symptoms of Bird Flu

  • Fever
  • Whole body Achiness
  • Cough
  • Running nose
  • Sore throat
  • Dry throat
  • Conjunctivitis

Incubation Period:

5-9 days ( Can be infectious before and after )


Ways of Infection:

Direct contact with infected poultry, surfaces or objects contaminated by their feces. Breath in infected dusts or air particles.


Clinical Complications:

  • Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
  • Primary Viral Pneumonia
  • Secondary Bacteria Pneumonia
  • Reye's Diseases
  • Myocarditis
  • Renal Failure
  • Multiple Organ Failure

Ways of Prevention: 10 DON'Ts, 5 DOs from Taiwanese Health Department

 10 DON'Ts

  1.   Avoid getting close, contacting, and feeding birds, or touching the feces of birds.
  2.   Avoid visiting the live animal and poultry farms or markets.
  3.   Don't mix breed birds, chicken, and ducks.
  4.   Don't free the breeding birds.
  5.   Don't buy birds and poultry from under table markets.
  6.   Don't touch, sell, buy, and eat infected bird and poultry.
  7.   Don't discard infected dead birds in undesignated areas.
  8.   Don't butcher birds by yourself.
  9.   Avoid eating raw poultry products. Eat only properly cooked foods.
  10.  Don't stay in the places with bad ventilations.

5 DOs

  1.  Wash hands regularly with soap and water. Practice personal hygiene.
  2.  Get human flu vaccines for people over age 60.
  3.  Eat cooked foods. The virus of bird flu can't survive the heat. For 56¡CC, heat it up or 3 hours. For 60¡CC, heat it up for 30 minutes. For 100¡CC, heat it up for 1 minute to kill the flu virus.
  4.  Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly rest well and sleep well.
  5. Don't be stress out.
  6.  Self-health monitoring. Taking temperatures when necessary. Put on masks and go to medical clinic when there are fever and flu-type symptoms.

Recommended TCM Formulas and Nurturing Supplements for Bird Flu Prevention

1. Formula Yu Ping Feng San ¥É«Ì­·´²

Functions: Tonify Qi, solidify the exterior, stop perspiration.

Symptoms: Deficiency of protective Qi (Wei Qi), common cold and flu, allergic rhinitis, seasonal allergy, bronchitis, chronic rhinitis, hyperhidrosis, spontaneous sweating, night sweating, immuno-deficienct syndromes, eczema, shortness of breath, easily catching colds, aversion to wind, susceptibility to wind pathogens, and a pale complexion.


2. Formula Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang ¸É¤¤¯q®ð´ö

Functions: Benefit middle and Qi, raise Yang, prevent prolapse, tonify digestion system.

Symptoms: General weakness or chronic illness, anemia, gastritis, prolapse of internal organs, decreased appetite, uterine bleeding and prolapse, indigestion, fatigue, shortness of breath, wasting syndrome, enuresis, diabetes, hypotension, Meniere's syndrome, side effects of chemotherapy/radiation.


3. Ling Zhi - GanodermaÆFªÛ

Functions: Tonify Qi, enhance immunity.


4. Dong Chong Xia Cao – Cordyceps ¥V¦ä®L¯ó

Functions: Tonify lung and kidney Qi, enhance immunity, reduce asthma and cough.


Recommended Sun Ten TCM Singles and Formulas for Flu-like Symptoms Treatments

A.      Anti-viral singles

  • Sheng Jiang (Ginger)
  • Da Qing Ye                
  • Ban Lan Gen              
  • Lian Qiao                  
  • Jin Yin Hua                 
  • Pu Gong Ying             
  • Jing Jie                      
  • Fang Feng                  
  • Gan Cao                     
  • Bo He                        

B.      Anti-viral formulas

       1.Yin Qiao San»È¼´²

Functions: Relieve exterior wind-heat symptoms, clear pathogenic heat toxins.

Symptoms: Exterior wind-heat symptoms, early stage of febrile diseases, early stage of measles, common cold, flu, mild chills, fever, sore throat, slight aversion to wind and cold, sweating or no sweating, cough, headache, thirst, red tongue tip, with thin white or thin yellow tongue coating, and a rapid/floating pulse.

2. Sang Ju Yin®áµâ¶¼

Functions: Disperse wind, clear heat, promote circulation of lung qi, and suppress cough.

Symptoms: Common cold, influenza, chills, fever, sore throat, cough, headache, thirst, bronchitis, acute trachitis, tonsillitis.

3. Gui Zhi Tang ®ÛªK´ö

Functions: Disperses wind, relieves exterior symptoms, harmonizes nutritive and protective Qi.

Symptoms: Wind-cold with weak constitutions, chills, fever, headache, common cold, aversion to wind and cold with sweating, vomiting, belching, stiff neck, body aches, sweating, and a floating and deficient pulse, neuralgia, neurasthenia, and delicate constitution.

        4. Jing Fang Bai Du San ¯ð¨¾±Ñ¬r´²

Functions: Disperse wind-cold-dampness, reduce inflammation and swelling, induce sweating

Symptoms: Exterior wind-cold-damp flu-like symptoms, aversion to cold, fever, headache, neck tension, whole body achiness, no sweating, tonsillitis.

5. Ren Shen Bai Du San¤H°Ñ±Ñ¬r´²

Functions: Relieve exterior symptoms, benefit Qi, dispel wind-cold-dampness, tonify Qi, clear heat and pathogenic evils.

Symptoms: Exterior wind-cold-dampness with deficiency, chills, fever, headache, stiffness in the neck, body ache, joint pain, muscle achiness, anhidrosis, stuffy nose, heavy head, heavy voice, cough with excess phlegm, frequent common cold, flu, immunodeficiency.

