Traditional Chinese Medicine

Pure Natural Healing

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Application of Chinese Medicinal Herbs

Dietary incompatibility Diet is considered an important influence on health and illness in TCM. Food items, such as meat, vegetables, and various seasonings, all have their own properties and flavors, just as herbal substances do. Thus, everyday food intake may conflict with the herbs a patient takes. In general, when Chinese herbs are used, certain kinds of food raw, cold, greasy, or other relatively hard-to-digest foods should be avoided. Or, according to the condition of the disease, some food should not be eaten at all. For example, for patients with Cold symptoms, uncooked or cold food should be avoided. For patients with Heat symptoms, greasy foods or oils of any kind should be avoided. For patients with dizziness, insomnia, and impetuous temperament, pepper, hot pepper, wine, garlic, and other spices should be avoided. For patients with indigestion due to Spleen and Stomach Deficiency, fried, greasy, and sticky food should be avoided. For patients with infections on their body...

Other Species Of Artemisia Used In Traditional Chinese Medicine

More than ten Artemisia species are used in TCM for certain gynaecological problems. According to the theory of TCM, a number of conditions, such as amenorrhea, menstrual pain and prolonged menstrual bleeding, are usually related to Qi (vital energy) and blood deficiency, Qi stagnation or blood stasis due to cold. Thus those herbs with the acrid and warm property can be used to treat such ailments with a good clinical response and various species of Artemisia which have the same property are often the principal ingredients of TCM formulae for the illnesses mentioned above (Table 1). Along with acupuncture, the application of moxibution is used in TCM. It is carried out by applying an ignited moxa cone or moxa stick on the acu-points to elicit heat stimulation. It exerts an effect by warming and regulating the channels, promoting the circulation of Qi and blood. Moxibustion is often combined with acupuncture for the treatment and prevention of many diseases including pain relief and...

Historical Development of Chinese Herbal Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses many therapeutic modalities, the major one being Chinese herbal medicine. Its development has been a historical process flowing and flowering with Chinese culture for more than four thousand years. Its practice follows theories of holistic and integrative principles. Therapy is based on understanding relations between part and whole, distinguishing symptom and appearance from true cause, and treating each individual case as unique. In fact, stories about the use of herbs to improve human health are older than TCM itself. Legends about herbal medicine start with Shen Nong (The Divine Farmer), who introduced agriculture and animal husbandry into China. According to the ancient book Master ofHuai Nan (Huai Nan Zi), by Liu An of the Han dynasty, Shen Nong Shi (3000 B.C.) tasted a hundred herbs and came across seventy poisonous herbs each day. The use of herbs is found in many historical texts. The five-taste concept of herbs is mentioned in the...

Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Tern differentiation form the theoretical core of TCM. Chinese herbal theory is closely related to these theories and is one of the components of the complete TCM system. To understand clinical application of the herbal substances, it is necessary to understand these basic theories. Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes many patterns of disharmony in the human body. All of them, however, can be classified into eight groups, known as the Eight Principal Patterns. The Eight Principal Patterns are composed of four pairs of polar opposites Yin Yang, Interior Exterior, Cold Hot, and Deficiency Excess. The Yin Yang pair is the basis of the Eight Principal Patterns, while the other three pairs are actually a concrete subdivision of Yin and Yang into six sub-categories (table 3). To distinguish the eight patterns based on the signs and symptoms is actually to determine the Yin-Yang imbalance of the body, and therefore, is one of a physician's major tasks. An herbal formula, to balance Yin...

