Medicine experts in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region have announced a quality evaluation standard for Mirabilis Himalaica, an endangered herb used in Tibetan medicine to promote urination and treat many kidney related diseases.
Mirabilis Himalaica, the wild herb which grows at 700 to 3,300 meters above sea level, could only be found in Tibet and southwest China's Sichuan Province.
They are endangered due to their limited growing region but are widely used in clinical practice, said Nie Lijuan, a professor at the school of medicine at Tibet University, noting Mirabilis Himalaica is one of the most effective medicines to cure kidney related diseases.
Tibetan medicine, also known as Sowa Rigpa in the Tibetan language, is at least 2,300 years old. It has absorbed the influences of traditional Chinese, Indian and Arab medicine and is practiced in Tibet and the Himalayan region.
Similar to traditional Chinese medicine and in sharp contrast to biomedicine, Tibetan medicine uses herbs, minerals and sometimes insects and animals for treatment.
However, the quality standard system of Tibetan medicine lags behind.
"During research, we established an evaluation method by combining both component measurement and the analysis of infrared spectroscopy," Nie said, adding that it is the first quality control standard among rare Tibetan medicine herbs.
The standard will help provide further scientific evidence for growing the herb and improve the traditional medicine's safety and effectiveness, she said.
Editor: Lucia Su