Is Chinese Medicine a True Medicine?

Scientific Method
Established Medicine
Hypothesis is true, proven by tests Effectively cures specific symptom(s), Eases illness.

Drug may ease illness Drug will cure a specific symptom of illness

Illness/ symptom




Does the drug cure that specific symptom?

Double-blind Study

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Randomly assign patients and experimenters into two groups- control and experimental Control: established drug Experimental: drug to be tested for effectiveness Neither patients nor experimenters know who is in which group and which drug used Objective results: supposedly not affected by emotions, perception and reason

Chinese Medicine Scientific Method
 Same

as Western Medicine  But based heavily on empirical evidence  Historically proven with real-life patients over thousands of years  More recently goes through blind studies and approval of FDA before drugs go public  Based on fundamental theories that have not changed over thousands of years

Double-blind Study
However, there are disadvantages:

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Isolated, controlled, assume only one variable affects illness and concentrates on investigating this one factor  unrealistic Double-blindness can become ineffective Results affected by scientist’s egoism to get good results and launch new medicine as quickly as possible

Differences between Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine
Western Medicine:
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Chinese Medicine:
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Aims to cure illness Target-oriented: treats patients as constants, same medicine cure same symptoms in different patients Single purified compounds Known to have side-effects Standardized Much higher % of doctors, all registered

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Aims to prevent illness Treats patients as individuals, symptoms and remedies unique to the patient Multiple compounds Combination of medicine depends on judgment of Chinese Medicine doctor Rarely has side-effects Popularity increasing, although lower % of doctors

Chinese Medicine is definitely a true medicine because:
Can be proven effective by following the same Scientific Method  Paradigm Shift: increase in popularity But…  Still underdeveloped  Needs more studies to prove its validity and effectiveness