Why the west should consider what Chinese medicine has to offer for managing COVID-19 infection

Below is my rough translation of the above video clip of the press conference.

Press Conference of the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council

Chinese medicine played a pivotal role in the recent COVID-19 pandemic in China.

The National Chinese Medicine Regulatory Board deployed 5 groups totaling nearly 800 Chinese medicine professionals to Wuhan.

Nearly 5000 health professionals assisting the pandemic in Wuhan came from the Chinese medicine system.

Nationally, there were 97 Chinese medicine organizations that participated as designated hospitals during the pandemic.

Nationally, excluding the Hubei area, Chinese medicine treatments were used in 96.37% of the total confirmed COVID-19 cases.

In the Hubei area, Chinese medicine was used in 91.05% of the confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Chinese medicine was used in all aspects of disease management of the COVID-19 pandemic including prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.

On 13 March 2020, the People’s Daily reported the following statistics in Wuhan:

  • 28 January 2020 – >90% suspected mild cases were confirmed as true infections
  • 2 February 2020 – implemented quarantine and isolation procedures and Chinese medicine intervention
  • 6 February 2020 – decrease in confirmed cases to 30+%
  • 5 March 2020 – confirmed cases dropped to 3%

The above demonstrated the efficacy of early Chinese medicine intervention.

Chinese medicine also played an important role in the prevention and treatment of mild to normal COVID-19 infection. Chinese medicine also halted the disease progression of mild to normal cases of COVID-19 infection to more severe and life-threatening cases:

  • The National Chinese Medicine Regulatory Board’s survey of 1261 patients who took the Chinese herbal formula, Qing Fei Pai Du Tang, across 10 provinces showed that:
    • no mild COVID-19 cases progressed to more severe cases, and
    • no normal COVID-19 cases progressed to life-threatening cases
  • In a hospital in Wuhan with 576 mild to normal COVID-19 cases, none progressed to severe or life-threatening cases.
  • For severe and life-threatening COVID-19 cases, Chinese medicine also played an important role especially for relieving high fevers, increasing blood oxygen saturation, etc

Chinese medicine, when combined with western medicine, can effectively lower the mortality rate of COVID-19 infections.

Also, check out this scholarly review:

Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Treatment of Patients Infected with 2019-New Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2): A Review and Perspective


by Dr. Reece Yeo, Holistic Chinese Medicine Practitioner & Ex-Medical Doctor

Toasted Sprouted Mung Beans Recipe

Toasted Sprouted Mung Beans

Sprouting beans, legumes and grains is healthy because the process of sprouting enhances the nutritional value of these foods and also improves their digestibility. In addition, sprouting minimizes certain anti-nutrients that are normally found in beans, legumes, and grains (as part of these plants’ normal defense mechanisms) that can block the absorption of important minerals or cause intestinal gas and bloating.

Sprouting Mung Beans

When sprouting mung beans, keep the beans in the dark. Exposing them to light when sprouting makes the beans bitter. 1/4 cup of dried mung beans yields approximately a cup of sprouted mung beans.


  • Check out this WikiHow site that has directions and pictures on how to sprout your mung beans!

Toasted Sprouted Mung Beans 

This simple yummy recipe is gluten free, high in protein and also vegan! You can use any spice, herbs or condiment you prefer in the recipe below to add extra flavour to your toasted sprouted mung beans. 


  • Sprouted mung beans – 1 cup
  • Nutritional Yeast – 2 tablespoons
  • Chilli flakes – 1 teaspoon or to taste
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste
  • Toasted sesame seed oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Optional roasted peanuts for extra crunch – 2 tablespoons


Preheat a saucepan, then add in all the ingredients. Mix well. Toast all ingredients on the stove for 2 minutes maximum, remove from the heat and it is ready to serve! You can eat this as a snack as it is, or with your toast, your meal or with your salad.


by Fernanda Queiroz (Naturopath in Training)

Fernanda works as a retail naturopath in training at Doctor Earth Bondi Junction Health Foods under the guidance and mentorship of Dr Reece Yeo. She is currently in the 3rd year of her naturopathy degree at ACNT. In her spare time, Fernanda loves to create tasty vegan dishes. She has a group of Portuguese speaking followers on social media who often buys her tasty vegan creations!

