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

Can Chinese herbal medicine combat endometriosis?
Boston(www.boston.com), 5 October 2009

A review published by the Cochrane Collaboration, an international nonprofit that analyzed the results of two randomized studies of Chinese herbal medicine involving 158 women, suggested that Chinese herbs may provide better relief of pelvic pain than other prescription drugs used in the West. In the review, researchers at the University of Southampton in England found that Chinese herbs (which they did not name) were better at relieving menstrual pain than Danazol, a testosterone-derived drug, and were also better at shrinking endometrial masses.

Most want to see more traditional medicine, but few want to use it
South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), 7 October 2009

A phone survey of almost 700 people by a political party in September found that the majority of Hong Kong people think that the government is not doing enough to support TCM, but only a quarter would go to the herbalist if sick. More than 80 percent said the government should do more to help Chinese medicine and a similar proportion said of one of four sites recently selected to build private hospitals should be devoted to TCM. Just 25 percent of respondents poll said an herbalist would be their first choice of treatment, half said they had visited one in the past. A third believed that TCM had fewer side affects than Western medicine. Of those that did not choose TCM, a quarter said that the effect of Western drugs could be seen more quickly, and 14 percent said that there were no corresponding inpatient services in hospitals.

Scientists explain beneficial effects of ancient Chinese heart medicines
China Digital Times(chinadigitaltimes.net), 12 October 2009

New research has uncovered the scientific basis of ancient Chinese herbal formulas that have been shown to improve cardiovascular health. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston believe these formulas help prevent heart disease by producing large amounts of nitric oxide, which is known for its artery-widening properties that help blood flow and circulation. The traditional formulas also lower pressure and reduce the formation of artery-clogging material that may cause blood clots.

Herbs offer some hope
Camden Advertiser (www.camdenadvertiser.com), 14 October 2009

A team from the University of Western Sydney Centre for Complementary Medicine Research has found evidence that suggests Chinese herbs could treat the early stages of diabetes. At the Campbelltown campus, reviewed 16 clinical trials that suggested people who took Chinese herbs were able to delay the onset of "full blown" diabetes. The study was carried out in April 2008 and March this year in conjunction with the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. The Chinese herbs used in the trials included ginseng, coptis and astragalus, they were taken in either tea, powder or capsule forms. Further investigations were warranted to further test the herbs' validity.

Hong Kong to push ahead with private hospital development: CE
China View (www.chinaview.cn), 14 October 2009

Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang said in his October policy address that by the end of 2009, the government would invite Expressions of Interest (EOI) to develop private hospitals on four sites in the Special Administrative Region. These hospitals may also provide include traditional Chinese medicine hospitals, Tsang said. To facilitate the development of TCM, the government will speed up the setting of standards for Chinese herbs commonly used in Hong Kong and aim to extend coverage from the current 60 herbs to about 200 by year 2012. The government will assist in the setting up of testing laboratories to enhance the city's capability to test TCMs.

Undergraduate TCM international education standard established
People's Daily Online (english.people.com.cn), 15 October 2009

The "International Standard for Undergraduate (Pre-Doctor) Education of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)" has been officially released at a press briefing on the international standard for TCM organizations held by the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS) in Beijing. The standard mainly includes two aspects: basic management requirements for institutions offering undergraduate TCM education and basic requirements for TCM graduates. While the standard normalizes undergraduate TCM education in every country/region, it should also comply with relevant regulations and laws in each country and allow sufficient flexibility for individual development.

TCM remedies for ADHD kids
New Straits Times (www.straitstimes.com), 15 October 2009

The first-ever local study of TCM for kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in Singapore will be carried out in November by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) and TCM Company Science Arts. It aims to measure how effective a TCM herbal remedy is for the disorder, and hopefully develop it as an alternative to other treatments. In the six-month study, psychiatrists will use established Western measures to assess children's behaviour, while TCM practitioners administer herbal-extract capsules called yi shen ke li, "granules to benefit the spirit". Some of the herbs in the extract include danshen (salvia), dates, gancao, and fuling. There is so little scientific information about TCM for ADHD, said the study's researchers.

Beware of H1N1 snake oil
The Globe and Mail (www.theglobeandmail.com), 16 October 2009

The prevalence of the H1N1 virus has led to many websites offering everything from air purifiers, herbal supplements, inhalers and even body washes said to prevent or cure the virus. There is no solid scientific evidence to back up any of those claims, Canadian public-health officials are urging the public not to buy H1N1-related products, and Health Canada is preparing to issue a new and expanded warning about online products that fraudulently claim to cure or treat H1N1. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has developed a comprehensive list of websites and companies selling various gels, kits, supplements, sprays and other unauthorized products that make unsubstantiated claims about H1N1 protection or treatment.

Thomson Medical launches TCM unit
Channel News Asia (www.channelnewsasia.com), 22 October 2009

Singapore's Thomson Medical Centre has recently launched a TCM unit. The Centre said the unit will integrate traditional Chinese medicines and practices with conventional treatments aimed at treating women. Services provided by the unit include acupuncture for assisted reproductive therapies, fertility wellness and cancer recovery. The TCM unit also aims to introduce a children's care component in 2010.

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