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Publishing Competition Winners: Improving the Use of Chinese Herbal Medicine

How can we raise awareness of the safe and effective use of herbal medicine for both the medical and general communities?

The UCLA Center for East-West Medicine Publishing Competition for

Improving the Safe and Effective Use of Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) is used worldwide by a large and growing segment of the population. In China, where these products are a core component of traditional Chinese medicine, CHMs are used concurrently with western medicine practices. CHMs are also the focus of a major government initiative to export and commercialize Chinese culture and domestic products. In the U.S., CHMs are more often used outside of western medical systems as complementary and alternative medicines. Nearly 7 billion dollars’ worth of herbal medicines are sold annually, just in the United States. However, only a small fraction of these are CHMs.

A growing base of scientific evidence suggests that CHMs are safe and effective for the treatment of certain conditions. However, there have been increasing concerns about the quality of products, particularly those coming out of China. Potential adverse outcomes can result from poor quality control, inappropriate use, and unmonitored drug-herb interactions. Moreover, many physicians are unfamiliar with CHMs. As a result, CHMs are largely used outside of mainstream health care systems, which may negatively impact doctor-patient communications and affect the safe and effective use of CHMs. In the U.S., CHMs are minimally regulated as dietary supplements, and are widely available directly to consumers through health food stores, pharmacy outlets, and e-commerce sites.

There is an urgent and unmet need for key stakeholders in health care to consider new strategies to optimize the use of CHMs. To this end, the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine is pleased to have introduced a publishing competition, "Improving the Safe and Effective Use of Chinese Herbal Medicine."



How can more people benefit from the safe and effective use of Chinese herbal medicine?


  • 1st—$5,000
  • 2nd—$3,000
  • 3rd—$1,500
  • 2 Honorable mentions—$250 each

2017 Winners:

On behalf of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, we would like to thank everyone for their submissions as it was truly an honor to witness every entry. With that said, we would like to congratulate our winners:

First place: Robin Anderson, L.Ac., EAMP
The Surprising Intersection of Rural Mexico and Chinese Medicinal Herbs
This video demonstrates “the endeavors to provide a solution to the lack of exposure to Chinese medicine in marginalized communities such as [the] pilot project in Oaxaca, Mexico, at the same time providing a source of organically grown, small-batch Chinese herbal medicines that TCM practitioners and patients can use with confidence”.


Second Place:  Ang Hui Ting from the Undergraduate Pharmacy School NUS (National University of Singapore), along with Cheong Ling Li, Ernest Goh, Joan Chua Hui Ting, Lay Wei Qi, and Lim Wan Ting Sheree.

CAM You Do It?
This video demonstrates a game focusing on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that invites ‘CAM Apprentices’ from all over the world to learn about CAM and take part in challenging their CAM knowledge. Throughout this journey, participants can accumulate monetary wealth (‘Cammies’) or collect ‘Crops’. Challenges are in the form of ‘Cases’ or ‘Bonus Questions’. If the player is able to answer them correctly, they are rewarded.
Link: CAM You Do It?

Third Place: Timothy Ross, Researcher/Clinician from the University of Washington

Addressing the lack of objective standards for the quality control of Chinese Herbal Medicine
This essay depicts “the reintroduction of the role of pharmacognosy into the practice of Chinese herbal QA/QC, [which] will require increasing educational demands placed on students and clinicians, an increasing complex regulatory apparatus and the compliance of the herb growers and herbal products manufacturers."
Link: Addressing the Lack of Objective Standards for the Quality Control of Chinese Herbal Medicine

Honorable Mentions:
Yu-Ming Ni, PGY2 Resident MD at the Cedar- Sinai Medical Center

Chinese Herbal Medicine Consult Service


Roger Wicke, Software Developer /TCM Herbal School Administrative, Rocky Mountain Herbal Institute
An Expert system for TCM Pattern Analysis in clinical practice and research.
Link: An Expert Sytem for TCM Pattern Analysis

Dr. Hui also sponsored 4 additional honorable mention awards:

  • Kristin Blake, L.Ac. and Incoming MD student
    • Expanded Safe and Effective Use of Chinese Herbal Medicine Through Increases Basic Science Literacy and Professional Organization.
  • Hsing-Yu (Warren) Chen, Internal Medicine and TCM Doctor, Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan
    • Big Data for Chinese Herbal Medicine Integration: Applying and Acknowledging
  • Marc Brodsky, MD from Columbia University
    • The Original Brodsky Herbal Flavored Whiskey: A case study of how more people may benefit from CHMs.
  • Shellie Rosen, Doctor of Oriental Medicine
    • Discipline, Diligence, and Direction: Moving Chinese Herbal Medicine into Integrative Care

Again, we would like to thank all of the participants for their submissions and look forward to seeing more creative research in the near future!