In China, the word for “chinese” is pronounced “kuh-CHEE”.
That means that the name for the Chinese herbal drug used to treat cough and cold has a sound similar to “koh-AHN”.
But it sounds strange when you think of the word “snowflake” and its pronounced sound like “shay”.
But now Chinese herbal medicines have gained some global popularity.
And it’s not just China that is doing this.
The US has a “chronic cough” that can cause “nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain”, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
The British have been using herbal cough medicines since the 1980s.
And they are still doing so.
The UK’s National Health Service is a huge contributor to the global trend of using Chinese herbs and supplements to fight cough.
“It’s a growing field,” says Dr Pauline Molloy, a professor of medicine at the University of Southampton.
She says the use of Chinese herbs in the UK is increasing.
“There are more people using Chinese medicines in the NHS because the government is supporting them and giving them access to the NHS,” she says.
Dr Molloyle says the NHS should encourage people to use Chinese medicines and get the best results possible.
“This is a matter of health care, and if we don’t have an effective public health approach to health, then people will go elsewhere to get the health care they need.”
Chinese herbal medicine is available for a fraction of the cost in the USDr Mowlloy says the UK’s lack of an effective government-funded public health response to the epidemic has led to “significant harm to the health of the population”.
“We know from studies in China that the majority of people who use Chinese herbal remedies are using them for chronic cough and other chronic health conditions, which can have significant adverse health outcomes,” she said.
“We also know that many people do not understand the health benefits and potential health risks associated with using Chinese herbal products.”
In the UK, herbal remedies that are made from plants such as ginger, oregano, chamomile and peppermint have long been used to fight acute cough and asthma.
But they’re now gaining popularity in China.
“In China, many people are now using herbal medicines as a way to control their coughs and asthma,” says Professor Mollow.
“They have very good outcomes, so it’s important to recognise that.”
What can Chinese herbs do for you?
Dr Moulton says Chinese herbs work to “control cough, relieve pain and reduce the risk of chronic cough”.
He says they may help reduce inflammation in the lungs and reduce coughing, but they also reduce the risks of pneumonia.
“People often go on to develop pneumonia after using Chinese medicinal products, so there is concern about these products being harmful,” he says.
“Chinese medicinal products can be very effective at controlling chronic cough but they need to be used in a way that minimises their risks to people.”
He also says the Chinese medicinal medicines may not be safe for use for everyone.
“Many people who have chronic cough or who have asthma can benefit from using Chinese herb products, and that may be because the medicinal products are very effective in treating their symptoms,” he said.
And some Chinese herbalists say the British government should take action.
“As a physician I’d like to see a public health strategy where the NHS is taking a lead on Chinese herbal drugs that are available to patients in the community and encouraging people to seek out herbal remedies for cough and bronchitis,” Dr Mollory says.
“I’d also like to hear the British Government support research into Chinese herbal treatments.”