Chinese Medicine - Weight Loss, Sports and Health Benefits w/KimJong-il

  1. Chinese Medicine - Weight Loss, Sports and Health Benefits w/KimJong-il

    Starting a new blog but in a thread I'm researching Chinese medicine I will post random stuff within the topic here.

    Will start with this youtube video, where Americans are starting to visit a hospital in China for successful weight loss.

    I remember about a decade ago I took a Chinese formula that removes dampness in the spleen and transforms phlegm. While I took it, along with my diet and training I definitely saw a reduction in bodyfat within a 2 month period.

    Its really more of a cold medicine, but my friend who is an acupuncturists and studies Chinese Medicine insisted that this would help me, and it definitely did. Dunno why I havent used it again for so long, but Id definitely looking to use it some time along with western supplements.

    Product Description

    Er Chen Wan
    (Phlegm/Dampness Relief)

    Chen Pi (Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae) 32.30%
    Ban Xia (Rhizoma Pinelliae) 32.30%
    Fu Ling (Poria cocos) 19.40%
    Gan Cao (Radix Glycyrrhizae) 10.00%
    Sheng Jiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis Recens) 6.00%

    Action and Indication: Dissolving phlegm spleen, damp, regulating excessive phlegm congestion in the stomach, lungs or face, symptoms caused by food retention in the stomach; nausea abdominal fullness, dizziness, vertigo, alcoholic hangover.

    Edit:Just ran into this youtube video, and this Chinese Dr. speaks about phlegm, and how there are different levels of mucous that we are not aware of. This guy is apparently selling something, but in the first few minutes is the part I want you all to see.

    Also found other information on Plegm, Dampness and Chinese Medicine here:
    Phlegm, Dampness and Chinese Medicine

    Here explains TCM and obesity: ActiveHerb's Guide: Chinese Herbs and Medicines for Weight Loss
    As obesity becomes epidemic, people turned to TCM for herbal remedies that may control weight or lose weight. In the theory of TCM, obesity is mostly due to the accumulation of Dampness and Phlegm. Dampness may be understood as water retention whereas Phlegm is not limited to its common meaning but also includes the accumulation of unwanted products (like an excess of fat and food residues) from metabolism of the body. The Dampness and Phlegm occur when the process of food intake, digestion, adsorption and transportation is not balanced. For example, one eats too much; the transportation function is poor. Therefore, eliminating phlegm and expelling dampness has been recognized as a main strategy in Chinese medicines to lose weight and has achieved satisfactory results.
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  2. Todays blog post is "Dalishen Oral Liquid"

    One of the most popular TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) for Chinese athletes is Dalishen Oral Liquid

    Dalishen Oral Liquid = mainly of seal penis and testes

    This is kinda sad...and I dont think Ill use it because I do like animals and many seals are being slaughtered for the purpose and they are endangered, but I will still cover it as it is relevant in my topic.
    Seals killed for penis and testes to make Chinese performance enhancers - National Green Living |


    Seals Penis and Testes are considered a kidney yang tonic. Traditionally it is used as a male tonic to help with impotency problems.

    Seal testicles, dog penis, seahorse, and dear antlers are all used to give a boost in sexual vitality in TCM. Keep in mind that in TCM they dont just prescribe medicine, but also lifestyle changes are essential as well. With libido/impotence issues they would also advise to reduce the amount of ejaculations in any given week, especially as your age increases (prevention measures too) and ejaculations deplete "Jing"
    which refers to our overall "essence" specifically for Kidney essence.

    Jing not only is depleted by ejaculation, but everyday activities, life stress, working stress and especially training stress may also deplete Jing, although ejaculation would put the biggest strain on Jing.

