Current Traditional Medicine

Duan-Fang Liao  
Hunan University of Chinese Medicine


What Western Pharmacists Need to Know About Traditional Chinese Medicine; A Canadian Perspective

Author(s): Raimar Lobenberg, Ashley Dunstan, Heber Castillo, Gurpal Deol, Asheesh Saincher, Emily Yu, Hoan L. Banh.

Graphical Abstract:


A common adjunct that patients in Western countries use to supplement regular therapy is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The use of natural and herbal ingredients blends often seamlessly with today's marketing for healthy, less processed products. As patients explore alternative therapies, to complement the Western medicine, they undoubtedly find the treatments are valuable, but they also open themselves up to a whole host of new issues ranging from adverse drug reactions, unclear drug-drug interaction, to mistreated medical conditions. In pharmacy schools that teaches Western medicine, TCM is rarely formally taught, and thus pharmacists are usually not prepared to advise on TCM. However, although there is little structured teaching of TCM, the pharmacists are expected to incorporate this practice. There are many resources available to study on TCM, but care should still be taken when recommending them. Research has shown that TCM can work effectively when used in conjunction with Western medicine. The potential associated risks of TCM should be carefully considered. More education in the use of TCM as adjunct therapy to Western medicine is needed.

Keywords: Alternative therapy, Database, Safety and efficacy, Traditional chinese medicine, TCM education.

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Article Details

Year: 2015
Page: [18 - 25]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/2215083801999150527114805