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Thread: Future development of Chinese medicine

  1. #1 Future development of Chinese medicine 
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    This morning, I attended a seminar which is about a Chinese medicine with code name PHY906.

    This is a decoction of a mixture of the four herbs Scutellaria baicalensis Geori, Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch, Paeonia lactifloraPall, and Ziziphus jujuba Mill.
    A combination of these four herbs has been in continuous use in traditional Chinese medicine for over 1800 years for treating a variety of gastrointestinal distress such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, vomiting etc.

    It can enhance the therapeutic indices of abroad spectrum of anticancer agents and reduce chemotherapy-induced toxicities and/or increase chemotherapeutic efficacy.

    It seems that Chinese medicine has a strong potential in future drug development.

    I just wonder besides cancer, any other diseases can be also the target of Chinese medicine? e.g.Cardiovascular diseases,neuro-degenerative diseases and other aging related diseases.


    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22326673



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  3. #2  
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    The problem with traditional Chinese medicine is that there are no double blind studies involved. We know a med may have been used for a thousand years without being effective. what record of success does this medication have? what pecentage of the patients treated recovered and if there were many who got worse?


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    The problem with traditional Chinese medicine is that there are no double blind studies involved.
    I don't know if that is entirely true, but it seems mostly not scientifically tested and more based in pseudoscience and baseless traditions.
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  5. #4  
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    Western nations accept herbal/natural medicines if they pass their safety and effectiveness criteria. Period.

    I mean, as for "Chinese" medicines (literally), look at the old Kaopectate formula used in the US for decades. It was made of kaolin and pectin, and so they named it "Kaopectate". Kaolin (高岭) is a white clay named after the site of a major deposit in Jiangxi Province in China.

    BTW, you joined this forum in 2009 and have been silent for four years?
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  6. #5  
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    I have a good friend from Shanghai....whenever he hears 'Chinese' anything, he rolls his eyes.

    Hint...China is 1.3 billion people. They have men in space, MRI machines, the greatest number of car, smartphone, etc. purchass per annum. There is no traditional 'Chinese' medicine. There are traditional medicines specific to a region, group, etc.

    If someone mentioned 'American' medicine would it be Navajo eating peyote or Mohawks making a stew from beaver tails? There is no 'American' medicine.

    There are health regimens from the area of China. Some baloney, some probably effective. No way of knowing without published studies in accepted medical journals.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fossilborealis View Post
    I have a good friend from Shanghai....whenever he hears 'Chinese' anything, he rolls his eyes.

    Hint...China is 1.3 billion people. They have men in space, MRI machines, the greatest number of car, smartphone, etc. purchass per annum. There is no traditional 'Chinese' medicine. There are traditional medicines specific to a region, group, etc.

    If someone mentioned 'American' medicine would it be Navajo eating peyote or Mohawks making a stew from beaver tails? There is no 'American' medicine.

    There are health regimens from the area of China. Some baloney, some probably effective. No way of knowing without published studies in accepted medical journals.
    Ah yes, Shanghai, known as "The City of Cranes" ... that is, construction cranes. A rather bustling, ever-growing, modern, international port city. And the so-called "Middle Kingdom" has been around for at least three millennia.

    Until accepted medical journals published a study on the significance of your friend rolling his eyes, I'll continue to trust in what I know.

    Having taken a couple of traditional Chinese medicines, I can say that I've noticed some effectiveness. And whether "American medicine" refers to any medicine developed or produced in America, whether by the first people to arrive or any others that followed, they remain American medicines nevertheless. I have a book on traditional Amish medicines, but whether developed in America or Europe or elsewhere, I do not know.

    And not only does China have "traditional" medicines, they have a "traditional" healthcare system. In this system, you pay a healthcare provider to provide you with good health — but not how we in America would think. When you are not in good health due to the provider having failed to achieve the goals of the healthcare contract, the provider does not get paid.

    One might say that America began in 1979 when it return the Panama Canal Zone to Panama.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23596824/

    Chinese 'traditional' medicine is positively dangerous. Do not use it.

    There have been a number of such concoctions that have been analysed using clear cut scientific techniques, and found dangerous levels of heavy metals, or that they have been dosed with western drugs, often at dangerous levels. For example, a number of 'traditional' chinese medicines for impotence have been found to contain viagra. They are also generally contaminated with bacteria.

    There is, of course, no such thing as an effective medicine that is free of side effects. To be effective, a medicine has to have an impact on the human body, and that means side effects, often dangerous. In western medicine, a series of double blind clinical trials are run to prove efficacy, and to determine how bad the side effects are. The medicine is then used knowing the hazards, and at a dose designed to minimise side effects while allowing therapy. 'Traditional' medicines, whether Chinese or from some other source, do not go through this testing program. Thus, we do not usually know how effective or ineffective they are, and what dangers are associated.

