Home > Current Events > Year 2012 October
A review of stories making the headlines.

Chinese medicine boosts hearing recovery after sudden deafness
News-Medical.net, 2 October 2012

A herb, Radix Astragali (RA), used in Chinese medicine significantly improves the recovery of hearing after sudden deafness (SD) compared with standard therapy, the results of a Chinese study indicate. The team recruited 92 patients, and 46 received the 10-day RA treatment. It was reported in the American Journal of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery that the average hearing gain in terms of pure tone average was significantly greater in the RA group, at 36.2 versus 21.1 dB.

UF to offer Chinese medicine to reduce students' stresses
The Independent Florida Alligator, 3 October 2012

The UF Counseling and Wellness Center is using traditional Chinese medicine to reduce students' anxiety and stress. The center hosts a group called Moving the Anxious Mind, which implements qigong exercises. Stark Jones, a power yoga instructor, said qigong has shown to be very beneficial by reducing the amount of stress and anxiety, it helps students with sleep, concentration, focus, cognitive behavior and the immune system."

Chinese medicine in dilemma
Sin Chew Jit Pohm, 4 October 2012

Acquiring a medical license is difficult not only overseas, but also in China. The country has adopted Western standards to regulate its medical system, that all practitioners are requested to pass a license exam, including exams on English and Western medical theories, a major obstacle to rural practitioners. Official data showed in 2010, there were about 294,000 Chinese medicine practitioners in China, while Western medicine practitioners were almost eight times more at 2.32 million. Furthermore, College students only have very limited time on real Chinese medicine study, impossible to become skilled at campus, a specialist said.

Researchers work to bridge the gap between Chinese and Western medicine
Medical Xpress, 8 October 2012

A team of scientists from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has been working on a new approach to drug development involving chemistry, biotechnology, mathematics, computer power and ancient Chinese medicine practices. The regime is called quantitative-pattern-activity-relationship (QPAR) and is still at an early stage. If successful, scientists will only have to do laboratory tests and crunch on computers to build databases, and get an accurate projection of active ingredients, efficacy and toxicity for preliminary herbal study in the future.

'Harsh' punishment reduced for sinseh
Asiaone, 9 October 2012

A traditional Chinese physician who was caught prescribing Western drugs had his punishment cut on appeal. Mr Tang Yeow Leong gave four unlabelled blue tablets to a patient suffering from backache. The sinseh was originally fined $5,000 by the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board and had his registration suspended for three months. However, a High Court judge reduced this to a $4,000 fine and two-month suspension, saying the initial punishment seemed "a little harsh."

Chinese medicine comparable to HRT for menopause symptoms?
Foodconsumer.org, 10 October 2012

A study suggests that Chinese medicine preparation (CMP) may be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help women who experience menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. The trial involved 31 subjects, 10 women were assigned CHM, 11 HRT, and 10 a placebo. The researchers found: "Although quantitatively there was a significant difference in the reduction of hot flushes between groups, qualitatively there was no overall improvement." The trial suggests that those who were reluctant to use HRT may consider using CMP.

Herb your enthusiasm
Global Times, 11 October 2012

As more people are concerned with health, the snacks with Chinese herbs have been increasingly popular. Popular herbal snacks in the market include turtle jelly, candied ginger or date, and some popular beverages such as plum syrup and honeysuckle flower tea, all of which are said can nourish organs, detoxify the body, accelerate metabolic function and improve the immune system. Specialists suggested people should seek a balanced diet instead of eating snacks. After all, they are snacks and thus are junk food with little nutritional value.

More patients seeking alternative medicine
Gulfnews.com, 12 October 2012

The perception towards complimentary medicine is changing positively. According to the Ministry, TCAM is growing in private medical sectors, and practitioners are being employed in private medical centers, polyclinics and even major private hospitals. Dr. Maria Ridao Alonso, physician in Chinese medicine and medical director at the Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre, added: "Since 2009 we have each year an increase of over 30% new patients. This shows us that the general benefits-awareness of complementary medicine has improved."

Spirituality central to traditional Chinese medicine, study finds
U.S. News & World Report, 12 October 2012

Spirituality is the key to successful treatment using traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), a new study says. Researchers analyzed the origins and development of TCM, and concluded that it is profoundly influenced by Chinese philosophy and religion. An underlying premise is that the mind and body of a person are inseparable, according to the study, a person must have good spirit and pay attention to cultivating that spirit to be in good health. The study was published online of the journal Pastoral Psychology.

