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

Quick linksThis Global Integrator Blog Quick Links for August 2015 notes 75 accounts of developments in traditional medicine and alternative and integrative health. Significant themes include: more detailed plans in India to integrate AYUSH into hospitals throughout that country, plus the controversial decision to give training in regular pharma to Ayurvedic doctors; Chinese medicine uptake in multiple other countries including Macau, Namibia, and various Eastern European countries; and, for the followers of celebrity, New Zealand sports star Wasake Nahola’s claimed quick cure of a leg injury through a Fijian traditional medicine involving a leaf poultice.

  • This is an odd little review of laws regulating Ayurveda in India.
  • Traditional medicine in the form of spicy foods was found to extend life in a widely reported study.
  • The UN Human Rights office has stepped into an Iranian issue where an alternative healer was sentenced to death.
  • This article suggests that “the co-location of AYUSH facilities [with conventional health departments] to various degrees is being undertaken in all states in India except in Kerala. As reported by Government of Kerala, that state government prefers “separate AYUSH institutions rather than co-locating them.”
  • The Standards Organization of Nigeria has constituted a committee that will work out means for the standardization of herbal medicines in Nigeria. The head is the former director of the Independent National Electoral Commission. A longer article is here.
  • Reiki is pushed in this Times of Oman column.
  • Traditional Health Practitioners take a stand in the fight against HIV and TB.” In South Africa, “the government and civil society met with members of traditional health practitioners from all the districts of the province during a summit under the theme Traditional Health Practitioner stake a stand in the fight against HIV and TB.” An atypical collaboration. (See photo.)
  • This article in Indian Country, which targets the indigenous of the USA, reflects on the choice of the Matses of Peru to publish a 500 page tome on their medicines in a broader discourse on native sciences. Another story here on the remarkable decision of Amazonian shamans to create a 500 page text on their healing methods, assisted by Acaté, a San-Francisco-based non-profit.
  • This New York Times opinion piece discusses how the Indian government has proposed a new law, opposed by the Indian medical association, allowing traditional practitioners and other non-MDs to provide abortion services. They do so in nearby Bangladesh and Nepal.
  • This article reviews limited insurance coverage for AYUSH in India.
  • In collaboration with the University of Shanghai, a new masters in TCM will be offered in Malta.
  • The toxic metals in bhasmas are the subject of this article.
  • Sex selection drugs, including traditional medicines, are associated with birth defects.
  • This article on the 10th anniversary of Turkey’s Medicinal Plants Garden in Zeytinburnu notes that it has 800 medicinal plants on 14,000 square meters with “many researchers and experts who are searching forlife-saving formulas from the plants.” It is the first of its kind in that nation. Later this year the Bezmialem Phytotherapy Center will be opened. The center will offer herbal medications to help sustain the operation.
  • India has successfully prevented Europe’s leading “dermaceutical” laboratory, Pangaea Laboratories Limited, to patent “a medicinal composition containing turmeric, pine bark and green tea for treating hair loss.” Here is another account. This additional article is an overview of the Indian agency’s work against bio-piracy.
  • This thoughtful, data-rich review of the potential for AYUSH practitioners to help meet medical needs in India includes this: “Some State governments such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Delhi, have introduced a bridge course extending from six months to one year, for trained AYUSH practitioners, which then permits them to prescribe 47 listed drugs that are commonly used in primary health centres (PHCs).” This additional article looks at the battle in India provoked by proposed legislation to allow AYUSH doctors to prescribe conventional pharmaceuticals – in the nation’s push for broader primary care coverage.
  • This article shares that the Platform for Dialogue and Peace (P4DP) in Liberia has launched a study on the role of traditional healers in addressing that nation’s health crisis with a specific interest on how they helped or curtailed the spread of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). The article notes two reasons for the study. One is to be able to have access to a comprehensive data and the other “is to encourage a discussion between the modern and traditional medicines.”
  • A federal “Multicultural Minister” in Canada is urging the government of Ontario to follow British Columbia’s lead and offer its certificationtests in Chinese.
  • The Ontario College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the province’sprofessional authority, is seeking to closedown a clinic for sanitary practice reasons.
  • This Australian news account blasts as a waste and potentially dangerous all use of alternative products for menopausal issues.
