Chinese herbal medicine is used to treat a wide range of ailments, but the growing popularity of the practice in the West may be putting it at risk of becoming a marketing problem.
According to data from the US National Library of Medicine, Chinese herbal medicines are now being prescribed in Australia at a rate of 1.8 million per year.
“In a globalised economy, the Chinese market is a growing one and it is likely that the use of Chinese herbal products in Australia will increase in the years to come,” said Dr David Lydon, who heads up the Chinese Medicine Research and Training Centre in Canberra.
He said it was important that the Chinese medicinal products used in Australian hospitals were safe for use in Australia.
Dr Lydons research found Chinese herbal treatments were used for a range of conditions, including headaches, insomnia, joint pain, and a range other ailments.
A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Canberra said it could not comment on specific health issues.
But Dr Lyds work showed that acupuncture could be a marketing opportunity for Chinese herbal therapies.
Chinese herbal medicine has been shown to improve some symptoms in people with certain diseases.
Its effectiveness has also been linked to the use and use of other herbal remedies such as tea and honey.
More to come.