How to Treat a Virus Naturally Using Chinese Medicine 

 May 21, 2020

By  Juli Kramer, PhD

How to treat a virus naturally is an important question. Three of my family members overcame Covid-19, the Novel Coronavirus, by following a protocol established by doctors in China during the pandemic. You can read the step-by-step protocol they followed to return to health in less than two weeks.

Important note: If you choose to follow this protocol, please make sure to consult with your health care practitioner in advance. I make no claim that this method will work the same in your situation. I am sharing the details because of the powerful effect it had for my family members and thousands of people in China.

Treating early symptoms of the virus

Okay, let’s start by looking at what happened when my family members contracted the virus. Each of them experienced the same onset of symptoms.

These were the early symptoms:

  • High fever
  • Yellow phlegm
  • Tight cough that feels constricted and painful
  • Frequent coughing and inability to breathe that keeps you up at night and hurts

Knowing these symptoms is important, because Chinese medicine doctors don’t distinguish between strains when helping people learn how to treat a virus naturally.

They look at the effect on the body through externally observable symptoms.

You can learn more about how Chinese medicine doctors look at the body and health in our Chinese Medicine 101 articles.

Let’s break down these early symptoms my family members had to overcome from a Chinese medicine perspective.

A high fever is one of the symptoms to take care of when you know how to treat a virus naturally.

How to treat a fever and yellow phlegm

According to Chinese medicine, both the high fever and phlegm result from too much heat in the body.

While having a fever is a good sign that the body’s defense system is working and white blood cells are doing their job, in Chinese medicine releasing heat is essential to return to health.

Releasing heat naturally without chemicals is even more important because all of the organs are working hard to remove the invasive germs from the system. If they also have to fight toxic chemicals, they will be overburdened.

Daikon radish is one of the ingredients to fight a fever when you treat a virus

The remedy to remove heat, thereby breaking the fever and getting rid of the yellow phlegm, is to eat cabbage and radish broth. These foods have cooling and heat removing properties that allow the immune system to continue doing its work while releasing excess heat.

Napa cabbage and daikon radish are ideal, but due to limited resources, my sister initially used purple cabbage and red radishes. These back-up options still had a positive effect on reducing her fever. However, her yellow phlegm persisted and finally cleared when she could drink a Napa cabbage and daikon radish broth.

Boiled Daikon Radish and Napa (Chinese) Cabbage

Indication: Fever; yellow phlegm when coughing or blowing nose


  • 2 cups sliced Napa (Chinese) Cabbage
  • 1 cup ¼’ cubes of peeled and sliced Daikon radish
  • 4-6 cups water


  • Place 4 cups of water in saucepan along with radish and cabbage
  • Bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes
  • Fill mug with one cup of liquid and 1/3 of cabbage and radish
  • Drink and eat when still warm
  • Cover with lid and keep on stove top
  • Reheat and drink/eat two more times during the day

If you have a fever when you treat a virus, epsom salt baths are a great natural remedy to use.


Epsom salt baths to treat a virus naturally

In addition to the cabbage and radish broth, two of my family members added another remedy, followed both in China and the west: a salt bath, in particular Epsom salts.

The salts draw the toxins out of the body, allowing organs to do their job more efficiently. There are many other benefits to Epsom salt baths, but in this case, soaking worked effectively with the cabbage and radish broth to clear their fevers within two days.


  • Fill the bath with warm, not hot, water
  • Add 4 cups of Epsom salts
  • Soak for 20 minutes
  • Completely rinse off, either in the bath or in the shower, with fresh water (removes toxins from your skin)

How to treat a tight cough and restricted breathing

Tight cough and restricted breathing are one symptom

At the same time they were drinking the Cabbage and Radish recipe, my relatives also prepared and drank an Asian pear and rock sugar broth.

The pear and rock sugar broth opens up a restrictive cough and allows air to flow through the lungs. Sufficient intake of air is essential to heal, and for healthy living generally.

Asian pear and rock sugar broth

As you’re learning how to treat a virus naturally, you need to know that the remedy to get rid of a tight, constricted cough and to open up the lungs is to drink pear with rock sugar broth.

Within two days of starting the pear and rock sugar broth, all three family members were breathing more easily.

My sister and brother-in-law used regular pears and pure cane sugar initially. While they experienced a positive change, their symptoms improved more rapidly when they were able to used Asian pear and rock sugar.



Indication: Dry cough or cough with phlegm (if you have yellow phlegm, please also use the Cabbage and Radish recipe below)


  • 1 large Asian pear
  • 2-3 ¼” pieces of Rock Sugar
  • 3-4 cups of water


  • Peel one large Asian pear
  • Slice into 1” chunks; keep the core
  • Place 3 cups of water into a saucepan
  • Place the pear chunks, core, and rock sugar into the pot of water
  • Bring to a boil
  • Simmer for 20 minutes
  • Fill mug with one cup of liquid and 1/3 of the pear chunks
  • Drink and eat when still warm
  • Cover with lid and keep on stove top
  • Reheat and drink/eat two more times during the day

Massage Lung acupressure points

Another step to treat a virus naturally is to open up meridian points through acupressure massage. By massaging key points, you allow qi and blood to flow to your lungs to help them clear phlegm and enable deeper breaths.

You can follow along with videos that show you how to locate acupressure points that will help your lungs on our YouTube channel. Click here to watch our acupressure massage playlist.

