Traditional oriental medicine gets a boost

The San Francisco Chronicle reported favorably on rising use of Chinese medicine in the U.S.

In "CHINESE MEDICINE GAINING RESPECTABILITY IN WEST: FDA support for testing of botanical drugs helps boost credibility of ancient herbal treatments," Suzanne B. Thompson, Eugenia Chien (Tuesday, June 27, 2006) wrote that "more Americans are turning to traditional Chinese medicine after failing to find relief from conventional treatments. Such patients typically have sought out Chinese remedies at the urging of friends or family; now many are doing so on the advice of doctors at prestigious medical institutions, which over the past decade have been cautiously integrating the 5,000-year-old practice. Just as cautiously, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently revised its research protocols to support clinical trials of Chinese and other herbal treatments."

The article points out some trends such as that "one-fifth of the nation's hospitals offered complementary medical services in 2004, more than double the number in 1998, according to the American Hospital Association." Also mentioned is the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine. Notably, the article argues that Chinese medicine may be well-accepted, if institutional barriers can be overcome and effectiveness of Chinese herbs demonstrated.