Quick Links to Global News in Traditional, Alternative, and Integrative Health and Medicine for May 2015

quick linksThis monthly Global Integrator features highlights on 63 developments in traditional medicine and alternative and integrative health for May 2015. A significant move was a controversial $1.3-million Blackmores grant to the University of Sydney to set up a Department of Integrative Medicine. Former UN Ambassador Andrew Young has a cameo related to an herbal treatment for Ebola. And there is new practitioner regulation in Cuba and Switzerland.

  • Sule Blatner, MDA Nigerian endocrinologist, Sule Blathner, MD (pictured), warns against use of traditional healers for diabetes while also noting the resistance many of his people have to insulin use.
  • Traditional Chinese medicine manufacturer Tongrentang reported $39-million in first-quarter profits, up 13% from 2014.
  • Here is a short portrait of a Zimbabwe herbalist who is doing well with a libido-enhancing agent.
  • A leading Siddha scientist is urging the Indian government against programs to train any AYUSH practitioners to use allopathic drugs forconcern that this will harm the historic practice.
  • A “Korean biotech firm, Natural Endotech” was busted for using the wrong, less time-consuming method to grow and prepare herbs in a medicine favored by the nation’s elderly.
  • A trial will begin shortly in Burkina Faso of a tea mix thought to be useful against malaria.
  • TCM specialists have distanced themselves from a Chinese practitioner whose “slaptherapy” led to a boy’s death.
  • This piece looks at traditional medicine surviving in the Vietnamese community in Orlando,Florida.
  • The Aboriginal Health Center in Ontario, Canada, has a new, larger site for its combination of traditional and Western methods.
  • Theory is that the man who reports having his semen stolen may be related to a traditional medicine use.
  • Middle of May was “Naturopathic Medicine Week” in Canada. A naturopathic doctor in the Saskatchewan Association of Naturopathic physicians successfully had her mayordeclare Naturopathic Medicine Week.
  • This article describes how some Guineans began distrusting their traditional healers and turning to hospitals due to failures of traditional medicine against Ebola: “People started to realise that when they had [Ebola-like symptoms] and went to a medicine man, they died. When they went to the hospital, they were cured.”
  • Representatives of the Thai Herbal Products Association have introduced a proposal for regulation of the industry. They seek an “Herbal Medicines Actin order to allow for the independence of the traditional medicine practice as well as its development.”
  • A study in Vanuatu looked at preferences for traditional or biomedical methods for diarrhea.
  • All 8 species of Pangolin are threatened with extinction because of harvest for medicinal use.
  • In India, a leading television actor, Parth Oza, who is also an integrative doctor and is now set to star in a movie, speaks to his successes and his ongoing research into IM.
  • The US colony of Puerto Rico has just legalized medical marijuana.
  • Africa Research InstituteThis “Policy Voice” from the African Research institute (pictured) on Modern African Remedies shares the path of Paxherbals, started by a Benedictine monk, Father Anselm Adodo, with a commitment to respect for traditional medicines and a practical application of science. A related piece is here.
  • A significant supportive look at the US FDA’s decision toreopen thinking on homeopathic regulation.
  • A plan for regulating traditional medicine intellectualproperty in Zambia is discussed here.
  • Prime Minister Naik offers details of regulatory plansfor the new AYUSH Ministry, plus a suggestion of setting up a new public health plan that includes AYUSH.
  • The lack of a minister from the Ayurvedic heartland of Kerala on the new board set to run the AYUSH ministry is a component of this story.
  • A good description in this article of the emerging medical tourism market in the southern Chinese island of Hainan.
  • The Chinese are setting up the Silk Road Academy, a Chinese medicine center, in Belarus.
  • Good feature here on the Chinese government’s 5-year plan for traditional medicine.
  • Odd story of the murder of two politically linked traditional healers in Columbia.
  • The Swiss government has chosen to regulate practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine as part of a broader move to also regulate practitioners of homeopathy, naturopathy, and traditional Chinese medicine. Another article focuses on recognition of Ayurvedic practitioners.
  • This article describes a 1-day Malaysian government seminar focusing on the education of traditional medicine practitioners, including not making over-claims and referring appropriately.
  • Plans to meet needs in rural China include an initiative to have at least one regular and one traditional Chinese medicine hospital in each province.
  • Prince Charles A review by a detractor looks at Prince Charles’ (pictured) controversial lobbying,including for herbal and homeopathic medicines, as well as against species extinction and for local foods. India’s Business Insider offers all the letters here.