    In addition, some Chinese traditional medicines are based on natural materials from organisms that are in danger of extinction, like tiger bones or rhino horn. It is a crime against the natural environment to buy that rubbish.
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  9. #8  
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    A lot of Chinese medicinal herbs are based on the same kind of pre-scientific thinking that leads to some European herb plants having names like "lung-wort". I don't know whether this particular plant does or doesn't have any effects on lung illnesses - but its name is based on the appearance of the spotted leaves resembling diseased lungs.

    Other names like "knitbone" (for comfrey) are an indicator that the plant - used externally only - is genuinely effective in helping bone fractures to heal.

    There is no way for a non-medical, non-expert person to tell the difference. Though if the promotion material for a herbal preparation states that the plant itself exhibits certain features and its use will replicate those features and processes in the human body - you have prima facie evidence that it's very likely malarkey.
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  10. #9  
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    Well informed 2 postings above.

    Some stuff may work....some doesn't, and some is dangerous. Do we know which is which? No. Certainly don't depend on anecdotal stories by somebody's uncle or a snake oil salesman. On the positive side, China's science research infrastructure has mushroomed in the last decade. Hopefully there are some health gems that will pass accepted scientific methodology.
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  11. #10  
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    I am interested in Chinese Traditional Medicine. It aims to adjust our body from our inner body and has little side effects.
    But I have to say that Chinese medicine is very difficult.
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  12. #11  
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    It can aim to do what it likes, if it fails double blind testing it's hooey.

    PS what do you mean by "inner body" are you one of those Russian dolls?

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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    PS what do you mean by "inner body" are you one of those Russian dolls?

    In the words of Tobias Lars:
    Quote Originally Posted by Inner Body Awakening Home Page
    The Inner Body also known as the Etheric Body is an exact duplicate of our ideal physical body. This Etheric Body is what leaves our physical bodies when we have an out of body experience or pass on to our next existence. The Inner Body is what creates, feeds, and heals our physical bodies.
    (cf. http://www.innerbodyawakening.com)
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  14. #13  
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    So it's wooooooooooooooooooo...
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    So it's wooooooooooooooooooo...

    I would not call it 'woo' per se, as Mr. Lars does not seem to advocate that his approach is scientific.
    "New Age nonsense" would describe the notion better.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  16. #15  
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    I'd go with cynical scam...

    A onetime $49.95 will give you UNLIMITED ACCESS to this Guided Recording of Tobias Lars guiding you through the Inner Body Awakening


    The fact people fall for this crap is depressing...
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  17. #16  
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    Woo is an accurate description of the proposed mechanism of action, where an internal etheric body is affected. That is true woo.

    If traditional Chinese medicine is described as having a biochemical effect, that is not woo. After all, a Chinese bush was the source of the latest and greatest malaria drug, artemisinin. Sadly, such cases appear to be vastly the exception, with the great majority of all alternative therapies, including TCM being garbage.
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  18. #17  
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    Canada's life expectancy is 8 years longer than in China. Somehow we manage fine without ground up rhino horn and tiger bone soup.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    The problem with traditional Chinese medicine is that there are no double blind studies involved. We know a med may have been used for a thousand years without being effective. what record of success does this medication have? what pecentage of the patients treated recovered and if there were many who got worse?
    In fact, for PHY906, it did!
    "The first clinical trial of PHY906 was a phase I/IIa multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover, dose-escalation, safety study in combination with CPT-11/5-FU/LV(IFL) or with CPT-11 alone for chemotherapy naïve patients with advanced colorectal cancer.


    1:Shwu-Huey Liu, Yung-Chi Cheng, Old formula, new Rx: The journey of PHY906 as cancer adjuvant therapy, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 140, Issue 3, 10 April 2012, Pages 614-623, ISSN 0378-8741, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2012.01.047.
    (Old formula, new Rx: The journey of PHY906 as cancer adjuvant therapy)
    Keywords: PHY906; Cancer adjuvant; CPT-11; Colorectal cancer; Capecitabine; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Pancreatic cancer; Mechanism of action


    2. Kummar, S., Copur, M.S., Rose, M., et al., 2011. A phase I study of the Chinese herbal medicine PHY906 as a modulator of irinotecan-based chemotherapy in patients
    with advanced colorectal cancer. Clinical Colorectal Cancer 10, 85–96.


