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enderwillsaveyou t1_j1rttqh wrote

Chinese medicine most definitely works. It's not a fix all and sometimes you do need to embrace western medicine but there are many many many studies showcasing alternative medicine treatments.

It's fairly obvious now a days that big pharma controls the feasibility of natural medicine.

We have come to a point where if a person wears a white coat, we trust them and the science... That's a disservice as there are many natural medicines that can be used instead of medication or treatments with horrible side effects.


Necrophantasia t1_j1rvd4n wrote

You know what Chinese medicine would be called if it worked? Medicine. Without the qualifier.


Redqueenhypo t1_j1slhk7 wrote

I have a good story about that! A brilliant scientist named Tu Youyou went through TWO THOUSAND Chinese medical herbs purported to treat malaria. She found one, now known as artemisinin, earning her a Nobel Prize and saving millions of lives. This is a fantastic true story, but look at it another way: out of two thousand supposed cures, only one was provable, a 0.05 percent success rate. It is extremely unlikely that a herbal cure will be effective.

Here’s the Wikipedia article


enderwillsaveyou t1_j1rw0qm wrote

I don't understand what your point... It's called that because it's not Western medicine. Should I have described it differently?


Frgster t1_j1ryqmw wrote

TRADITIONAL Chinese Medicine. Not Chinese Medicine. Very big difference. One is science based the other is superstition.


enderwillsaveyou t1_j1rzphz wrote

Oops. My fault then, I wasn't aware there was a difference between the two descriptions of the medicine.


Frgster t1_j1ssn1s wrote

There isn't. Tradional medicine is not scientifically proven in any way. The distinction should be medicine and and superstitious/unproven treatments.


Shuber-Fuber t1_j1v45qu wrote

I won't go that negative. Traditional medicine is still based on the limited scientific knowledge of the time. They observed that certain herbs have certain effects, so they crafted a theory on how it works, and it seems to hold true so they keep using it.

The difference is that now we have better tools/methods to determine what works.

With specific for TCM, the herbal medicine part was based on a book by the author trying and documenting its various effects, so in essence it's a very primitive form for scientific process. Can't exactly blame him for not knowing to account for placebo effects, controls, etc.


kimchifreeze t1_j1tcjjw wrote

If you go to a TCM place, you'll see tons and tons of shelves of dried herbs and parts of animals. It's not like a pharmacy where you get pills.


khalixz t1_j1s57tl wrote

Calling TCM superstition is weird. Did china have imaginary doctors through out history or something?


JeSuisOmbre t1_j1sc46k wrote

TCM is superstition in the same way the four humors theory that medieval doctors worked with was also superstition.


rsta223 t1_j1sq6jy wrote

Everywhere had superstitious and totally useless (and often actively harmful) doctors until very recently, with the advent of scientific medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine is just as useless as the four humours or the miasma theory of disease.

China is just holding on to theirs a bit longer.


khalixz t1_j1svaqq wrote

there may be people who don't know what they're doing with traditional chinese medicine, but I'd wager the royal families in history would have executed all the imperial doctors if no one could do anything to heal them?


Larnak1 t1_j1synfr wrote

I wouldn't be surprising at all if some doctors in ancient China got executed for reasons like that.

But it's essentially the same as in Western medieval ages. There were certain things doctor's knew how to do, and they actually managed to help - those are the things that got developed further into modern medicine. And then there was a bunch of stuff that people just made up due to lack of scientific standards. But nobody knew better, so they still did it, especially to noble families (as they could afford doctors). Think about blood-letting or cupping therapy.


Dingo-Eating-Baby t1_j1tnbwr wrote

Imperial doctors used to prescribe mercury, because they thought drinking it would make you immortal


Frgster t1_j1ss9yo wrote

Why would it be weird? How would you describe it?


khalixz t1_j1surst wrote

Not that i'm an expert or anything, but I guess I would compare western medicine and traditional chinese medicine in the sense that western medicine works directly to suppress/fix symptoms and let the body heal, while tcm tries to boost the vitality of the body and let it heal? I may be completely wrong but thats what I think.