Chinese Medicine Classical Traditional And Modern

Most elements of the ancient learned systems have essentially disappeared, or survive only in folklore as quaint vestiges of the past, but supporters of Chinese medicine maintain that it is and always has been a viable scientific enterprise. Traditional Chinese medicines and healing techniques have gained a significant place in the alternative or integrative medicine practiced in the Western world today. Certainly, classical Chinese medicine is remarkable for its persistence and adaptability. In practice, the system exhibits an exceptional level of flexibility. A patient of Chinese medicine might receive 10 different prescriptions. Rather than conclude that most of these prescriptions must be useless, the patient might find many of them satisfactory and effective. Much of the China's history is obscured by warfare and chaos until the Ch'in unification in 221 b.c.e. To enforce his goal of total reorganization, the Emperor Shih Huang-ti ordered the destruction of all surviving...

Traditional Chinese Medicine

A large population in South East Asia has used TCM for thousands of years, and it is still practised in parallel with western medicine in the healthcare system in China owing to its unique theoretical basis and proven therapeutic efficacy. The theory and practise of TCM is complex and space does not permit a detailed consideration here however, a brief account is given below in order to help the reader appreciate the use of Artemisia species in TCM. The underlying principle of TCM lies in the comprehensive and dynamic application of the theories of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements. Everything in the universe is considered to have the opposite but inter-related aspects, Yin and Yang. When the Yin and Yang are balanced in a human body, the person is in a healthy condition, not only less susceptible to diseases, but also likely to have a better quality of life conversely, illness is the result of an imbalance of Yin and Yang in the body. The aim of treatment in TCM is always to restore the...

Modern Research on Chinese Medicinal Herbs

Traditional Chinese Medicine has existed for two thousand years in China. Because of the progress made in understanding the function and properties of Chinese medicinal substances, some practitioners of TCM have taken the results of biomedical research into account before writing a prescription. For example, if from a modern biomedical perspective, a patient presents with a bacterial infection, the practitioner will use herbs that are thought to be effective against the bacterium. However, those herbs should not be inappropriate for the patient (from a traditional Chinese medical perspective) based on a diagnosis using pattern differentiation. Thus, patients with headaches should be cautioned not to take prescriptions containing Radix Angelicae (Bai Zhi) at bedtime for this herb can act as a central nervous system stimulant. Considering the immense number of the traditional Chinese medicinal substances and the amount of resources it will take to study them thoroughly, it is not...

Preface To The Series

The medicinal traditions of ancient civilisations such as those of China and India have a large armamentarium of plants in their pharmacopoeias which are used throughout South East Asia. A similar situation exists in Africa and South America. Thus, a very high percentage of the World's population relies on medicinal and aromatic plants for their medicine. Western medicine is also responding. Already in Germany all medical practitioners have to pass an examination in phytotherapy before being allowed to practise. It is noticeable that throughout Europe and the USA, medical, pharmacy and health related schools are increasingly offering training in phytotherapy.

Review of Basic Fluid Mechanics Concepts

The Yellow Emperor, Huang Ti, lived in China from about 2700 to 2600 BC and, according to legend, wrote one of the first works dealing with circulation. Huang Ti is credited with writing Internal Classics, in which fundamental theories of Chinese medicine were addressed, although most Chinese scholars believe it was written by anonymous authors in the Warring Period (475-221 BC). Among other topics, Internal Classics includes the Yin-Yang doctrine and the theory of circulation.

Suggested Readings

Innovation in Chinese Medicine. New York Cambridge University Press. Kuriyama, S. (1999). The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine. Cambridge, MA MIT Press. Liu, Y. (1988). The Essential Book of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2 Vols. New York Columbia University Press. Porkert, M., with Ullmann, C. (1990). Chinese Medicine. New York H. Holt. Scheid, V. (2002). Chinese Medicine in Contemporary China Plurality and Synthesis. Durham, NC Duke University Press. Unschuld, P. U. (1998). Chinese Medicine. Brookline, MA Paradigm Publications.

