Home > Current Events > Year 2009 January
A review of stories making the headlines.

Herbalist charged in teen's abortion
South China Morning Post, 7 January 2009

Tsui Pik-fong, 59, pleaded not guilty to two counts of administering a poison or other noxious substance with intent to procure a miscarriage recently. A Ms Au Yeung visited the herbalist three times in October 2007 after the medicine she was prescribed - a synthetic steroid called mifepristone - failed to abort her fetus. Ms Yam told the jury of six men and one woman in the Court of First Instance. After her last alleged visit to Tsui's clinic, Ms Au Yeung was found pale and bleeding on the floor of a flat that she shared with her sister in Ap Lei Chau, the trial heard. She was taken to a hospital, where she received a blood transfusion and was released the next day.

Vow to bring mum back alive
New Zealand Herald (www.nzherald.co.nz), 7 January 2009

Oleg Amitov, ex-husband of missing Auckland hiker Irina Yun has promised their young daughter that he will bring her mother home safe and sound. Mr believes his former wife is still alive, despite searchers holding little hope of rescuing the woman. Mr Amitov, a registered practitioner of Chinese medicine, says he has been "channelling" his former wife's qi-gong (life force) with assistance from other Auckland-based practitioners. Ms Yun has the spirit of a survivor, he said. Ms Yun's "dan tian" (life structure), was still capable of channelling qi-gong and therefore is probably still alive.

Traditional Chinese medicine under attack from illegal ads
China Daily (www.Chinadaily.com.cn), 13 January 2009

The State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine states that there has been a decline in the number of advertising licenses revoked for false and misleading promotions. Vice Health Minister Wang Guoqiang revealed the authorities had stopped 2,274 illegal TCM advertisements in 2008, while 225 websites posting illegal TCM ads were closed and 83 TCM medical institutions were ordered to stop their operations. According to China's Drug Administration Law, each medical advertisement must be approved by drug regulators before it is published, however some ad content was changed to incorporate false or misleading information after receiving approval for publication.

Herbal menopause remedies ineffective
The Globe and Mail (www.theglobeandmail.com), 14 January 2009

Many women use herbal preparations containing such things black cohosh, evening primrose oil or red clover to treat hot flashes, irritability and other menopause-related problems. But the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, published by the British Medical Journal includes a report showing evidence showing that the effectiveness of these remedies as often being under-researched or weak. In many countries, natural health products can be approved for sale as long as the manufacturer can show they have been used for decades, thus they may be reluctant to finance studies that may affect the marketability of their product.

With economy sour, consumers sweet on herbal meds
The China Daily(www.chinadaily.com.cn), 14 January 2009

With the downturn in the economy, herbal remedies are on the rise with healthcare consumers because they are generally much cheaper than Western pharmaceuticals. This trend has been detailed by the Associated Press's review of recent data from market-watchers and retailers. A US government survey released in December said worries about the cost of conventional medicine influenced Americans' decisions to try alternative remedies. Among those users, roughly a quarter said they delayed or didn't get conventional medical care because of the cost.

HK experts find Chinese medicine helps relieve irritable bowel syndrome?
Xinhua(www.chinaview.cn), 15 January 2009

A pilot study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong suggests that traditional Chinese medicine can be a promising treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and works better than Western treatment. The university's Faculty of Medicine carried out a study over a year ago, in which 84 patients with IBS were divided into groups receiving different treatments. The results show that after eight week's treatment, 46 percent of the patients taking TCM reported overall improvement in symptoms, compared to 29 percent from the Western medicine group.

China mulls TCM hospital in Russia in 2009
China Knowledge (chinaknowledge.com), 16 January 2009

The China Daily recently mentioned that China is planning to set up a traditional Chinese medicine hospital in Russia sometime in 2009, the first one outside the country. China also plans to provide a range of TCM services in Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia during this year, such as selling Chinese herb sales, short-term courses on TCM training and TCM treatment centres.

Chinese erection drug leaves 3 Aussies hospitalized
Medindia (http://www.medindia.net), 16 January 2009

Two men and a woman were recently all admitted to Royal Darwin Hospital with shaking, confusion, dizziness, and low blood sugar after taking Nangen Zengzhangsu, a pill from China that is supposed to enhance sexual function. The incident has led the Health Department to a warning that these pills could lead to serious complications. Available for 10 dollars a pill on a UK website, the medicine is marketed on as 100 per cent herbal, but contains ingredients like donkey kidney and deer antler. This drug, although claimed to be a natural alternative to Viagra with no side effects, may also contain Glibenclamide, a medicine used to treat diabetes.

Compiled By:
Jennifer Eagleton, BA, MA (Asian Studies), Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.