TCM Preventative Formula Guide Covid-19: Required Modification of Yu Ping Feng San “Jade Windscreen”
*Information provided in this article is meant for licensed acupuncturists and TCM physicians. It is not advice for the general public or self-medication. Taking Chinese herbal medicne should only be done under the guidance of a licensed practitioner.
There have been many guides and recommendations for acupuncturists being released in the last few days and weeks. In particular Yu Ping Feng San “Jade Windscreen” and Huang Qi have been suggested to acupuncturists as an essential formula and single herb to stock up on. From the point of view of master herbalist Jia Yu, who has over 30+ years writing custom formulas and treating patients both in China and the U.S., this is an incomplete suggestion as a single herbal formula and not suitable enough in its protective effects against Covid-19. This article is meant to explain the necessity to modify this formula for your clinical use.
First and foremost, as acupuncturists in the U.S.A. we are not allowed to treat any patients with Covid-19. The simple reason is that it is beyond our scope in a private clinical setting, we do not have the required personal protective equipment nor the supportive staff and facilities to do so. If a patient presents with any suspecting symptoms such as fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, has a history of travel or exposure we must direct that person to the hospital for care and report the case to the local health department. Wash hands regularly. Avoid touching the face. Visit the CDC for most updated information. From that point of contact, we must act responsibly and self-quarantine, close our clinic doors until confirmation that we are no longer at risk to the public.
Why Yu Ping Feng San, alone, is not enough?
Yu Ping Feng San “Jade Windscreen” formula, while it is a helpful formula to strengthen wei qi, it is not adequate enough to help in preventative care against Covid-19. There needs to be additional Chinese herbs mixed in this formula in order to strengthen the body and protect against initial symptoms of Covid-19. The additional herbs come from the formula Yin Qiao San “Honeysuckle & Forsythia Powder.” The reason for the 3 additional herbs is to act as a preventative measure in a high risk patient due to the possibility of rapid onset of infection from the Covid-19, virus, such as fever and lung pathology. It is recommended to prescribe this custom formula via raw herbs or granules with a dosing of 10g per herb, divided 3 times per day.
10g each in granules or raw herb form, totalling 60g in a 1 daily formula.
Huang Qi 10g, Bai Zhu 10g, Fang Feng 10g (Yu Ping Feng San)
Jin Yin Hua 10g, Lu Gen 10g, Lian Qiao 10g (Modified Yin Qiao San)
A patient may take this formula from 3 days up to 7 days, and even be provided a 14 day supply. It is safe for this 14 day term of prolonged use.
**This formula application is only recommended to people who feel fatigue, have headaches, a sore throat, those who have weak constitutions in general, those who work in public areas at higher risk of exposure (grocery store, school, restaurant, hospital etc). It is not necessary to give this to a healthy patient who is not at risk. For those not at risk or are otherwise healthy, drinking hot water to induce diaphoresis once per day provides adequate protection.
If you don’t have raw herbs or granules in your clinic, you may combine the pill/bottle patent formulas of Yu Ping Feng San & Yin Qiao San. Provide them with a 14 day supply. Follow the recommended dosage based on the formula product you purchase. Please understand, this method is not ideal because the dosage is not sufficient and you are not able to remove the additional herbs in Yin Qiao San, but it is better than no protection at all. It is still safe if you follow the following advisory.
You must advise a patient to stop the patent formula Yin Qiao San if they get chills (Yin Qiao San is typically for wind-heat and the herbs are cold in nature) and advise them to drink hot water to raise their core temperature (don’t induce sweating). The chills should subside within a couple hours or less. Chills can occur in patients taking Yin Qiao San for more than 1 week, otherwise it is safe to take. If this side effect occurs they would still be able to continue the Yu Ping Feng San portion of the formula only.
Please keep in mind when prescribing these formulas that this method of treatment is not to be combined with the “drink hot water” inducing diaphoresis method. Huang Qi and Feng Fang stop sweating and are therefore contradictory. The formula approach is its own method.
We hope this further explanation of the necessary modification of the publicly advised Jade Windscreen formula assists your practice and further understanding of how to help prevent a “cold-damp” type virus like Covid-19. Please share this among those who are practicing TCM & Acupuncture.