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

quick linksThis monthly Global Integrator notes 56 developments in traditional medicine and alternative and integrative health during June 2015. Significant themes include a Milan conference in which the role of TCM in the future of medicine was affirmed by a global group; then, one such emerging example—a Czech-Chinese integrative center, dismaying details on the continuous markets for animal parts for medicinal use, and efforts by homeopaths to regain footing after recent challenges

  • This article focuses on Abhaibhubejhr Hospital, foundedin 1941, which is “the only facility in Thailand where conventional and Thai Traditional Medicine are integrated to ensure as many patients aspossible are cured of their ailments.” A research center is anticipated.
  • On May 16, 2015, after more than 2 years of work, the leaders of Acaté and the Matsés tribes in Brazil met to finalize the 500-page Matsés Traditional Medicine Encyclopedia.
  • In New South Wales, more than 500 Indigenous andnon-Indigenous boys and girls “are learning hygiene, first aid and bush medicine as part of a Young Doctor program tobridge the gap in some of the poorest communities across Australia.”
  • Traditional medicine use is implicated in this piece on the impending extinction of African vultures.
  • More than 200 bear paws were seized in Vancouver, BC.
  • This article estimates that more than 1 million pangolins have been sold for medicinal purposes in the past decade.
  • Meantime, a new Chinese beer will be made from synthesized rhino horn “to save real rhinos.”
  • The lure of the illegal animal market in Bangladesh is detailed here: “A rhino horn fetches up to $60,000 per kg in the grey market. An elephant ivory goes for $2,200 a kg; a tiger’s bones, skin and meat fetch $70,000 while a leopard’s body parts are a tad cheaper. Bears are killed for their paws, a delicacy that comes for $12-15 each, and their “cure-all” bile for $200,000 a pound.”
  • In late June, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister andForeign Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn announced “the achievements of the 7th India-Thailand joint committee meeting, which included a memorandum of understanding on India’s traditional medicine between Rangsit University and the ministry responsible for India’s traditional medicine.”
  • The George Family Foundation and James Gordon, MD’s Center for MindBody Medicine figure into this article from the US state of Minnesota about indigenous healers using mind-body practice via the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center.
  • More than 4500 people are anticipated at the September 27-28, 2015 London CAM EXPO of Diversified Communications. The firm has along-running Integrative Practitioner Symposium, formerly styled “CAM EXPO” in NewYork City and will start a Canadian symposium in October 2015.
  • A former national public official in Canada is starting acenter to promote medical marijuana in that country.
  • The Thai government is backing a “healthy city and community lifestyle event aiming to raise the community’s confidence in services of healthcare institutes in Thailand and to increasethe economic value of Thai and integrative medicine.”
  • This article notes that a Belgian traditional medicine producer, Joris Ghyssaert, has opened a branch of its herb business in Liberia with Liberian government backing.
  • Elmonda Chase GrantThe comments of medical herbalist and pharmacist Elmonda Chase-Grant (pictured) in Barbados are the subject of this article.
  • An African ethicist urges more balanced reporting on whathe considers over-claims of African traditional healers.
  • The Indian government has offered 20 scholarships to Malaysian students to study traditional Indian medicine.
  • Joseph Jiya, a pharmacist with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health,“has called for enabling laws to regulate and promote the proper practice of herbal medicine in the country.”
  • Medical doctors in Tasmania were not pleased when a Reiki-and crystal-favoring practitioner was appointed to head the state’s hospital network. The backing of the appointment by the health minister is here.
  • A report estimates that the global personalized medicine market, which includes complementary and alternative approaches, will reach $2.4 trillion by 2022, up from just over $1 trillion now.
  • The International Day of Yoga provoked the Wall Street Journal India to ask what is behind Prime Minister Modi’s push for yoga? Modi has reportedly doubled government spending on AYUSH since making it a separate department. The article is entitled “Bend It Like Narendra: Modi Turns to Tradition With Yoga” and subheaded:“International Yoga Day part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to promote India’s traditions.”
  • An author in Korea suggests that the MERS crisis should take a lead from a report on the SARS crisis that found that “in treating SARS patients, a combination of traditional Chinese (Oriental) medicine and Western medicine was more effective that Western medicine alone.”
  • Harvard research suggesting that the blue evergreen hydrangea root “canblock a type of rogue T-cell” has stimulated interest from Bristol-Myers Squibb.
  • In Pune, India, a book entitled “Integrative Approaches for Health: Modern medicine, Ayurveda and Yoga” was recentlyreleased.
  • A Czech-Chinese Centre for Research into Traditional Chinese Medicine was opened mid–June 2015 in the presence of Chinese Vice-PM Liu Yandong in Hradec Kralove’s hospital (model pictured), whose director Roman Prymula spoke about the plan to build aclinic focusing on traditional Chinese medicine. This is a pilot project and is the first center of traditional Chinese medicine in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • The South African government has been accused of “medical apartheid” due to the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill 2014 that “will provide a regulatory framework and oversight for the use of medicines, including complementary medicines.” Regulated will be the nation’s 200,000 Sangomas under a new South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, despite strong arguments that their practice is very different than, for instance, that of TCM practitioners.
