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Tips for drinking TCM-based beverages

(People's Daily Online)

08:17, July 10, 2012

Nowadays, health beverages containing traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for clearing away the heart fire, improving eyesight, moistening the throat, beautifying skin, or promoting sleep can be bought easily.

These TCM-based beverages do have certain curative effects on mild or chronic diseases, but according to TCM experts, many people wrongly believe TCM is mainly about preserving health and preventing disease, and ignore TCM treatments. Natural Chinese herbs are also often considered non-toxic and harmless. Are these TCM-based beverages really good for health? Do they have negative side-effects?

"Disease treatment" not to be confused with "health preservation"

TCM experts believe that it is a serious abuse of medicine to add prepared slices of Chinese crude drugs to beverages.

"Ninety percent of TCM is about disease treatment rather than health preservation. TCM does not equal health preservation. Using TCM to prevent disease is a cool idea, but highly impractical. Why go to hospital if you are not sick?" said Chen Ming, a professor and Ph.D. supervisor at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. TCM-based beverages can help cure certain diseases and improve patient compliance only on the basis of a doctor's professional diagnosis and advice, and do not have universal effects, Chen added.

"Drinking TCM-based beverages for clearing away heat and toxic materials every day can damage a healthy person's Yang energy," Chen exemplified. One can prevent disease through balanced diet and healthy living style rather than medicine. "Do not expect to prevent disease through medicine, including TCM."

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