5 Reasons Why Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Benefit Your Children

Traditional Chinese medicine has five qualities that make it a suitable treatment for children.

A masked mother helping her daughter to put on a mask.

In March 2022, China introduced a new protocol for the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in treating COVID-19 patients. The rule now includes the use of TCM treatments to promote immunity and recovery in children. Since children under five years old are vulnerable to infectious diseases, TCM has become a way for some parents to boost their children’s immunity.

Although, many parents are not familiar with TCM at all. Or worse, they may have been misinformed or heard false myths about TCM. This article will debunk those myths and reveal the five facts about TCM treatment for children. Read more to know how TCM can be a safe treatment and supplement option for your children. 

5 Facts about Chinese Medicine for Children 

Have you ever wondered if TCM would be safe for your children? Learning the truth can help you decide. 

Your children’s Chinese medicine may not be the same as yours  

You’ve probably heard stories about children getting sick because of TCM. The truth is, like any other kind of treatment, TCM may not provide the best results when it’s not used correctly. Just like a trip to a doctor is necessary for someone to get their prescription, a visit to a TCM physician is mandatory before anyone can try Chinese medicine. 

TCM physicians base their diagnoses on four methods: observation, smelling and listening, questioning, and pulse analysis. Only after using these methods and assessing your children’s body constitution (age, weight, height) can a physician suggest the appropriate treatment. 

Your children’s Chinese medicine
Your children’s diagnosis and medication may differ from an adult’s.

TCM believes that common illnesses children suffer from, such as coughs, colds, allergies, asthma, diarrhoea, and indigestion, to name a few, stem from the immaturity in their bodies. While similar symptoms between two children may be common, it does not mean that they will receive the same diagnosis and medication due to their different constitutions.

TCM is effective for children 

TCM can be suitable for children as young as six months old. Physicians usually give them herbal medicines and tuina, a form of ancient massage. 

Tuina has several health benefits, including promoting immunity. Moreover, in 2021, a study on children aged zero to six proved that tuina was significantly effective in reducing the number of times of diarrhoea.

Additionally, there are records of tuina being used to treat colds, fever, and even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in children.

TCM may work as a supplement for immunity 

As mentioned above, some parents use TCM to increase immunity and prevent ailments in children. This is possible because of TCM’s proactive quality. It promotes treating both the symptoms and root cause of an illness to hasten improvement and prevent complications. Thus, the aim of TCM treatment is to prevent the onset of disease instead of stopping a recurrence.

According to TCM, a Spleen and Stomach Deficiency will weaken the immune system. Typically, physicians will recommend herbal soups that invigorate qi (vital energy) and the Spleen to enhance immunity in children. 

TCM can be combined with Western medicine 

Parents and their daughter standing next to each other while flexing their arms.
Chinese medicine may help improve children’s immunity

There are many occurrences where TCM medications are more effective when complemented with Western practices. When it comes to paediatric emergencies like severe constipation, broken bones, or a high fever, TCM is of the belief that you should rush a child to the hospital immediately.

The key is to be completely honest with both your TCM physician and Western medicine doctor. They must know that you’re merging the two treatments so they can avoid prescribing conflicting medications that can endanger your health. It is also advised to have at least a two-hour gap between the two treatments and medications.  

Chinese herbs can be tasty 

There’s a concern that Chinese herbs taste bitter or are hard to swallow, especially for children. In reality, some herbal medicines come in powdered or liquid form, which children would find quite tasty. Furthermore, if they’re introduced early to the herbs, it may be easier for them to get used to the taste.

Chinese medicine has been around for thousands of years. Still, many people are not well-acquainted with it as it is considered an alternative form of medicine. Although some parents have used TCM to improve their children’s health, others may be understandably wary, especially when there are a lot of myths and misinformation surrounding it. Hopefully, this article will shed light on TCM and why you may want to consider it for your children. 

This is an adaptation of an article, “5 Truths about TCM and Children”, which first appeared on Eu Yan Sang website.

References

  1. China Daily. 2022. TCM treatment’s role detailed for nation’s COVID-19 protocol [online] [Accessed 12 April 2022] 
  2. UNICEF. 2019. Childhood Diseases [online] [Accessed 12 April 2022] 
  3. Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic. 2019. TCM Diagnosis Methods [online] [Accessed 12 April 2022] 
  4. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes. 2021. Chinese pediatric Tuina on children with acute diarrhea: a randomized sham-controlled trial [online].[Accessed 12 April 2022] 

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