Ramping up innovations in TCM research

Integration with new technologies spurs industry's growth

By LIU ZHIHUA and LIU ZIZHENG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-04-15 07:05
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A view of a traditional Chinese herbal medicine market in Bozhou, Anhui province. ZHANG YANLIN/FOR CHINA DAILY

Utilizing extracts from the common herb chicory, a research team from Beijing University of Chinese Medicine has developed a product that can help manage metabolic disorders such as hyperlipidemia, diabetes, hyperuricemia and metabolic syndrome.

"The chicory health product we developed has been highly recognized by consumers," said Liu Wei, director of the Research Transformation Center at BUCM. "Sales have already reached 50 million yuan ($6.91 million)."

That success is just one example of how universities and enterprises in China are ramping up efforts to promote innovation in the traditional Chinese medicine sector, which has significantly contributed to the evolution of the industry and improved people's livelihoods amid the country's pursuit of high-quality development.

Liu said BUCM and its research team are committed to the inheritance and innovation of TCM.Cooperating with Zhiqi Health Industry (Shandong) Group, an innovation-oriented company on TCM technologies, they are also utilizing chicory to develop a medicine that is expected to help lower uric acid levels and reduce the risk of gout attacks.

Zhang Bing, a celebrated professor at BUCM and leader of the research team, said hyperuricemia (excessive uric acid levels) affects about 13.3 percent of Chinese population and is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

The use of chicory in TCM can be traced to the eighth century, and extracts from different parts of the herb have unique pharmacological properties for various diseases, Zhang said. While continuing to research the plant's biological components, the team explores medicinal applications for relevant diseases, which can help them develop new drugs and health products more efficiently, she added.

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