It was gratifying then to see the recent Special issue of the National Geographic entitled ‘ The Future of Medicine’ January 2019. It devotes 21 pages to the ways Chinese Medicine is being adapted to meet modern medicinal needs.
The bulk of the article focuses on Chinese Herbal Medicine which is being extensively researched at UCLA,Yale, Duke and Oxford universities amongst others. The ancient Chinese Pharmacopeia is an extremely well organised and documented records of over 10,000 mainly herbal substances that have been found by practitioners over millennium to have medicinal value.
Researchers are trying to determine how these herbs work and if possible isolate the active components and create new beneficial drugs. Finding sources for new life saving drugs is a constant battle. The process is expensive costing over $800 million on average to bring a new drug to market and at any one time there are less than 10 major new drugs in development.
Companies have to work hard to discover new sources of pharmacologically active ingredients so it makes sense to turn to a ready made treasure trove of information like traditional Chinese Medicine.
It is not often well understood in the Western World but China has had a huge influence on the development of all its neighbours including Korea and Japan for thousands of years. Given the size of the country it makes sense but as the technology industries of South Korea and Japan shot ahead over the last 50 years it was an easy fact to forget.
This influence was across a broad spectrum of fields including culture and importantly to us medicine and beauty.
In recent years K-beauty and J-beauty have taken the world by storm. Celebrity advocates include Chrissy Teigen, Emma Stone and Lady Gaga amongst others. The philosophy of K-Beauty and J-Beauty are relatively simple. They take the best of their traditional herbal anti aging products, rituals and serene aesthetics and combine this with the most cutting edge technology and research.
Having studied the traditional herbal medicine and beauty systems of China, Korea and Japan for many years the similarities are quite astounding, from the diagnosis system down to the herbs themselves. The main difference is the sheer size of the knowledge in China. Until the 20th Century China was the dominant power in the area and its influence allowed it to collect medicines and ideas from a vast area and store it meticulously under its well developed system of scholars.
The ancient Chinese created detailed natural beauty rituals that were both effective and health enhancing. The connection between beauty and health was never lost.
C-beauty however is yet to reach the popularity of J or K-beauty but we are starting to see glimpses of the system in the West with the current huge popularity or jade rollers, Gua Sha treatments and cosmetic cupping.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. As the understanding of the knowledge of this ancient system becomes better known we will see more and more adaptions of this ancient treasure trove to the standards of the modern world.
White Lotus is proud to be a pioneer in this field. All our skincare products are created using ancient herbal formulas from China. The herbs are then sourced from organic suppliers in Europe and blended in modern organic friendly facilities in Britain. We work closely with the Soil Association Organic to ensure that all our beauty products meet the highest European standards.
We believe C-beauty has the potential to change beauty again in an even more dramatic way than even J-beauty or K-beauty have over the last 10 years. We look forward to the benefits of this ancient system being made even more widely available to eager users in the West.