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Chinese Herbalists Can't Keep Up With Demand During Coronavirus

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Lianhua qingwen capsules sent by Sinong Lin's family. (Courtesy of Sinong Lin )
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As COVID-19 cases in L.A. County approach 250,000 and the death count has topped 5,000, those numbers remain low in the San Gabriel Valley, where a considerable portion of the population is Chinese or Chinese American. Hospitalization rates in Chinese communities are also low.

Experts have a few potential explanations: early awareness of COVID-19, increased adherence to physical distancing protocols, low testing rates and, maybe — maybe — Chinese herbal remedies.

Despite skepticism in the United States around these herbs, and around traditional Chinese medicine in general, many people — native and foreign-born — swear by them. Several Chinese herbalists told LAist they've seen a massive uptick in the sale of certain herbs, which Chinese doctors and the Chinese government believe are effective in treating symptoms of COVID-19.

When these herbs became scarce around here, some Southern California residents had their families ship them from Asia.

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