This book discusses Asian medicine, which puts enormous emphasis on prevention and preservation of health, and examines how, in recent decades, medical schools in Asia have been increasingly shifting toward a curative approach. It offers an ethnographic investigation of the scenarios in China and India and finds that modern students and graduates in these countries 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 in patent drugs, health products and cosmetics being sold under the brand names of Asian medicine or herbal medicine. Most of these drugs and health products do not follow the classical formulas found in the Asian medical texts. The book analyses these texts and concludes that contemporary Asian medicine rarely follows the classical texts, and in fact uses Asian medicine brands to sell Western health products and practices.
With a particular focus on the formal and professional sector of Chinese herbal medicine and Indian ayurvedic medicine in urban areas, this book appeals to a broad readership, including undergraduate students and academics as well as non-experts.
Md. Nazrul Islam is an Associate Professor in the General Education Office, United International College, Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University. He was a Visiting Associate Professor in the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia (2015-16) during which time he completed this book manuscript.