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Chinese Herbal Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medical Science.
China is one of the four countries in the world with an ancient civilization. The history of traditional Chinese medicine can be traced back to antiquity. Through several thousand years of medical practice, Chinese people have accumulated rich experience in fighting against illness and thus creating a unique and integrated system of medical theories. Even today it still benefits the people all over the world.

Ginseng Chinese Caterpillar Fungus
Ginseng
Chinese Caterpillar Fungus
Tong Ren Tang National Pharmacy of China
Chinese Doctor diagnose the patient by feeling pulse
Tong Ren Tang National Pharmacy of China
Chinese Doctor diagnose the patient by feeling pulse

The traditional Chinese medical theory is based on yinyang theory. It consists of two parts, which are the method of diagnosis and treatment. The traditional Chinese medical diagnosis includes observing patient’s color, listening to patient’s sound, asking patient’s symptom, and feeling patient’s pulse. The treatment is based on differentiation of symptoms, which are yin or yang, exterior or interior, cold or heat, deficiency or excess.
Yin Yang is the universal view of ancient Chinese. They believed everything in the universe is in an entity of Yin and Yang (the negative part and the positive part). These two forces produce and overcome each other and they also transform alternately in ebb and flow. When the yang moved to its utmost it rested and the Yin produced. Yin and Yang are opposite and interacted. Yang signifies heaven, sun, light, vigor, penetration and male... It is symbolized by dragon and associated with azure color and odd numbers. Yin signifies earth, moon, darkness, quiescence, absorption and female…. It is symbolized by the tiger and is associated with orange color and even numbers. Chinese people also believed that human being is one integral part of nature. So the Yin and Yang also exists in human body. The traditional Chinese medicine is based on the balance of yin and yang in the human body, and illness is considered as a disruption of this balance. The Chinese doctors help the patients to balance their yin and yang to keep healthy. The human body is divided into yin and yang. The internal organs are also divided into yin and yang. The traditional Chinese medicine believes our human body has a lot of main and collateral channels and acupuncture points. The vital energy flows along these channels and the yin yang balance between all the organs is maintained by the continuous flow of vital energy. If the vital energy is blocked on its way people will be sick. So acupuncture is a very common way to stick needles into the acupuncture points to make the channel through.
Feeling pulse is most difficult and complicated in the traditional Chinese medicine. Experienced doctors can judge your health condition by taking your pulse. If they take your left pulse they know the condition of your heart, liver and right kidney. If they take your right pulse they will know the condition of lung, stomach, spleen, and left kidney.
Chinese take herbal medicine to cure disease. These herbs are from natural plants without side effect. They can nourish the body and inner organs. Traditionally, comply with the prescriptions the patient will decoct medicinal herbs and take the bitter liquid. Today pharmaceutical plants distil medicine from the natural herbs and make them into pills. So it is quite easy for the patients to take herbal medicine.
There are around 8,000 kinds of herbs can be used as herbal medicine in China but 700 kinds are commonly used. Some animal organs and minerals are also used as medicine in China. Some herbs are valuable such as ginseng, Chinese caterpillar fungus, saffron crocus and so on.
The national pharmacy (Ton Ren Tang) is world famous, where the famous doctors can give you a free pulse checking and give you a prescription.
Summaries of the latest research concerning Chinese herbal medicine By Hans R. Larsen MSC Che
Chinese herb proven in arthritis therapy
Dallas, Texas. A team of researchers from the University of Texas and the National Institutes of Health reports that an extract of the Chinese herbal remedy Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TWHF) has proven effective in the treatment of severe rheumatoid arthritis. TWHF has been used for centuries in China to treat rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis, and IGA nephropathy. Preliminary studies in animals have shown that TWHF extracts have anti- inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects comparable to those of prednisone.
The researchers prepared their extract by extracting finely ground powder obtained from peeled TWHF roots with ethanol (alcohol) and ethyl acetate. The ethyl acetate extract was dried and put in capsules each containing 30 mg of the extract yielding a total of 9.9 micrograms of the active components triptolide and tripdiolide.