  • The Indian cabinet has given its approval for extension of the MOU signed between India and the China State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM) on cooperation in traditional medicine. In addition, a separate MOU was supported for cooperation in the field of traditional systems of medicine and homoeopathy between India and Mongolia. A focus on the Mongolian MOU is here.
  • A 7-year-long crisis in the leadership of theNational Association of Nigerian Traditional Medicine Practitioners has apparently been resolved.
  • The conclusion of a study: “Traditional Tibetan Medicine patients reported better primary care experiences than patients using Western Medicine hospitals, which validated the government’s investment in traditional Tibetan medicine.”
  • Spa locations in the Middle East North Africa region tripled between 2007 and 2013.
  • A report forecasts that Spa and Wellness will grow 14% in Saudi Arabia by 2017.
  • This review of natural health regulation in South Africa focuses on homeopathy, where practitioners must complete a 5-year Master’s-level program. Noted is that homeopathy is regulated as part of the system in India, South Korea, and Taiwan.
  • A new for-purchase report examines the global “alternative medicines and therapies” market.
  • Andrew YoungAndrew Young, (pictured) former US Ambassador to the UN, is urging exploration of native African plants as a possible Ebola cure.
  • An education event in Borneo is expected to draw morethan 1000 “traditional natural medicine doctors” and will benefit the Traditional and Complementary Medicines Foundation.
  • Amway’s sales in Asia and particularly the boom in Korea are covered here.
  • In a remarkable move, the Congo health minister has banned Chinese medicine for failure to comply with regulations.
  • Cuba has recognized 10 types of alternative practices.
  • A health expo in India to help popularize AYUSH, with backing from the Ministry ofAYUSH, was expected to draw more than 200 companies and 700 “delegates.”
  • The Tibetan medical texts from 1546, “Four Volumes of Medicine,” have been declared a national treasure in China in abid to protect intellectual property rights.
  • The Medicinal Plants Garden in Zeytinburnu, Turkey, whichhosts 800 medicinal plants on 68 plots, hosted the Merkezefendi Traditional Medicine Festival.
  • This article looks at the challenges of being a gay “sangoma” (traditional healer) in South Africa.
  • Traditional medicine figured into $22 billion (U.S.) in business deals signed between China and India.
  • Pushback from the Indian Medical Association: “The Medical Council of India has made it clear that Ayurveda students or internees could not be allowed to be posted in government hospitals for training in allopathy.”
  • The University of Malta has signed a deal to create a collaborative joint Master’s program in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Culture with theShanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
  • The dominant Australian supplement company Blackmores has donated $1.3 million to create the Maurice Blackmore Chair in Integrative Medicine at the University of Sydney.
  • Australian antagonists to the role of alternatives in their country, where 4 out of 5 people use them, continue to question the practices while providing short lists of some practices with supporting evidence and others without.
  • The Indian government’s decision to create a departmentof AYUSH came under fire during a discussion about healthcare budget cuts.
  • A deputy in the Kuala Lumpur government is questioning a move to ban all alcohol salesin traditional Chinese medicine shops, despite the fact that many of themedicines are made using alcohol. A second article is here and a third here.
  • A survey of Malaysian traditional medicine shops found 165 of 365 sold illegal sunbear parts.
  • Nasim Ashraf, CEO of the DNA Centre for Integrative Medicine and Wellness, was the Global Wellness Day ambassador for the UAE.
  • A Queensland man has been arrested for theft of cattle gallstones used in medicines.
  • In British Columbia, Canada, black bear are being poached for their gall bladders.
  • A traditional Chinese medicine known as “thunderGod vine” and its celastrol ingredient received a good deal of media play following Harvard research that found massive weight loss in mice. Research found that it also “lowers the mice’s cholesterol levels and increase[s] liver function and glucose metabolism.”
  • If the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) “has its way, Ayurveda in the near future will give modern medicine arun for its money.”
  • A Korean hospital ship serving outlying islands with no medical facilities includes traditional Korean medicine.
  • A so-called “Spirit of Health” conference in the UK featuring some alternative cancer treatments appears to be a “spirit of secrecy” and is the subject of investigation by MPs.
  • Estimates put the number of hijama (cupping) therapy practitioners in Saudi Arabia at more than 1000,according to Abdullah Al-Badah, MD, CEO of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The ancient practice had fallen out of favor but is coming back as an “alternative medicine.”

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