Pink Eyes – The Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach

pink eyes – conjunctivitis

The medical term for pink eyes is conjunctivitis.

From a western medicine perspective, conjunctivitis can be caused by an infective agent (such as a virus or bacteria); it can be caused by a inflammatory reaction due to an allergen or an irritant; or, in rarer circumstances, it can a side effect of a medication one is taking. Redness of the eyes may also be due to other eye diseases (such as glaucoma, uveitis, etc.) or may be a symptom of another disease (such as autoimmune diseases, high blood pressure, etc.).

The diagnosis of the conjunctivitis and its underlying cause can be done by your GP or an ophthalmologist (eye specialist). The treatment of conjunctivitis is dependent on the underlying cause. If the underlying cause is a bacterial infection, then a topical antibacterial ointment may be given. If the issue is an allergy, then the conjunctivitis will get better when that allergen is removed and avoided in the future.

It is important to note that conjunctivitis caused by an infective agent is highly contagious. So, if you have a viral or bacterial conjunctivitis, you need to practice good personal hygiene and adopt infection control procedures so that you do not spread your conjunctivitis to others.

From a Chinese medicine perspective, disease happens when there is a disharmony within our body or when there is disharmony between our body and our environment. Similar to western medicine, in Chinese medicine, red eyes may be due to conjunctivitis or other eye diseases, and they may also be a symptom of other systemic diseases.

The Chinese medicine causes of conjunctivitis may be classified into three major categories – external causes, internal causes, and miscellaneous causes.

As Chinese medicine utilises the principles of Nature from the observation of Nature, the external causes of diseases in Chinese medicine are named after natural phenomena in Nature. These external causes of diseases (or external pathogenic factors) are – Wind, Heat, Cold, Dampness, Dryness and Summer-Heat. Diseases can be caused by a single external pathogenic factor or a combination of these. Diseases caused by each of these external pathogenic factors exhibit symptoms that are characterised by these natural phenomena.

For example, a Wind disease will have symptoms that comes on suddenly or have symptoms that comes and goes; it can have symptoms that spread quickly or move from location to location in the body; it can cause involuntary movements in the body or convulsions in the body; just like how wind is like in Nature!

Conjunctivitis, from a Chinese medicine perspective, can be caused externally by Wind-Heat or Wind-Heat intermingled with Dampness.

Internal causes of diseases from a Chinese medicine perspective are due to excesses of one’s emotions. Chinese medicine has identified 7 human emotions which, in excess, can cause disharmony in the body and therefore diseases. These 7 emotions are Anger, Joy, Grief, Anxiety, Pensiveness, Fear and Fright. The excesses of each emotion can have a direct impact to one or more of the 5 Chinese internal solid organs (Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lung and Kidney) and cause derangements to the normal physiological functions of the body through these solid organs.

For example, excessive pent up Anger can cause Liver Qi Stagnation which in turns causes Liver Heat that can transform into Liver Fire. Liver Fire rises upwards and manifest through its associated sense organ, the eyes, thereby causing redness of the eyes.

Conjunctivitis, from a Chinese medicine perspective, can be caused internally by Excessive Liver Heat & Toxins, Lung Yin Deficiency, and Lung & Spleen Qi Deficiency.

In Chinese medicine, the miscellaneous causes of diseases include constitutional factors, lifestyle factors, trauma and secondary factors.

Constitutional factors are similar to the western medicine concept of genetics e.g. some diseases are due to one’s inherent predisposition.

Lifestyle factors include improper diet, and improper physical and mental exertion. Under-eating, over-eating, food partiality, and eating unhygienic foods can all cause illnesses in our body. Over-taxing ourselves physically or mentally, or not having enough exercise can also result in ill health. Being overly indulgent in sexual activities can also deplete and weaken the body, making the body more susceptible to illness and disease.

From a Chinese medicine perspective, the miscellaneous causes of diseases can predispose the body to getting conjunctivitis through improper lifestyle and diet. Improper lifestyle and diet create imbalances in the body so that it is then more susceptible to the external or internal causes of diseases.

