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Traditional Remedies, Modern Medicine

The article titled "Scientists See Broad Attack Against Research And Reason" (F. Hoke, The Scientist, July 10, 1995, page 1) devoted a section to discussion of "opposing alternative medicine," which in the United States includes traditional and herbal remedies. Although I agree that there are many nonscientific elements in traditional and herbal remedies, we also have to realize the fact that they have contributed, in one way or another, to modern Western medicine. For example, modern research

Tianhan Xue
The article titled "Scientists See Broad Attack Against Research And Reason" (F. Hoke, The Scientist, July 10, 1995, page 1) devoted a section to discussion of "opposing alternative medicine," which in the United States includes traditional and herbal remedies.

Although I agree that there are many nonscientific elements in traditional and herbal remedies, we also have to realize the fact that they have contributed, in one way or another, to modern Western medicine. For example, modern research suggests that a scientific basis lies behind traditional Chinese medicine. In the area of drug discovery, developing new drugs based on leads from Chinese herbs is more effective than the conventional method of random screening, since it is guided by experience from a long history of clinical practice.

Chinese herbal remedies have also worked effectively in some cases where Western therapies failed or proved insufficient. In a double-blind British clinical...

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