Drug from Chinese 'thunder god vine' slays tumors in mice
Bloomberg, 18 October 2012

A drug made from a plant known as thunder god vine, that has been used in Chinese medicine, wiped out pancreatic tumors in mice, researchers said, and may soon be tested in humans. Mice treated with the compound showed no signs of tumors after 40 days or after discontinuing the treatment, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota's Masonic Cancer Center. The research was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Yunzhi mushroom may be beneficial in fight against tumours
South China Morning Post, 23 October 2012

Two US veterinary doctors conducted a study to assess the anti-tumour and survival effects of yunzhi, a mushroom used in Chinese medicine. The doctors tested it on a small group of cancerous dogs, and achieved results similar, if not better, than results obtained with standard chemotherapy. They believe their work may provide enough evidence to provoke a potential shift from reliance on cytotoxic (toxic to cells) therapies to a focus on complementary compounds. This implies potential advances for cancer curative therapies in human and animal health.

First health campus of TCM launched in Germany
Xinhua, 23 October 2012

A health campus of Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM) was launched in Bavaria of Germany, the first medical research cooperation project between the two sides. The Bod Koetzting hospital will be the clinical base of the health campus, it is to start with the lessons for master's degree of TCM, then the project will go further into the fields of scientific research and medical management. Wang Shunqing, consul general of China in Munich, said: "There will be lecturing, training, rehabilitation and disease prevention on the health campus."

Pakistani student takes up studies in Chinese medicine
China Daily, 23 October 2012

21-year-old Khan Taimoor began his study of traditional Chinese medicine at Hong Kong Baptist University this September, the first ethnic Pakistani ever admitted to the School of Chinese Medicine. He grew up in Hong Kong, is educated here and speaks Cantonese and English fluently. Kevin Yue, associate director of the School of Chinese Medicine, said Khan's admission was a good deed to help promote traditional Chinese medicine, because Hong Kong is an international city and of strategic importance.

Metabolic syndrome may cost men more
Futurity.org, 23 October 2012

The study, conducted in Taiwan, examines all expenditures across six healthcare services: inpatient, ambulatory care, dental care, traditional Chinese medicine, emergency and contracted pharmacy for 1,378 individuals with metabolic syndrome (MetS). The study found medical costs were significantly higher for elderly people with the MetS, especially men, who incurred more than 40% more costs than those without the MetS characteristics. Women with MetS incurred almost 20% more costs. For hospital inpatient costs they were nearly three-times higher for men with the MetS and almost 30% higher for women.

South African man sends toenail clippings to Chinese embassy in protest against rhino poaching
REUTERS, 24 October 2012

A South African film production designer armed with a nail cutter is trying to help stamp out rhino poaching by sending toenail clippings to the Chinese embassy in Pretoria. Mark Wilby said he wants to make the point that rhino horn, which sells for prices higher than gold as a traditional Chinese medicine, is made up of keratin - a protein which is a component in human nails and hair. Wilby has produced a video released on YouTube, calling on others to clip their nails and send them by post to the embassy.

Digital platform to improve drug safety
English.eastday.com, 25 October 2012

Residents will be able to check the manufacturer, production batch number and circulation record of medicines with a smartphone as a national program to introduce digital supervision of drugs. Medicines covered by the health insurance system along with anesthetics, vaccines, mental health drugs, traditional Chinese medicine injections and blood products will initially be covered in the project. Sun Xianze, vice director of the State Food and Drug Administration, told that the system will cover all medicines by 2015. The website will be available to both government officials and individuals to check the source and authenticity of medicines.

Hospital staff members jailed for taking bribes
China Daily, 25 October 2012

7 managers and directors of key public hospitals in Shenzhen have been sentenced to between six-and-a-half months to 13 years in jail for taking kickbacks. The Shenzhen Yantian District People's Court handed down the sentences. Among the jailed is Kong Deqi, the former director of Shenzhen Henggang People's Hospital; Hou Qingzhong, the former director of the Shenzhen Women and Children Health Hospital; and Liu Shoutao, the former deputy director of Shenzhen Women and Children Health Hospital, and 4 others from different hospitals.

Globalsurance offering updated Aetna medical insurance
PRNewswire, 29 October 2012

Globalsurance will be offering the newly updated AETNA Global Benefits international health insurance policies. Customers are able to obtain AETNA medical insurance plans which include Traditional Chinese Medicine Benefits under both Inpatient and Outpatient coverage, and improved maternity coverage benefits. However, Globalsurance would like to note that an improved policy from AETNA costs associated with the coverage have increased by an average 10 percent globally since last year.

Doctors warn about dangers of illegal TCM herbal sales
Shanghai Daily, 30 October 2012

The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration officials said that they will tighten inspections on illegal sales of herbal syrup, a Chinese herbal recipe to reinforce energy in winter, after some online stores were found selling do-it-yourself herbs. Doctors warned people not to buy so-called herbal syrup from online stores as they have had some patients suffering adverse reactions after eating the herbal mixture that purchased online. An online search for herbal syrup produces a long list of stores on Taobao.com. Most don't have a license to sell TCM medicines. Taobao officials said they will investigate the issue.

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