    3. Farrell, M.P., Kummar, S., 2003. Phase I/IIA randomized study of PHY906, a novel herbal agent, as a modulator of chemotherapy in patients with advanced colorectal
    cancer. Clinical Colorectal Cancer 2, 253–256.
    The trend is that more and more research is trying to prove the safety and the mechanism of action of Chinese medicine
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    The problem with traditional Chinese medicine is that there are no double blind studies involved. We know a med may have been used for a thousand years without being effective. what record of success does this medication have? what pecentage of the patients treated recovered and if there were many who got worse?
    Actually, this is misleading to say " used for a thousand years without being effective."
    To be kept in historical record for a long time, this med should somehow demonstrate a obvious therapeutic effect so that people in the past
    were impressed with it and remember it.

    Unfortunately, the statistics part, you are certainly right. We don' have much of it in the past because data collection was not easy in the past compared with today information technology.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    The problem with traditional Chinese medicine is that there are no double blind studies involved.
    I don't know if that is entirely true, but it seems mostly not scientifically tested and more based in pseudoscience and baseless traditions.
    You should have a concept that most Chinese medicine are based on holistic approach. That means it somehow works on particular disease but we don't know how it works.
    It is too early to say that it is a pseudoscience as we all know not much about it.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Western nations accept herbal/natural medicines if they pass their safety and effectiveness criteria. Period.

    I mean, as for "Chinese" medicines (literally), look at the old Kaopectate formula used in the US for decades. It was made of kaolin and pectin, and so they named it "Kaopectate". Kaolin (高岭) is a white clay named after the site of a major deposit in Jiangxi Province in China.

    BTW, you joined this forum in 2009 and have been silent for four years?
    Ya. I just forget I have an account of it.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fossilborealis View Post
    I have a good friend from Shanghai....whenever he hears 'Chinese' anything, he rolls his eyes.

    Hint...China is 1.3 billion people. They have men in space, MRI machines, the greatest number of car, smartphone, etc. purchass per annum. There is no traditional 'Chinese' medicine. There are traditional medicines specific to a region, group, etc.

    If someone mentioned 'American' medicine would it be Navajo eating peyote or Mohawks making a stew from beaver tails? There is no 'American' medicine.

    There are health regimens from the area of China. Some baloney, some probably effective. No way of knowing without published studies in accepted medical journals.
    I didn't mention "traditional". Actually, there are a lot of new products of Chinese medicine have been launched in recent century.
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  24. #23  
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    Re the holistic approach.

    The word 'holistic' is an indicator of woo. Proper medical people never use that word. Only quacks.
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  25. #24  
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    True. And when pharmacists or doctors refer to medications that are good for more than one illness or serve more than one function they use other words.

    Some things are analgesic, some things are anti-inflammatory. When we find out that an analgesic also has an anti-inflammatory effect, we investigate further to identify and distinguish the effective doses for the different effects.

    Then we call it versatile. Aspirin is a classic example. Started out as willow bark, a herbal treatment for pain. Then refined and manufactured to exact doses for pain relief. And now most of the aspirin, in the Western world at least, is taken in tiny, daily doses to maintain cardiovascular health.
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  26. #25  
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    I have used 'holistic' in reference to environmental health. We often consider a holistic approach in addressing public health issues (for instance, addressing mental wellness when considering recovery time from a work-related accident).

    I guess I don't have as cynical a view of the term as some. I completely agree that holistic medicine often fails to address actual medicinal requirements in favor of treating intangibles.
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  27. #26  
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    Holistic medicine has gotten a bad name. Get the impression that Integrative medicine has replaced it as a more credible term that I see from time to time. Much of it getting to the point that a doctor can do every technically right for the health of a patient, but if the patient doesn't feel supported their poor mental health might well thwart the best attempts.
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  28. #27  
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    A guy I know, several years back, told me was off to Britain to do a masters degree. I asked him what in. He replied it was holistic ecology. I immediately heard my bullshit detector ringing madly. I asked what university?

    When I got home I did an internet check. His university was not listed on the major list of reputable universities in Britain. I checked their web site, and they had Deepak Chopra and Vandana Shiva as visiting lecturers. That told me all I had to know. It was a school that taught woo. But really, all I needed to learn was the word 'holistic'.

    Of course, the guy ignored what I had to say and spent his life savings at that crap school. He has come back since with his shiny new degree, and wants to start a similar "university" in NZ. I hope it does not happen. We have enough quackery here already.
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  29. #28  
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    Deepak Chopra!

    Now that he's been mentioned, I get the chance to introduce others to a harmless pastime. Just keep on clicking to get some deepity phrases made up of words used by The Great Man in his twitter stream.

    Random Deepak Chopra Quote Generator - Wisdom of Chopra

    (I give myself bonus points for the number of times "quantum" comes up.)
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