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December 18, 2009

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Medical practitioners develop a herbal remedy for swine flu

CHINESE medical specialists announced yesterday they had developed a herbal medication to treat swine flu.

Seven months of scientific and clinical studies showed Jin Hua Qing Gan Fang was effective in treating H1N1 flu patients, said Wang Chen, president of Chaoyang Hospital in Beijing.

"It can reduce the duration of fever and improve patients' respiratory systems. Doctors have found no negative side effects," he said.

"It is also very cheap, only about a quarter of the cost of Tamiflu," Wang said at a press conference held by the Beijing Municipal Government.

Tamiflu, a product of Swiss drug maker Roche Holding, is recommended by the World Health Organization in the treatment of H1N1 flu.

"The municipal government has gathered the top medical experts in the Chinese capital to develop the medication," said Zhao Jing, director of the Beijing Municipal Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Over the past seven months, more than 120 medical specialists, led by academicians Wang Yongyan and Li Lianda from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, had participated in the research, Zhao said.

The municipal government earmarked 10 million yuan (US$1.47 million) for the project, she said.

"Medical experts proved the effectiveness of the remedy in treating H1N1 flu from both basic scientific and clinical studies," she said.

The basic scientific studies lasted almost five months and were conducted by experts from the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Beijing University of Technology.

"In vivo and in vitro, experiments on mice and rabbits show Jin Hua can bring down a fever and resist the H1N1 virus," said Huang Luqi, vice president of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences.

Yesterday's Beijing Daily hailed the herbal medication as the "world's first traditional Chinese medicine to treat H1N1."

Zhao said plans are underway to present the medicine around the world as an alternative H1N1 flu treatment.

The Chinese mainland has reported almost 108,000 swine flu cases, including 442 deaths.


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