Exploring Chinese Herbal Medicine Can Foster Discovery Of Better Drugs

Of Better Drugs Author: Tianhan Xue The scientific merits of traditional and herbal remedies have been a topic of great controversy. Critics, including many scientists, have questioned whether claimed effects of such alternative therapies can stand up to rigorous tests that apply to conventional medicine, and even whether they are science at all. Yet, as is evidenced by an examination of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM), the therapeutic effects of some herbal remedies have been scientifically pr

Tianhan Xue
Feb 18, 1996

Of Better Drugs Author: Tianhan Xue
The scientific merits of traditional and herbal remedies have been a topic of great controversy. Critics, including many scientists, have questioned whether claimed effects of such alternative therapies can stand up to rigorous tests that apply to conventional medicine, and even whether they are science at all. Yet, as is evidenced by an examination of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM), the therapeutic effects of some herbal remedies have been scientifically proven, and they represent a significant source of new pharmaceuticals. However, regulatory hurdles, along with other factors, have impeded the development of herb-derived drugs in the United States. It is time now to take measures that encourage scientific research on herbal remedies as an alternative approach to the discovery of new and better therapies.

CHM is an organized system of medical knowledge, passed down from one generation to another in both written and unwritten form,...