  • Dr Seo Hyo-seok, “who has been taking the initiative to globalize Korean medicine, gave aspecial lecture on traditional medicine and the health of lungs in his capacity as a sponsor for the World Conference of Science Journalists in the afternoon of June 11, 2015.”
  • Over the past 40 years, more than 1,200 medical professionals from China have gone to Morocco “to serve the local [Chinese population] and help promote bilateral understanding between the two countries and their peoples.” In 1986, Chinese acupuncturists first established a center in the city of Mohammedia, 50 km south of capital Rabat.
  • Inclusion of Chinese medicine in a China-Australia free-trade agreement via a side-letter stimulated a backlash from anti-acupuncture people in Australia. Here is a related piece.
  • In mid-June, M  K  C  Nair,vice chancellor of Kerala University of Health Sciences, inaugurated a two- day “all India” seminar and exhibition on “Raw Drugs, Substitutes and Adulterates in Ayurveda” for which eight papers were presented.
  • Traditional medicines were one subject taught to children in a Truth and Reconciliation Day for the Dakota indigenous people of Canada. Another story on a Truth and Reconciliation event in Guelph, Ontario, is here.
  • This PharmaBiz.com article shares that researchers at Savitribai Phule Pune University “have proved that Triphala, one of the most popular and widely used Ayurvedic formulations, can have therapeutic effects against a wide range of complex diseases like cardiovascular diseases, asthma, arthritis, diabetes and cancer.”
  • The Integrative Medical Institute in Hong Kong is looking for new practitioners.
  • This article focuses on the most productive province forginseng, China’s Jilin province. Pictured is a portion of a ginseng plantation.
  • A small Oxford-based company claims it “has become the first European drug maker to bring traditional Chinese medicine to the Western market, launching two EU-certified products this year.”
  • This article entitled “Traditional healers blast vapostori” speaks to the more challenging elements of regulating traditional medicine in Zimbabwe.
  • A “talent training base for traditional medical practice in co-operation with the World Health Organisation (WHO) will be established on the University of Macaucampus by August this year.”
  • Homeopath Dana Ullman, MPH, CCH is among those in a gathering in Mumbai seeking to defend homeopathy against recent attacks.
  • An article clarifies that the ban on sales of alcohol in TCM shops in Pakistan did not mean to include medicines.
  • An EU-Chinese consortium exploring TCM integration is noted here in Yibada.com following a global meeting in Milan, Italy, that Xinhua is touting as evidence that TCM will have significant contributionsto global health. IM leaders from Germany and the United States are cited.
  • Patronage of traditional medicine “quacks” is viewed as a part of why Nigerians do not participate in the country’s healthcare system.
  • The National Chairman of the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association, Kojo Odum Edful, has commended the Ministry of Health “for the steps taken over [15] years, to create an enabling environment for the practice of traditional medicine in Ghana.” He notes that remaining challenges include “quackery, charlatanism and poor intellectual property coverage and the aversion to herbal medicine by some western medicine practitioners due to stigma, reports of toxicity related to bad use of herbal medicines and lack ofinformation.”
  • A Bangladesh writer and lecturer speaks to the potential of herbal medicines.
  • The controversy over Prince Charles’ support of homeopathy and complementary medicine as found in the “black spider memos” was covered widely, including here and here.
  • The controversial move by Blackmores to fund a U Sydney chair in integrative medicine continues to garner coverage.
  • The article looking at changes in the Maasai culture (pictured) touches on sales of herbal medicines.
  • The head of the Central Council on Indian Medicines forecasts that an Indian medicine will replace antibiotics.
  • The head of the US CDC Tom Frieden, MD, argues that “the way to prepare for the unimaginable” in problematic health futures “is to strengthen global health systems.” A Kellogg-funded physician who studied traditional methods supported Frieden’s thesis.
  • A launch ceremony was held “for the International Cancer Centre of Asia in early June as part of the China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation.” The center will explore TCM for cancer.
  • The Philippines’ National Telecommunications Commission has warned a radio station against misleading herbal ads.
  • The remarkable story of Father Anselmo’s PAX Herbals of Nigeria gets follow-up coverage here.
  • Possible toxic chemical contamination from Ayurvedic medicine products is explored here.
  • A Western Cape University, South Africa, professor shares her views on appropriate uses of traditional medicines.
  • A release notes a substantial new relationship involving Prof Alan Bensoussan (pictured), the director of the National Institute of Complementary Medicine at UWS, and the Institute’s longstanding relationship with the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.
  • The US Pharmacopeia (USP) is in the process of developing monographs to create a dedicated database for its Herbal Medicines Compendium (HMC) for South Asia and East Asia through separate panels with experts from India and China.
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