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Why World's Health Experts Turn Their Eyes to Traditional Medicines?

traditional medicine

The first-ever World Health Organization (WHO) Traditional Medicine Global Summit 2023 was held on 17 and 18 August 2023 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India, alongside the G20 health ministerial meeting.  The Summit will catalyze political commitment and collective action towards the evidence-based integration of traditional medicine for the health and well-being of people and the planet. 

Traditional medicine, such as herbal medicines, acupuncture, yoga, and indigenous therapies, is used by 88% of all countries and 170 Member States report its use to the World Health Organization (WHO) . However, the contribution of traditional medicine to national health systems and global health is not yet fully realized, as there is a lack of evidence, data, regulation, and policy guidance for its safe, cost-effective, and equitable use.

Traditional medicine is also part of the growing trillion-dollar global health, wellness, beauty, and pharmaceutical industries . Over 40% of pharmaceutical formulations are based on natural products and landmark drugs, such as aspirin and artemisinin, originated from traditional medicine . The GCTM and the Summit aim to harness this potential and optimize the contribution of traditional medicine to global health and sustainable development.

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