  • A Nigerian natural healer defends himself that “natural medicine is not witchcraft practice. It is the art and science of using the gifts of nature to heal the sick with comprehensive, optimal results.”
  • A late July seminarin India organized by the government introduced traditional medicines people to modern scientific techniques: “The speakers emphasised that the Indian Systems of Medicine sector needs experts with theoretical and practical knowledge of Indian traditional medicine and people with rich resource in modern scientific techniques. It also needs people with rich knowledge in regulatory affairs pertaining to manufacturing,production and marketing.”
  • This article focuses on the 14th edition of the International Conference & Exhibition of the Modernization of Chinese Medicine & Health Products(ICMCM), held in Hong Kong mid-August.
  • The Chinese news service covers a session where TCM is shared in Namibia where the TCM approaches were introduced decades ago. TCM doctors are practicing at the Katutura State Hospital.
  • A peculiar story in which herbs placed under a bed figure in a divorce in Zambia.
  • The Economic Times of India reports that ”in a move that will help thwart attempts by foreign MNCs and individuals to get patents and trademark on ancient yoga techniques, the government has shortlisted over 1500 asanas and videographed over 250, classifying them as ‘traditional knowledge’ of the country.” The article includes a good review of recent intellectual propertyissues.
  • Waisake NaholoNew Zealand sports start Waisake Naholo(pictured) gives credit to a leaf poultice traditional treatment for rapid cure of his broken leg. The surprisingly quick cure continues to pull media.
  • Complementary and alternative medicine will be among the topics when leaders of Saudi Arabia and China meet nextmonth. An exhibitionwill run concurrently showcasing Chinese traditional medicines and the alternative medicines of the Arab world. The forum will also witness the signing of medical agreements between Ningxia and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman.
  • This article shares plans to develop one AYUSH hospital in each of India’s districts and to use Ayurvedic practitioners when regular primary care physicians can’t befound in primary care offices. An additional report with good data on AYUSH is here. What is expected to the nation’s biggest AYUSH hospital is here. Key individuals involved are in this account.
  • Some 90% of African vulture deaths are attributable to poisonings and traditional medicine use.
  • This story offers data on India’s efforts toprotect tigers, and their challenges from poachers seeking to kill and sell for traditional medicinal uses.
  • The Chinese traditional medicine-based high-end cosmetic brand Herborist will be launched in the US. Here is thestory in a cosmetics publication.
  • A new study speaks to the surge in killing of lions in Kenya and elsewhere for reputed medicinal properties of their bones.
  • A Californian de-bunker who goes by Scibabe downs a whole bottle of homeopathics to make a point after coming to Australia for a scientific meeting.
  • Speaking of gardens, this article features the Physic Garden at theUniversity of British Columbia Botanical Garden, Canada.
  • An MD in Botswana is arguing against using traditional medicine doctors.
  • Lummi totem poleThe WHO reports that a Prague Declaration from a June 2015 meeting between representatives of China and 16 Central European countries included reference to “integration of Chinese and Western medicine.”
  • This long feature article reviews the vast increase in use of supplements and covered chiropractic and acupuncture services in New Zealand.
  • The Times of Oman ran a positive article on hot stone massage.
  • The U.S. National Library of Medicine isopening “Native Voices,” an exhibition on indigenous view of health. A Lummi totem pole (pictured) has been placed outside the NLM.
  • In Australia, massage therapists are workingto get a share of the government’s new research fund.
  • A US indigenous practice of using sweet grass to repel mosquitos is finding some scientific support.
  • The Indian state of Odisha has belatedly announced its AYUSH plan, following a national government direction.The state presently has 3 Ayurvedic and 4 homeopathic hospitals.
  • Development of synthetic rhino horn as ameans of ending the killing traffic in the real thing is lambasted for furthering false science.
  • A Harvard-Hopkins team has published on the surge of scientific articles on yoga.
  • This article focuses on possible used of the traditional medicine salviadivinorum for addiction.
  • The NewYork Times featured traditional indigenous healing from Chile that is offered side by side with Western medicine at Los Castanos Family Health Center in Santiago.
  • This post in Namibia, via Xinhua, speak of support for TCM in that nation.
  • The Iowa Gazette featured a visit of doctors from Afghanistan to the IM program at Mercy Hospital. Susan Bartlett, MD led the visit.
