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New COVID-19 Cases in Malaysia: How TCM Can Help with Reinfection and Recovery

COVID-19 cases in Malaysia are increasing, coinciding with recent Lunar New Year celebrations. Here’s how to protect yourself from reinfection.

Asian woman wearing a mask to protect herself from COVID-19.

With life returning to normal, the likelihood of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia is concerning. The virus has taken a toll on people and economies worldwide over the last three years, and Malaysia is no exception. With new variants of the virus mushrooming every few months, there seems to be no end in sight. 

Even if you’ve suffered from COVID-19 before, there’s no surety that you won’t be reinfected. Thankfully, we are now more knowledgeable about the virus and how symptoms can be treated. Read on to learn how to prevent reinfections using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and how to recover with natural remedies. 

How to Strengthen Immunity and Prevent Reinfection

A doctor holding up a vial labelled with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Be up to date on your COVID-19 vaccination schedule.

Medical research has shown that while people who recover from COVID-19 have some immunity against reinfection of the same virus strain, it is unclear how long this can last. You can also get reinfected with a different COVID-19 strain, even after vaccination against an older strain. 

You can take steps to increase your immunity. Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Avoid unhealthy habits like smoking and binge drinking and ensure you get your daily Vitamin C, D and B complex requirements. These boost the immune system and are readily available as supplements.

Increase Your Immunity the TCM Way

The key to fighting infection lies in a robust immune system. Physician Luke Yau Wai says the severity of COVID-19 depends on your body constitution and if the symptoms of reinfection are the same as the initial infection.

To prevent reinfection or severe symptoms, TCM recommends that you strengthen your immune system.

Developing adequate healthy qi in the body ensures that pathogens cannot invade.”

TCM Physician Luke Yau Wai

In TCM, qi or a person’s energy flow plays a huge role in their overall well-being, including the state of their immunity. The more imbalanced your qi is, the sicker you can get.

To nourish qi, consume herbs like lingzhi (灵芝), which can replenish qi and stimulate the immune system. Other herbs that may do wonders for qi are American ginseng (xi yang shen, 西洋参), Astragalus root (huang qi, 黃芪), Codonopsis root (dang shen, 党参) and Chinese yam (shan yao, 山药). 

Another way to strengthen your immunity is to perform acupressure on specific points at home. Massage the following acupoints using your fingers or a blunt object like a massage stick:

  • He gu (LI4, 合谷): Dispels residual Wind, Fire, Dampness, and blood clots 
  • Zu san li (ST36, 足三里): Dissipates residual Dampness, regenerates qi 
  • San yin jiao (SP6, 三阴交): Dispels Dampness and regenerates yin  

Practice COVID-19 precautions 

Apart from measures to strengthen your body from within, you can stay safe by: 

  • Being cautious and staying away from crowded places 
  • Wearing a mask if you must venture into public areas 
  • Maintaining social distance 
  • Keeping updated with your vaccination schedule: If you haven’t been vaccinated, it is time to get the jab. While it may not stop you from getting reinfected, it can curtail illness severity 
  • Washing and sanitising your hands frequently 
  • Avoiding touching your face 

Elderly folk might dislike it, but taking these precautions is particularly important because they usually face the brunt of the virus. Persuade your parents to get vaccinated if they haven’t already and convince them to wear a mask in public and crowded spaces. 

Treat Reinfection of COVID-19 Cases in Malaysia with Traditional Remedies 

Ginseng arranged on a wooden board.
Medicinal herbs such as ginseng can boost immunity and protect against the rise of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia.

Even if you’ve been vaccinated, don’t assume you won’t be reinfected. Get yourself tested if you suffer symptoms and isolate yourself immediately from the rest of your family. Here are some TCM ways to treat symptoms.

Herbal remedies 

Physician Luke has seen several patients suffer from symptoms of a repeat COVID infection. While he emphasises boosting your body’s immunity to prevent disease, he’s adept at treating patients with TCM remedies.

For symptoms of cold and fever, he recommends using Kang Du Qing Fei Pills (抗毒清肺丸) and Lianhua Qingwen capsules (连花清瘟). He always personally examines patients to identify the specific syndrome to manage long COVID-19 symptoms post-recovery and to prevent future reinfections.

To replenish qi, nourish yin, and to tonify the Spleen and stomach, Physician Luke recommends pure chicken essence, tiger milk mushroom, American ginseng, and ginseng.

Try not to stress over the expected rise in COVID cases in Malaysia. Indulge in some TLC, healthy lifestyle choices and herbal remedies to maintain good health and prevent COVID-19 reinfection. Speak to a qualified TCM physician before trying any herbal remedies to avoid contraindications.

Do you know anyone suffering from a COVID-19 reinfection? Share this article to help them with a speedy recovery. 

References

  1. Emerging Microbes and Infections. 2022. SARS-CoV-2 reinfection and COVID-19 severity. [online] Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/22221751.2022.2052358. Accesed on 18 Jan 2023. 
  2. Journal of Investigative Medicine. 2021. COVID-19 reinfection. Available at: https://jim.bmj.com/content/69/6/1253. Accessed on 18 Jan 2023.  
  3. CDC. 2022. Reinfection. Available at:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-care/clinical-considerations-reinfection.html. Accessed on 18 Jan 2023 
  4.  Global Health Research and Policy. 2022. Reinfection in patients with COVID-19: A systematic review. [online] Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s41256-022-00245-3. Accessed on 18 Jan 2023. 

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