‘It is my dream that Chinese medicine will help us conquer life-threatening diseases worldwide and that people across the globe will enjoy its benefits for health promotion. Artemisinin... is a true gift from old Chinese medicine. But this is not the only instance in which the wisdom of Chinese medicine has borne fruit.’

Tu Youyou

Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015 for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria, based on Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Herbal Medicine Research - An Introduction

Chinese Herbal Medicine is a long-established tradition in China and a well-established practice in the West. Much of the evidence for its effectiveness comes through case studies from hundreds of years of clinical practice, all of which contribute to the skill of Chinese Herbal Practitioners with formulating herbal combinations to meet the needs of each individual patient throughout their course of treatment.

With the introduction of evidence-based practice to biomedicine in the 1990’s, Chinese Herbal Medicine has increasingly been subject to investigation using modern research methods such as randomised controlled clinical trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses. There have been a number of positive Cochrane Reviews (www.cochranelibrary.com) of Chinese Herbal Medicine, making it worthy of consideration for many biomedical conditions.

The RCHM Chinese Herbal Medicine Research Conference 2024

The RCHM's research community and academics around the world are coming together for our first research conference on Sunday 24th November. 

Find out more about our annual research conference here

Research into Chinese Herbal Medicine for Specific Conditions

View research, articles and patient stories from RCHM awareness weeks about the use of Chinese herbal medicine for Arthritis, Long Covid, Endometriosis, Migraine, Pain and Eczema. 

RCHM Awareness Weeks

View additional research into the treatment of Infertility and IVF, Covid, Asthma and Urinary Tract Infections.

View research into additional conditions

Profiles of Prominent Academics within the RCHM Membership

The RCHM membership contains many of the most high profile, recognised and accomplished academics in the field of Chinese herbal medicine in the Western world. A significant proportion of our membership have PhD and Masters level postgraduate qualifications. 

View RCHM Member Academic Profiles

2014 EHTPA Herbal Medicine Research Review

Herbal medicines are frequently used in the treatment of long-term conditions which are inadequately managed by conventional biomedicine. These have been termed ‘effectiveness gaps’ and include many of the chronic degenerative diseases that are now making the most pressing demands on healthcare systems in the developed world. Herbal medicine may be used autonomously in these contexts or to support biomedical treatment and counteract the side-effects of conventional drug therapy.

The link below is a selective review of evidence for the effectiveness of herbal medicine generally (so not just that practised within the Chinese tradition) conducted in 2014 on behalf of the European Herbal and Medicine Practitioners Association (EHTPA)

Download Research Review

Antimicrobial Resistance

A paper from the European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (EHTPA) for the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology’s antimicrobial resistance (AMR) inquiry.

In light of growing concerns relating to microbial resistance to antibiotics increasing attention is being given to the role that herbal medicines may play as autonomous antibacterial agents or as adjuvant treatments used to potentiate conventional drugs. This paper selectively reviews the evidence for herbal medicine as a valuable resource to combat bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

Download Paper on Herbal Medicine as a Solution to Antimicrobial Resistance

Research into Acupuncture for Specific Conditions

Acupuncture enjoys a high level of evidence for a variety of medical problems with around 18,000 clinical trials having been published since 2009. The mechanisms and effects of acupuncture are complex but the science tells us that endorphins are released, pain pathways moderated, inflammation is reduced, immune functions are increased, blood flow increases and tissue repair is stimulated through the increased production of growth factors. Many of the trials compared acupuncture head-to-head with other treatments and acupuncture has often been found to be as effective and safer than existing standard care.

There is also strong evidence emerging from nearly a thousand Systematic Reviews (considered to be the top level of scienticic evidence) into the use of acupuncture in treating different conditions. The results of these reviews has been collated and presented in 2017 by by John McDonald and Stephen Janz, the authors of the Acupuncture Evidence Project (see EBA link below).

The RCHM wholeheartedly supports the work of the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) and Evidence Based Acupuncture (EBA) in collating and promoting the research base as it emerges.

Link to the BAcC's Research Fact Sheets

Link to Evidence Based Acupuncture site

The Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine is registered in England under company number 14001848 at 21-27 Lambs Conduit Street, London, United Kingdom, WC1N 3GS (no visitors).
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