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

This Global Integrator Blog Quick Links for October 2015 notes 66+ accounts of global developments in traditional medicine and alternative and integrative health. October was the month of Tu Youyou’s Nobel. Accounts of the award and its meaning dominant traditional medicine news. (A Global Advances summary piece is Nobel Prize Based on a Traditional Chinese Medicine Text: Themes from the Robust Media Coverage.) Other developments include traditional medicine regulatory discussions or institutional advancements in Fiji, South Africa, India, Pakistan, and Nigeria. For quick links to developments in integrative medicine in the United States, click here.

  • Alternative medicine practitioners are among those referenced in this article on consumer protective regulations in Nigeria.
  • Tu YouYouQuartz India analyses how “the year’s most prestigious prize in medicine—the Nobel- has been bestowed upon Tu Youyou, the lead discoverer of powerful malaria drug artemisinin. In giving her the prize, the Nobel Prize committee has recognized the role ancient knowledge can play in the modern world.” At The Conversation, the question is asked about whether this is a turning point for TCM. Here is a Johns Hopkins perspective. One more, from ExtremeTech: “An ancient version of science managed to find the general location of this drug, but the modern version of science is what nailed it down.”
  • An article from South Africa notes that “in 2004 the government adopted the Indigenous Knowledge Systems policy in order to promote, protect, and develop the Indigenous Knowledge Systems.”
  • Officials meeting in Cape Town for the 2nd Ministerial Forum of China-Africa Health Development developed an Action Plan under which China and Africa “are willing to share its experiences in regulating traditional medicine, and China is willing to support the training and the establishment of Traditional Medicine Clinics in African countries, upon the demand of African countries.”
  • Here’s a shallow look at six animals some Malaysians eat as medicines.
  • There are currently 2,382 international students studying at the Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine from 37 countries and regions around the globe. The number of students has seen an average growth of 10 percent year over year.
  • An India-based alternative medicine portal “Welcome Cure” has raised $6 million to deliver homeopathic medicine via 100 senior homeopaths, telephonically, and via mailing medicines. Another piece on the financing is here.
  • Ebola VirusThe article suggests that Asian healing practices may have a future in Egypt amidst its crisis.
  • Liberia’s Felix Ikuomola, MD, based at U Hawaii, has a new book (pictured) on experiences with Ebola in West Africa.
  • There was a significant demonstration in Myanmar against killing of endangered animals for medicinal and other purposes.
  • The Times of India looks at a state government’s recommendation for using traditional medicines to fight Dengue.
  • The Confucius Institute at the University of Cypress offered a talk on TCM.
  • A Rotary Club presentation by a founder of California’s Yo San University on TCM is featured in this Santa Monica paper.
  • This Manila Times piece that looks skeptically at integrative cancer treatments notes that In the Philippines, traditional, and alternative medicines have been included in the national healthcare system under Republic Act No. 8432 or the “Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act (TAMA) of 1997.”
  • An overview of Unani Medicine—the “U” in AYUSH—is here: “There are about 42 recognized colleges of Unani medicine in India. Aspirants must pass Class XII exams to get admission to BUMS (Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery). Those who have studied Urdu as a language in their 10+2 examination are given preference. Medium of instruction is mostly in Urdu but English is also used.”
  • Another article features the quick return to play of rugby star Waisake Nahalo after traditional medicine use.
  • The Nobel to China has been a source of multiple reflections in India, including this one. The response in the “twittersphere” is captured here at Nature.
  • Kendall Ho, MDA group of Vancouver, Canada, physicians led by Kendall Ho, MD, (pictured) have created a simple “travel card” tool to assist Chinese who use TCM to communicate with Western medical doctors about the products they use: “Although there are no recent statistics on the topic, a 1998 survey of four Vancouver family practices with predominantly Chinese patients found that 28 percent of patients used traditional herbal Chinese medicine in addition to Western medicine.”
  • This article from Louisiana (USA) looks at natural herb medicines under exploration there.
  • A group of Zimbabwe’s traditional healers from the nation’s traditional Healers Association helda rain-making ceremony and predicts more rain than otherwise forecast.
  • This USA Today speaks of the bottles of cows’ urine sold as medicine in India.
  • The University of Karachi’s International Centre for Chemical and Biological sciences (ICCBS) launched the website http://www.folkmedsindh.com.pk on Wednesday to promote the study and research of folk medicine.
  • The AYUSH ministry has a campaign to treat conditions related to hygiene and poor sanitation.
  • Here is a call for greater control of traditional medicines in the Cook Islands and Fiji.
  • Indigenous medicine of the Dimasa tribe in NE India’s rich, biodiverse area is the subject of this article. Specific examples of medicines are noted.
  • Henry Lowe, PhD In Jamaica, this article characterizes the Nobel to Tu Youyou as “encouragement for local scientists” and particularly notes the work of Henry Lowe, PhD (pictured).
  • The articles on the Nobel to Tu Youyou keepcoming: here in TechNews; this from Pakistan looks at challenges to traditional practitioners in the “mining” of traditional medicines for drugs and suggests lessons for that country; here, an Indian scientist suggests that his own nation may have been the originof the traditional information (“Even if it was used in China too as traditional medicine or treatment of intermittent fever (Malaria), then the credit should be given to both India and China and not China alone”); this Hong Kong Post piece stridently denies that the Nobel is “for Chinese medicine”; this New York Times article focuses on the “renewed debate on Chinese medicine” among the Chinese, regarding extracting drug knowledge.
  • This story documents a flourishing relationship between the TCM community and indigenous peoples of British Columbia.
