Home > Current Events > Year 2010 November
A review of stories making the headlines.

TCM gurus must be certified, says government
Global Times, 02 November 2010

The Ministry of Health has introduced regulations that all TCM health advisers in the nutrition, beauty and health industries must be trained and certified. This comes in the wake of several high-profile fraud cases. Two new certificates are given by the China Employment Training Technical Instruction Center, one for general TCM therapy and the other for TCM nutrition and diet advisers. Applicants must have a college degree in TCM or Western medicine and at least two-year working experience in related industries. This is the first of a series of moves by the Ministry of Health to regulate the TCM industry, and by the end of this year, new standards will be introduced to further regulate the registration, licensing, advertising, management and manufacturing associated with this industry.

HKBU receives HK$20 million to support research and development
Hong Kong Baptist University íV School of Chinese Medicine, 9 November 2010

The School of Chinese Medicine of Hong Kong Baptist University received a donation of HK$20 million from the Wu Jieh Yee Charitable Foundation Limited to support the research and development of the Centre for Cancer and Inflammation Research. In recognition of the Foundation's support, it has been named the "Shum Yiu Foon Shum Bik Chuen Memorial Centre for Cancer and Inflammation Research," in memory of Ms. Shum Yiu Foon and Ms. Shum Bik Chuen, sisters who worked as helpers of the Wu family. Established in 2009, the Centre focuses its research on common cancers in Hong Kong such as lung cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer, as well as inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Herbal medicine may ease constipation
Reuters, 12 November 2010

People suffering from serious constipation may get some relief from a Chinese herbal medicine consisting of hemp seed and other herbs, a new study finds. Participants who took 7.5 grams twice a day of Hemp Seed Pill, which consists of six different herbs, reported some improvements in their symptoms of constipation and fared better than people taking a placebo pill. HSP is a classic formula in traditional Chinese medicine and has been used to treat constipation for more than 1,000 years. In theory, the herbs work in combination, acting as a purgative and laxative, and also improving the additional problems associated with constipation, such as dry mouth and trouble sleeping.

Compound found in liquorice root could treat brain diseases
Daily News & Analysis, 14 November 2010

Compound found in liquorice root could help prevent or slow down the cell death associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, says a neuroscientist at the University of South Carolina. In the research, plant-derived phytoestrogens were insolated from liquorice root, and tested the ability to help nerve cells survive in neurodegenerative diseases and keep neurons connected and functional.

Chinese medicine prices go sky high
People's Daily Online, 18 November 2010

Some 84% of nearly 600 Chinese traditional medicines in the market have seen price spike as high as 700% over the past year, according to the China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Industry watchers blame speculation, bad weather and strong market demand for the soaring prices. Two traditional herbs pseudostellaria root and caterpillar fungus, have soared to astronomical highs. Pseudostellaria root jumps to 905 yuan, a 660% increase in less than one year; while top-grade caterpillar fungus has seen a 20% increase in just a month, selling for as high as 200,000 yuan per kilo.

Peking opera joins exalted company
People's Daily Online, 19 November 2010

Peking opera and acupuncture have been listed on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The decision was made at the fifth meeting of the Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Nairobi. Three other Chinese cultural elements - meshrep (the Uygur folk performance), the watertight bulkhead technology of Chinese junks, and printing with wooden movable type, were inscribed on UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. The fourth form added to the list was the ojkanje throat singing tradition of Croatia.

Taichi may provide arthritis relief
Businessweek, 24 November 2010

Arthritis patients may gain physical and emotional relief from the ancient Chinese art of Tai Chi, finds a new study, the largest of its kind. Patients with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia felt better and moved more easily after taking twice-weekly classes in Tai Chi, researchers found. "It reduced pain, stiffness and fatigue, and improved their balance," said study lead author Leigh F. Callahan, an associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. The findings of the study were released at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in Atlanta.

Modern technology to refine Chinese herbal medicine
focustaiwan.tw, 24 November 2010

In Taiwan, the Department of Health has unveiled a new technique of converting herbs into powders. Yu Chien-chih, the leading researcher of the project, said traditional powders sold on the market have many disadvantages, for example, the ingredients in the powder could deteriorate owing to moisture in the air, the taste is too bitter, and the medication volume is verwhelmingly big. The new technique prolongs the preservation period, takes away unpleasant tastes, increases the stability of the ingredients and reduces the daily volume of taking.

Traditional medicine can't cure HIV yet
Global Times, 25 November 2010

Traditional Chinese Medicine does not offer a cure for HIV, TCM authorities said in response to claims made by a Hong Kong-based TCM company, which asserted that a cure will be found soon. Wu Gang, vice commissioner of the State Administration of TCM, said that the patients' symptoms were relieved and their immune systems strengthened, that's all they have got so far. TCM still has a long way to go to become the dominant treatment for HIV, but it has shown unique advantages in combating the disease, said Li Yong, chief secretary for the AIDS branch of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies.

TCM campaign set to continue
People's Daily Online, 26 November 2010

China will continue to seek to have other areas of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) included on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list after its success with acupuncture, a senior health official said. So far, China has 34 items on the protected UNESCO list - 28 on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage and 5 under the category in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. In the meantime, the government will continue to raise public awareness of TCM and attract more users, only in that way can the protection and development of TCM be sustained, he added.

Chinese government vows to step up HIV-AIDS control
English.xinhuanet.com, 29 November 2010

In China, the State Council pledged to step up HIV-AIDS control. A statement has issued after the State Council executive meeting, the government will promote the application of rapid HIV testing at the grass-roots level, continue to provide free tests for HIV-AIDS and syphilis for expectant mothers, input more intervention programs to target at-risk populations, add more HIV-AIDS drugs to basic medical insurance and also promote the use of traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of HIV-AIDS.

Medical board fines man for illegally practicing TCM
Channelnewsasia.com, 30 November 2010

In Singapore, the TCM Practitioners Board has prosecuted Li Tong Ren of Tong Ren International Trading for carrying out a prescribed practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) although he was not qualified and registered to do so. The board said both Li and Tong Ren International Trading were prosecuted in Court and pleaded guilty to the charges. Li was fined S$10,000 while Tong Ren International Trading was also convicted for employing an unqualified person to carry out the practice of TCM and was fined S$9,000.

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