Herbal Formula for H1N1 Swine Flu

Chinese Herbs and Swine Flu

The Swine Flu – H1N1 – can spread quickly. Chinese herbal formula treats H1N1.

The H1N1 flu – also called the Swine Flu – poses a danger to human should there be another outbreak. Most scientists agree the original source was China – where animals and humans mixed in an environment that created the launch point for the virus in humans.

China has now provided a natural remedy for the Swine Flu.

Herbal formula treats H1N1

A study of 410 young adults has found that a Chinese herbal combination called maxingshigan-yinqiaosan treats H1N1 virus infections more successfully than the conventional drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu).

The study, published in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine and conducted at the Capital Medical University in Beijing, gave infected adults aged from 15 to 59 years old either the Chinese herbal combination or the conventional drug Tamiflu in eleven hospitals throughout China during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak.

The researchers analyzed the outcome of the H1N1 illness and how quickly the patients’ fevers resolved. They also gauged recovery by other symptom scores and tested viral shedding using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis.

The group taking the Chinese herbal medication had 37% faster fever reduction over untreated patients, while oseltamivir (Tamiflu) reduced fevers by 34% over the untreated group. Furthermore, combined treatment with oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and the Chinese herbal formula reduced fevers by 47%, and 19% sooner than oseltamivir alone.

Within 72 hours of their H1N1 symptoms, patients began treatment under the care of a physician. The patients, with an average age of 19, were divided into four groups. One group received no treatment. Another group was given 75 milligrams of Tamiflu two times a day. The third group was given 200 milliliters of the maxingshigan-yinqiaosan formula, and the last group received both the Tamiflu and the maxingshigan-yinqiaosan formula doses together each day.

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What is maxingshigan-yinqiaosan?

The Chinese herbal formula maxingshigan-yinqiaosan is a blend of 12 herbs, used traditionally in Chinese medicine to reduce fever, inflammation and influenza. The herbs within the formula are:

  • qing hao (artemnesia)
  • yin hua (honeysuckle)
  • gan cao (licorice root)
  • ephedra, zhi mu (anemarrhena)
  • shi gao (gypsum)
  • huang qin (baikal skullcap)
  • chao xingren (apricot seed)
  • lian qiao (fruit of forsynthia)
  • niu bangzi (burdock)
  • bo he (mint)
  • zhe bei mu (fritillaria)

Most of these herbs are available for sale as supplements in the U.S., with the exception of ephedra. The sale of ephedra products in the U.S. was restricted in 2003, due to injuries caused by its use in weight loss formulations – which supplement manufacturers characterized as use outside recommended dosages. Some herbalists have suggested that the formulations themselves were at fault. Ephedra has a record of safety among Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

H1N1 resistance to oseltamivir

Oseltamivir, produced by Roche under the trademark Tamiflu, is considered by the CDC, the World Health Organization and other agencies as the ‘go-to’ medication for treating H1N1.

However, the H1N1 virus has become increasingly resistant to oseltamivir. The World Health Organization reported that 314 strains of the H1N1 virus had become resistant to oseltamivir as of December 2010. In addition, Tamiflu is not always available to doctors in some parts of the world. Side effects of oseltamivir have included: Nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting, rash, and others.

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Herbal medications work differently within the body, according to researchers and traditional doctors. Herbal medications stimulate the body’s own immune system, often specific to fighting a current infection. Many herbal formulations, such as the one tested in this study, have been used safely among millions of patients over many centuries.

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In addition to being antimicrobial, many plant medicines will stimulate the body’s own immune system by communicating with immune cells and/or stimulating certain types of cytokines – which are the immune cells’ communication devices. Plant medicines also often communicate with and stimulate intestinal probiotics, which help to fight infections.

Many traditional herbal formulations, such as the one tested in this study, have been used safely among millions of patients over many centuries.

Consult with your health professional before taking herbs.


Wang C, Cao B, Liu QQ, Zou ZQ, Liang ZA, Gu L, Dong JP, Liang LR, Li XW, Hu K, He XS, Sun YH, An Y, Yang T, Cao ZX, Guo YM, Wen XM, Wang YG, Liu YL, Jiang LD. Oseltamivir compared with the Chinese traditional therapy maxingshigan-yinqiaosan in the treatment of H1N1 influenza: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2011 Aug 16;155(4):217-25.

Dawood FS, Iuliano AD, Reed C, et al. (September 2012). “Estimated global mortality associated with the first 12 months of 2009 pandemic influenza A H1N1 virus circulation: a modelling study”. Lancet Infect Dis 12 (9): 687–95. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(12)70121-4.

Adams C. Living Immunity: Supercharging Our Body’s Defenses with Probiotics and Other Natural Strategies. Logical Books, 2014:


  • Case Adams, Naturopath

    California Naturopath, Ph.D. in Natural Health Sciences, Doctorate in Integrative Health Sciences, Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. Diplomas in Blood Chemistry, Clinical Nutritional Counseling, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Colon Hydrotherapy, certificates in Pain Management and Case Management/Contact Tracing. Has authored more than 30 books and hundreds of periodical articles on natural medicine. Recreational activities include surfing, sailing, running, biking, swimming, SUPing, hiking. Contact: case(at)caseadams(dot)com.

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