Safety in Chinese Medicine Research


Safety of drugs is a common concern, regardless of traditional Chinese medicine or Western medicine. Historical experiences tell us that ignored drug safety evaluation would lead to serious consequences. Although Chinese medicine has been used for thousands of years, reevaluation of the safety is still very important. The criteria for safety of Chinese herbal medicines should be the same as those for chemical drugs. Many Chinese herbal medicines have a long history of traditional use. However, many of them do not possess proven safety and efficacy by today’s standards. Well- designed randomized controlled trials and comprehensive pre-clinical toxicological studies were not done. Although the lack of such evidence does not absolutely count against the efficacy and safety of Chinese herbs, laboratory and clinical investigations are still needed before the herbs could be considered safe. This paper reviews the evaluation on the safety of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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Cheng, K. and Leung, P. (2012) Safety in Chinese Medicine Research. Open Journal of Safety Science and Technology, 2, 32-39. doi: 10.4236/ojsst.2012.21005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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