Chinese botanical medicine and other forms of botanical medicine are used by nearly one third of the world's population and continue to grow as a popular form of therapy. Chinese medicine, which was evolved empirically over the past four thousand years, has a well-developed theoretical basis for diagnosis, prescription and for treatment using complex collections of botanicals and other ingredients. Over 75,000 formulations are reportedly in use, consisting of combinations of more than 5,000 single botanicals. While there is a strong belief that many of these formulations have therapeutic value, clinical and scientific evidence to support the claims is often poorly documented or seriously lacking.
In pursuit of advancing the field of Chinese medicine to benefit human kind to serve as one of the foundation in developing future medicine, the Consortium for Globalization of Chinese Medicine was established in December of 2003. We have currently nineteen numbers of prestigious institutions as the institutional members of the Consortium. With the joint efforts of each of the member institutions, we are strongly convinced that we can expedite the goal of globalization of Chinese medicine. We will focus our efforts in the area of (1) methodologies required for quality control of herbal medicine products using modern technologies; (2) the database of herbal medicine with information concerning basic nature and clinical claims of those medicine including toxicity; (3) the coordination of multi intuitional and multi-regional clinical trial with international acceptable standard and innovative design. The validation of some of the principles of Chinese Medicine in diagnosis or prescription is encouraged to be incorporated if feasible; and (4) herbal resource for the preparation of herbal medicine. We will interact with government agencies and industry around the World to facilitate their efforts in the area of herbal medicine.
All the members of the Consortium agreed to adhere to the mission, basic principle, and the spirit of collaboration. Also, all the members are working collaboratively to achieve the same goals and mission of the consortium, namely, globalization of Chinese medicine and advancing the field of future medicine to benefit human kind.
There are a lot of challenges ahead of us to reach our goals. The collective efforts of member institutions around the world should be able to realize the goals.
Prof. Yung-chi Cheng
Chairman, Consortium for Globalization of Chinese Medicine
Henry Bronson Professor of Pharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine