Covid-19: Kiwis seek banned Chinese medicine as Customs seizes 235k pills

ByKatherine S

Mar 31, 2022 #4 Better Health Monrovia, #Academic Essay On Mental Health, #Adult Family Health Clifton Nj, #Adult Mental Health Treatment Planner, #Allwgiance Health Wound Care, #Aria Health Atten Customer Service, #Aria Health System Customer Service, #Arizona Achses Health, #Arizona Pet Health Certificate, #Ark Increse Harvest Health, #Aus Health Practitioner, #Cadence Fitness & Health Cente, #California Coalition For Behavioral Health, #Capital Area Mental Health Services, #Cardinal Health Kilgour, #Dr Borwn Watkings Health, #Employee Health Inova Mount Vernon, #First Nations Health Canada, #Fl Health Code Violations, #Formulary First Health, #Holistic Health After Chemo, #Humana Health Insurance For Son, #I Health I-Menopause, #Kronos Lee Health Employee Login, #Lakeland Health Care Center Elkhorn, #Mercy Health Corp Plaza, #Mercy Health Orthopedics Cincinnati Logo, #Network Health 2018 Plans, #Nevada Reno Public Health, #New England Serve Health Policy, #North Dakota Pet Health Certificate, #Northwell Health Pharmacy Intern Salary, #Police Mentral Health, #Portal Harrington Health, #Premise Health Brentwood Tennessee, #Primary Health Solutions/Ceo, #Psychic Health Reading Legal Notice, #Psychological Health Anxiety Articles, #Public Health Practice What Works, #Public Health Sciences Admin Uv, #Public Health Service Hurricane Dorian, #Shadyside Oh Occupation Health, #Shrednado Mens Health, #Tower Health Hospital Pa Locations, #Unit 54 Uf Health Location, #Urine Odor Health Problems, #Whitman Walker Health Pamphlets, #Women'S Health Affiliate Bloggers, #Women'S Health Empowerment Summit, #Young Professionals Attitude Of Health

A herbal medicine endorsed in China for treating Covid-19 symptoms is being sought by Chinese Kiwis, despite being banned in New Zealand.

Lianhua Qingwen (连花清瘟) was used during the outbreak of Sars, another coronavirus, in China in 2002-2004 and its use has been encouraged by China’s head of the National Health Commission’s expert group for Covid-19, Nanshan Zhong, since the start of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of doses of Lianhua Qingwen have been seized by New Zealand Customs since 2020.

Lianhua Qingwen, a herbal medicine used for influenza symptoms, has been sought by Chinese Kiwis during the Omicron outbreak. (File photo)

Getty Images

Lianhua Qingwen, a herbal medicine used for influenza symptoms, has been sought by Chinese Kiwis during the Omicron outbreak. (File photo)

The product is licensed in more than 20 countries including Canada, Russia, and Kuwait.

* Why Asian Kiwis are hesitant to get the Covid-19 booster
* ‘I was quite shocked’: Asian community falls behind in race for Covid boosters
* Covid-19: Race to roll out vaccine boosters before Omicron spreads in NZ

However, a Ministry of Health spokesman said it contained ephedra – a controlled drug – and its use and supply was illegal in New Zealand.

Medsafe warned against its use as a medicine, and in particular for the treatment or prevention of Covid-19, he said.

Data from New Zealand Custom Service shows an increase in seizures of Lianhua Qingwen, corresponding with the surge of cases in New Zealand.

Between November 2021 and February 2022, there have been 128 incidents of the product being seized at the border.

Since May 2020, Customs has seized 235,393 pills, capsules or sachets of Lianhua Qingwen.

Stuff has seen the product been marketed by logistics companies and individuals on the social media app the Little Red Book (小红书).

A post by the Chinese company Wanshida International Logistics on the Little Red Book said it could send everyday items and medicine to New Zealand for $14 per kilogram.

The post did not mention Lianhua Qingwen, but used a photograph showing boxes of the product. It received 95 comments.

One person asked whether Lianhua Qingwen could enter New Zealand and was told “yes”.

When asked whether it was selling Lianhua Qingwen and whether it knew the product was illegal in New Zealand, the company said “we are not selling this”.

Stuff asked why it had posted photos of the product and answered people’s questions about the product. The company has not yet responded.

Another person posted to a Skykiwi forum at the end of February asking where they could purchase Lianhua Qingwen in New Zealand. The post received more than 3300 views and several offers.


Are Covid-19 vaccines effective across all ethnicities?

Do you know more? Email [email protected]

Meanwhile, a spokesman from Tong Ren Tang, a Chinese medicine chain retailer in New Zealand, said it was not selling Lianhua Qingwen due to the bans.

“Everything we have is legally imported … [but]I know it’s selling in the local market,” he said.

“In our meetings, our branches said customers have frequently been asking for this medicine.”

Aucklander Helen Ho, who has worked in the Chinese medicine industry for 20 years, said she strongly advised against people “recklessly” taking medicines obtained through unofficial channels.

“If it’s from the black market, and you’re taking it without any expert advice, you should think about the risks,” she said.

“The more popular the medicine is, the more likely there’s going to be counterfeits.”

Epidemiologist Lifeng Zhou advises against the use of Lianhua Qingwen.


Epidemiologist Lifeng Zhou advises against the use of Lianhua Qingwen.

Ho said Chinese medicine should be taken according to each individual’s health circumstances, with expert advice.

Epidemiologist and board member of Public Health Association of New Zealand Lifeng Zhou said he was against people purchasing and using Lianhua Qingwen.

Zhou said people should have faith in New Zealand’s treatment plan for Covid-19 and be assured they would receive appropriate care if admitted to hospital.

“It’s a positive thing that Chinese people have heightened awareness to protect our health, and are interested in traditional Chinese medicine – I’m not opposed to that. But on the other hand, we should also follow the legal requirements of using medicine in New Zealand,” he said.

The Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) said it had not received any adverse reactions suspected to have been caused by Lianhua Qingwen.

However, it added this could be due to low to no use in New Zealand, or lack of understanding that adverse reactions could be reported.