Medical technology is today a feature not just of hospitals,
clinics and GP surgeries but also of homes. The practice of
medicine has been revolutionised by computers,
digitisation, new materials and good old-fashioned
laboratory research. Yet this has been accompanied by
increased patient anxiety about the risks and
consequences of medical intervention.
The introduction of new medical technology has not
been so rapid in developing countries, but the sense of
ambivalence is the same – technology represents both
progress and threat. In countries with multiple healing
systems patients can choose whom to consult,
depending on their illness. In these countries a
technological approach may be chosen as a first or
Palliative care is a relatively modern branch of clinical medicine that deals with pain and
symptom relief and emotional support in patients with terminal
illnesses including cancer and heart failure.
Medicine is the art and science of healing. It encompasses a range of health
care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by
the prevention and treatment of illness.
Contemporary medicine applies health science, biomedical research, and medical
technology todiagnose and treat injury and disease, typically through medication, surgery,
or some other form oftherapy. The word medicine is derived from the Latin ars medicina,
meaning the art of healing.
Though medical technology and clinical expertise are pivotal to contemporary medicine,
successful face-to-face relief of actual suffering continues to require the application of
ordinary human feelingand compassion, known in English as bedside manner. 2008-02-22.
In clinical practice doctors personally assess patients in order to diagnose, treat, and prevent
disease using clinical judgment. The doctor-patient relationship typically begins an interaction
with an examination of the patient's medical history and medical record, followed a medical
interview and a physical examination. Basic diagnostic medical
devices (e.g. stethoscope,tongue depressor) are typically used.
Medical education and training varies around the world. It typically involves entry level
education at a university medical school, followed by a period of supervised practice
or internship, and/or residency. This can be followed by postgraduate vocational training. A
variety of teaching methods have been employed in medical education, still itself a focus of
Many regulatory authorities require continuing medical education, since knowledge,
techniques and medical technology continue to evolve at a rapid rate.
Traditional medicine is the sum total of the knowledge, skills and practices based on theories, beliefs
and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of
health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental
(TM is the sum of knowledge, skills and practices based on indigenous cultures, used to treat physical
and mental illnesses)
"TM" refers to ways of protecting and restoring health that existed before the arrival of modern
medicine. As the term implies these approaches to health belong to the traditions of each country and,
have been handed down from generation to generation.
In practice the term "TM" refers to the following components: acupuncture (China), ayurveda (India),
unani (Arabic countries), traditional birth attendants medicine, mental healers medicine, herbal
medicine, and to various forms of indigenous medicine.
COMPLEMENTARY/ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE (CAM)
"Complementary medicine" or "alternative medicine" refer to a broad set of health care practices that
are not part of that country's own tradition and are not integrated into the dominant health care
TRADITIONAL MEDICINE AND COMPLEMENTARY/ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE (CAM)
"Traditional medicine" is a comprehensive term used to refer both to TM systems such as traditional
Chinese medicine, Indian ayurveda and Arabic unani medicine and, to various forms of indigenous
medicine. TM therapies include medication therapies and non-medication therapies. Medication therapies
involve use of herbal medicines, animal parts and/or minerals. Non-medication therapies are carried out
primarily without the use of medication, as in the case of acupuncture, manual and spiritual therapies.
(summary: TM refers to various forms of indigenous medicine).
In countries where the dominant health care system is based on allopathic medicine, or TM has not been
incorporated into the national health care system, TM is often termed "complementary", "alternative" or
TM remains widespread in developing countries, while CAM is increasing rapidly in developed countries.
(WHO TM strategy 2002-2005; WHO 2002)
(Summary: TM is part of CAM)
Traditional use of herbal medicines
Therapeutic activity refers to the successful prevention, diagnosis and treatment of physical and mental
illnesses; improvement of symptoms or illnesses; as well as beneficial alteration or regulation of the
physical and mental status of the body.
ACTIVE INGREDIENTS Active ingredients refer to ingredients of herbal medicines with therapeutic activity. In
herbal medicines where the active ingredients have been identified, the preparation of this medicines should be
standardized to contain a defined amount of the active ingredients, if adequate analytical methods are available. In
cases where is not possible to identify the active ingredients, the whole herbal medicine may be considered as one
While it’s true that the implementation of the Cheaper Medicines Act will further
make high-quality medicines available to the masses, one local pharmaceutical
company feels that the executive order covering maximum drug retail prices is
unnecessary because Filipinos have been enjoying greater access to safe and
reasonably priced generic medicines for over 20 years now. In the early part of 2009,
the company launched an advocacy program called Pharex Economix, which aims to
provide Filipinos greater access to a wider range of premium-quality, affordable
‘Gentle’ action also means that these ‘simple’
medicinal plants do not as a rule have any
appreciable toxic effects, and may therefore
be safely taken over an extended period of
It is generally assumed by the public, and also
by some medical practitioners, that plant
drugs are harmless and therefore preferable.
Put in such general terms this clearly is not
true. The view is based on the assumption that
all phytotherapeutic agents are drugs with
gentle action. Yet even these cannot always be
said to have no side effects.