When treating pink eyes, it is always important to consult a qualified health practitioner for a proper diagnosis. Each different health modality will have their different paradigms of what the underlying cause is and will therefore also have different treatment methods. Although there is to date no randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, conjunctivitis is traditionally treated in Chinese medicine using Chinese herbs and acupuncture. Please contact your local Chinese medicine practitioner if you are interested in more information about this condition.

Dr Reece Yeo

When will I get better?

For the full length article, please read below

This is the question every patient will ask (and should ask) when they see a health practitioner.

The answer to the question however is not so straight forward. There are many factors and variables that will determine how soon one’s condition will improve after receiving any form of health treatment. Below are some to consider:

How quickly you got ill

As a general rule of thumb, the more acute the disease, the faster the recovery. This means that the faster you got sick, the faster you should recover from that illness. For example, most people will get over a cold which comes on quickly after a few days of feeling unwell.

How long you have been ill for

The longer you have been suffering from an illness, the longer it will take your body to recover from it. Long-term/chronic illnesses cause physiological and structural changes to the body. When this happens, it will take the body a long time to reverse these changes. When there are structural changes, it may not be possible to reverse these without some sort of surgical or physical intervention. For example, some long-term rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have deformed joints of their hands and fingers. These are structural changes have occurred over a long period of time and cannot be reversed with any herbal or nutritional treatment but may be amenable to some surgical or physical intervention. There is a common naturopathic rule of thumb that states that it will take you at least a month to recover for every year that you have had an illness. That is to say that if you have had an illness for 5 years, expect at least 5 months of treatment before that illness can be resolved.

The type of illness

Some illnesses, like the common cold, are relatively easy to treat compared to say an autoimmune disease. Different diseases cause different changes to the body. Complex diseases cause complex changes to the body and therefore will take longer to treat.

Treating the symptoms or the root cause

It is often faster to get some relief from the symptoms of an illness than it is to completely correct the underlying cause of the illness. Many western pharmaceutical drugs are great for relieving symptoms. For example, the underlying cause of hypertension for some people may be that they have a poor diet and are overweight. Treating the high blood pressure with blood pressure medications can result in a rapid drop in blood pressure but that is just treating the symptom. To treat the underlying cause of the hypertension, we need to address the poor diet and excess body weight. This will take time. Natural therapies such as Chinese medicine, seek to address both the symptoms and the underlying cause of an illness. So you may get a fast resolution of your symptoms using natural therapies, but to address the root cause of your illness, it will still take time.

Other things to consider

There are strengths and weaknesses of each health modality. Some are better at treating musculoskeletal issues and others are better at treating complex medical issues. Choosing the correct health modality and the correct practitioner to work with within the correct health modality will expedite your recovery from your illness. For example, if you have a complex non-musculoskeletal medical issue, you will not get good results seeing a physiotherapist who does dry needling. Instead, you will get better and faster results seeing a qualified and experienced acupuncturist.

Often how fast you can get better comes down to how compliant you are with the recommendations and advice made by your health practitioner. If you do not take your prescribed herbs or nutritional supplements regularly then you may not get any results. If you do not change your diet and lifestyle as advised, then you may not get long term resolution of your illness. If you do not see your health practitioner for regular follow ups, then again you may not get satisfactory results either.

As you can see, how quickly you can better after seeing a health practitioner depends on a myriad of factors. Some are within your control and others are not. Having the correct expectation of the time frame required to get yourself better will prepare you mentally, emotionally and financially when you embark on your health journey with your practitioner.

Dr Reece Yeo

What to expect in your first consult

If you are suffering from some niggling issues that you just can’t seem to shake, and you are motivated, health conscious and believe in natural therapies, I would love to work with you!

Before I can help you, I will need to know ALL ABOUT YOU! That is why prior to your first consultation with me, I will email you a barrage of very detailed questionnaires to complete. Please allow yourself up to 2 hours to complete these questionnaires. These questionnaires need to be completed at least 48 hours prior to our appointment to give me time to look through your responses and come up with great recommendations for you during our first consult.

