Output of traditional Tibetan medicine rose to 2,300 tons, valued at 1.5 billion yuan (217 million U.S. dollars) in 2016, due to growing demand for the ancient medicine. Twenty-one pharmaceutical companies in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region have been awarded the certificate of Good Manufacturing Practices for Pharmaceutical Products, according to the region’s Commission of Industry and Information Technology Tuesday [11 April 2017]…Full Article: ECNS.cn Apr 2017

Key Point

  • Traditional Tibetan medicine, aka “Sowa Rigpa”, primarily uses herbs and minerals, but also insects and animal parts.

ChinaAg Comment

  • In August 2016, caterpillar ‘worm grass’ fungus (Ophiocordyceps sinensis), a TCM product harvested on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, was in the midst of suffering a major price decline. The caterpillar fungus is harvested during the summer months once the fungus as breached the soil and can be found among the grasslands of the Tibetan plateu. The fungus must be harvested and sold with the host (dead) caterpillar attached in order to prove its authenticity.  In 2013 and 2014, on the back of a price spike, intensive harvesting of the fungus reportedly damaged its natural environment and production cycle. For instance, from 1995 to 2013, the price of caterpillar ‘worm grass’ fungus increased from CNY 1,000 (~US$150) per kg to CNY 300,000 [~US$37,228] per kg. In China, caterpillar ‘worm grass’ fungus is primarily harvested in the environs of Lhasa from May to August.

Hong Kong Trends

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