Home > Current Events > Year 2013 January
A review of stories making the headlines.

Traditional Chinese medicine tongue diagnosis gains favour
Macleans.ca, 8 January 2013

As Westerners become more proactive about their health and more open to alternatives medicine, tongue diagnosis is taking off. Tongue diagnosis is hardly new; it has been used in more than 3,000 years of Chinese medicine. Western-trained doctors are often skeptical of Eastern medicine, and tongue diagnosis is no exception. When TCM practitioner James Rohr started four years ago, he thought about what would appeal to guests. "The tongue was an easy choice for a lecture, because everyone has one and most people never think twice about theirs." Due to demand from curious guests, "Let Me See Your Tongue" has been a popular fixture ever since.

Traditional Chinese medicine: business blockbuster or false fad?
CKGSB Knowledge, 8 January 2013

There is no doubt that TCM within China is a hugely profitable business. According to China's National Bureau of Statistics, in 2011 the value of the industrial output of TCM reached RMB 418 billion, a growth of 37.9%. TCM is also growing at a faster clip in other countries, the Statistics points out that TCM exports rose in 2011, with exports to the US alone jumping by 66.3%, and Africa is now China's largest market for the export of medical products, both TCM and otherwise. In fact, in 2011 TCM was formally introduced into South Africa's healthcare system. Many of the large Chinese TCM companies have expanded outside of China.

TCM standardization quickens
Global Times, 11 January 2013

China will accelerate the establishment and revision of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) standards in order to promote the tradition overseas, a health official said. Wang Guoqiang, vice minister of health and director of the State Administration of TCM, said at a national TCM work conference that the Chinese Medical Association has established 195 standards regarding the herbal medicines so far. Official statistics indicate that the central government spent 3.34 billion yuan ($537.4 million) to support TCM development last year.

Govt looks into woman's death at illegal TCM clinic
Global Times, 11 January 2013

A 47-year-old woman died in a TCM Clinic on New Year's Eve. She was given an injection of asarone, which is made with TCM. The first dose was fine but when the second dose started, she suddenly said she felt uncomfortable and quickly slumped. Asarone injections have been used to treat respiratory disease for a long time in China, but in 2011 the State Food and Drug Administration warned it may trigger a serious allergic reaction. Also in 2011, 1,500 cases of adverse reaction have been reported by patients receiving Mailuoning, another TCM injection, and 189 of them suffered from serious problems including respiratory damage or heart disease.

Victoria's oldest school of traditional Chinese medicine closes its doors
Victoria Times Colonist, 11 January 2013

The doors of Victoria's oldest school of traditional Chinese medicine have closed, and after more than a year, there are no plans to reopen them. Legal machinations continue between the former principal of the Canadian College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and the former board of the college's operator, the East West Medical Society; the building that housed it is the subject of a court-ordered sale. The college which was among the oldest in Canada operated for nearly 30 years. The Former principal Dr. Xiaochuan Pan said he rescued the college from financial failure, but has paid a steep price for his efforts.

TCM will not be part of zero price mark-up reforms
Chinascopefinancial.com, 22 January 2013

As part of the process of official medical reforms, certain provinces and regions in the country have incorporated traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) into zero price mark-up reforms for drug sales. In response, the Deputy Minister of Health and Chief of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine WANG Guoqiang stated that zero price mark-ups will not be enforced on TCM. Wang added that TCM often get damaged or decayed during the manufacturing, logistics and storage processes, and price mark-ups will thereby compensate for losses incurred on such occasions.

Traditional Chinese Medicine: the rise of ginseng
South China Morning Post, 23 January 2013

Ginseng has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to boost immunity and lower blood sugar, but recent research suggests a new reason to consume the plant: to perk up, quite literally, a man's sex life. In a study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research, scientists from the Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul found that men who suffered from erectile dysfunction and took tablets of ginseng berry extract daily for eight weeks saw improved sexual function. The research team concluded that ginseng should be considered as an alternative medicine to improve all domains of sexual dysfunction.

Magical Chinese medicine in Ghanaian patients' eyes
Spyghana.com, 24 January 2013

In almost every early morning, a group of Ghanaian patients are waiting outside the New East Hospital in downtown Accra, capital of Ghana, where has scarce medical resource. Since 1988, Chinese doctors came to Ghana and established their clinics to fill the gap by providing traditional Chinese medicine and medical treatment. They are serving patients with about 150 Chinese herbal medicines for curing the common diseases like rheumatism, skin diseases, birth control, female diseases, malaria and cardiovascular and osteopathic diseases. For convenience, nurses boil the medicines every day and put the medicinal liquids into bottles for patients to take away.

Hong Kong to further develop traditional Chinese medicine industry
Chinascopefinancial.com, 25 January 2013

Hong Kong SAR Government is going to set up the committee to formulate a concrete plan for the development of traditional Chinese medicines. In addition, R&D and industrial base for traditional Chinese medicines will be established later. Chief Executive, LEUNG Chun Ying, recently said Hong Kong will speed up the development and modernization of traditional Chinese medicines.

Texas College of TCM changes its name to university
Finance.yahoo.com, 31 January 2013

Texas College of Traditional Chinese Medicine announces the change of its name to Texas Health and Science University. The name change will be accompanied by an expansion, including a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree program, authorized by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), and the development of the College of Business Sciences, which will offer a new Master of Business Administration degree program.

Could traditional Chinese medicine hold an answer to the obesity problem?
Medical Xpress, 31 January 2013

Breaking research published in the Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics indicates a possible new direction for the treatment of metabolic syndrome. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are key regulators of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. The results identify two TCM compounds as potential lead compounds in developing agonists targeting multiple PPARs: (S)-tryptophan-betaxanthin and berberrubine. Further research is needed, but the current study points to an exciting new direction for the treatment of metabolic syndrome.

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