  • A speaker at the global conference on Unanimedicine promotes “a level playing field” for homeopathy.
  • With cases of Dengue rising in this Indian state, a health department advisory offers recommendations for use of traditional medicines.
  • This article looks at the role of regulated TCM in Singapore.
  • Interesting backward look at the life of Oonagh Shanley-Toffolo, who was an influencer of royalty in the UK and who studied midwifery and TCM, and practiced each.
  • This article urges more partnership between laboratory science and traditional medicine in African health particularly regarding diabetes care (photo related).
  • The Chinese Xinhua News Agency highlights quotes Nobel winner Tu Youyou calling Artemisinin a “gift from China savings millions in Africa” and provides data supportingthe assertion.
  • Here in Science the discussion is how the Nobel “highlights the East-West divide.”
  • This article in Business Day explores how Tu Youyou’s classic drug approach to the herb in her research has created controversy among TCM purists: “Are we truly respecting this cultural heritage?” Liu asks. “When we think Chinese medicine needs to be modernised and the path it shall go down must be like Tu Youyou’s path, I think it is disrespect.”
  • HerbFestIn Nigeria, the “Chairman, Electoral Committee, National Association of Nigerian Traditional Medicine Practitioners (NANTMP), Dr Idowu Ogunkoya, has called on members to vote for credible executives in the group’s forthcoming election.”
  • In the USA, 12 professionals, mainly registered herbalists and naturopathic physicians, comment in The Integrator Blog on the National Institutes of Health strategy on botanical research, most asking for more whole systems approaches.
  • An antagonist to TCM in Singapore argues that TuYouyou’s research in no way validates TCM as part of an appeal that the Nation’s government not subsidize TCM care.
  • Aboriginal medicine is part of what was featuredthrough a summer Parks Canada program.
  • A recent scientific publication in BMC CAM describes herbal medicine use by surgery patients in Hungary.
  • A Loyola, Chicago, neurosurgeon Christopher Loftus, MD, was granted Honorary Citizen status in China for the interinstitutional ties between his school and one in China that has a substantial integration of TCM.
  • This writer in Nature speaks to the potential value of alternative therapies including Reiki in people with “complex psychological and physiological reactions to serious illness.”
  • In the UK, a woman claiming to cure whooping cough with homeopathic vaccines is fined.
  • Radio NewZealand offers an interview on the use of traditional medicines in the South Seas.
  • Questions about traditional medicine were part of the interview process for this new Nigerian minister.
  • An article on an anti-diabetes campaign in a Turks and Caicos publication notes that some locals are preferring to use traditional medicine approaches.
  • In Nigeria’s Leadership, an article covering the 2015 HERBFEST speaks of a workshop (panelists pictured) with the theme “Food as medicine: utilisation and sustainable exploitation of African medicinal plants andnatural products.” Development of a TM industry such as in China, India, and the Koreas is promoted: “The overall goal of HerbFest is to galvanise a wide range of stakeholders to share experience, stimulate investment/partnerships; to promote optimal utilisation and conservation of medicinal plants; to showcase rich biodiversity, research and development results, investment opportunities, patronage and recognition and achievements.”
  • This article speaks to the growth of the Ayurvedic and herbal products beauty market.
  • A good close look, originally published by Xinhua, at the work of Tu Youyou—and thefailures—in her discovery is here.
  • This article documents an Indian professional claiming India should have shared the award for sourcing Tu Youyou’s Nobel: “Even if it was used in China too (other than India) as traditional medicine for the treatment of intermittent fever (malaria), then the credit for this knowledge to the use of artemisin and its purification should be given to both India and China and not China alone.”
  • This article on Hakim Mohammed Saeed speaks to the Pakistan leader’s contributions, among them reportedly “getting WHO to recognize TM.”
  • A perspective here from Zambia on theTu Youyou Nobel and another from Kenya via Xinhua.
  • This article in Israel’s Haaretz speaks to the problem of people buying doctorates in alternative medicine.
  • The Albany, NY Times Union gives space for a writer to share his views of the “Brief and Sordid History of Modern Medicine.”
  • Lori Aviso Alvord, MD Lori Aviso Alvord, MD (pictured), the first Navajo woman to be boarded in surgery spoke on Western and traditional methods atArizona State University.
  • Something called Ireland’s Dream has been set up to help people with MS access alternative treatments.
  • An herbal drink, Musimboti nyama, “took Zimbabwe by storm” as a panacea is making a comeback after being banned 14 years ago by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe.
  • The Tu Youyou award stimulated this post on the role of ethnobotany in Bali.
  • The first Congress of Russian doctors of Chinese medicine was held in Spochi.
  • This post in the USA distinguishes modern medical from “traditional medicine” and provides a negative “Sordid History” of the former.
  • A sordid tale from Greytown, South Africa of child rape masquerading as traditional healing is told here.
  • Herbal supplement sales in the USA jumped 6.8% to $6.4 billion in 2014.
  • Something called Quantum University has produced the online World Summit of Integrative Medicine that claims to be the largest gathering of its kind, drawing 21,000 to its online meeting in October 2015.
  • This article talks about US medical schools that are trying to get medical doctors to appreciate the value of nutrition by teaching them to cook.
  • In Nigeria, herbal medicine specialist Dr Umaru Ndagi “has urged government at all levels to promote the use of roots and herbs as alternative medicine for prevention and treatment of diseases.” He states, “The Federal College of Alternative Medicine could have words with the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO) in Oshodi and the Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA) to really make this herbal medicine go a long way.” He believes herbal medicine “can bring in as much (revenue) asoil.”
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