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Our Projects Related to COVID-19

The MACH-19 Study (Mushroom and Chinese Herbs for COVID-19) 

  • Working alongside top researchers at the University of California, UCLA CEWM is helping to lead a groundbreaking FDA-approved trial to study natural products to fight COVID-19. This multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial is the first ever to receive FDA approval to study immune-supporting mushrooms (Turkey Tail and Agarikon) and Chinese Herbal Medicine to treat COVID-19. 
  • Dr. Andrew Shubov, MD, the in-patient program director and assistant clinical professor at CEWM, is acting as the lead investigator at UCLA for the MACH-19 study. Collaborators of this study include UCSD, UC Irvine, UCSF, and UC Davis.  


Acupressure for COVID-19 Related Quality of Life and Stress 

  • While self-acupressure for stress and quality of life has been supported by limited evidence, it has not been studied with scientific rigor during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having a long and successful history at conducting scientific and clinical research, CEWM is well-equipped to study the potential benefits and provide a scientific basis of self-acupressure on stress and quality of life. We have assembled an outstanding group of Center staff to perform this study, including physicians, scientists, acupuncturists, and nurses trained in both conventional and integrative medicine. 
  • This study has already received IRB approval (UCLA IRB#20-000773) to recruit and randomize around 200 healthcare providers. We will provide the treatment group with access to a standardized video and handout which explains how to perform self-acupressure, and to evaluate their outcomes after eight weeks. In the event the study demonstrates acupressure to be safe and effective for this indication, the training could be scaled up and deployed at low-cost nationally and internationally to healthcare workers and the general public.


Establish an East-West Medicine Resource Center as a Local Response for the Stay-at-Home Vulnerable Populations in Southern California to Fight COVID-19 

  • While waiting for a safe and cost-effective vaccine and treatment regimen for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, it is worthwhile to explore effective measures from other healing systems. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been widely applied (more than 90% of total cases in China) in the treatment of COVID-19 patients in China. TCM preventative measures have also been adopted, at an even larger scale, to ensure families and communities are not infected and stay healthy. The Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM) at UCLA aims to incorporate evidence-based Chinese medicine modalities into conventional medical practice within its person-centered medical model to provide safe, accessible, and effective care to patient populations. CEWM is working on implementing an East-West Medicine Resource Center with digital tools to help vulnerable populations to fight COVID-19 while staying at home. 
  • Our action plans include synthesizing evidence-based Chinese medicine manuals for Stay-At-Home populations to promote prevention, expanding our online learning modules for healthcare practitioners to help them provide better care for vulnerable populations, and setting up tele-medicine consultations with our physician-led integrative medical team to provide support for those battling mild symptoms at home.


Plant-based food as a preventive measure for frontline healthcare workers to fight against Covid-19 

  • Many front-line health care workers in the United States have died from COVID-19 as of August 10, 2020. Plant-based foods have shown to be effective in managing underlying condition or risk factors for COVID-19, such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity. Tzu Chi Medical Foundation (TCMF) and UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM) are partnering to launch a new program that combines existing vegetarian recipes with modern research in nutrition and herbal foods to provide plant-based food for frontline healthcare workers to prevent SARS-Cov-2 infection. 
  • TCMF is dedicated to providing quality community health services in the forms of community clinics, outreach, and community health programs for underserved populations, at minimal to no cost, primarily in California. CEWM has been collaborating with TCMF over the last 2½ years to disseminate the UCLA-developed patient-centered integrative model to help optimize the care for the underserved, including the preparation of a series of Manuals for prevention, treatment and rehab of COVID-19, which include herbal food and tea as interventions. 
  • For more information about the TCMF and CEWM collaboration, please visit the following link: https://medical.tzuchi.us/blog/commemorating-26-years-at-tzu-chi-medical-foundations-annual-appreciation-dinner