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Research Proposal Example on Concentrated Chinese Medicine Granules in Asia


Research Background and Problem


Accordingly, Chinese medicines have existed many years ago since the time of great Chinese philosophers as medicine is a form of Chinese culture and ways of living. Now, there are a lot of Chinese medicines invading the Asian market with such issues and controversies behind it and the stand of concentrated Chinese medicine granules has been known in Asia and other regions as well. There have been a lot of Chinese companies focusing on that such nature of business and one of them is Nong's Company. The research problem lies as to how safe these concentrated Chinese medicine granules when being manufactured, processed and packaged to reach the Asian markets and sold to the millions Chinese medicine of consumers through such supermarkets and drugstores nationwide. The study will look at such assumptions as well as implications of these Chinese medicine granules and find out if the manufacturers and makers of these medicines do follow strict principles on quality standards and product monitoring and management.







Overview of Literature Studies


What is Chinese Medicine?

Chinese herbal medicine is one of great herbal systems of the world, with an unbroken tradition going back to the 3rd century BC. Yet throughout its history it has continually developed in response to changing clinical conditions, and has been sustained by research into every aspect of its use. This process continues today with the development of modern medical diagnostic techniques and knowledge.  Chinese herbal medicine is based on the concepts of Yin and Yang. It aims to understand and treat the many ways in which the fundamental balance and harmony between the two may be undermined and the ways in which person's vitality may be depleted or blocked. Clinical strategies are based upon diagnosis of patterns of signs and symptoms that reflect an imbalance. Chinese medicine recognizes that health is more than just the absence of disease and it has unique capacity to maintain and enhance person's capacity for well being and happiness.






Herbal Medicine and Modern Pharmacology

There is growing body of research which indicates that traditional uses of plant remedies and the known pharmacological activity of plant constituents often coincide but, herbal medicine is distinct from medicine based on pharmaceutical drugs. Firstly, because of the complexity of plant materials it is far more balanced than medicine based on isolated active ingredients and is far less likely to cause side-effects. Secondly, because herbs are typically prescribed in combination, the different components of formulae balance each other, and they undergo a mutual synergy which increases efficacy and enhances safety. Thirdly, herbal medicine seeks primarily to correct internal imbalances rather than to treat symptoms alone, and therapeutic intervention is designed to encourage this self-healing process.

What is a Single Concentrated Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) granule?

The single TCM granules are made from the qualified prepared traditional Chinese herbs. The herbs are refined by modern industrial ways of extraction, condensation, drying and granule-shaping. The characteristics, channel tropism and effectiveness of the single TCM granules are all the same as the original herbs. One of the remarkable advantages is no need boiling any more. Drink after dissolved by hot water, less dosage to take, hygiene and more safe because they can be standardized in certain way.



Concentrated Chinese Medicine Granules

Concentrated Chinese Medicinal Granules are traditional Chinese medicinal herbs extracted by replicating the traditional method of preparing decoction using modern extraction and concentration technologies. It is a dosage form derived from Chinese herbs with accountable standards, dispensed in a way without changing the philosophy of authentic Chinese medicinal theory, yet providing a solid platform for future evidence-based research. It is free from the time-consuming and inconvenient decoction method which was required in preparing traditional Chinese medicinal herbs in the old days. Concentrated Chinese medicine granules should have the same degree of curative efficacy, taste, aroma and flavor as in traditionally-prepared medicinal decoction. It should also dissolve in hot water instantly.


Types of Concentrated Chinese Medicine:

-          Single herb extracts (as components of complex formula) The single herb extracts are normally used in a way for practitioners to prescribe a tailor-made formula for a particular patient according to his/her conditions.

-          Combination of herb extracts (Premixed formula of mixture of herbs at extraction  Used in its entirety for treating a particular indication or disease


Several advantages of concentrated Chinese medicine granules:

-          Convenient to consume. Saves time in preparing traditional decoction

-          Hygienic, safe and stable efficacy

-          Manufactured under strictly controlled GMP standards thus avoiding the risk of using the wrong herbs for preparing medicines

-          Professionally tested for heavy metals, microbial and acute toxicity. Reliability and safety are therefore ensured

-          Less space requirements for Chinese medicine practitioners than storing the bulky raw herbs

-          The simple system of managing concentrated Chinese medicine granules makes it easy for normal people to administer as trained herbalists to identify and prescribe raw herbs are getting scarce

-          The difficulties in maintaining and managing the quality of raw herbs eg. prevention of insect infestation, moisture, temperature, etc. can be avoided

-          Standardized concentrated Chinese medicine granules provide solid platform for future evidence-based research in development of modernizing Chinese medicine





With long term vision to modernize Chinese medicine, Nong's is one of the first few in the region to introduce a full spectrum of quality and scientifically-developed concentrated Chinese Medicine granules, supported with modernized computerized program of Nong's Clinical Management System. Nong's Company Ltd. with its range of single and combo concentrated Chinese Medicine granules is the only manufacturer approved by SATCM of the People's Republic of China. Nong's is the first and only Chinese medicine manufacturer licensed in China to produce the full range of Chinese Medicinal Granules using traditional Chinese Medicine Combo Formula.



