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

Cluster headache may respond to kudzu products
Reuters Health (www.reutershealth.com), 2 February 2009

A survey published in the journal Headache of patients who take products containing kudzu extract or kudzu root show that it may help manage cluster headache. A TCM of longstanding, its effects include increasing in cerebral blood flow in the brain. Prof. Sewell of Yale University School of Medicine, West Haven, Connecticut and colleagues surveyed 235 cluster headache patients by email regarding their use of alternative headache remedies. Around 159 patients responded and 22 (14 percent) endorsed self-treatment with kudzu. After using kudzu treatment, most cluster headache sufferers either reported a decrease in headache frequency as well as a decrease in length of headaches. The plant's roots and extracts are used in TCM as a supplement or treatment for such things like alcoholism, headaches, diarrhea, intestinal obstruction, stomach flu, hypertension and angina.

Fake research papers cast TCM to shame
Chinaview (www.chinaview.com), 4 February 2009

He Haibo, an associate professor of TCM research with the Zhejiang University has been caught faking and plagiarizing research in papers published in various international journals. Li Lianda, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, was also implicated in the scandal as he was listed as a co-author in some of Prof. He's papers. Prof. He had copied statistics in two articles from his PhD tutor Dai Zezai, while statistics in two other articles were partially compiled by himself and copied from others. He Haibo had been sacked from his post. Commentators say that such scandals will set obstacles for selling TCM on international markets as scientific research is used these days to back up traditional claims.

Chinese weight loss product warning From Irish Medicines Board
UK Medix News (www.ukmedix.com), 10 February 2009

The Irish Medicines Board has issued an urgent warning to members of the public not to use Chinese weight loss medicine. One particular product, called "2 Day Diet" was tested by Irish authorities and found to contain sibutramine which is the active ingredient in the prescription weight loss drug Reductil which is an appetite suppressant. Reductil can be effective in losing weight, but it is not suitable to all people and is not a traditional Chinese medicine. It is unknown the effects of Reductil when used with traditional Chinese medicine. The Irish Medicines Board said that anybody who was using these products should immediately contact their pharmacy or doctor.

Chinese Remedies May Offer Benefits in Treating Allergies
Modern Medicine (http://www.modernmedicine.com), 16 February 2009

Several TCM herbal therapies have potential to be effective treatments for asthma and food allergies, according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. In their report, Li Xiumin and LaVerne Brown, of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, discuss recent research on the use of TCM remedies on asthma published since 2005, as well as findings on the use of an herbal formula for treating peanut allergies. In a randomized, double-blind study comparing a three-herb formula (radix glycyrrhizae, radix Sophorae flavescentis, ganoderma) with oral prednisone in patients with moderate-to-severe asthma, the researchers found improved lung function in sufferers. Research on mice found that a nine-herb formula (FAHF-2) protected the animals from a reaction to peanuts.

China herbal medicine factory shut after patient dies: report
Agence France-Presse (www.afp.com),16 February 2009

A pharmaceutical factory producing TCM called "Shuanghuanglian" was shut down in northeastern China when a patient died after being injected with the preparation. Two other patients were also taken ill after being injected with the medicine produced by the Wusili River Pharmacy in Heilongjiang Province. China's Ministry of Health ordered hospitals and pharmacies to suspend the use and sales of the TCM. The herbal medicine is normally used to treat fevers and coughs caused by the common cold. Over 240 workers at the factory in Jiamusi city lost their jobs due to the shutdown.

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