Chinese Herbs for Fever and Malaria

MosquitoThere are many causes of fever and it is a symptom associated with diseases including malaria and post viral fatigue. Chinese text books dating back to 200 BC discussed Chinese herbs and acupuncture points that were used to treat fever. Modern researchers have now made insights as to the mechanism of how Chinese herbs address the symptom of fever.

One of the active ingredients of the Chinese herb chang shan is febrifuginone which has also been tested in the treatment of cancer and muscular dystrophy.

In malaria, immune cells attack healthy cells which cause inflammation leading to fever. Scientists have not been able to understand how Chinese herbs could help malaria until recently. Modern pharmaceuticals in the treatment of malaria have become ineffective and the incidence of malaria is increasing through out the world.

In the past other Chinese herbs have become the interest of western medical physicians because of their effectiveness in treating disease. One such example is the herb ma huang which had been used for thousands of years in the treatment of asthma and in the early 1900’s the active ingredient ephedrine was isolated.

Modern pharmaceutical companies aim to isolate active ingredients from ancient Chinese herbs so they can patent and market them and collect the profits from the multi billion dollar industry.

Qing hao was another Chinese herb that had been used for centuries in the treatment of malaria and its active ingredient has been  isolated and now marketed as a malaria medicine.

A qualified practitioner of traditional Chinese herbal medicine has at his or her disposal at least two hundred herbs that are combined to make a formula to treat the cause of the problem. In the case of fever, there are many different herbs that could be used depending on the cause. For example, fevers associated with an acute flu would use different herbs when compared with a fever due to menopause.

Many patients suffer from night sweats and fever at night and seek help with Chinese herbs at The Acupuncture Clinic.

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About Heiko Lade

Hi, I'm Heiko Lade - qualified acupuncturist at The Acupuncture Clinic in Hastings, New Zealand. If you would like to make an appointment for a consultation and treatment, please contact me.


  1. Kerrie Redgate says:

    Hello, Heiko. Very interesting article. Do you think the pharmaceutical companies will have a tough time trying to heal diseases only with the so-called active ingredients of Chinese herbs? I recall as a child there was a big song & dance about Vitamin C, but it was found to be less effective than the rosehips it was copied from. And then they found they had to combine C with bioflavinoids: more dancing! But still not as effective as the ancient rosehip preparations. Do you think the Ch’i of the plant the missing ingredient that Chinese herbalists are able to harness for healing?

    • Yes Kerrie, of course the pharmaceutical companies will never be able to add “Life Force” . I think its a joke these companies isolating active ingredients and then marketing it as if its a natural Chinese herb. Pharmaceutical companies have an obligation to make huge profits for their share holders. Chinese herbalists have an obligation to treat their patients. Chinese herbalists regard their patients as individuals and treat accordingly. Pharmaceutical companies aim to fit everyone into the same bag.

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