Modify Antigenic Structure

Methods to genetically or chemically modify the antigenic structures offoods to reduce their allergic potential are also being developed. For example, it is known that single amino acid substitutions in the IgE binding site of a peanut allergen can lead to the loss of binding to these epitopes. Mutated protein or peptide immunotherapies are promising but unproven strategies to induce desensitisation to food antigens. Traditional Chinese medicine (herbal) used for allergic disorders has been shown to modulate the immune response and to block anaphylaxis in a murine model of peanut allergy suggesting that such treatments may be beneficial in human food allergy. Other experimental therapies are being directed to modifying the intestinal barrier so it is less permeable to food and other types of antigens. Although all these developments hold some promise for food allergy sufferers, none are at a stage of development so as to significantly impact the current way food allergy is treated.

Qing Haoan Antimalarial Herb

A herb, named Qing Hao (usually pronounced ching how) in Chinese, sweet Annie or sweet wormwood in English, and properly known as Artemisia annua L. has become well known in western countries during the last 20 years. Herbal companies, which deal with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), receive several inquiries concerning this herb every day. A question commonly asked by those about to travel to Africa or S.E. Asia is Can I take the herb called Qing Hao to prevent malaria during my trip Unfortunately, the answer has disappointed many people because although this herb is used for the treatment of malaria in TCM, usually combined with other herbs, it is not recommended for the prevention of the disease or as a deterrent to mosquitoes. However, the leaves of Qing Hao were burned as a fumigant insecticide to kill mosquitoes in ancient China but this practice no longer continues today since the development and marketing of more efficient mosquito-repellant devices.

Acupuncture And Moxibustion

Drug lore, herbal medicine, and magical practices are essentially universal aspects of traditional and ancient medical systems. Chinese medicine is unique, however, in the development of the techniques known as acupuncture and moxibustion and the sophisticated rationalizations that justified these very ancient practices. Both acupuncture and moxibustion could be used to restore the free flow of yin and yang that was essential to health. For at least 2,500 years, acupuncture, the art of inserting needles at specific points on the surface of the body, has been a part of Chinese medicine. Moxa or moxibustion, a related technique in which burning tinder made from the powdered leaves of Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort or wormwood) is applied to specific points on the skin, may be even more ancient than the art of needling. Acupuncture has attained considerable notoriety and a degree of acceptance in the West, but moxi-bustion has been largely ignored. Although moxibustion may produce burns and...

Medical Practice In Modern China

When the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong (1893-1976) declared that traditional Chinese medicine and pharmacology constituted a great treasure-house that must be explored and improved. Mao's call for the use of both traditional and Western-trained doctors was a pragmatic response to China's desperate need to expand the pool of health care workers to serve 540 million people, typically living in impoverished, rural areas without public health, sanitary, or medical facilities. Circumstances impelled China into a unique experiment in the integration of past and present, East and West. The revival of traditional medicine was launched with the Great Leap Forward (1958-1960), gained momentum during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1969), and peaked in the aftermath of this ideological frenzy. traditional doctors also study microbiology and pharmacology. China's colleges of Western medicine include training in traditional medicine. The revival of interest in...

Robert J HilsdenMD PhD Frcpc and Marja J VerhoefPhD

The term CAM will refer to the diverse collection of health systems and diagnostic and therapeutic modalities that are not part of the conventional western medical system. Examples of CAM include alternative medical systems (eg, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, and Ayurveda), products derived from nature (eg, milk thistle, aloe vera, and other herbs), probiotics, orthomolecular medicine (eg, high dose vitamin C, coenzyme Q10), pharmacological interventions (eg, antineoplastons), manipulative and physical therapies (chiropractic, massage) and various procedures and devices (eg, colonic lavage and bioresonance). Many therapies are clearly outside of conventional medicine however, for others, the borders are blurred. Common examples of complementary therapies that are finding a role in the conventional medical care of patients with Gi and liver disease include milk thistle (Silymarin), probiotics, hypnosis, and acupuncture. The ever growing number of abstracts on CAM at...

