'No cure all': Chinese medicine expert says Lianhua Qingwen should be taken with doc's prescription for now

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 06 2021 01:24 PM | Updated as of Apr 06 2021 09:14 PM

MANILA - A Chinese medicine expert on Tuesday belied claims that Lianhua Qingwen, a traditional Chinese drug, can cure COVID-19, saying it should only be taken with a doctor's prescription.

Lianhua Qingwen has been sold out in some drug stores after several Filipinos attested that they recuperated from COVID-19 by taking the China-made medicine.

"Lianhua is not a cure all. Hindi siya magic," Dr. Philip Tan-Gatue told TeleRadyo.

"I have to warn the general public that there are unscrupulous traders out there who are saying basta inom ka nito (as long as you take these), it will help prevent infection," he said.

While it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Lianhua was designed only "to relieve symptoms of fever and cough with phlegm," Tan-Gatue said.

The drug contains 16 herbal ingredients.

"The way Chinese medicine works, medyo specific siya (it is quite specific)... It's not going to work if it does not fit the symptoms," he said.

The doctor cautioned the public against buying the in-demand drug from illegal traders.

"Always take it under supervision or alam ng doctor mo (make sure your doctor knows)," he said, noting that the drug may cause abdominal pain and diarrhea in some cases.

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(Editor's note: Our first title for this article--'No cure all': Chinese medicine expert warns vs use of drug Lianhua Qingwen for COVID-19--was deemed inaccurate by Dr. Philip Tan-Gatue. We also took down the initial social media posts for this story which did not reflect his views about the drug.)