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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) consists of a plethora of therapeutic approaches aiming to both characterize and treat diseases. Its utilization has gained significant popularity in the western world and is even backed by the World Health Organization's decision to include TCM diagnostic patterns into the new revision of the International Classification of Diseases code, the global standard for diagnostic health information. As these developments and potentially far-reaching decisions can affect modern healthcare systems and daily clinical work as well as wildlife conservation, its underlying factual basis must be critically examined. This article therefore provides an overview of the evidence underlying the basic TCM concepts, such as Qi, meridians, acupuncture, pulse and tongue diagnostics as well as traditional herbal treatments. Moreover, it discusses whether scientific literature on TCM reflects the current standard for evidence-based research, as described in good scientific practice and good clinical practice guidelines. Importantly, misinformation regarding the therapeutic efficacy of animal-derived substances has lead and currently leads to problems with wildlife preservation and animal ethics. Nevertheless, the (re-)discovery of artemisinin more than 50 years ago introduced a novel development in
the commingling of Eastern and Western medicine, the appreciation of both systems. The need for more rigorous approaches, fulfilment of and agreement to current guidelines to achieve high-quality research are of utmost relevance. Thereby, ancient knowledge of herbal species and concoctions may serve as a possible treasure box rather than Pandora's box.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Wiener klinische Wochenschrift
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A system of traditional medicine which is based on the beliefs and practices of the Chinese culture.
A genus in the family Monascaceae, order EUROTIALES. One species, Monascus purpureus, has multiple uses in traditional Chinese medicine (MEDICINE, CHINESE TRADITIONAL).
A genus of fungi in the family Ganodermataceae, order POLYPORALES, containing a dimitic hyphal system. It causes a white rot, and is a wood decomposer. Ganoderma lucidum (REISHI) is used in traditional Chinese medicine (MEDICINE, CHINESE TRADITIONAL).
System of herbal medicine practiced in Japan by both herbalists and practitioners of modern medicine. Kampo originated in China and is based on Chinese herbal medicine (MEDICINE, CHINESE TRADITIONAL).
A plant genus of the family AMARANTHACEAE, order Caryophyllales, which has been used in traditional medicine (MEDICINE, CHINESE TRADITIONAL).
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