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Competition: Improving the Use of Chinese Herbal Medicine ($10,000 in Prizes!)

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 presents a publishing competition

Improving the Safe and Effective Use of Chinese Herbal Medicine

$10,000 IN PRIZES

Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHMs) are 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. Just in the U.S., nearly 7 billion dollars’ worth of herbal medicines are sold annually. However, only a small fraction of these are CHMs.

A growing scientific evidence base suggests that CHMs are safe and effective for the treatment of certain conditions. However, there has 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, particularly in the U.S., 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 they are widely available direct-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 introduce a publishing competition, Improving the Safe and Effective Use of Chinese Herbal Medicine.

Instructions for submission:

Competition entries may take the form of a maximum 2,000 word essay with a maximum of 10 references, or a 2-3 minute video with an executive summary and references provided.  A maximum of 100 submissions will be accepted.

Applicants should answer the following prompt:

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

This may include a specific focus on:

  1. Identifying and overcoming barriers to the safe and effective use of CHMs. (Region specific)
  2. Improving integration of CHMs with conventional medical training programs and clinical practices, including increasing physician awareness and understanding of the potential benefits of CHMs.
  3. Innovative CHMs training programs within traditional Asian medical institutions.
  4. The international use of CHMs, including a comparative review of consumer education resources, media efforts, health practitioner training, regulatory control/policy, and manufacturer quality control.
  5. Strategies for improving industry/academia/patient group collaboration to enhance the safe and effective use of CHMs through consumer outreach and health service research.

All selected submissions will be posted on the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine website. Submissions will be evaluated by an internationally recognized panel of faculty and experts in herbal medicine-related fields, including pharmacology, pharmacy, government, policy and law, and medicine. Key judgment criteria will be novelty, feasibility, and potential impact.


  • Prizes
    • 1st—$5,000
    • 2nd—$3,000
    • 3rd—$1,500
    • 2 Honorable mentioned—$250 each
  • Awardees are welcomed to attend the herbal medicine summit on July 15, 2017. Prize winners will be notified in advance and will receive awards at the summit.

Submissions were due June 30, 2017. For results: Herbal Medicine Publishing Competition Winners


About the Center for East-West Medicine: The Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM) at University of California, Los Angeles is mission-driven to blend the best of Western and Chinese healing traditions to provide healthcare that is safe, effective, affordable, and accessible. It has developed a person-centered, integrative health model which has been refined over more than two decades of providing solutions to complex and refractory clinical problems.

Over the last 23 years, the Center has also been involved in research and consulting for the FDA, National Institutes of Health (NIH), World Health Organization (WHO), national and international governments and universities, health insurance companies, foundations, as well as drug/herbal companies to promote the transformation of global healthcare. In addition, the Center’s education and training programs have transformed the thinking of thousands of health professionals, many of whom have become change-agents and healthcare leaders. This competition is made possible by the California Community Foundation.