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

Government encouraged to buy recipes of traditional medicine in Heilongjiang
CCTV.com, 5 May 2009

The "Regulations of Heilongjiang Province for the Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine" came into force on May 1. The Regulations encourage the government to purchase TCM remedies from the people in order to rescue and protect these endangered TCM secrets. According to Li Bin, Director of the Department of Health of Heilongjiang Province, TCM literature, time-tested folk prescriptions, secret prescriptions and unique TCM curative techniques are of great academic and medical value. The authorities have stipulated that the governments and the relevant TCM authorities should allocate adequate funds and personnel to ensure the efforts.

Xuanwu Hospital sells Alzheimer's disease TCM drug to SL Pharma
Interfax-China (www.interfax.cn), 6 May 2009

Xuanwu Hospital of Capital Medical University has sold a newly-developed traditional Chinese medicine drug used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease to Beijing SL Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., according to a statement on the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau's website (http://english.bjhb.gov.cn).

Govt gives a boost to TCM use
China Daily (chinadaily.com.cn), 7 May 2009

A circular released recently by the State Council ordered local governments to include hospitals of traditional medicine in their health service networks. It also requires health institutions to improve TCM training, facilities and medicines. "Every community health service station and village health clinic should be able to offer TCM services," the circular said. Governments at various levels are urged to increase investment in public TCM hospitals in help to improve facilities, support research and train doctors.

Toothpicks match needles for acupuncture
US News (http://www.usnews.com), 12 May 2009

A sham form of acupuncture using toothpicks that don't penetrate the skin works as well as traditional needle acupuncture for relieving back pain, researchers report in the May 11 Archives of Internal Medicine. A week after the last treatment, about three-fifths of those getting real or sham acupuncture reported significant improvement in disabilities brought on by back pain, compared with only two-fifths of those not receiving any real or simulated acupuncture. Since the toothpicks didn't penetrate the skin, the new study "raises questions about acupuncture's purported mechanism of action," the authors note. Cherkin hypothesizes that if acupuncture has a physiological effect, the stimulation of certain points on the skin may result in the same nerve-related benefits, he says. Or it could be the placebo effect, in which a patient's belief in the treatment induces improvements.

TCM take on swine flu - it's pathogenic heat, cold and damp
The Shanghai Daily (www.shanghaidaily.com), 13 May 2009

Improving one's vital energy (qi) and boosting immunity can help defending against the H1N1 or swine flu, according Dr Wu Yingen, a member of the Shanghai Expert Panel on Preventing and Controlling H1N1 flu. Dr Wu said that "The flu is likely caused by invasion of pathogenic heat, pathogenic cold and pathogenic dampness, according to its different symptoms." Sore throat and fever suggest pathogenic heat, aches and pains suggest pathogenic cold, while diarrhea and stomach ache indicate pathogenic dampness. The panel concluded that dispelling pathogenic energies while strengthening healthy energy should be used to treat this new strain of flu. Various Chinese herbs can help sufferers of swine flu, but they only treat symptoms, and do not prevent people from catching the flu. TCM practitioners urge people to take the standard precautions íV frequent hand-washing and the airing of rooms íV to prevent colds and flu.

New insights show ginseng fights inflammation
The Atlanta Journal (www.ajc.com), 15 May 2009

A new study has found that ginseng, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine, fights inflammation. Researchers from the University of Hong Kong identified seven constituents of ginseng, called ginsenosides that showed immunosuppressive effects. The findings have been published online in the Journal of Translational Medicine.

Insomnia may be treated with traditional Chinese medicine methods
Personal Liberty News Desk (http://www.personalliberty.com), 22 May 2009

While sleeping pills may have side effects and cause addiction, proven natural methods have been shown to relieve symptoms of insomnia and restlessness. Chinese medicine has been successfully treating insomnia for thousands of years. There is a growing awareness, even among Western medicine practitioners, that insomnia is not an isolated condition but is often related to physical and mental disorders, including stress and anxiety. Chinese health practitioners have used herbal remedies along with acupuncture to treat insomnia, depending on the underlying condition.

Swiss take an holistic approach
http://www.irishtimes.com, 26 May 2009

Switzerland became the first country in Europe to enshrine complementary medicine into its constitution when more than 67 per cent of national voters opted in favour of a new constitutional article on complementary medicine. That result makes it likely that certain complementary therapies will be re-instated into the basic health insurance scheme available to all Swiss citizens. Therapies including homeopathy, herbalism and traditional Chinese medicine were removed from the basic health insurance scheme in 2004 and put into additional optional private health insurance schemes.

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