  • An ugly story of the strangling of an albino woman in South Africa for medicinal uses.
  • horse chestnutAn article at GEN focuses on research at USA’s Emory University that shows the value of horse chestnut (pictured) in disabling MRSA. A remarkable feature: “At the same time, the extract doesn’t disturb the normal, healthy bacteriaon human skin. It’s all about restoring balance.”
  • A man from India certified in and practiced alternative medicine was arrested as a terrorist there.
  • The program of the European Congress for Integrative Medicine, September 25-27, 2015 is posted here and features Victor Dzau, MD, the head ofthe USA National Academy of Medicine.
  • In India, aphotograph exhibition narrates how Indian social reformerand polymath Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar “accorded patronage to homeopathy and examines how the legacy has survived today.”
  • Traditional medicines are among the skills of seniors passed on to students in Peru’s Pension 65 program.
  • This article from Germany features the way Chinese use food as medicine.
  • In closing arecent conference, a Malaysian minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said “the professionalism of Chinese medicine can only be realised through a more comprehensive system and regulation,” promoting this development.
  • Integrative practices in Macau and China have led this Fijian Minister for Health and Medical Services Jone Usamate to promote integration of local herbals with Western practices in that nation’s hospitals.worm grass
  • The upscale Absolute Ayurveda clinic is opening in Sri Lanka.
  • The Philippines Department of Science and Technology plans to set up a certification process for albularyos or traditional herbal healers “in hopes of learning from such practitioners and professionalizing the practice.”
  • The portal associated with the Global Advances inHealth and Medicine Journal is now offering expanded content via social media.
  • The Integrative Healthcare Symposium in Canada has announced a plenary talk from Dr. Rogers’ Prize award winner Sunita Vohra, MD for its October 23-24,2015 event in Ontario.
  • The most significant financial prize in complementary and integrative medicine, the Dr. Rogers Prize, will be announced in a function keynoted by Jeffrey Bland, ND, on September 25, 2015 in Vancouver,BC.
  • WHO coordinating centerWHO chief Margaret Chan credits Macau for developing its traditional medicine program at the opening of a new WHO coordinating center (pictured). This is the 30th such center on traditional medicine. There were reportedly “1.17 million TCM consultations locally last year, of the about four million primary health care consultations by Macau residents.” A Xinhua report is here.
  • This piece offers a strong pitch for South Africa’s traditional medicine to be integrated into its medical system. The author suggests that “fully integration” is in place in China, Korea and Vietnam.
  • The University of Toronto has also decided to add naturopathy, homeopathy, acupuncture and osteopathy to the treatments available on its plan in 2015-16, resulting in a small increase in the monthly premium.
  • A Slovak-Korean connection included traditional Korean medicine, which “may become more popular in Slovakia.”
  • A 73-year-old woman lost her legal bid to force a government clinic to provide her homeopathy in the NHS of the UK. The case failed with an argument that “the board broke the terms of the 2010 Equality Act.”
  • This post isan interesting guide to the Andean medicinal plant “huachuma”, a.k.a. “San Pedro,” though it is also a promo for courses via a USA-educated “shaman.”
  • This piece covers a harsh review of a Nigerian herb manufacturing facility associated with the National Association of Nigerian Traditional Medicine Practitioners (NANTMP), by traditional medicine regulators. An association leader says: “We are appealing to the government to come to our aid so that we can develop traditional medicine to the level of China and India.”
  • Tusks and pangolin scales were among items found in goods marked “red beans” in Vietnam from Malaysia.
  • Prof. George KiryaA direct pitch for integrating traditional medicine into Uganda’s system is here. The photo, pictured, is captioned: “Prof. George Kirya interacts with the director National Natural Chemotherapeutics Research Institute, Grace Nambatya during the 3rd annual National Traditional Medicine.”
  • The UK publication speaks to contamination of German woman via heavy metals from Ayurvedic treatment.
  • Tzu Chi Canada, the British Columbia branch of the international Buddhist organization is promoting TCM in clinics serving indigenous people.
  • The Times of Oman continues its series with a look at chiropractic.
  • The Guardian of Nigeria published a troubling piece on giving lip-service to traditional medicines to mark African Traditional Medicine Day, a WHO day.

 

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