Nobel Prize to Chinese traditional medicine: A wake-up call to Indian medicine!

By : Paramtap Mewada

Please read the article below and ponder over the following.

While Indian Ayurveda knowledge is destroyed by ‘seculars’  and downplayed as ‘bush and roots’ medicines, Chinese researchers dive deep into their classic medicines literature. They come out with somethings that western empiricists understand, and can readily digest.

How can we Indians makes sure that, ‘through inner meditations and external observations/ empiricism, and re-orientation, and repeat’ also provide excellent scientific solutions to 21st centuries medical science and give a lead in this field for future?

This should be on the individual level, rather than putting the government to task for it. F

Fields of interest should be Machine design, machinery, robotics etc. aka yantrik, medicines and well-being.

It is open to the suggestions and discussion.

Is the 2015 Nobel Prize a turning point for traditional Chinese medicine?

Is the 2015 Nobel Prize a turning point for traditional medicine? I’m sure.

I’m not the only one surprised by the announcement that half of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has gone to a researcher who spent time on this approach.

 

By : Raj Kashyap

 

Nobel nod to Chinese herbal medicine’s ‘gift’ derived from an herb used to treat fevers about 1,700 years ago, the antimalaria drug artemisinin is one of many treatments plucked from the treasure chest of ancient Chinese medicine and repackaged for a modern age.

The compound revolutionized cures for a killer disease for which drug resistance is a major problem, and is credited with saving millions of lives.

On Monday, it also earned its Chinese developer, Tu Youyou, a Nobel Medicine Prize.

“It is my dream that Chinese medicine will help us conquer life-threatening diseases worldwide, and that people across the globe will enjoy its benefits for health promotion,” Tu wrote in a 2011 commentary in the science journal Nature Medicine.

Her own work was a step in this direction – Tu’s research gave millions access to the antimalarial action of an herb known by its scientific name Artemisia annua, or commonly as qinghao, wormwood or “sweet Annie.”

Artemisinin replaced chloroquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine after the Plasmodium parasite, which causes malaria, developed resistance to both.

Today, it is the main drug in the arsenal against the disease with an estimated 200 million cases and nearly 600,000 deaths per year.

“By the late 1960s, efforts to eradicate malaria had failed and the disease was on the rise,” said the Nobel Assembly.

Tu and a team investigated more than 2,000 Chinese herb preparations and at first identified 640 that had possible antimalarial activity – but with no significant results in experiments with mice except for one: Artemisia annua extract.

But when these promising results could not be replicated, the team were befuddled.

They turned to ancient Chinese literature for help, finding the answer in the writings of alchemist Ge Hong, who died in the year 343.

In “A Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies,” Ge described Artemisia’s properties for reducing the symptoms of malaria and gave this tip: “A handful of qinghao immersed with two liters of water, wring out the juice and drink it all.”

Centuries later, his words were a lightbulb moment.”This sentence gave me the idea that the heating involved in the conventional extraction step we had used might have destroyed the active components,” said Tu.”Extraction at a lower temperature might be necessary to preserve antimalarial activity.”

Using a new, lower-temperature method, “we obtained much better activity,” she said, showing that the properties of wormwood hailed by previous generations were, indeed, based in science.

Mao’s Cultural Revolution:

This all happened at the height of the Mao Zedong’s chaotic1966-1976 Cultural Revolution, which saw large numbers of people, including academics, persecuted.

The team had no way to test the product on conventional lab animals, but they were so confident in its safety that they tested it on themselves.

Their courage paved the way to clinical trials in Hainan among patients infected with the parasite.

“Artemisinin … is a true gift from old Chinese medicine,” Tu said in the 2011 article.”But this is not the only instance in which the wisdom of Chinese medicine has borne fruit.”Indeed, we have China to thank for a wide array of treatments that have made their way into mainstream Western medicine – think acupuncture and massage, or tai chi and qi gong, two body-mind exercises.No fairy tale.

In her article, Tu also cited a drug derived from the herb Huperzia serrata undergoing trials in Europe and the United States for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and another herb, shenlian, which has shown promise in the treatment of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

China’s history with traditional medicine stretches back thousands of years – but as with artemisinin, much of it has no orthodox science to back it. Yet.

But it may be exactly this openness to traditional ways that unlocks important future discoveries.

China is well placed to exploit the potential, say some commentators. Conventional medicine in China today “has an interesting relationship with herbalists and other aspects of traditional Chinese medicine like acupuncture,” parasitology expert Colin Sutherland of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine told AFP. “They don’t see it as a completely fairy tale world,” he said.  “So I think they are in a much better position in China to see that there is an herbal medicine that does seem to have some advantages … components they can turn into a pharmaceutical product.”