    Now the issue is why do Chinese athletes consume seal penis/testes? Heavy physical training and over training puts strain on Jing, therefore depletes it. I would say the actions of seal penis and testes is as a kidney yang tonic and also restoring Jin....but that's me using bro-science as I don't have an unlimited english source of information to go buy, plus my very rookie knowledge of TCM. So if stress depletes Jing, and in TCM prescribe Seals Penis for impotency, and both ejaculation and stressful training deplete Jing, it makes sense to me why athletes are taking Dalishen Oral Liquid for performance benefits.

    It looks like keeping a strong Jing boosts athletic performance, and keeping it that way is good for the long run for long term successful training performance and especially for preventative measures on over-training. Also, on another note, over-ejaculation is bad for training.
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  3. Is TCM a Pseudoscience?

    This is a good heated debate about TCM on a English Chinese TV Channel. The name of the debate show is "I agree, I disagree"

    Its 30 minutes long....and to those interested it is very informative. Its interesting because you get both sides of the argument on weather or not TCM thinking should be abolished or not.

    Click below link for video:
    Traditional Chinese Medicine - I Disagree - bonlive

    "Considered an alternative medical system in much of the Western world, in China, Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, is a valuable cultural treasure for over one billion people. While it attracts increasing attention in western countries, in China fierce debate over its legal existence has been raging on for over one hundred years. With thousands of years of history and a variety of almost magical treatment methods such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, food therapy, cupping and Tuina massage, TCM has never been without its side in western eyes. That's not to say however that doubts surrounding its efficacy and safety, as well as longstanding confusion over its development in China don't exist. Such uncertainty has resulted in a new wave of debate over whether to preserve or abolish this living symbol of Chinese culture."
    Last edited by ax1; 01-19-2011 at 12:20 AM.
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  4. This will be an interesting thread...

  5. @ ax1: 혹시 한국에서 사는 분이세요? 나도 한국에서 살거든요!!
    and I wouldn't put asian medicine ahead of ours...

  6. Quote Originally Posted by nonidentity View Post
    @ ax1: 혹시 한국에서 사는 분이세요? 나도 한국에서 살거든요!!
    and I wouldn't put asian medicine ahead of ours...
    Haha.....I live in paradise in North Korea and have thousands of servants.

    This isnt about what medicine is best. When you need to find cures and have health benefits, it doesnt matter where its from, or what culture it's from. When you find something that works you should have all options at your disposal.

    I told my 80 year old Chinese uncle last year, do you think if that ancients had anti-biotics that would refuse to look into it just because its not Chinese? Or if there was a plant only grown in Brazil that made you live longer they would refuse that too? I think they were much smarter than that.
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  7. nice info

  8. New hope for obesity: TCM cuts fat, long term

    This is interesting, found it in

    The TCM medicine in research is Chinese herbal extract Number Ten (NT)
    The formula showed "Parametrial fat decreased 14.1% to 55.5% in the NT and pair fed groups vs. control."

    quote: and this article pasted below is based from this source
    "CM NEWS – A Chinese medicine seems to be effective in cutting food intake of obese rats and reducing body weight by as much as 33%. The study also suggests that the might provide long term control of body weight.

    The study was done at the Center for Advanced Nutrition of Utah State University. According to the researchers, traditional Chinese herbal products were reported to be effective for the treatment of obesity. Among them, Chinese herbal extract Number Ten (NT) is a dietary herbal formulation prepared from rhubarb, ginger, astragalus, red sage and tumeric. This study tested the effectiveness of NT in reducing body weight gain in rats.

    What is Number Ten (NT)? Number Ten (NT, which is not a trade name) is a herbal that was reported in a published patent specification to be effective in preventing obesity in rats when it was orally gavage fed.

    The effect of NT to reduce body weight was reported in otherwise normal rats that had been made very obese by feeding a high energy diet and also in obese rats that had been treated with monosodium glutamate (to induce hypothalamic lesions). In the former study, an improvement in blood lipid and blood glucose levels was also noted and in the latter one the obesity reducing effect was shown in rats of both genders. In a third study, NT was shown to be effective in attenuating the development of obesity without affecting the gain in lean body tissue in a young growing male rat that had been fed on high fat diet to induce obesity.