These questionnaires will ask you about every aspect of your health, your symptoms, your emotions, your lifestyle and your diet so that I can start thinking about how I can help you before I even see you! When you email me back the completed questionnaires, please also email me scanned copies of any relevant pathology or radiology reports.

When you do come and see me, I will first start off by clarifying the health concerns you have and obtain even more details about these from you. If you have emailed me your pathology or radilogy reports prior to the consult, this is also the time when I will go through these with you and explain to you what your results mean. This will take 45-60 minutes out of the 90 minutes we have.

The next part of our consult is the physical examination.

I will start by examining your face. Of interest to me are your complexion, your nose, your ears, and your eyes. When examining your eyes, I will use iridology to help identify more health predispositions you may have to add to my overall assessment of your health and well-being. I will often use the timeline analysis method when examining your irides and ask you about significant times in your life when you may have experienced emotional or physical stress. This is so that we can determine whether these are still affecting you and whether you need to resolve these in order resolve your current health issues.

Next, I will ask to look at your tongue. If you have a habit of scraping your tongue in the morning, I would ask that you not to do this before you come and see me. Your tongue will give me a lot of information to further confirm what is happening in your body. I will look at the colour, the shape and the coating of your tongue.

Moving on to the rest of your body, I will examine your hands next. I will feel the temperature of your fingers, hands, wrist and arms, and check the colour of your nail beds. Then I will check the wrist pulses of your left and right hands. Your pulses will give me even more information about the physiology of your body from a Chinese medicine perspective.

pulse taking

After checking your pulses, I will get you to lie down so that I can perform a visual and manual examination of your abdomen. When examining your abdomen, I will first look at your abdomen from the side and then from the top before checking the temperature of the different parts of your abdomen. Then I will start feeling your abdomen using light touch followed by firm pressure to see if there are any areas of tenderness.

To round off the physical examination, I will look at your legs for their colour, and check for any visible varicose or spider veins, and swelling. I will also feel the temperature of various parts of your legs and press on certain parts of your legs to check for swelling or your pulses.

After examining you, I am ready to give your my assessment of your health concerns and my recommendations. If required, this is when I will advise you of any pathology or functional tests that will further clarify any of your health symptoms. When giving you my assessment of your health concerns, I will explain to you what is happening to your body from both a western and a Chinese medicine point of view. This is followed by dietary and lifestyle recommendations from me and then any herbal or nutritional supplementation if required. When necessary, I will also be referring you to other health practitioners who I work with who can help you with other aspects of your health.

To round up our first consultation, I will make up your herbal formula for you (if required) (this takes about 15 minutes) or pick out and explain to you the nutritional supplements I need you to be on. Then I will schedule you for your follow up with me for acupuncture or for a review of how you are going with the recommendations and supplements I have given you. Your first follow up will usually be between 7-14 days from your first consult.

As you can see, our first consultation is jammed pack and you will go away with a whole new understanding of what is happening in your body and what you need to do to resolve your health concerns.

If this is the level of care you want from your practitioner, then please complete my Booking Request form to schedule your first consultation with me!

I look forward to working with you in your health journey!

Dr Reece Yeo

An Introduction to Chinese Medicine

TCM vs Western Medicine

In very simplistic term, Chinese Medicine is one of the world’s oldest complete medical system that has a history of a few thousand years. It comprises of Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, Tui Na (Chinese massage), Gua Sha (skin scraping), CuppingQi Gong (a kind of breathing method and meditation) and Chinese dietary therapy.

Scholars have written many essays on each branch of Chinese Medicine and about Chinese Medicine itself. Chinese Medicine is very much entwined with the Chinese culture and is based on a very different paradigm (compared to the western medicine’s paradigm) of the human body and its relationship  to the environment. To try and explain it here in a few paragraphs will not do it justice so what I have done is to include some links here for those who want to learn more about this ancient but still very much relevant traditional medical system.

What is Chinese Medicine

Here is a great little chart that summarises the differences between modern western medicine and ancient Chinese medicine.

                 click here to see the image larger

Books & weblinks to read about Chinese Medicine:

Acupuncture Resources:

Chinese Herbal Medicine:

Chinese Dietary Therapy Resources: