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    Oct 06, 2016

    Temasek Poly helps TCM firms get scientific proof

    YOUR grandmother who swears by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) may now have proof

    that it actually works.

    More local firms are working with Temasek Polytechnic to get help producing scientific proof

    to validate the benefits of such traditional

    health products.

    For instance, this could mean identifying the chemicals that make a herbal brew good for the liver, or checking to see if a popular health supplement really contains antioxidants.

    The school showcased its latest work in this

    field at its annual Applied Science Show

    held at its campus yesterday.

    It gets several projects a month now, said

    Ong Seng Poon, deputy director of capability development at the School of Applied Sciences,

    up from one every few months when it started.

    In June, Temasek Polytechnic even set up

    a dedicated centre of innovation to study complementary health products with $3.2 million in funding from government agency Spring Singapore.

    Its partners, which include household names

    such as the Eu Yan Sang TCM group, say

    having scientific backing for their traditional products open the doors to new markets.

    "It's a way to satisfy the younger consumers because they want to know the science behind

    the medicines," said director Koo Chee Kai

    of Kim Sin Medicine Manufactory.

    His firm, which produces traditional medicines and health supplements, has worked with the polytechnic to identify certain chemical compounds in its popular Huji Waist Tonic - a concoction including herbs such as cordyceps.

    "When the tests show that these chemicals

    are present, we can confidently say that it will

    have some impact on health," he said.

    Mr Koo added: "Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) products are based on TCM theory

    but now we are moving towards evidence-based medicine and we want to bridge the gap."

    Civil servant Jonathan Lim, 28, said having scientific backing for TCM treatments would make him more confident about consuming them.

    "If these products are corroborated by scientific proof, it means that I can have a clearer idea

    about the effects on my health," he added.