Thirteen patients with long standing rheumatoid arthritis participated in the trial. The initial dosage was 30 mg/day; this was gradually increased to 570 mg/day over a 12-18 month period. Nine of the patients went through the whole program. The patients all experienced marked improvement and one went into complete remission on a dose of 390 mg/day. Morning stiffness was the first symptom to improve. At baseline it lasted an average of 265 minutes. On a dose of 390 mg/day it reduced to 10 minutes. ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) went from 55 mm/hour to 22 mm/hour on a dose of 480 mg/day. Sixty per cent of the patients experienced significant (more than 20 per cent) improvement on a dose of 180 mg/day. A dose of 300-480 mg/day was required for maximum benefit. This is comparable to the dosages used in China and was found to be entirely safe. The researchers are currently conducting a much larger, double- blind, controlled study to confirm the benefits of TWHF extracts. Tao, Xuelian, et al. A phase I study of ethyl acetate extract of the Chinese antirheumatic herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F in rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Rheumatology, Vol. 28, October 2001, pp. 2160-67
Chinese herb alleviates rheumatoid arthritis
DALLAS, TEXAS. Extracts of the roots of Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TwHF) have been used for centuries in China to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis, eczema, scleroderma, and other autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Originally, a hot water extract of the plant was used, but this approach had many adverse effects. In the 1970s two new extracts were developed; one is an ethyl acetate extract while the other, now known as T2, is a chloroform-methanol extract.
One randomized, double-blind trial involving 70 patients with RA compared the effect of 20 mg of T2 taken three times daily with a placebo. Approximately 90 per cent of the patients treated with T2 experienced significant improvement. Trials involving several hundred patients with SLE have shown significant beneficial effects of T2 and a much reduced need for prednisone. Favourable results have also been reported in the treatment of systemic sclerosis and various kidney disorders.
Although highly effective in many cases, T2 can have adverse effects especially on the gastrointestinal tract. Says Drs. Tao and Lipsky of the University of Texas "Treatment with extracts of TwHF is effective in most patients with rheumatic disease; however, close medical supervision is essential in order to avoid serious adverse effects." [117 references]
Tao, Xuelian and Lipsky, Peter E. The Chinese anti-immunosuppressive herbal remedy Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F. Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Rheumatic Diseases II, Vol. 26, No. 1, February 2000, pp. 29-50
Ancient Chinese herb rediscovered
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND. The World Health Organization has come out in support of the use of wormwood extract (from the Qinghao plant) in the fight against malaria. Malaria affects over 250 million people and kills over 2 million children annually in the tropical world. The use of Qinghao for medicinal purposes was first reported in 168 B.C. In the early 70's Chinese scientists rediscovered the herb and by 1979 they had conducted extensive clinical studies which proved its effectiveness in combating malaria. Western pharmaceutical companies have now spent 13 years in trying to synthesize the active component of wormwood. Their synthetic product has yet to undergo human testing with the result that this life-saving drug is still not available outside of China and Vietnam. The Chinese have proven the efficacy and safety of wormwood for over 2000 years; yet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration still classifies it as dangerous.
The Lancet, March 14, 1992, pp. 649-50
Chinese herbal therapy combats dermatitis
LONDON, ENGLAND. Doctors at the Royal Free Hospital in London have completed an evaluation of an ancient Chinese remedy for dermatitis. The combination used consisted of a mixture of 10 herbs and was first described in the Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor published between 300 and 100 BC. 40 adult patients with longstanding, widespread, atopic (genetically predisposed) dermatitis participated in the trial which lasted 5 months. Each patient was randomly allocated to receive either the herbal remedy or a placebo of similar taste and texture for an 8- week period. Followed by a 4-week wash-out period, the group originally receiving the herbal remedy received the placebo for 8 weeks and vice versa. The active herbs (and the placebo herbs) were prepared as a decoction each day and 200 ml of it consumed while still warm. 31 of the patients completed the study. Both groups showed a rapid and continued improvement in the extent of erythema (redness of the skin) and surface damage during the time they consumed the Chinese herbal remedy. The authors of the study conclude that the remedy is effective in treating adult atopic dermatitis, but warns that further experiments are needed to ensure its safety especially in patients suffering from liver or kidney complications.
The Lancet, July 4, 1992, pp. 13-17
Acupuncture effective in combating nausea
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM. Exerting manual pressure on the Neiguan acupuncture point (located about three finger-widths above the wrist on the inner arm) has long been a popular measure for alleviating nausea and motion sickness. Now British researchers report on a study designed to evaluate the scientific validity of this therapy. They reviewed the results of 33 clinical trials involving the use of stimulation it by needles, acupressure or electricity. The conditions being treated involved nausea or vomiting in connection with pregnancy, chemotherapy or surgery. In four of the trials acupuncture was administered under anesthesia and was found to be ineffective. In 27 of the remaining studies acupuncture was found to have a positive effect.
