Western-style Chinese medicine

Western-style Chinese medicine
For centuries, traditional Chinese medicines were manufactured as bolus, powder, plaster, pellet, decoction and liquor out of herbs, insects and animal parts that proved to have medicinal effectiveness. Without modern technology, these potent preparations were voluminous, unrefined and hard to administer. As early as 1957, manufacturers of traditional Chinese medicine, like Tongrentang in Beijing, attempted manufacturing ‘Western-style Chinese medicine’ (Zhongyao xizhi).
Not until the 1990s did traditional Chinese medicine manufacturers realize the urgency of modernizing their industry. Facing an increasing need for alternative medicines in the world, Chinese medicine manufacturers were disappointed that their products did not measure up to Western standards.
Chinese medicines claimed only 2 per cent of the global traditional-medicine market. Chinese manufacturers realized the importance of applying the principles of Western pharmaceutics to manufacturing traditional Chinese medicines; of employing the technology of drying, pellicular coating and the mass production of powdered injection via assembly lines; and of implementing quality control under modernized management. The State Council therefore pronounced its strategic plan for modernizing Chinese medicines in 1997 and promulgated ‘An Outline for Modernizing Traditional Chinese Medicines’ a few years later. Research institutes, medical schools and manufacturers are now collaborating in extracting effective elements from medicinal herbs and preparing them for manufacture in the Western style to battle cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and other illnesses. ‘Kanggan chongtengpian’ (Instantly Soluble Anti-Cold Tablets) and ‘Shuanghuanglian qiwuji’ (Four-Herb Spray), an eradicator of respiratory disorder, are two examples of a large array of newly manufactured Western-style Chinese medicines.
See also: herbal medicine

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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