        6. Xiao Chai Hu Tang¤p®ã­J´ö

Functions: Harmonize Shao-Yang, sooth the liver, clean the gallbladder, treat half-exterior and half-interior conformations.

Symptoms: Shao-Yang syndromes, half-exterior and half-interior conformations, alternating chills and fever, chest distention, hardness beneath the heart, hypochondria pain, resistance and pressure pain beneath the liver, decreased appetite, nausea vomiting, bitter taste in the mouth, dry throat and mouth, dark and dim facial complexion, dizziness, restlessness, abdominal pain, stomachache, fatigue, common cold, flu, acute or chronic bronchitis, tonsillitis.

        7. Chai Ge Jie Ji Tang®ã¸¯¸Ñ¦Ù´ö

Functions: Relieve exterior cold, clear internal heat, dispel pathogenic factors from superficial muscles, and relieve pain.

Symptoms: Common cold due to wind-cold with internal heat, fever, anhidrosis, slight aversion to cold, headache, muscle pain, whole body achiness, thirst, nosebleeds, dry noses, dry eyes, pain around the eyes, influenza, common cold, the initial stages of febrile diseases, early stage of measles.

        8. Xing Su San §öĬ´²

Functions: Relieve exterior cold symptoms, facilitate circulation of lung Qi, prevent coughing, and dissolve phlegm.

Symptoms: Exterior wind-cold-dryness, autumn dryness wind-cold cough, chills, mild fever, slight headache, cough with thin phlegm, cough, stuffy nose, anhidrosis, and a floating or wiry pulse.

        9. Ge Gen Tang ¸¯®Ú´ö

Functions: Relieve exterior wind-cold symptoms and muscle aches, harmonize nutritive Qi and protective Qi ( Ying Qi and Wei Qi ).

Symptoms: Exterior wind-cold symptoms, headache, common cold, flu, chills, fever, stiffness in the neck and back, neck tension, whole body achiness, muscle inflammation, severe muscle spasms, congestion diarrhea.

10. Xiao Qing Long Tang ¤p«CÀs´ö

Functions: Relieve exterior wind-cold, warm the body, expel damp-cold and phlegm.

Symptoms: Common cold, influenza, bronchial or humoral strider, chills, fever, no sweating, no thirst, running nose, sinus, heavy head, headache, allergic rhinitis, whooping cough, pulmonary asthma, cough with phlegm, asthma, bronchitis, bronchiectasia, pleuritis, heart failure, infantile acute nephritis, edema due to early nephritis, swelling due to common cold accompanied by cough.

        11. Er Chen Tang ¤G³¯´ö

Functions: Dry dampness, dissolve phlegm, regulate Qi, and harmonize the stomach and spleen

Symptoms: Bronchitis, cough with white phlegm, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, obesity, gastrointestinal neurosis, epilepsy, dizziness, hyperthyroidism, goiter, hypochondria distention and pain, abdominal bloating, nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, palpitation, hangovers, chronic fatigue syndrome, leukorrhea, heavy sensation.

        12. Sheng Mai San ¥Í¯ß´²

Functions: Tonifies Qi, nourishes yin, prevents excessive perspiration, and stimulates pulse

Symptoms: Heat injuring vital Qi causing yin deficiency and lack of body fluids, myocarditis, irregular heat beats, profuse sweating, thirst, shortness of breath, dry cough, fatigue, palpitations, chest pain, dry mouth.

        13. Gan Lu Xiao Du Yin¥ÌÅS®ø¬r¶¼

Functions: Resolves turbidity, discharges dampness, clears heat, and detoxifies toxicosis.

Symptoms: Damp heat in Qi level, or seasonal epidemics with fever, fatigue, pectoral depression, chest tightness, abdominal distention, pharyngeal swelling, thirst; red scanty urination, dysuria, urinary tract infections¡Mnausea, vomit and constipation, vomiting with diarrhea, malaria, flu, virus infections, common cold in summer, dehydration, swollen throat, jaundice, edema.

        14. Xin Yi San¨¯¦i´²

Functions: Dispels wind-cold, relieves stuffy noses

Symptoms: Nasal congestion, rhinitis, running nose, sinusitis with headache, sinus with or without phlegm, polyps, anosmia (absence of sense of smell).


Is the world adequately prepared?       

No. The world is not ready to defend itself during a pandemic. WHO has urged all countries to develop preparedness plans, but only around 40 have done so. WHO had sent all countries “recommended strategic action” for responding avian flu threat and aiming to strengthen international preparedness. It recommended to reduce opportunities for human infections, strengthen the early warning system, contain or delay spread at the source, reduce morbidity, mortality, and social disruption, conduct research to guide response measures.

Up till now December 2005, only 30 countries are purchasing large quantities of these drugs, but the manufacturer has no capacity to fill these orders immediately. Most developing countries will have no access to vaccines and antiviral drugs throughout the duration of a pandemic. And there are many single cases about the only medications supposed to be effective treating avian flu- Tamiflu- regarding its suspected bad side effects and the its effectiveness treating avian flu. A Vietnamese experienced doctor in treating avian flu says Tamiflu; the drug being stockpiled for treatment of avian flu is useless against the virus in December 2005. The WHO had acknowledged, “ Tamiflu had not been widely successful in human patients ¡K¡K”, but it's the only treatment they used for treating earlier illness.

Battling a war with virus like this, human beings seem not having many choices. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a good intervention to prevent and face avian flu. For the sakes of human health, Sun Ten as the flagship of concentrated herbal extracts in Taiwan serves the global community to fight with avian Flu.

Share this Post:

Related Posts