Vickers, A.J. Can acupuncture have specific effects on health? A systematic review of acupuncture antiemesis trials. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Vol. 89, 1996, pp. 303-11
Acupuncture helps smokers to quit
OSLO, NORWAY. Researchers at the University of Oslo have just released a study showing that acupuncture can be highly effective in helping motivated smokers to quit or at least markedly reduce their tobacco consumption. Their experiment involved 46 men and women with an average age of 39 years (mean). They had been smoking about 20 cigarettes a day for about 20 years. At the start of the study the participants were randomly split into two groups. The treatment group (TG) received acupuncture and acupressure treatments using acupuncture points which had previously been found useful for inducing smoking cessation. The control group received treatment using points with no anti- smoking effect. The active treatment involved electroacupuncture at the Lieque and Kongzui points, ear acupuncture at Shenmen and two points relating to the mouth and lungs, and ear acupressure at Shenmen and points relating to the mouth, lungs, and trachea. The control treatment involved points related to the knees, neck, shoulder, and lumbar vertebra. After receiving acupuncture treatments twice a week for three weeks the subjects in the TG reduced their cigarette consumption by 75 per cent versus a 39 per cent reduction in the control group. Among the participants in the active treatment group, 31 per cent had completely quit smoking at the end of the three weeks while none of the subjects in the control group had quit. The researchers conclude that acupuncture treatment involving the proper points may help motivated smokers to quit or at least reduce their cigarette consumption drastically.
He, Dong, et al. Effects of acupuncture on smoking cessation or reduction for motivated smokers. Preventive Medicine, Vol. 26, March/April 1997, pp. 208- 14
Alternative therapies gain status in Germany
BERLIN, GERMANY. Homeopathy and acupuncture have long been considered medically acceptable therapies in Germany and are covered by the standard health insurance. Other newer alternative therapies such as ozone therapy have not been accepted by the medical establishment and are not covered. This is all about to change due to a new law just passed by the German Parliament. Until now new treatments were evaluated for acceptability by a committee of medical specialists "according to the current state of scientific knowledge." The new law changes this wording to read "according to the current state of scientific knowledge in that particular form of therapy." This essentially means that new alternative therapies will be evaluated by practitioners of those therapies rather than by medical doctors. Medical doctors are aghast at the new law, but medical insurance specialists point out that the German public clearly wants access to alternative treatments and that "no German government can afford to cut them from the list of approved treatments."
Charles, Dan. German law embraces alternative medicine. New Scientist, June 28, 1997, p. 6
Acupuncture cures chronic hiccups
INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA. Chronic hiccups is a fairly common disorder, yet little is known about its cause and conventional treatment with surgery or drugs is largely ineffective. Now Dr. Andreas Schlager, MD of the University of Innsbruck reports the use of Korean hand acupuncture to successfully treat a case of persistent hiccups in a 70-year-old patient. The patient who also suffered from coronary heart disease, reflux esophagitis, and hiatal hernia had experienced uncontrollable hiccups for three months. When examined he was hiccuping continuously throughout the day. Dr. Schlager treated the patient with Korean hand acupuncture at points K-F3 (located on the palm side of the hand in the middle of the distal phalanx of the fifth finger) and K-A12 (on the palm above the third metcarpal bone). For the first two treatments Dr. Schlager used regular acupuncture needles in 30-minute sessions. This was followed by continuous acupressure applied to K-F3 for 24 hours a day using special discs with raised dots fastened with adhesive tape. The hiccups stopped completely after the second treatment. A further preventive treatment was applied for three days using laser acupuncture for 60 seconds at each point. Three months later the patient underwent gastroscopy and the hiccups recurred. Two sessions of Korean hand acupuncture stopped them again and no further episodes have occurred since (now 12 months ago). Says Dr. Schlager "Korean hand acupuncture should be the treatment of choice for chronic hiccups before applying other methods."
Schlager, Andreas. Korean hand acupuncture in the treatment of chronic hiccups. American Journal of Gastroenterology, Vol. 93, November 1998, pp. 2312-13 (letter to the editor)
Acupuncture prevents breech birth
NANCHANG, CHINA. The threat of a breech birth (buttocks rather than the head appear first in the birth canal) is particularly high among women having their first child. A breech birth can often be avoided by external manipulation (ECV) prior to labor, but in some cases necessitates the use of cesarean delivery with the accompanying dangers and discomforts for both mother and child. A team of Chinese and Italian researchers reports that moxibustion (stimulation of acupuncture points with burning herbal preparations containing moxa [Artemisia vulgaris, mugwort]) can markedly reduce the risk of breech birth by increasing fetal movement and can actually turn the fetus around so that a normal head-first birth (cephalic presentation) is achieved. Their study involved 260 women in their 33 week of a first pregnancy who had all had an ultrasound diagnosis of breech presentation. Half the women were given a daily 30-minute treatment with moxibustion (self-administered at home) for one or two weeks while the other half served as a control group. The moxibustion was aimed at stimulating acupuncture point BL 67 (Zhiyin, located beside the outer corner of the fifth toenail). During the 35th week of pregnancy 75.4 per cent of the fetuses in the moxibustion group had changed to the cephalic (head-first) position as compared to only 47.7 per cent in the control group. The fetuses in the moxibustion group also showed greater mobility with an average of 48.45 movements per hour as compared to 35.35 in the control group. Twenty-four of the women in the control group and one in the moxibustion group later underwent ECV to turn the fetus around. Despite the greater use of ECV in the control group the number of babies delivered head-first was still significantly higher (75.4 per cent) in the moxibustion group than in the control group (62.3 per cent). The researchers conclude that moxibustion performed for one or two weeks starting in the 33-week of pregnancy is an effective and safe method for converting breech presentations in first-time pregnancies.
Cardini, Francesco and Weixin, Huang. Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation. Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 280, November 11, 1998, pp. 1580-84
Acupuncture goes mainstream
TORRANCE, CALIFORNIA. The merits of acupuncture were debated at a recent Consensus Development Conference held by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The assembled medical doctors and other practitioners agreed that there now is evidence that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of postoperative and chemotherapy-induced nausea, nausea associated with pregnancy, and pain following dental surgery. The panel also concluded that acupuncture may be effective in stroke rehabilitation and in the treatment of addiction, headaches, menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia, low-back pain, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tennis elbow. The volume of acupuncture research being done by Western practitioners is steadily increasing. NIH is funding a three-year, US$ one million study to evaluate the effects of acupuncture on osteoarthritis of the knee. Other grants have been awarded for the study of acupuncture in the treatment of back pain, dental pain, and depression. In the United Kingdom, the National Health Services is funding a two and a half year study on the use of acupuncture in the management of headaches. With an increasing number of health insurance plans now paying for acupuncture treatments it would appear that this 3000 year old medical technology is finally entering the mainstream of Western medicine.
Hsu, Dora T. and Diehl, David L. The West gets the point. The Lancet, Vol. 352 (suppl IV), 1998, p. 1
Tai Chi benefits heart surgery patients
TAIPEI, TAIWAN. Tai Chi Chaun (TCC) is an ancient Chinese martial art which, in recent years, has become very popular in the West as a means of improving and maintaining health. TCC is an ideal low-cost exercise as it does not require any special equipment and can be performed anywhere. Recent studies have shown that TCC, despite its relatively low intensity, improves aerobic capacity and is effective in reducing anxiety, tension, and mood disturbances. Now researchers at the National Taiwan University Hospital report that patients recovering from coronary artery bypass surgery also benefit from regular TCC exercises. The study involved 20 men aged 53 to 64 years who had undergone bypass surgery and who had completed the standard phase II cardiac rehabilitation program (bicycling three times weekly for three months at 50-60 per cent of heart rate range). Nine of the men were assigned to the TCC group and the remaining eleven acted as the control group. The TCC group, led by a qualified instructor, performed TCC exercises every morning (20 minutes of warm-up exercises, 24 minutes of TCC, and 10 minutes of cool-down exercises). Each set of TCC included 108 classical postures and provided an exercise intensity of 48-57 per cent of heart rate range. The control group walked three times a week for 50 minutes in a nearby park at a speed which resulted in a heart rate range of 50-60 per cent. The aerobic fitness of both groups was measured at the start of the study and one year later using a standard bicycle ergometer. At the end of one year the average peak VO2 (a measurement of aerobic fitness) had increased by 10.3 per cent in the TCC group, but had decreased slightly in the control group. The peak work rate also increased in the TCC group by about 11.9 per cent (from 135 to 151 watt) while it decreased slightly in the control group (from 131 to 128 watt). The researchers conclude that TCC improves cardiac fitness in bypass patients. They also note that the TCC program seemed more attractive to the participants than the walking program. The members of the TCC group attended an average of 3.8 times weekly as compared to an attendance rate of only 1.7 times weekly in the control group.
Lan, Ching, et al. The effect of Tai Chi on cardiorespiratory function in patients with coronary artery bypass surgery. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Vol. 31, May 1999, pp. 634-38

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