Viral Entry Inhibitors

Virtual screening aided in identifying structural leads for viral entry inhibitors of SARS-CoV. Compound 27, which emerged from a 50,240 compound screen and inhibited pseudovirus entry and SARS-CoV plaque formation with EC50 values of 3 mM and 1.6 mM, respectively 37 . A two-step screening of Chinese herbal medicine-based, novel small molecules which bind avidly with the S protein was performed as well. Two virus entry inhibitors, tetra-O-galloyl-p- D-glucose (28) and luteolin (29) were identified and showed anti-SARS-CoV activities with EC50 values of 4.5 and 10.6 mM, respectively 58 .

The Survival Of Grecoislamic Medicine

Under British rule of the Indian subcontinent, both Muslim and Hindu traditional systems survived. In the 1960s, the Pakistani government ordered the registration, licensing, and utilization of hakims (traditional scholar-physicians), because Western medicine was too expensive and rarely available to the rural population. Western-style doctors strenuously objected to this official recognition of their rivals. With official recognition by the governments of Pakistan and India and regulations administered through the Ministries of Health, male and female yunani practitioners, known as tabibs and tabibas, respectively, flourished in urban and rural settings. Many practitioners learned the art as apprentices, but others enrolled in yunani medical colleges where the curriculum includes the Canon of Avicenna and the standard components of modern medicine. Yunani doctors still diagnose illness by inspecting the pulse, urine, stools, and tongue and prescribe traditional drugs and diets....

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Historians generally agree that anatomical research has been the cornerstone of Western medicine since the sixteenth century. Inspired by the new Vesalian anatomy, physicians focused on direct observation of the body as the only means of generating valid anatomical knowledge. But anatomical knowledge and the right to perform human

Andreas Vesalius On The Fabric Of The Human Body

Vesalius With Cadaver

Just as Copernicus and Galileo revolutionized ideas about the motions of the earth and the heavens, Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) transformed Western concepts of the structure of the human body. Vesalius' great treatise, The Fabric of the Human Body (De humani corporis fabrica), appeared in 1543, the year in which Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) published the text that placed the sun, rather than the earth, at the center of the universe (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres). Vesalius was heir to the humanist medical tradition that had rediscovered the original writings of Hippocrates and Galen. He was a member of the first generation of scholars to enjoy access to the complete works of Galen. The Fabrica, which is considered the first anatomical treatise based on direct observation of the human body, is still regarded as a milestone in the history of anatomy. In honor of its place in the history of Western medicine, in 1998, scholars began publishing a five-volume English...

Hippocrates And The Hippocratic Tradition

Nursing Traditions

Whatever uncertainty there may be about Hippocrates himself, the collection of some fifty to seventy essays and texts attributed to him is undoubtedly the foundation of Western medicine. Ironically, as scholars gained more information about the writings of the ancients, they had to admit to less and less certainty about distinctions between the ''genuine'' and the ''spurious'' works of Hippocrates. Nevertheless, throughout Greek, Roman, and medieval times, the texts that had made their way into the Hippocratic collection remained authoritative and worthy

Drug Lore And Dietetics

The use of tea illustrates the overlap between foods and drugs. For about six thousand years, the Chinese have been making a beverage from the leaves of the tea shrub. Tea contains small amounts of nutrients, but it is rich in physiologically active alkaloids, including caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline. Perhaps the most important health aspect of tea drinking in the ancient world, and in many regions of the world even today, was the use of vigorously boiling water. In general, the boundary between medical prescriptions and dietary prescriptions was not as sharply defined in many ancient traditional systems as it is in modern Western medicine. Yet, modern medicine is once again focusing on the role of diet as an aid to good health, disease prevention, and longevity. to over nine hundred other texts, and more than a thousand illustrations. Today, experts in Asian medicine hope that high-volume screening and rigorous clinical trials will demonstrate the value of traditional...

