Traditional Chinese medicine offers new solutions to health challenges

BEIJING, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) — Acupuncture, an approach to treating illnesses based on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been used to treat terminal cancer patients as a form of adjuvant therapy.

It can help alleviate patients’ symptoms such as pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, and certain side effects of chemotherapy and surgery, said Chou Yen-jung, a Taipei-based TCM physician.

At a recent symposium on innovative health technologies, TCM experts from both the mainland and Taiwan discussed innovations in the practice of the ancient medicine.

Used in conjunction with Western medicine, TCM offers alternative approaches to disease treatment with its unique strengths in preemptive prevention, differentiated medication, and multi-targeted intervention.

In China’s fight against COVID-19, both TCM and Western medicine were used and traditional Chinese and Western drugs administered.

TCM medications and methodologies, such as the frequently cited Lianhua Qingwen capsules and lung cleansing and detoxifying preparation, have been included in a TCM-based COVID-19 treatment scheme formulated by frontline medical experts.

TCM has been used to treat 92 percent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases across China, according to a white paper released by the State Council Information Office in June.

In the hardest-hit province of Hubei in central China, more than 90 percent of confirmed cases received TCM treatment that proved effective, the white paper read.

The unique strength of TCM has attracted international attention and has been gaining more ground in the global fight against the pandemic.

Lianhua Qingwen capsules and granules have received marketing approval in more than 10 countries and regions and have been donated to several countries, said President of the Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Zhang Boli, who has been awarded the national honorary title of “People’s Hero” for leading the research for the TCM-based treatment scheme.

Lung cleansing and detoxifying preparation has been used in several countries including Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and Malaysia, with positive results, said Wang Wei, deputy head of the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.

According to the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China has shared COVID-19 TCM therapies, effective prescriptions and clinical experience with more than 80 countries and regions.

“TCM is not outdated despite its long history,” said Zhang.

Putting TCM theory and modern technologies together could lead to original solutions, Zhang said, adding that upgraded standards and regulations should be given top priority to further promote TCM.

He also urged enhanced international cooperation on the clinical evaluations of TCM, acupuncture, moxibustion and TCM drugs to expand the presence of TCM in the global market.

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