The coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19) is developing rapidly and posing great threat to public health. There is no effective intervention for the severe patients, and their prognosis is poor. It is worth noting that in the fight against COVID-19, China has always put equal emphasis on both Chinese and Western medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine has played an important role in the whole process. It is of great significance to discuss the rules and characteristics of the prescription of traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of COVID-19. In this study, information was collected from 444 severe COVID-19 patients who were admitted to a hospital designated to treat patients with severe COVID-19 in Wuhan before March 20, 2020. We collected traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions for patients with severe COVID-19, referred to Chinese Pharmacopoeia to standardize the names of traditional Chinese medicine, and extract the property, flavor and channel tropism of traditional Chinese medicines to analyze the rules of the prescriptions. IBM SPSS Modeler 18.0 software was used to conduct correlation analysis of traditional Chinese medicine. Effective traditional Chinese medicines against COVID-19 was identified by the TCMATCOV platform. In the end, 1 532 effective prescriptions were included. Among them, the high-frequency drugs are Poria, Astragali Radix, Pogostemonis Herba, Armeniacae Semen Amarum, Atractylodis Macrocephalae Rhizoma, Pinelliae Rhizoma, Glycyrrhizae Radix et Rhizoma, Magnoliae Officinalis Cortex, Ephedrae Herba, Cinna-momi Ramulus. Most of the drugs have the following functions: resolving dampness, replenishing deficiency, resolving phlegm, cough, and asthma. The core combinations are Pogostemonis Herba-Poria, Astragali Radix-Pogostemonis Herba-Poria, Amomi Fructus-Poria, Amomi Fructus-Pogostemonis Herba, Amomi Fructus-Astragali Radix. The majority of the medicines are with cold and warm properties, and the proportions are 41.03% and 38.46%, respectively. The medicinal flavors are mainly concentrated in sweet and bitter, and the proportions are 34.71% and 30.58%, respectively. The meridian of the drug is more into the lung, stomach and spleen, with lung accounting for 22.87%. From the analysis of high-frequency drugs to the core combinations, one can see that the main treatment principle for severe COVID-19 is to remove internal and external dampness, protect the spleen and stomach, remove evil energy, and support righteousness. TCMATCOV platform was used to calculate the network disturbances of the high-frequency drugs. It was found that the traditional Chinese medicine with a high disturbance score accounted for a high proportion of the classic anti-COVID-19 prescriptions used by clinicians. Among them, the drugs with top scores are Ephedrae Herba, Citri Reticulatae Pericarpium, Eupatorii Herba, Platycodonis Radix, Cinnamomi Ramulus, Astragali Radix, Magnoliae Officinalis Cortex, Atractylodis Macrocephalae Rhizoma, Pogostemonis Herba, Scutellariae Radix. After a further exploration of the action targets, it was showed that disease-specific factor TNF was the target of the above ten drugs, and traditional Chinese medicine can exert anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects.