Lixin Huang, president of the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM), recently participated in an event called “Healing Without Harm.” Huang joined Jill Robinson, founder and executive director of Animals Asia Foundation (AAF), for a fascinating look at the use of endangered species products in traditional medicine. Huang and Robinson have formed a unique partnership aimed at providing TCM practitioners and users world-wide with information regarding alternatives to endangered species ingredients in traditional medicine.
Huang serves as president of ACTCM, and has promoted not only the practice of traditional Chinese techniques in medicine, but also the use of sustainable practices in regards to endangered plants and animals.
Robinson founded AAF to help preserve endangered species in Asia, in particular combatting the inhumane practices of Asiatic black bear farming in China.
For over 3000 years, traditional Chinese medicine has brought health and healing to millions of people throughout Asia. Today, TCM is enjoying a surge of popularity in the US also as people seek answers to health questions that elude western practitioners. While the increasing worldwide respect for and use of TCM is laudable, there is also a tragic consequence: the decimation of a wide ranging and growing number of animal species whose parts are used in traditional medicine. In fact, seven of the world’s eight species of bear have seen their numbers reduced as a result of the demand for their body parts. Yet for the highly endangered Asiatic Black Bear, whose story is perhaps the most tragic, there is a ray of hope in the form of a unique partnership between the Chinese Government and Animals Asia Foundation, a Hong Kong-based charity.