Traditional Chinese Medicine review
For over 3,000 years traditional Chinese medicine was an inseparable part of Chinese culture and in the past several decades it has also become popular all around the world. Medicine in the form of pills, powders and teas frequently contains plant and animal ingredients that are supposed to act synergistically to treat illnesses.
Despite the wide popularity of traditional Chinese medicine it is hard to determine all the components of a particular product. According to the New York Times article "Breaking Down Traditional Chinese Medicine", many medicinal products are mislabeled or are missing valuable information about their ingredients.
Researchers from Murdoch University in Australia have started to apply a method called high-throughput sequencing of DNA in order to see what plants, animals, insects or fish might be present. So far this method discovered traces of poisonous and carcinogenic plants like ephedra and aristolochia, endangered species like Saiga antelope and Asiatic black bear.
Another significant issue with the medicines was their lack of dosage instruction. Based on all the above researchers recommend consumers to be aware of safety and legality issues of Chinese medicines and hope that this new method will help such authorities as FDA and Therapeutic Goods Administration develop regulations for traditional Chinese medicine.