Tu herself underwent 2.5 years of training in Chinese medicine for professionals with a background in Western medicine.

Where do we Indians stand in comparison?

We in India have Christo-Commies in command who are still hoping for similar ‘Cultural Revolution’, mocking yoga, ayurveda, Baba Ramdev.

By : Julian Raymond K.

Should have been called DIGESTION Alert.

Here are the reasons why:

What modern Traditional Chinese Medicine does right, and modern Ayurveda doesnt do:

I have some experience with this since I studied Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) exclusively for a semester at a TCM school, and have personal practise related to Ayurveda for the last 10 years, and actively follow the fields.

Their government has been very supportive, and actively promotes it as the medicine for the poor and “lifestyle” medicine, and part of the “culture”.

To that extent, there are TV programs where TCM doctors/cooks talk about or have big editorials, on good foods for seasons/special problems etc.  And they really focus on everybody’s vanity — competing for cosmetic slogans of “youthful, healthy and beautiful”, which captures the audience and there serving modern “culture”.

The BIG issue which they are handling correctly is the following (which is what Rajiv-ji calls as reverse digestion), of assimilating western medicine into TCM framework:  They have started digesting western pharmaceuticals into herbal preparations!!!  And are even more effective and cheaper, than western pharma.

Secondly, they train TCM doctors who can also do minor surgeries, using tools and techniques from WM, into their treatment protocols for various diseases.  In other words, they are digesting the western medicine corpus back into TCM.

Thirdly, they are researching into TCM with new techniques and actively publishing them in their journals, with the view of competing with existing WM protocols, or digesting them, into their traditional techniques.  They are also creating new diagnostic/treatment tools.

So, in effect, they are competing for customers successfully, by digesting WM.

Ayurveda, doesnt do the above three, and is therefore not even attempting to digest and compete.

Mostly it is about validation, and getting digested. Even innovative diagnostic products, like VPK pulse diagnostic machines, dont get reviewed. Western medicines’ explicit agenda is of destroying Native medicine practise.

Coming to this Nobel prize, it is in effect a counter-attempt by the west to digest TCM,  Ayurveda etc through their CAM programs (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) to destroy the validity of the practice of other systems, since they will also “seem” to offer these acupuncutre, oil treatments (which are reduced to ridiculous roles), etc and so you can now stop seeing your tcm/ayurvedic doctor.

So this is a matter of great danger to all the Native Healing traditions of the world.

Ayurveda in particular, its current status in the western mind:  TCM and Ayurveda, depend on their conceptual ideas, and can use any method/tool modern or ancient within this conceptual framework.

By destroying the acceptance of their conceptual basis (which are extraordinary systems) through mere mockery and dismissal, they are hoping to delegitimize it.

The usual dismissal of Ayurveda is that is a mere humoural theory, but it is not.

Greek appropriated it through the Arabs, and having no detailed understanding, screwed it and further degeneration took place in Medival Europe where “doctors” routinely blood-let people to death, something even an uneducated child of an Ayurvedic doctor, will know not to do.

Ancient appropriations are many… but here are some from last 5 years:

Nasya – Nasal Irrigation, Snehana – Oil wash.  Its an aggressive pipeline.

There is a revival of Ayurveda in the west, as a “Lifestyle Medicine”, usually in the yoga/spiritual enclaves, but it is not very strong.

Modi was recommending at the international conference of Ayurveda, to consider this “lifestyle medicine” approach seriously, but currently there are no structures in place to develop or market it.

As individuals we can contribute by being aware of the challenges, and most importantly spread the idea and learn for ourselves this “lifestyle medicine”  vs “acute medicine” of WM.

The idea in Ayurveda is to correctly anticipate your likely future diseases based on your dosha type, and prevent it entirely from even becoming a possibility.  For current diseases, to stop it in its tracks, before resorting to acute treatments, and destroying the possibility of the relapse.

This clearly takes a good course to learn and track ourselves, with a partnership model with Ayurvedic doctors as consultants along the learning process and I can recommend Dr. Lal’s books on Amazon for a start.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Santanu Dey
    Oct 08, 2015 @ 19:21:25

    The bane of all developmental activities in India as a whole and Indians in general are the secularists who are of nothing but nuisance value that unfortunately has dominated everything in India for all the 68 years of free India. This group has self-selected the expression ‘liberal’ for themselves while being solely responsible for the pathetic condition India finds itself in today – laughed at by the world at large for all these years, which may have undergone slight change in the last 16 months. Time has come now for all self-respecting Indians to completely ignore this bunch who have done enough harm, to what end they alone know, and show them the place they belong – no point attempting to change them because they are incorrigible.

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