Traditional Chinese Medicine has long fought against the skeptics in the Western medical community. Thousands of years of knowledge and treatments isn’t the same as peer-reviewed research with definitive proof. The steady increase of research into the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine is mounting, however, indicating that TCM is far from a mere “energy medicine” and rooted in actual science.
This latest study, published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal, hails from Korean researchers, whose efforts to examine the “possible anittumor effects” of a fruit hull on lung cancer sufferers showed positive responses. The hull comes from the Gleditsia sinesis (FGS), which is referred to as Zao Jiao in TCM, where it has been used for thousands of years. Researchers administered FGS in conjunction with a chemotherapeutic drug cis-diammine dichloridoplatinum (II) (CDDP), and found that the volume and weight of tumors significantly decreased.
The importance of these results is twofold: for the advancement of treating lung cancer, and for the future of chinese herbal medicine. Herbs can be applied outside of the scope of a TCM practitioner, and harnessed by Western doctors for the treatment of diseases that typically, TCM cannot help, i.e. cancer. The more that attitude towards herbal medicine changes, the more opportunities open up for them to be used in new medical arenas.
Many healthcare professionals are embracing TCM on the whole, bringing it into Western practices as opposed to the view that “it’s one or the other.” An ER in Minneapolis has introduced regular acupuncture to treat urgent pain cases, and a children’s hospital in St. Paul has done the same for its youngsters.
One Chicago MD recently made the switch and became a TCM practitioner, but still insists that Western medicine is integral in modern health care: “If my appendix bursts, I want my appendix taken out by a Western doctor. But for many conditions, there are ways we can treat people that don’t have the side effects of pharmaceuticals and surgery. That’s the real power of acupuncture. It gets rid of the underlying root problem so that all the branches—the headaches, the insomnia, the high blood pressure, the digestive issues, the back pain—go away. When the root gets cleared up, you don’t need medication anymore because all of these symptoms are coming from the same underlying problem.”
Leave a Reply