Larnak1 t1_j1szwlo wrote

Medicine, Western or not, needs to be evidence-based. Meaning that you need to be able to scientifically measure success of what you are doing. If you can't measure any success, it's superstition and pseudoscience.

The reason why any alternative medicine - traditional Chinese included - is "alternative" is that it's impossible to proof any positive effects beyond placebo. In other words, it's not working. It doesn't have any effect.


NeedsSomeSnare t1_j1t9v88 wrote

Sorry to interject in your conversation. There is no such thing as "western medicine". It's just called "medicine" and comes from scientific research, not from "the west".


Shuber-Fuber t1_j1v3c0r wrote

>while tcm tries to boost the vitality of the body and let it heal?

"Western" medicine also does that, it's just called eating healthy, exercising, and in some circumstances prescribing vitamins because the deficiencies cannot be corrected for some reason.

The difference is that western medicine needs proof that something is working. TCM could have stuff that works, the issue is that there's too much noise (a lot of things that don't work).


fattmarrell t1_j1s679m wrote

Thanks for all the sources


enderwillsaveyou t1_j1s6v9i wrote

I wasnt aware I had to provide any... it's used globally. Maybe step outside your bubble and look into things not handed to you in a pill.

Edit with source

Here is a source from CNN which gives clarity to both sides of the discussion:


CurryIndianMan t1_j1s8de2 wrote

Maybe you should shut up about traditional chinese medicine if you needed to google it only after people pointed out your errors.

Traditional chinese medicine doesn't include just the use of herbs and natural ingredients, it includes alternative treatments that can be described as just quackery in modern science. Shit such as cupping therapy, scraping and acupuncture have zero proven effectiveness despite large number of studies done on them.

Can you imagine scraping your skin with a hard object until it turns bright red? All it would do is cause bruising on the skin but traditional chinese medicine claims that it improves health by stimulating regeneration which is a load of bull.

A large part of traditional chinese medicine is centered on the flow of qi and life energy, balancing the positive and negative energies. It's what you would find in shitty martial arts films.


Shuber-Fuber t1_j1v574b wrote

Note that for acupuncture on pain relief, it seems that the perception of it working is that in some instances it makes people aware of muscles in questions.

So essentially, it's the same as telling people to sit up straight and don't slouch, just buried under the ceremony of needle sticking.

Reminds me of a cartoon I saw while little. Where a clever child monk figures out that a king's back pain disappeared not because of the really expensive mythical ceremony he keeps paying for, but because he rode a horse on the way there and the exercise from horse riding was what relieved the pain.


enderwillsaveyou t1_j1s8rqs wrote

I wasnt aware I had to provide sources for something like this.

You need a source to prove the sky is blue too?

Thanks for your sources as well!


CurryIndianMan t1_j1sahb1 wrote

>Oops. My fault then, I wasn't aware there was a difference between the two descriptions of the medicine.

When you've admitted you didn't understand the difference between traditional chinese medicine and chinese medicine? Yep it's clearly out of your league.

You've learned today that traditional chinese medicine is fraught with pseudosciences such as qigong, scraping, cupping therapy, acupuncture, and the consumption of rare animal parts such as horns of rhinos, deer antlers, tiger bones, pangolins and animal reproductive organs which created blackmarkets for illegal poaching and smuggling with no proven health benefits at all.

China's national health commission recommends bear bile product injection as treatment for covid. Second source.

Traditional chinese medicine gained popularity because of mao's propaganda to use folk medicines during his failed cultural revolution, because china was struggling with supplying people with real medicine.

You're welcome.


enderwillsaveyou t1_j1sc162 wrote

Um, re read my sentence... I said I wasn't aware of the difference between the DESCRIPTIONS of the medicine. It does not mean I wasn't correct in the rest of my comment.

I don't understand your visceral response to my comment, but sure I always enjoy a good conversation.

First... Wikipedia links are NOT proof or sources of anything. Especially for medical discussions.

Do you use WebMD for medical diagnoses? For someone who is accusing me of googling my sources, linking Wikipedia is laughably ironic.

For actual proof from a truly recognized and respected medical source:

How about you take some time and do some actual research and reading before being so rude and insulting.


CurryIndianMan t1_j1sd96k wrote

Because it's the truth. You can't deny that large parts of traditional chinese medicine is made up of fake science. Stop defending it.