    The herbal NT is derived from the following formula:

    (1) Dahuang (大黃, Rheum officinale Baill.) - 40%
    To treat: lack of bowel movement, dysentry, blood clots, tumour, red and painful eyes, abdominal-distention and/or pain, blood in stool, # hemorrhoidal bleeding, urination burning, nose bleeding, coughing out blood, sore extremities, edema, jaundice, lesions, burns and scalding (external application).

    (2) Shayuanjili (沙苑蒺藜, 沙苑, Astragalus complanatus R. Br.) – 13.3%

    To treat: spermatorrhea, premature ejaculation, achy loin, dizziness, frequent urination, enuresis vagina discharge, and neurasthenia.

    (3) Danshen (丹参, Salvia miltiorrhiza Bge.) – 13.3%
    To treat: stroke, angina and heart attack, as an antihypertensive and a sedative.

    (4) Shengjiang (生薑, fresh ginger, Zingiber officinale Rosc.) – 6-7%
    Functions: Anti-bacteria (especially Salmonella) and anti-trichomoniasis; lowers blood lipids; reduces pain; anti-inflammation; anti- coagulation of platelets; anti-allergic; anti-tumours; and prevents sea sickness etc.

    (5) Jianghuang (薑黃, Curcuma longa L.) – 26-27%
    Functions: lowers blood lipids; anti-coagulation of platelets; protects liver from toxin; promotes secretion of bile; promotes flow of menses and relieves pain; anti-tumour; anti-inflammatory; anti-oxidation; promotes metabolism of alcohol; antibiotic; antivirus; and protects heart muscle from lack of oxygen etc.
    (For more information about curcumins in yellow curry, please read this article.

    The herbs were allowed to soak for 8 hours. The water in the pot with the four-herb mixture was boiled until the volume was reduced by half. A cold rhubarb was then added to the four-herb mixture and heated to just below boiling point for 20 minutes before cooling. After filtering the large particulates from the , the remaining liquid was freeze-dried to a powder form, producing 0.5 g of solids from 10 ml of liquid.

    In the present study, 60 female Wistar rats were fed a high fat diet and acclimated to gavage feeding. The rats were divided into five treatment groups:

    1. Control
    2. Group 2: NT 1.5 g/day
    3. Group 3: NT 0.75 g/day
    4. Group 4: pair fed to Group 2
    5. Group 5: d-fenfluramine (an appetite suppressant) 2mg/kg

    10 rats per group were sacrificed on day 56. Weight, food intake, clinical chemistry and body composition were evaluated. 5 animals in the control and 1.5 g/day NT groups were left untreated during a two week recovery period.

    The results showed that all treatment groups gained less weight than the control group. These are the reduction percentages:

    * Group 3 (NT 0.75g/day) => 24.6%
    * Group 2 (NT 1.5g/day) => 33.3%
    * Group 5 (d-fenfluramine) =>12.3%
    * Group 4 (pair fed) => 33.3%

    Moreover, leptin, a protein hormone with important effects in regulating body weight, metabolism and reproductive function, decreased 27.5% to 46.2% in the treatment groups vs. control.

    Parametrial fat decreased 14.1% to 55.5% in the NT and pair fed groups vs. control.

    The NT groups had soft stools, loss of hair around the mouth and colouration to the urine and stool without evidence of blood or bilirubin (attributed to chromogens in NT). There were no differences between groups in the clinical chemistry.

    Reduction in weight gain with NT treatment appears to be caused by reduction in food intake rather than any metabolic effects, the researchers write.

    What’s more encouraging is that the rats treated with high dose NT that were allowed a two week post treatment recovery period did not exhibit any catch-up growth during this period. This finding may suggest a continued response to NT or storage of the active components within the body. It also suggests that the NT treatment may lead to a long lasting reduction in body weight.

