If you went to the doctor to cure your debilitating pain and he handed you a type of fungus found in the forests of China, you would probably stop visiting doctors who run their practice out of a cardboard box in the alley by Sears. But that's what's happening: doctors with all sorts of scientific credentials are looking to ancient Chinese medicine to succeed where modern equivalents have fallen on their asses.
At last! You have an excuse for all that tiger penis you've been chowing on.
For example, a new drug called fingolimod, which sounds like a hobbit that nobody likes, is the first oral medicine available for multiple sclerosis. It offers new treatment options for hundreds of thousands of sufferers, and yep, it's derived from a fungus used in Chinese medicine.
The corydalis yanhusuo plant has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries, and has recently given us a new painkiller that combats inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Not only that, it's the only thing that works -- no other modern drug has been found to alleviate neuron pain as well. It doesn't stop there, either: artemisinin is an anti-malaria drug that can trace its origins back to traditional sweet wormwood. The awesomely named thunder god vine is being developed as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, as well as to treat deficiencies in vitamin kickass. Even black bear bile, which is just about as close to a witch doctor cure as you can get without grinding up newts, has been shown to be effective against Type 2 diabetes. The only problem is getting it out of the bear when you're already so weakened by diabetes.