New York City acupuncturist and herbalist Clayton Shiu claimed there is a surge in demand for traditional Chinese remedies since the beginning of this month when New York announced its first case of COVID-19.

“It was like a light switch was flipped” The Hill quoted Shiu who referred to the jump in demand for herbs and other holistic remedies.

Reuters reported that the Chinese government jumpstarted emergency research programs to mitigate the massive outbreak in Wuhan that included Chinese traditional medicines.

One of the suppliers, Kamwo Meridian Herbs, noticed a twofold increase in herb formulas that aim at treating flu-like symptoms and boost immunity.

Shiu mentioned that experts have been sharing thoughts on Chinese traditional medicine formulas that can help prevent and treat COVID-19. Not only are these medicines on demand, but they are also quite pricey.

Last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) formally recognized traditional medical therapies, including herbal supplementation medicine and acupuncture more mainstream. These practices are more than 2500 years old. Per a WHO bulletin, traditional medicine throughout the world including Chinese practices generates about $60 billion a year, mentioned Medscape Medical News.

Supply woes by other traditional medicine vendors:

  • At Calihouse Nutrition at New York’s Chinatown, a steady stream of customers was found to be inspecting shelves and barrels filled with roots and herbs. The store ran out of medicinal herbs that would usually last a couple of weeks in just a few days.
  • The best-sellers including Japanese Honeysuckle and the popular cold remedy ‘Ban Lan Gen Chong Ji’ was hard to find
  • Practitioners and herb purveyors have become concerned about the surge in supply crunch for herbs that are imported from china exclusively
  • At Mayway in San Franciso, the store’s website mentioned that it was facing an unusual increase in ordering quantities and requested its customers to limit their orders.

Vendors have told us you can't order more than 50% of what you normally do, (you) have to ration for flu herbs," U.S. News quoted Thomas Leung, chief executive of Kamwo. "I'm not freaking out about it, but we are keeping an eye on it."

traditional-chinese-898567_1920 traditional chinese remedies to prevent coronavirus symptoms Photo: vivi14216, Pixabay