Chinese Herbal Medicine: How Effective Is It? 4

Barrage of Safety Tests Are Needed
No two traditional remedies are the same, unlike a pharmaceutical treatment where each pill has an identical composition. The remedies also need to undergo conventional scientific testing to make sure that they won’t interact with other medication. This involves a barrage of safety tests, test-tube studies and, eventually, trials in patients. “Any chemical, even a natural chemical, can have side-effects,” says Dr. Francis. Dr. Minger, who believes that East-West scientific collaborations are the way forward for UK researchers, says that he may also use it to investigate whether TCM holds any potential treatments for cancer. “China is going like gang-busters, particularly if you are thinking in terms of medicine and pharmaceuticals. In many cases their labs are as good, if not better, than labs here or in the US. A lot of Chinese scientists also are moving back. When you ask them why, they say it is too good a place not to be right now.”
Does Dr.Minger anticipate any culture clashes? “Most of the Chinese guys are Western-trained so it is not that difficult to work together,” he says. Plus, much of their science is regulated to the same level as UK science. The only potential problem he sees is the traffic. “It takes forever to get any where. When you are scheduling something, you have to pack in so much extra time to get from the place to another.” And he has learn from the green-goo incident how important it is to have no preconceptions. “I think it just takes a little bit of open-mindedness.”
Chinese Healing Drugs Based on Traditional Medicine Can Help These Conditions
Malaria:  The antimalarial drug artesunate, derived from sweet wormwood plants, is used worldwide.
Cancer: Researchers from the University of Texas are testing toad venom to see whether it can treat cancer.
Chronic heart failure: Healthy heart hawthorn, a remedy traditional used to treat nausea, may help patient with chronic heart failure.
Diabetes: Animal studies have indicated that the herb angelica can help

Stroke: A treatment based on red sage is under trial in Singapore.
Timely Reminders
18 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease worldwide. This figure is projected to double by 2025. On in 20 people over the age of 65 in the UK has Alzheimer’s, rising to nearly one in two by the age of 85. £ 17 billion is the annual cost of dementia to the UK economy. 1.9 million people over the age of 65 in China have Alzheimer’s.

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