It's also kinda laughable that the "respected medical source" you provided showed that it has no proof of traditional chinese medicine's effectiveness and has a warning telling people to not take it as replacement for conventional medicine. In other words we're telling you about this thing but can't prove it works.

Fact that it included cupping and acupuncture in the list of treatment showed that it has no scientific basis and is simply a short explanation page on what traditional chinese medicine is instead of being a vouch for it.

>In 2004, for example, the FDA banned the sale of dietary supplements containing ephedra and plants containing ephedra group alkaloids due to complications, such as heart attack and stroke. Ephedra is a Chinese herb used in dietary supplements for weight loss and performance enhancement.

Using banned substance with heart attack risks?

>It is believed that to regain balance, you must achieve the balance between the internal body organs and the external elements of earth, fire, water, wood, and metal.

Peddling nonsense about five elemental energy balance?

>Acupuncture is a component of TCM commonly found in Western medicine and has received the most study of all the alternative therapies.

Talking about treatment receiving studies but not the fact that the conclusions of the studies showed no health benefits? Very honest and informative.

>Its basic concept is that a vital force of life, called Qi, surges through the body. Any imbalance to Qi can cause disease and illness. This imbalance is most commonly thought to be caused by an alteration in the opposite and complementary forces that make up the Qi. These are called yin and yang.

Positive and negative energies balance and qi?

Yep very respected medical source. I see nothing wrong there and totally believe that imaginary positive and negative life energy exists and is balanced around five elements. What is this captain fucking planet? Fire earth and water?

Thanks for proving that it's pseudoscience.


AppleWithGravy t1_j1sfaov wrote

Yes, Placebos can help. Even though the alternative medicine do as much help to your health as a sugar pills it is still something.

While science still have long time to go, it is better in every way except for accidentally killing the patient.


enderwillsaveyou t1_j1sgf4s wrote

How is an established history of treatment a placebo? People have been treated using this method successfully for thousands of years. Are all those patients and doctors in on it too?


Foreign-Complaint130 t1_j1snfk4 wrote


The same way my ancestors "successfully" prayed to St Brigid to protect them from the plague


Genericnameandnumber t1_j1sna7w wrote

Seems like some folks are very honed in on the fact it’s called “Traditional Chinese” Medicine instead of it being simply named medicine. Word games? Kinda pointless to discuss about it in this case.

On the other hand, isn’t a lot of our medicine derived from ancient sources (herbs and all) - so… I’m sure there’s some element of viability to TCMs. Perhaps not against COVID, as it’s too novel? I don’t know. Would need to do some actual research and reading up to find out more instead of blindly believing the crowd and current sentiment.


Larnak1 t1_j1t0qjo wrote

The reason why it's called "Traditional Chinese" is because most of it is not working. Otherwise, it would simply be medicine. But it's not for a reason.

And yes, of course, various modern medical knowledge is based on ancient research. But those things are part of "normal" medicine because they work. You don't need to look for "Traditional Chinese" to get those.


Genericnameandnumber t1_j1t9t99 wrote

> The reason why it’s called “Traditional Chinese” is because most of it is not working. Otherwise, it would simply be medicine. But it’s not for a reason.

What do you even mean by this? You are simply playing with semantics.

Traditional medicine has been used and is still being used across the world in regions where modern medicine is not as accessible. To say it’s completely quack is just discounting billions of people as fools. What makes you think traditional medicine do not work at all?

If you want to argue with definitions:

> medicine, the practice concerned with the maintenance of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure of disease.

Some articles:

Here’s more:


Larnak1 t1_j1te0au wrote

I'm not playing with semantics. "traditional Chinese medicine" is used to refer to a certain set of approaches, and many of those are not working. If they were working, there was no need to refer to them in a specific way as they would have been included into modern medicine. That's not only true for Chinese traditional medicine - you see similar issues all around the world. People are good to see patterns, and tend to see patterns where none exist. Scientific standards are required to overcome that, and traditional communities did not have access to those.

That does obviously not mean that all old traditions are not working. But again: those that are get simply included into our general medical knowledge and become or already are medicine by modern standards.