The Three Celestial Emperors Fu Hsi Shen Nung And Huang Ti

Century b.c.e., but the time of its composition is controversial. Most historians believe that the text in existence today was compiled at the beginning of the T'ang Dynasty (618-907). Other medical texts have sometimes overshadowed it, but most of the classics of Chinese medicine may be considered interpretations, commentaries, and supplements to the Yellow Emperor's Canon. Although The Inner Canon is revered as one of the oldest and most influential of the classical Chinese medical texts, studies of medical manuscripts that were buried with their owner, probably during the second century b.c.e., and recovered in Mawangdui, Hunan, in the 1970s, have provided new insights into early Chinese medical thought. As newly recovered texts are analyzed, scholars are beginning to illuminate the philosophical foundations of Chinese medicine and the ways in which the learned physicians of the fourth to first centuries b.c.e. were able to separate themselves from shamans and other popular...

The Discovery Of Artemisinin

In 1967, the Chinese government began a systematic examination of plant species used in TCM in order to discover new drugs, especially for malaria. The many plants tested included Qing Hao, but no activity was seen when hot-water extracts of this herb were tested in mice infected with the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. However, when cold ether extracts of Qing Hao were tested, encouraging activity was observed (Klayman, 1985). The discovery of a new potent antimalarial from a TCM herb was so significant that it attracted great attention from the World Health Organsation and a number of research establishments around the world. Although artemisinin has been syn-thesised by a few research groups in several countries, the high cost made synthetic artemisinin an uneconomic choice for large-scale production of the drug so that it is extracted from its natural source (see chapter 12). Consequently, many taxonomy-orientated scientists started screening dozens of other Artemisia...

The Chinese Cultural Sphere

Due to Korea's geographical situation, the history of medicine in the peninsula was intimately linked to developments in China, Japan, and other Asian countries. During the Three Kingdoms period (37 b.c.e.-935 a.d.), scholars adapted the Chinese writing system to the Korean language. The date for the introduction of Buddhism into Korea is usually given as 372, when a Chinese monk brought Buddhist scriptures and images. Having adopted Buddhism from China, Korean monks and scholars traveled to China and India in search of further enlightenment. Buddhism also figures prominently in early interactions between Korea and Japan. Surviving historical records suggest that disease germs as well as religious artifacts were involved in these transactions. Emergency Remedies of Folk Medicine mainly deals with the use of local drugs, but it also describes symptoms of various diseases and methods of cure in terms of classical Chinese medicine. Medical emergencies described...

Chinese Herbal Theory

Has been established through long-term empirical clinical practice. It defines the character and functions of each herb, which include property, flavor, functional tendency, meridian channel tropism, and toxicity. Chinese herbal theory is based on the theory of Yin-Yang and the Five Phases (Wu Xing), which are the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Thus, each herb is closely related to Zang-Fu organs and meridian channel systems. This unique structure of theory forms the core of Traditional Chinese Medicine. There are terms used in TCM theory that differ in meaning from the English definitions of those terms. These include terms such as Qi, the names of the Zang-Fu Organ systems, the names of the Eight Principal patterns of disharmony in the body, the names of the Six Pernicious Influences involved in disease, other TCM terms, and certain descriptive words. These terms are capitalized in the text. The Zang-Fu Organ systems are the Heart, Lung, Kidney, Spleen, Liver, Small...

Artemisia Annua In Chinese Traditional Medicine

Yeung (1985), in a short monograph on Qing Hao gives A. apiacea Hance as a synonym for A. annua and describes the taste and property of the herb as bitter, pungent and cold. Its functions are antimalarial, to reduce the heat caused by deficiency of Yin, and to clear the summer heat. The medicinal uses of Qing Hao are given as malaria, febrile diseases, tidal fever, low grade fever and summer heat stroke. Although Qing Hao may be used as a cooling herb for the relief of symptoms, TCM places great emphasis on treating the underlying cause of an illness and as explained above, diagnosis is often much more precise than it is in western medicine. This helps to explain why complex combinations of Chinese herbs are used additional herbs (which may be referred to as minister, assistant or guide herbs are added to the principal (or emperor herb) in order to complement or modify its action so that the TCM prescription is tailored for the needs of the individual patient. An example of a...

