Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
TCM is a health care system in which patients are treated with natural plant, animal, and mineral remedies. It assumes, for a person to be healthy, that vital energy or force (qi) must be able to move smoothly through the body and that yin and yang forces (cold and hot; passive and active; and absorbing and penetrating) are in balance. Imbalance causes illness or injury. TCM is all about restoring smooth movement of vital energy and the balance between yin and yang forces in its patients.
TCM’s origins are lost in the mists of time. Shennong, born in the 28th century BCE, according to legend, is credited with compiling a catalogue of 365 species of medicinal plants that became the basis of later herbological studies. Most medical literature, however, is founded on the Neijing (3rd century BCE; “Esoteric classic”), which is still regarded as a great authority. During its centuries of development, TCM spread throughout China and then into Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia. It has been a major part of traditional Chinese culture and continues to play an important role in medical treatment in China today.
TCM uses approximately 1,000 plant and 36 animal species, including the tiger, rhinoceros, black bear, musk deer, and sea horse; the tiger, rhinoceros, and sea horse are endangered.
Decocted rhinoceros horn is used in TCM to treat fever, convulsions, and delirium. Its popularity has been a major factor in the reduction of the rhinoceros population in Africa and Asia. According to the World Wildlife Fund, only about 3,100 black rhinos in Africa and 2,800 of all three Asian species (Sumatran, Javan, and Indian) in Asia still survive. Black, Sumatran, and Javan rhinos are designated as critically endangered on the 2007 World Conservation Union Red List of Threatened Species, the Indian as endangered, and the African White variety as near threatened. Despite protective laws, poaching continues—still motivated by the Asian market for rhinoceros horn. Captive-breeding is now the only hope for some species until protection can be provided in the wild. – See more at: http://advocacy.britannica.com/blog/advocacy/2007/10/traditional-chinese-medicine-and-endangered-animals/#sthash.cmMiUEQ9.dpuf