    The mechanism through which NT reduced food intake is unknown. There were no clinical symptoms that would cause concern in using this product in humans.

    With these strong results, the researchers concluded that this study demonstrate that NT was effective in reducing body weight gain in rats that had been fed a high fat diet to induce obesity. Its effects are maintained throughout the treatment period as shown in the present study. No toxicity of NT was found in rats although gastric toxicity was reported in humans.

    [Chinese Medicine 2007, 2:10]"
    Last edited by ax1; 01-25-2011 at 01:47 PM.
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  9. ax1 i assume you are able to grab some of this herbs right?

  10. Quote Originally Posted by MAxximal View Post
    ax1 i assume you are able to grab some of this herbs right?
    Yes...thats easy. I dont think Im motivated enough to run it though right now, but this is really for information purposes. I have books on how to make the formulas and everything, and seen my father in law brew TCM formulas in the kitchen.

    The previous study showed decrease in both fat and leptin...I wonder if it can be a super potent effective formula if you had an herb to increase the leptin as you decrease fat. Or mix TCM and western medicine.

    I might pick up some Er Chen Wan to reduce dampness and phlegm that I spoke of in my original post at some point or similar phlegm and damness reducing TCM formula in a convenient pill.
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  11. Quote Originally Posted by ax1 View Post
    Yes...thats easy. I dont think Im motivated enough to run it though right now, but this is really for information purposes. I have books on how to make the formulas and everything, and seen my father in law brew TCM formulas in the kitchen.

    The previous study showed decrease in both fat and leptin...I wonder if it can be a super potent effective formula if you had an herb to increase the leptin as you decrease fat. Or mix TCM and western medicine.

    I might pick up some Er Chen Wan to reduce dampness and phlegm that I spoke of in my original post at some point or similar phlegm and damness reducing TCM formula in a convenient pill.
    let me know

  12. Ginseng is nature’s anti-inflammatory

    Quote Originally Posted by CM NEWS View Post
    – The famous immunological effects of ginseng have been confirmed and defined by a recent study. Ginseng is believed to have beneficial effects against human diseases, and its active components, ginsenosides, may play critical roles in its diverse physiological actions.

    Researchers writing in BioMed Central’s open access Journal of Translational Medicine have shown that the herb, much used in traditional Chinese and other Asian medicine, does have anti-inflammatory effects.
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  13. TCM formula slows kidney failure
    August 11, 2009

    Fu Ling (Poria Cocos)

    CM NEWS – A traditional herbal formula has been proved in lab that it may slow the progression of chronic kidney failure.

    The formular tested is called keishibukuryogan in Japanese traditional medicine or Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan (桂枝茯苓丸) in TCM.

    In TCM, Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan has the functions of “activating blood flow” and “removing blood stasis”. It is commonly used by women with irregular menstruation or menstrual cramps.

    Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan was also proved effective to exert anti-inflammatory effects in ischemia-reperfusion injured rats.

    The formula of Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan is as follows:

    * Fu Ling (茯苓, Poria Cocos) 6g
    * Gui Zhi (桂枝, Cinnamomum Ramulus) 6g
    * Mu Dan Pi (牡丹皮, Paeonia Cortex) 6g
    * Tao Ren (桃仁, Persica Semen) 6g
    * Chi Shao (赤芍, Paeonia Rubra Radix) 6g

    What is Fu Ling? Poria Cocos is a fungus in the Polyporaceae family. It is a wood-decay fungus but has a terrestrial growth habit. It is notable in the development of a large, long-lasting underground sclerotium that resembles a small coconut. This sclerotium (called “Tuckahoe”, or Indian Bread) was used by native Americans as a source of food in times of scarcity.

    Fu Ling is collected between July and September. The poria with reddish inner side of the superficial layer is called red poria and the poria with white inner side of the superficial layer is called white poria. The poria produced in Yunnan Province is famous and therefore the drug is also called Yunnan poria Yunling). After collection, it is dried in shade, sliced, and used unprepared.

    Property: Sweet and tasteless in flavour, neutral in property, acting on the heart, spleen and kidney channels.

    Effects: Inducing diuresis, excreting dampness, invigorating the spleen, replenishing the middle-jiao, and tranquilizing the mind.

    A group of Japanese researchers examined the effects of keishibukuryogan on the early stage of progressive renal failure in rats subjected to 5/6 nephrectomy.

    Keishibukuryogan was given orally at a dose of 1% (w/w) and 3% (w/w) in chow. Administration of keishibukuryogan was started at 1 week after 5/6 nephrectomy and was continued for 4 weeks.

    At the end of the experiment, Azan staining did not reveal any severe histological changes in the kidneys of the nephrectomized rats. On the other hand, significant increases in mRNA expressions of transforming growth factor-β1 and fibronectin related to tissue fibrosis were observed in nephrectomized rats, and they were significantly suppressed by 3% keishibukuryogan treatment.

    Against gene expressions related to macro****e infiltration, 3% keishibukuryogan treatment significantly suppressed osteopontin mRNA levels, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 mRNA levels showed a tendency to decrease, but without statistical significance.

    It was also observed that 3% keishibukuryogan attenuated serum urea nitrogen and urinary protein excretion levels. From these results, it was suggested that keishibukuryogan exerts beneficial effects that result in slowing the progression of chronic renal failure.
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  14. 'Athlete reached the top with acupuncture'

    "Acupuncture isn’t doping, but it can help athletes to win medals. That’s the message of a case that the German professor Taras Usichenko, of Ernst Moritz Arndt University, will publish soon in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The case study describes an anonymous athlete, who became the German pentathlon champion thanks to seven years of acupuncture treatment."
    Read more:

    Acupuncture strengthens muscles
    "The present study shows that a one-session acupuncture treatment was efficacious for improving isometric quadriceps strength in recreational athletes", write the Germans. "Future prospective studies should evaluate whether acupuncture induced strength gains would carry over to athletic performance."
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  15. Traditional Chinese medicine R&D gets boost

    Updated: 2012-08-02 16:08

    By Liu Jie (

    The development of the traditional Chinese medicine industry got a boost from the central government after the National Commission of Development and Reform approved eight research and development projects on Aug 1, six of which in the TCM sector.

    According to Lian Weiliang, vice-chairman of the commission, the move is to promote the combination of new technology and TCM, the improvement of industrial structures and the standardization of the industry.

    The share prices of most TCM producers saw an increase in morning trading on Aug 2.
    The measures approved by the commission are all lab construction projects, which are the foundation of R&D for TCM composition analysis, the chemical and technological studies of herbs, industrialization processes, new drugs research and data collection -primary work for formulation of TCM industry standards.

    One of the projects is a lab to research cordyceps sinensis, an important medicinal fungus used in TCM. The research will be conducted by Gansu Qizheng Tibetan Medicine Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Tibet Qizheng Tibetan Medicine Group.

    After the nation's medical care reform in 2009, China has attached great importance to infrastructure construction and talent training and retaining for the TCM industry.

    Over the last three years, the central government invested 9.88 billion yuan ($1.55 billion) into construction and renovation of 2,342 city and county-level TCM hospitals.

    The proportion of TCM practitioners among all doctors in China jumped to 12.2 percent from 10.3 percent five years ago.
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  16. Acupuncture works great for pain but it can also be very helpful for many other conditions like anxiety, digestive problems, nerve problems, and more.

  17. To me the problem with western medicine it that we tend to just treat the symptoms and not look for the cause. Like a year or so ago my cousins gallbladder started hurting, and he began vomiting and not being able to keep food down. So the doctors answer was just cut it out, he never thought to ask about my cousins diet which consisted solely of processed foods, and alcohol, or about the fact that he stays up all night and leads a sedentary lifestyle.

    In contrast about a year ago I had chronic acid reflux, and depression. I weighed 280 and ate and lived just like my cousin. I was a former lifter for about 8 years and finally said enough is enough, got myself on a restricted diet plan and started exercising, and today I feel amazing and am almost back to the shape I used to be. I now rarely get heart burn, maybe once ever month, and that's only when I'm dumb and gorge myself on pizza.

    My point is that everyone told me to just go to the doctor and get some meds to take care of the heart burn. They all thought the problem was the heartburn it wasn't it was me being overweight and over eating. It was what me and my cousin were doing to our body, not what our body was doing to us.

  18. This study isnt excactly "Chinese Medicine" in a traditional way, but its modern Chinese Medicine I guess.

    J Athl Train. 2012;47(6):673-8. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-47.6.08.
    Red light and the sleep quality and endurance performance of chinese female basketball players.

    Zhao J, Tian Y, Nie J, Xu J, Liu D.


    Sport Biological Center, China Institute of Sport Science, No. 11 Tiyuguan Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China 100061. [email protected]



    Good sleep is an important recovery method for prevention and treatment of overtraining in sport practice. Whether sleep is regulated by melatonin after red-light irradiation in athletes is unknown.


    To determine the effect of red light on sleep quality and endurance performance of Chinese female basketball players.


    Cohort study.


    Athletic training facility of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and research laboratory of the China Institute of Sport Science. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty athletes of the Chinese People's Liberation Army team (age = 18.60 6 3.60 years) took part in the study. Participants were divided into red-light treatment (n = 10) and placebo (n = 10) groups. Intervention(s): The red-light treatment participants received 30 minutes of irradiation from a red-light therapy instrument every night for 14 days. The placebo group did not receive light illumination. Main Outcome Measure(s): The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) questionnaire was completed, serum melatonin was assessed, and 12-minute run was performed at preintervention (baseline) and postintervention (14 days).


    The 14-day whole-body irradiation with red-light treatment improved the sleep, serum melatonin level, and endurance performance of the elite female basketball players (P < .05). We found a correlation between changes in global Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and serum melatonin levels (r = -0.695, P = .006).


    Our study confirmed the effectiveness of body irradiation with red light in improving the quality of sleep of elite female basketball players and offered a nonpharmacologic and noninvasive therapy to prevent sleep disorders after training.

    Red light and the sleep quality and endurance p... [J Athl Train. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI
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  19. Do you know a reputable place to purchase Er Chen Wan? Sounds intriguing... Or anything to look out for when purchasing it to make sure I get legit product.

    Really enjoy the stuff you've posted in here man.

  20. Quote Originally Posted by ponysteak View Post
    Do you know a reputable place to purchase Er Chen Wan? Sounds intriguing... Or anything to look out for when purchasing it to make sure I get legit product.

    Really enjoy the stuff you've posted in here man.
    If I need any TCM I go in and out of China Town NYC time to time, but may buy it in China when Im there...but you should find Er Chen Wan on ebay easily.

    If you really really want to take more of a TCM approach, by all means go for it but keep in mind your diet and training is where its at. Also, I believe western options may provide more of a success when it comes to supplements. I havent tried the Er Chen Wan in years or am planning on doing so for now.

    I think TCM is interesting, but I feel it provides more if's and potential placebo's the more I look into it but there certainly is some interesting things.
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  21. I'm actually looking at it for health reasons, not for weight loss etc. I've had 3 sinus infections in the last 4 months. Was hoping maybe it might help with something. Thanks for the info.

  22. Quote Originally Posted by ponysteak View Post
    I'm actually looking at it for health reasons, not for weight loss etc. I've had 3 sinus infections in the last 4 months. Was hoping maybe it might help with something. Thanks for the info.
    Ive taken TCM when sick including those kinds of infections. My wife's family (traditional mainland Chinese family) and relative's cabinet always has Ganmao Qingre Keli on the ready. That can help with upper respiratory tract infections.

    Another one they always have and Ive always used is Banlangen Keli.

    I personally try to avoid over the counter western medicines unless I really really need them for comfort.
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  23. Scientists taking Chinese medicine west

    By Pamela Boykoff, CNN
    updated 8:07 PM EDT, Mon May 27, 2013


    • Chi-Med and Nestle working to get FDA approval for some Chinese medicine
    • Phase III trials have started on HMPL-004 -- used to treat stomach problems
    • It's final round of trials before FDA approval to enter the $7B IBD market

    Hong Kong (CNN) -- At Chi-Med's labs in Shanghai, a group of 70 chemists has been working for a decade to try and crack the mysteries of Chinese medicine.

    The company's scientists are attempting to break 1,300 medicinal herbs into their component parts and then test them for global use against diseases.

    It's an ambitious effort and one that looks close to paying off. Chi-Med, in partnership with Nestle, has started the first worldwide phase III clinical testing trials -- the final step before approval for sale -- for a botanical drug based on Chinese Traditional Medicine.

    If Chi-Med and Nestle succeed in winning U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, the companies will be at the forefront of efforts to export Chinese medicine beyond its loyal following at home. They'll also have tackled the central problem in taking Chinese medicine global: how do you get a centuries-old remedy through the rigors of modern government regulation?

    "The simpler the product, the better at this stage," says Chi-Med CEO Christian Hogg. "The more similar it is to conventional drugs, the better from the FDA standpoint." That's why the company has started with a drug called HMPL-004, which treats inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

    The testing was made possible by a change in the FDA policies and procedures in 2004 regarding botanical drug products.

    The new guidelines removed some of the obstacles involved in getting an investigational new drug application (IND), the first step in getting a drug developed and marketed in the U.S.
    Since the guidelines were introduced, the FDA has only approved two botanical drugs, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Fulzaq, an antidiarrheal drug used for HIV/AIDS patients and derived from the red sap of the Croton lechleri plant, was approved in December 2012. Veregen, a treatment for warts based on green tea extract, was given the green light in 2006.

    By Chinese medicine standards, HMPL-004 is a simple drug. It's a single extract from a single herb, called andrographis, which has a long history of use in Asia for stomach problems.

    Contrast that with She Xiang Bao Xin Wan, one of Chi-Med's primary products in China.

    It's a prescription cardiovascular drug with over 100 different chemical components, which Hogg explains makes it nearly impossible to get through the current U.S. approval system. "If you are working with the FDA to register that, you are going to have to explain to them exactly where each of those compounds comes from and you are going to have to guarantee every step that exactly the same amount of the compound is in that product," he says.

    There are currently 2,800 patients in the phase III clinical trials to determine if HMPL-004 is both safe and effective.

    If FDA agrees with the results, the drug will then enter the $7 billion global market to treat IBD.
    Chi-Med is not alone in its efforts to take Chinese botanical drugs beyond China.

    Dr. Yibin Feng at Hong Kong University's School of Chinese Medicine is studying the effectiveness of Chinese medicine treatments for cancer and liver disease. He says the lack of advanced science and technology has meant in the past that traditional Chinese medical doctors did not understand how the treatments worked. "We know this works for some disease, but I don't know what the scientific basis is," he says. "Why does it work for this disease?"

    Dr. Feng believes all of that is changing now. Both he and Hogg think the slowing pace of conventional drug development is driving more people to look to Chinese medicine.

    "Now new drug discovery from natural products and other material is more difficult that many years ago, people notice the wisdom in Chinese medicine," says Dr. Feng. He's particularly hopeful people outside China will begin to see the value in China's more complicated, multi-ingredient treatments. In fact, he sees these multi-faceted remedies as one of the major assets of Chinese medicine.

    Dr. Hogg believes gradually the foreign regulators will become more open to the range of Chinese drugs. "It is in the best interest for the public health to be bringing these therapies to the market," he says.

    Scientists taking Chinese medicine west -
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