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

Granted US patent for research on Chinese medicine herb
Hong Kong Baptist University, 2 December 2009

The School of Chinese Medicine was granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the study of the herb Mao Dong Qing. This is the second US patent related to Mao Dong Qing that the School has been granted within a year. The research points to the potential of developing a new therapeutic agent for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Mao Dong Qing is a traditional herb commonly used in cardiovascular diseases.

Ginger prices could skyrocket on H1N1 fears
http://www.foxbusiness.com, 3 December 2009

Ginger, commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat colds and other ailments, has seen increased demand in China during this flu season. Retail ginger prices have increased just 85% in under a year, as Chinese consumers and speculators begin to hoard the spice. The health benefits of honey and ginger in treating respiratory problems is well known. Garlic, also believed to have flu-fighting properties, has seen wholesale prices increase by as much as 1500% since March.

Log on for traditional Chinese medicine recipes to fight flu
South China Morning Post, 5 December 2009

The recipes, medicinal and non-medicinal, were developed by five experts from the Hospital Authority, Chinese University, University of Hong Kong and Baptist University following a flu prevention conference in Beijing in September. They modified recommendations from the conference and created recipes specifically for Hongkongers, taking into consideration local climate and lifestyle. The recipes are available online at the Hospital Authority website.

New centre to focus on disease links
South China Morning Post, 10 December 2009

Hong Kong Baptist University - the School of Chinese Medicine has opened a new research centre. The Centre for Cancer and Inflammation Research, the first Chinese medicine research centre in Hong Kong to specialise in the health conditions, will establish a specimen bank of liquid bio-samples such as saliva and urine from patients suffering from lung cancer, colorectal cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. The centre will also establish a database on the efficacy and safety of integrated Chinese and Western medical treatment and look at the additional benefits of combined Chinese-Western cancer treatment over conventional Western treatment alone.

Old formulas to treat a new flu
The Wall Street Journal, 17 December 2009

In Beijing, officials announced that a traditional formula called Jin Hua Qing Gan Fang (金花清感方) has been designated as the world's first "optimized effective agent" for alleviating the symptoms of the H1N1 virus. The formula was developed and tested at several Western and traditional medical institutes over the past six months. It is based on two classic formulas, Ma Xing Shi Gan Tang and Yin Qiao San, both of which have been used for centuries to treat feverish diseases. The new formula will have to go through an approval process.

Prices of traditional Chinese herbs up an average 20%
http://www.channelnewsasia.com,22 December 2009

In Singapore, prices of some Chinese herbs have shot up by some three times over the past six months, on the back of rising demand. TCM practitioners said concerns over H1N1 in China and poor harvest due to bad weather, have unexpectedly spurred domestic sales. Herbs like honeysuckle flowers were selling for about $50 per kilogram half a year ago, but now have to fork out a whopping $135 for them. The same goes for chrysanthemum flowers, which used to sell for $8 for half a kilogram, is about twice for $15. On average, prices for most herbs have gone up by about 20 per cent.

Chinese medicine firm employs Cambridge University to research remedies
http://www.guardian.co.uk, 22 December 2009

Manufacturer Hutchison Chi-Med signs three-year deal with Cambridge pharmacologists to investigate the potential healing and anti-aging properties of the group's herbal remedies. The company has a proprietary patent medicine for heart disease and has sold in China this year. The research deal will focus research on the core ingredients of the pill. Also, scientists will try to identify ingredients that could be used in skin care products to be marketed under another brand.

Cancer patients' attitudes towards Chinese medicine: a Hong Kong survey
http://www.cmjournal.org, 30 December 2009

In Hong Kong, a survey about the cancer patients' attitudes towards Chinese medicine shows that cancer patients considered integrative Chinese and Western medicine is an effective cancer treatment. A total of 786 participants included in the study, 42.9% used Western medicine only; 57.1% used at least one form of Chinese medicine; 5 participants used Chinese medicine only; and 56.5% used Chinese medicine before/during/after Western medicine treatment. Participants receiving chemotherapy used Chinese medicine (63.3%) more than those receiving any other Western medicine treatments.

Ginkgo biloba has no effect on Alzheimer's, dementia
USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com), 31 December 2009

Ginkgo biloba does not improve memory nor does it prevent cognitive decline in older people, according to the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory study, funded by the NC CAM, a center of the National Institutes of Health. The randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study was conducted at six medical centers and involved more than 3,000 people between ages 72 and 96 for seven years. The report has published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Compiled By:
Rose Tse, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.