Classical Chinese Concepts Of Anatomy

One aspect of Chinese medicine that is likely to seem especially strange to the modern reader is the classical approach to human anatomy. However, if classical Chinese anatomy is properly thought of in terms of function rather than structure, distinctions between anatomy and physiology become irrelevant. Anatomy, in the Western sense, did not form the basis Although the Nei Ching assumes that the movement of blood is controlled by the heart and the movement of energy by the lungs, scholars disagree as to the meaning and the implications of the terms that are variously translated as blood, breath, or energy. Chinese physicians believed that because blood was a vital substance that nourished the body, the loss of blood was debilitating. In contrast to Western doctors, Chinese physicians rejected the practice of bloodletting, which was an important therapeutic component of Western medicine up to the twentieth century.

The Lily botanical family Liliaceae

The genus Colchicum (Colchicum L.) produces colchicine. Stereoidal alkaloids in this family are found in the Hellebore genus (Veratrum Bernch.). Jervine, cyclopamine (Figure 18), cycloposine, protoveratrine A and protover-atrine B yield Veratrum album. O-acetyljervine has been reported in the false hellebore (Veratrum lobelianum Bernch.)136. Four new steroid alkaloids (puqie-nine A, puqienine B, N-demethylpuqietinone, puqietinonoside) have been isolated from Fritillaria species by Jiang et al.171 The bulbs of these plants have been used as an antitussive and expectorant in folk Chinese medicine. All four new alkaloids have been reported to display the antitussive activity on


Acupuncture has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine and is therefore part of a system involving multiple therapeutic interventions such as diet, manipulation, meditation, and herbal medicine. The aim is to restore the energy balance and health. The therapeutic technique involves the insertion of fine needles under the skin and underlying tissues at specific points for therapeutic or preventative purposes

Touch therapies

Reflexology has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine. Practitioners apply pressure to specific zones on the soles and tops of the feet to assess the disease state of the patient and also to improve health. Massaging the points is thought to unblock energy pathways and restore normal energy flow

Scientific Issues

Whether arsenic is a trace element essential to human health remains a subject of debate. However, many studies have proved the potential beneficial effects of arsenic (ATSDR, 1998). In traditional Chinese medicine, the arsenic compound Xionghuang(AsS) was recorded as one of the superior materials in 'Bencaojing', a famous classic work of pharmacology written during the Ming dynasty. It is reported that arsenous acid or arsenic trioxide (As2O3) is effective in cosmetology, longevity and is often used against many diseases such as psoriasis, syphilis, rheumatosis, and trypanosomiasis (Chen et al., 1995). It was in the 1970s in China that As2O3 was introduced into the treatment of acute promyelicytic leukemia (APL) and it showed a striking effectiveness. A clinical complete remission rate was reported (Sun et al., 1992 Zhang et al., 1996) from 65.6 to 84 with treatment (10 mg day, intravenous infusion for 29 to 60 days). In vitro studies suggested that As2O3 may induce the apoptosis of...

Greco Roman Medicine

Modern Western medicine traces its origins to the rational, scientific tradition associated with Hippocrates, but even the secular physicians of classical Greece traced their art back to Asclepius, the god of medicine. Asclepius, who was said to be the son of Apollo, appears in the Iliad as heroic warrior and ''blameless physician.'' According to Homer, Chiron, the wise and noble centaur, taught Asclepius the secrets of the drugs that relieve pain and stop bleeding. The sons of Asclepius were also warriors and healers their special talents presage the future

Media Formulations

Media classified as complex are those used for embryo culture that were actually designed with the requirements of somatic cells in mind (i.e., they are tissue culture media). Examples of such media include Ham's F10, TCM 199, and a-MEM. Such media and their modifications, such as blastocyst medium (Ham's F10 with added

Chinese Herbs

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