TCM must adapt to scientific findings

Updated 2017-11-02 11:31:56 China Daily

A recent essay published in Science Translational Medicine, a sub-journal of Science, concludes that herbal medicines that contain aristolochic acid are a main cause of liver cancer in Asia. Beijing News comments:

This is not the first time that aristolochic acid has been blamed for liver cancer. As early as the 1990s, overseas researchers found that aristolochic acid might harm human health. In 2001, the World Health Organization issued warnings about aristolochic acid because research results showed it might harm human kidneys.

This time, the China Food and Drug Administration responded in a timely manner, saying that there is no direct data in support of the claim. Its spokesperson said that aristolochic acid has already proved harmful to human kidneys, yet there is no proof that it harms the human liver. However, the CFDA promised to support deeper research into the effects of aristolochic acid on the liver, which shows its openness.

Some worry that if aristolochic acid, which is found in herbs widely used in traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions, is found harmful to human liver that it will ruin people's trust in TCM. That concern is unnecessary. Like Western medicine, TCM should make constant progress and adapt to new findings. The more patients it heals, the more public trust it will gain.

TCM practitioners should take the dispute over aristolochic acid as an opportunity to modernize. It is time that TCM practitioners and drug supervisors at all levels conducted deeper scientific research into the effects of the different herbs used in TCM, so as to reassure patients of their safety.

The central leadership has already highlighted the importance of developing TCM, and TCM practitioners should heed that call by constantly improving themselves.

The CFDA has taken the right path by allowing researchers to do their research.

See Also

Most Popular

Sky Running Comes to Asia

This February saw the first ever Asian Sky Running Championship race come to Hong Kong. The competition is one of the most physically demanding a runner can put their body through.

Travel Videos

Photo Gallery

Worship Season in Lhasa

Lhasa, capital city of Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, has entered the worship season. Buddhists from across Tibet come to the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple for worship.

Hello Kitty Theme Park Opens in Zhejiang

The first Hello Kitty theme park outside Japan officially opened on Thursday, the first day of the year in the Anji county, Huzhou city, East China's Zhejiang province.

China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords