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Practice & Practitioners

The Ministry of Health reviews our regulations and policies, taking into consideration scientific advancements and rising standards of Traditional Chinese Medicines in Singapore. One change was the lifting of the ban on berberine in stages. At the end of 2012, I had announced that Chinese Proprietary Medicines (CPM) containing berberine would be allowed with effect from 1 Jan 2013, and that the use of Chinese herbs containing berberine would be further reviewed by 2015. Since allowing CPM containing berberine from 1 Jan 2013, more than 100 of such CPM have been listed with HSA. To date, HSA has not received any adverse reports directly resulting from the consumption of these berberine-containing products. There have also not been any new safety concerns reported in the literature on the use of berberine in CPM. Based on these findings and in consultation with HSA's expert committee, MOH has decided to allow the use of Chinese herbs containing berberine. This would allow TCM practitioners more options in the use of TCM in their practice and service to the public. More details will be released by HSA soon. Source -


Current research in TCM has greatly accelerated. The current trend is to rely more and more on TCM related practices as various "patents" expire on classical medical approaches. See - more and more innovative drug products are going off patent, the search for new medicines that treat critical and/or life-threatening diseases has become the center of attention of many pharmaceutical companies and research organizations such as the NIH. This leads to the study of promising traditional Chinese (herbal) medicines (TCM), especially for those intended for treating critical and/or life-threatening diseases such as cardiovascular, diabetes, and cancer. The development of promising TCMs will benefit patients with critical or lifethreatening diseases... (source Quantitative Methods for Traditional Chinese Medicine Development, p.384, © 2016 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC).


A Nobel for Natural Product Discoveries - On October 5, Drs. Vouyou Tu, William Campbell, and Satoshi Omura jointly received the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their seminal discoveries of the natural products avermectin and artemisinin. Dr. Tu isolated artemisinin, an anti-malarial, from Artemisia annua, a plant that has been used in reducing fevers for centuries and is well documented in traditional Chinese medicine formularies. Drs. Campbell and Omura discovered the antibiotic avermectin when they screened Streptomycetes, microorganisms commonly found in soil, for natural products with anti-infectious activity. Source - National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland 20892


Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand. - Chinese Proverb