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China launches traditional medicine resource center


08:31, December 19, 2012

(Xinhua Photo)

BEIJING, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- The China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences on Tuesday established a research center for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) resources.

Research results are expected to help government and TCM industry have better understanding of the distribution, production, environmental issues and overexploitation of materials for TCM, which will benefit the protection and sustainable utilization of the medicinal resources.

Wang Guoqiang, vice health minister and director of the State Administration of TCM, said TCM resources have become increasingly scarce due to profit-driven overexploitation, which has wasted and damaged rare medical resources.

He identified a lack of overall planning in exploitation and protection, which should be based on scientific research and survey, as an outstanding problem for the development of TCM.

China last year conducted a nationwide survey of TCM resources, which covered the distribution, production, and natural environment for TCM materials.

Wang said the new center will carefully analyze the survey results to come up with advices to the industry's policy makers.

TCM originated in ancient China and has evolved more than 2,000 years. Practitioners use herbs, acupuncture, massage and other methods to treat a wide range of illnesses. Medicinal plant elements and extracts are largely used. But in some cases animal parts and minerals are also adopted.

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