178. Traditional medicines in the world: Where to go next?

Pan SY[1], Litscher G[2], Chan K[3], Yu ZL[4], Chen HQ[5], Ko KM[6]

[1] Department of Pharmacology, School of Chinese Materia Medica, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China
[2] Research Unit for Complementary and Integrative Laser Medicine, Research Unit of Biomedical Engineering in Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, and TCM Research Center Graz, Medical University of Graz, Austria.
[3] Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
[4] School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
[5] American Academy of Natural Medicine, Costa Mesa, CA, USA.
[6] Division of Life Science, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong.

According to the WHO, 65–80% of the world’s healthcare practice involves the use of traditional medicine (TM), commonly referred to as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), in some way. Today, TM has become an indispensable part of ourhealthmanagement. It hasbeenwell known that TMcovers a wide array of therapies and practices which vary from culture to culture and country to country. It is more important that TM differs from conventional medicine (CM) in both theory and practice. However, the research and development of almost all TM systems mostly follow the track that had been laid down by CMnowadays. It is clearly not appropriate for the future development of TM. Therefore, a well-structured strategy for research, practice, and development is instrumental to optimize the utilization of TM which reflects its superiority over CM in some ways. Now it is time for us to start thinking about “where is TM heading?” and “how should TM reach its destination?”