A partnership that has been announced between scientific research centers from Mexico and China aims to explore a role of herbal medicines in containing the outbreak of the H1N1 flu.
The agreement between Mexico’s National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) and China Medical University in Beijing is expected to be signed in July, according to Xinhua News Agency.
It quoted Javier Grandini Gonzalez, director of the IPN’s National Medicine and Homeopathy School, as praising both countries’ "excellent" record in herbal medicine study.
Herbal therapies, along with acupuncture, exercise Qi Gong and massage have been the cornerstones of Chinese medicine dating back more than 2,000 years.
"We are seeking to find in the herbal traditions [of the two countries] plants that serve as anti-virals," said Guillermo Perez Ishiwara, the IPN’s head of postgraduate studies and research, quoted by the agency.
"Some of the components of herbal formulas may stimulate the immune response, which means they could become an alternative in preventing any outbreak that may come in winter," he added.
The current outbreak of the H1N1 influenza, also known as the swine flu, originated in Mexico in early April of this year. To date, it has killed more than 100 while infecting some 4,500 people in the country.