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The Modern vs. Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine has over 2,000 years of history behind it and it still remains popular in the modern city of Hong Kong. People from all over the world are coming to buy the herbs and services of the traditional folk medicine. Although in Asia there is a solid belief in its use, in the Western world the traditional medicine is often criticized for its lack of proven effectiveness.

Now, the scientists in the city have started working to prove the effectiveness of many of these traditional treatments. It is acknowledged that many forms of Chinese medicine have not been proven effective, but at the same time many of them do hold up under a scientific study.

For instance, in malaria, the useful anti-malaria drugs are all going out of fashion because of resistance to the medication, and so one successful recent application is to use an extract from a Chinese herb called artemisinin. And this has been extracted and found to be very effective in some types of malaria.

Other example is acupuncture, which has been part of the Chinese health-care for five thousand years. Acupuncture can be used to heal inflammations which, in modern medicine, could not be done regardless of taking a lot of drugs.

Scientists say that bridging the gap between traditional Chinese medicine and modern medicine is important. The Institute of Chinese Medicine is working to provide scientific evidence that Chinese medicine can be used even where the modern medicine fails, and that in some cases it can be even more effective.

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