Asian medicine was developed as a knowledge-based science and relatively dissimilar to a laboratory based Western medical science. However, Asian medical schools in recent decades are ignoring the prime objective of Asian medicine by emphasizing a curative focus. This talk will examine the scenarios in China and India through an ethnographic investigation and finds that modern students and graduates from the schools of Asian medicine perceive Asian medicine to be as important as Western medicine. There is a growing tendency to integrate Asian medicine with Western medical thought in the academic curriculum that has led to a gradual decline of Asian medical thought and practices. At the same time, there has been a massive rise of patent drugs, health products and cosmetics being sold under the brand names of Asian medicine or herbal medicine. This talk will show that contemporary Asian medicine rarely follows the classical texts, and in fact uses Asian medicine brands to sell Western health products or practices.
Dr. Nazrul Islam is currently a Visiting Associate Professor in the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia. He works as Associate Professor in the United International College, Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University. His research interest focuses on Chinese herbal medicine, Indian ayurvedic medicine, maternal and infant health, and health tourism. He is the editor of the book Public Health Challenges in Contemporary China: An Interdisciplinary perspective by Springer (2015).