Source of information: Nong's Company Ltd. (2006)








Case Study Overview

The only Hong Kong enterprise selling Concentrated Chinese Medicine Granules in the Mainland

As introduced by Abraham Chan, PuraPharm commenced scientific research in 1998 with the idea of modernizing Chinese medicines. Among the 700 or more concentrated Chinese pharmaceutical products, over 500 are made from single formula, and over 200 are concentrated Chinese medicine granules based on combo formula. PuraPharm hopes to develop more types of medicines in the future to meet the demand of Chinese medical practitioners. In addition to being widely recognized in Hong Kong, the products of PuraPharm are also granted with the approval from State Food and Drug Administration, turning PuraPharm into the only foreign enterprise among the six Chinese medicine factories approved by the Chinese government to produce and sell concentrated Chinese medicine granules.  Abraham Chan, the president of the Modernized Chinese Medicine International Association, stressed that the popularization and modernization of Chinese medicine cannot merely stick to the thought about traditional recipes and secret recipes.





According to Abraham Chan, the development of Chinese medicine should be supported by the following efforts:

-          It is hoped that the government can take charge of the overall planning of Chinese medicine development, formulating Chinese medicine development policies, introducing suitable auxiliary measures, applying the same vigor of supporting Disneyland and tourism to the Chinese medicine industry

-          Strengthening the cooperation between China and Hong Kong, actively procuring bilateral agreements between China and Hong Kong, promoting bilateral pharmaceutical product registration to pave way for Hong Kong merchants to enter the market

-          Standardizing Chinese medicine industry so as to steer Chinese medicine to the road of modernization and professionalism







Research Process and Methodology 

The need to acquire useful research evidences and information and the finding out of certain possibilities for knowing possible issues as well as applying knowledge and information discovered from research investigations and related literatures also the searching for relationships that are vital for understanding and recognizing the study's focus and purpose.  The data to be gathered will be tallied by the researcher and will be encoded in the computer.  Hard copy will be printed to ensure that files are kept including the questionnaire responses of the sample. Several percentages will be computed into percentages and will be presented through graphs, tables and textual arrangements.  The latter will clarify the graphs and tables.  Data will also undergo interpretation to determine the causal relationships of the predetermined independent and dependent variables.  Such data will form the heart of the findings of the study and will indicate the applicability of the research.






The best methodology for this research study is to use a detailed exploratory as well as descriptive approach in ample support to certain reliable and up to date company case study with the aim of achieving high end critical thinking and analysis for such case. Thus, from the cases collated, the researcher can move into certain surveys that can be of two types one, can be company survey relating to the effectiveness of these concentrated Chinese medicine granules in terms of its overall structure mostly, its content patterns, does it guarantee Asian buyers of good quality products when used? Does it conform to the rules and regulations pertaining to the control of such medicines? How is it accepted by the Asian consumers? The other survey can be the consumer satisfaction survey that will be design to determine and discover how well Chinese medicine consumers embrace and patronize these products and finding out  their level of satisfaction upon intake results. Thus, the consumers will also be entitled to give their feedbacks on the product and to avoid biases it should be two sided and fair having the positive or the pros and the negative or the cons of these concentrated Chinese medicines.







The case study will utilize the following methods for information gathering: primary and secondary data (Yin, 1984, 11). For this research, the primary data will be acquired from pharmaceutical companies as well as utilizing of certain surveys involving consumers of such concentrated Chinese medicine granules. The secondary data will be acquired from the related published literatures that will be reviewed and will be used as benchmark on the progress of the research. The gathering of the related published literature ensures that the data acquired are reliable. A descriptive research intends to present facts concerning the nature and status of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study (Creswell, 1994). In addition, such approach tries to describe present conditions, events or systems based on the impressions or reactions of the respondents of the research (Creswell, 1994).  The general purpose of this research is to observe, describe and document aspects of situation as it naturally occurs and sometimes to serve as a starting point for hypotheses generalization or theory development (Patton, 1990, 20).















The first month will be dedicated on the knowing more about the problem of the research. This will be followed an in-depth literature search on the internet and local libraries. Literature search will continue for as long as four months. The three among those four months will also be dedicated in knowing more about the research design and methods chosen for the study. The following months will be dedicated in data collection. Data analysis will soon follow. The data will be analyzed both qualitatively and or quantitatively with appropriate applied measures in order for data collection can be flexible and the topic will be better explained and elaborated. There needs for updating significant primary and secondary with proper occupation of modern tools and techniques and the need to strengthen on the overall research in its execution and style of completion. The proposal then, may possibly explain relevance of research approach and its effectiveness to serve purpose respectively.










Creswell, J.W. 1994. Research design. Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage, p. 8.


Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods, 2nd Ed. Newbury Park, Cal.: Sage Publications, p. 20-25.


Yin, R. K. (1984). Case Study research: Design and method. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, p. 11.




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