A Chinese researcher, Youyou Tu, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2015. The Nobel Prize official website states that:
“A number of serious infectious diseases are caused by parasites spread by insects. Malaria is caused by a single-cell parasite that causes severe fever. Traditional Chinese medicine uses sweet wormwood to treat fever. In the 1970s, after studies of traditional herbal medicines, Youyou Tu managed to extract a substance, artemisinin, which inhibits the malaria parasite. Drugs based on artemisinin have led to the survival and improved health of millions of people.”
The use of artemisinin to treat malaria is a notable example of the modern use of Chinese Herbal Medicine. It has been used in China for thousands of years and continues to work where western medicine has not worked. Like acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine is an integral part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It uses thousands of medicinal substances—primarily plants, but also some minerals and animal products, to treat diseases and promote health. In TCM, herbs are often combined in formulas and given as teas, capsules, liquid extracts, granules, or powders.
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