Nature Outlook: Traditional Asian Medicine
Vol. 480 No. 7378 pp S81-S121, December 2011

Using scientific techniques to investigate the claims of traditional medicine as practised in countries such as China and Japan can help sort effective treatments from unfounded superstitions. According to the editorial by Michelle Grayson, traditional Asian medicine is a complex field, featuring well-known success stories such as artemisinin for malaria, and arsenic trioxide for leukaemia, but also remedies not scientifically proven; big efforts to modernize traditional medicine in China and Japan; and adoption of some aspects of the Eastern point of view by Western medicine, in particular that certain illnesses cannot be reduced to one isolatable, treatable cause. There are unique aspects to traditional Asian medicine that could hold great promise if they are artfully investigated, and the goal of science should be to rigorously test each claim and sort the medical wheat from the pseudoscientific chaff. Access the outlook [free for the next month] …