Additionally, to establish credibility for herbal use in the modern settings, experience-based claims from Chinese herbal medical doctors must be transformed into evidence-based claims. Finally, the question of how to address the need for both individualizing the basis of TCM and standardizing the basis of modern pharmacology treatment with herbs must be settled. Once these issues are resolved, the prospect exists for widespread use of herbal medicine as a safe, effective, and affordable form of healthcare .
The following articles provides an overview of selected pieces in the current literature concerning herbal research and development:.
TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine): New Developments
This article from Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine provides the history behind herbal medicine and the current challenges with the use of herbal remedies. The paper also provides a side-by-side comparison between the traditional use and scientific use of herbs, a list of factors that are essential in determining the efficacy and effectiveness of herbal treatments, an overview of pragmatic trials PT in traditional medicine, and a look into the future directions of herbal research, including high-throughput analysis combining genomic, proteomic and chemical data.
Additionally, the paper includes a discussion of the concerns of safety, toxicity, and side effects associated with herbal medicine and the future changes that experts have proposed to increase the safety and efficacy of herbal medicine use. Although governments, international agencies, and corporations are increasingly investing in herbal medicine research, numerous challenges remain unaddressed in this field.
This Dove Press Journal review article explains why and describes some possible research designs to overcome these challenges. Perspective: The Clinical Trial Barriers.
Challenges and Future Directions of Herbal Medicine Research • Explore Integrative Medicine
In this perspectives article, medical treatments are illustrated as both an art and a science and emphasis is placed upon the need for more appropriate methods to test traditional Asian medicines. The necessity for incorporating personalized medicine into randomized controlled clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of traditional treatments is the central message of this outlook.
While there are many challenges associated with the successful integration of Traditional Chinese Medicine TCM into Western medical practices, the advent of omic techniques in systems biology provides a promising route for the modernization and standardization of TCM research while maintaining the holistic and personalized qualities of TCM. Because Chinese herbal remedies are often complex mixtures of numerous phytocomplexes, it had previous been difficult to analyze the role different molecules played in the overall effect.
Now, with high-throughput information-rich techniques, tools are available to generate a large amount of raw information and use factorial analytical models to generate a global view of the biological system. Donkeys are a hot item in Africa. In the past few years, prices for the animals and their hides have jumped so high that people have been stealing them.
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Some countries, including Niger, Tanzania and Botswana, have resorted to banning exports to preserve their donkey populations. It is a highly prized ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine TCM , believed to stop bleeding and fight coughs and cancer.
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As prices have risen, and donkey populations have fallen inside China from 9. Other animals are threatened more.
The Chinese appetite for TCM remedies has helped to push species including tigers, rhinoceroses, sea horses and pangolins to the brink of extinction. This situation is all the more troubling because there is little evidence that the preparations made from these animal products actually deliver the promised benefits. TCM is based on unsubstantiated theories about meridians and qi.
Most Western-trained doctors and medical researchers regard TCM practices with scepticism: there is no substantial evidence that most of them work, and some signs that a few do harm. Signals about TCM from the Chinese government are contradictory.
Innovating Chinese Herbal Medicine: From Traditional Health Practice to Scientific Drug Discovery
On the one hand, China advertises a belief in evidence-based medicine and has invested millions of yuan in programmes devoted to the modernization and standardization of TCM. On the other hand, TCM is big business that receives strong government support. These mixed signals are now worryingly mirrored by the World Health Organization WHO , which last week approved a new version of its International Classification of Diseases, a highly influential document that categorizes and assigns codes to medical conditions, and is used internationally to decide how doctors diagnose conditions and whether insurance companies will pay to treat them.
TCM practitioners around the world have celebrated its incorporation into the document as crucial for the international spread of the system. So has China.
From elsewhere, criticism has rained down on the WHO. The organization has defended its position. In a statement on 4 April, it insisted that the TCM chapter does not discuss particular remedies.