Displaying 1-11 of 11 key documents
Source: Bulletin of the WHO | August 2008
This article presents an ethical framework for conducting international traditional medicine research, including clinical trials. The authors emphasise the need for such research to both have a social value — which may justifiably differ across countries — and be scientifically valid. They highlight the role that international collaborations can play in achieving the ethical requirements for traditional medicine research.
Source: PLoS ONE | April 2009
Ensuring that traditional medicines are safe and effective is a major challenge. This study uses mathematical models to show that the treatments that become popular through communities and get passed down through generations are not necessarily the most efficacious. Often, ineffective treatments that are based on superstition can spread because, the authors say, their very ineffectiveness means that patients use the treatment for longer than medicine that actually works.
Source: Medical Anthropology Quarterly | March 2010
This article argues that unless the modernisation of traditional medicine in Nepal is treated with care, it could create gender inequalities and the increased social marginalisation of women. Healthcare in Nepal is slowly being modernised to fit more with a model of Western medicine than with traditional Ayurveda. Ayurveda attracts many female practitioners since it is one of the few professions in this patriarchal society in which women are accorded high status.
Source: Cell | September 2007
This article provides an overview of global efforts to develop turmeric — a curry spice that is also used in a variety of Indian traditional remedies — into a modern therapeutic drug. The author highlights some of the hurdles to developing turmeric, including intellectual property barriers, turmeric's insolubility in water and its poor bioavailability. He also describes current efforts including ongoing lab and clinical trials.
Source: BMC International Health and Human Rights | October 2009
Too few effective antimalarials and poor use of bednets are two main reasons offered for why malaria still kills millions every year. This systematic review suggests that social and cultural factors in tackling malaria are often ignored. For example, many people in the developing world still use traditional medicine to treat malaria, which is often blamed on spiritual problems or curses, and can be a barrier to effective treatment.
Source: WHO | May 2005
This WHO report summarises the findings of a global survey on national policy and regulation of traditional medicine in 141 countries. It presents data on existing policies for traditional medicine and regulation of herbal medicines. The report highlights common hurdles to implementing these and provides a profile of each country surveyed.
Source: WHO | March 2005
This study assesses whether traditional medicine can contribute to more affordable global healthcare. It uses flowcharts to map out factors such as healthcare infrastructure and social mores that lead much of the developing world to use traditional medicine, and explains the different medicinal systems in use around the world. The author concludes that traditional medicine is a public health asset, provided it can be sufficiently standardised and verified.
Source: Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine | May 2009
According to the author of this review, only 7.4 per cent of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) — which includes homeopathy and acupuncture — is evidence-based. The author evaluates research evidence from clinical trials and systematic reviews to reach this conclusion. By contrast, he says, more than half of all interventions in general internal medicine, and more than 65 per cent in psychiatry are based on sound evidence, including results from randomised controlled trials.
Source: Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine | October 2005
This review article outlines the basic principles of traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, and the differences in how these are being integrated into national health systems. The authors discuss progress in drug discovery including traditional medicinal plants and the role of supporting industries — from breeders to manufacturers — in commercialising traditional medicine.
Source: SciTopics | January 2009
This article, by integrative medicine expert Bhushan Patwardhan, highlights the role of traditional medicine in modern drug discovery. Patwardhan explains the driving forces behind efforts to mine traditional medicine for new drugs, outlines the different approaches that can be taken and provides examples of current efforts and success stories.
Source: M. Mander (FAO) | 1998
In South Africa the demand for indigenous medicines and services is considerable compared with the demand for western health care services, and is growing due to population growth, poverty and beliefs. As a result, the demand for the popular plants used for indigenous medicines exceeds supply.
This publication by the FAO (one of the first comprehensive market surveys of medicinal plants in southern Africa) examines the demand for, and supply of, medicinal plants in Kwazulu-Natal, and the main marketing factors at play.
The indigenous medicine market is based on indigenous plants which are generally harvested from wild plant stocks. The available plant stocks are declining as they are not managed and little cultivation takes place. The study identifies three possible scenarios, which depend the actions of key players in the markets.
It identifies the most likely scenario as the commercialisation of indigenous plant production, which will cause prices to rise and exclude less sophisticated players from the market. The costs of this scenario will be borne largely by the current consumers, who will then lose access to basic medicine because of price increases and scarcity.
The study makes several recommendations for achieving a good balance between demand and supply.