This particular video teaches you how to massage lung points on the arms.

Link to video here.

Herbs from a licensed Chinese medicine doctor to treat a virus naturally

Two of my relatives recovered without any additional herbs. The third relative needed some extra support, so a licensed Chinese medicine doctor and acupuncturist prescribed the following combination of herbs:

  • Xiao Chai Hu Tang
  • Jinyin Hua and Lianqiao
  • Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San

These are made to drink as a tea, initially three and then two times per day. The effect of the herbal formula is to:

  • Stop and clear heat
  • Build up the immune system
  • Open elimination systems to help the body clear out the virus

Chinese medicine herbs will help you treat a virus naturally by clearing heat, building up the immune system, and clearing toxins out of the body.

You can consult with a trained Chinese medicine practitioner about this and other herbal formulas, as well as acupuncture treatments.

Finding a Traditional Chinese Medicine Health Practitioner

Treating later symptoms of the virus

Another important awareness when learning how to treat a virus, is that the symptoms change. While some symptoms go away, others change and linger.

These were the later symptoms:

  • Loose, barky cough
  • Clear to white phlegm

How to treat a loose cough

As my family members followed the protocol, they noticed great improvements. For all three people, the fever was gone within two days and the phlegm within four days.

At this time, their coughs loosened up, they were able to breathe more deeply, and they were feeling more energized.

It’s important to note that they all still had a cough five days into the treatment. However, the cough changed from tight and restrictive to a looser, barky cough.

At this stage, the lungs are still recovering from the virus and need support to continue to heal.

Jujube Broth

The food-based formula they used to nourish and moisten their lungs was jujube broth (Chinese dates). My sister and her husband enjoyed cooking the jujubes with mung beans, another effective food used to clear heat.

Jujubes Chinese dates are a perfect natural remedy for a cough and weak lungs


  • 5 jujubes (Chinese dates)
  • 4 cups water
  • Optional: ½ cup mung beans


  • Add the jujubes and water to a medium saucepan (mung beans as well, if using)
  • Bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, if no mung beans; 1 hour with mung beans (adding water as needed)
  • Drink the liquid as a tea; if you added mung beans, eat in a bowl with a spoon as a soup
  • Drink or eat 1/3 of the mixture three times per day. Keep on the stove covered with a lid and simply reheat as needed.

How to treat clear or white phlegm

Their final lingering symptom to clear was white phlegm. To treat a virus often you find that you are treating symptoms similar to a cold. This type of phlegm is a great example of a familiar symptom.

The remedy for this symptom is boiled ginger with lemon and honey.

Indication: Trouble breathing; coughing with NO fever

Sliced ginger, lemon, and honey broth


  • 1/4 cup of peeled and sliced ginger
  • 3 slices of lemon
  • 2 Tbsp of honey
  • 2-4 cups water


  • Add the sliced ginger and water to a saucepan
  • Bring to a boil
  • Add the lemon slices and turn off the burner
  • When the mixture has cooled down, add the honey and mix well
  • Drink throughout the day, making a fresh batch each day
  • You may increase the amounts to make a larger batch for more people

Contraindications: Do not make ginger tea if you have a fever or yellow phlegm, are constantly flushed, or have hot flashes.

Summary of how to treat a virus naturally

Learning how to treat a virus is essential at this time. As stated above, you should always consult your health care practitioner. This article is just a summary of the protocol followed in these three cases, that mirrored recommendations from TCM doctors in China and the U.S.

Here is a quick summary of the symptoms and remedies for your convenience:

  • Fever and yellow phlegm: Napa cabbage and daikon radish broth
  • Fever: Epsom salt baths
  • Tight and constricted cough: Asian pear with rock sugar
  • Loose, barky cough, weak lungs: Jujube broth (possibly with mung beans)
  • Clear to white phlegm: Fresh ginger, lemon and honey broth

Reminder: If you choose to follow this protocol, please make sure to consult with your health care practitioner in advance. I make no claim that this method will work the same in your situation. I am sharing the details because of the powerful effect it had for my family members and thousands of people in China.

Juli Kramer, PhD

Dr. Juli Kramer earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, with a cognate in Counseling Psychology and her M.A. in Psychology. She has a diploma in Chinese Medicine Nutritional Therapy, and certificates in Chinese medicine from Dr. Zhang Yifang, Shanghai World Hospital, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. With over 30 years of experience as an educator, Dr. Kramer founded Radiant Shenti to teach people how Chinese medicine (TCM) can help them lead healthy, happy, and long lives.

What's something new you learned?

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}


I would like to thank you for... the course. It's very much what I need to accomplish my health goals. So much is explained and I truly need the movement exercises to loosen up my body.



From doing qigong, my energy is flowing in a new way and I am finally able to let go of what I no longer need and release the thoughts that were the source of my neck and head pain. I am grateful for the peace I feel knowing I have overcome a lifetime of anxiety and anger for assuming responsibility for the pain of others.



I always feel that I have to push myself, work up a big sweat when that is really not anywhere in my comfort level. I’ve always done a slow and steady form of exercise and thank you for confirming that that was a good thing to do!


Online Health Assessment
Send me...
My FREE acupressure point PDF! A great natural remedy to help you treat a virus and strengthen your lungs.
We respect your privacy.