Limitation of TCM Therapies

1. TCM cannot cure people with unhealthy life style, such as staying up late or even overnight, excessive use of brain, accumulation of stress, depression, drinking ice water, lack of exercise, eating processed foods, excessive take of western medicine, etc.

2. Result of treatment of organic diseases is relatively poor
Records exist that TCM could cure severe life-threatening diseases such as cancer, and with great success, but there are some restricting factors: 

1) These TCM physicians are limited in number;

2) Some of such experiences are restricted by modern medicine management regulations and cannot be popularized in most places in today’s world. For instance, some prescription have been validated to be very effective in treatment of a variety of medium to advanced cancers; however, because of a crucial yet controversial TCM herb medicine of monkshood, whose toxicity is pretty large by modern standard, the difficulty in populating such prescriptions is tremendous.

(Note: once decocted in water for extended periods of time, the toxicity of monkshood is largely reduced and not comparable with that of crude monkshood, but its curative rationale of ‘counteract one toxin with another’ bear immense efficacy against a multitude of stubborn disease).

As a result, when diseases developed to the stage of organic illnesses, very few TCM physicians possess both ability and condition of treatment to restore patient’s health, while the majority of TCM physicians are powerless under such circumstances.

3. The effect is poor when both Chinese traditional medicine (CTM) and Western medicine (WM) are taken at the same time

It has long been the author’s observation that treatment effect is generally poor on patients who take both CTM and WM at the same time. The reason is these belong to medicine of two different system, between which conflicts frequently arise.

Modern WM has invented tens of thousands of drugs, the reciprocity among them are often unclear even to researchers of WM; many patients actually die of the resulting side effects every year. The reciprocity between CTM and WM is even less studied, leaving the risk of their combined usage much greater. For example, to treat cold according to “Treatise on Febrile Disease”, if diagnosed and treated properly, normally within 3 days the patient is expected to reach full recovery. But if antibiotics is taken at the same time, sometimes it would last for weeks without recovery.

This article is based on the content of “Deciphering TCM” by Tongmei Pan; the original book was written in Chinese.