For the first time, the World Health Organization has included traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in its globally influential medical compendium, according to an international science journal.
An article published by Nature on Wednesday said that TCM will be incorporated into the latest version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) set to be released next year.
Starting from the 150s, the ICD has been revised and published in a series of editions, reflecting the advances in health and medical science over time.
It serves as the foundation for the identification of global health trends, and the international standard for diseases and health conditions.
The latest ICD is based largely on the work of the International Classification of Traditional Medicine (ICTM) project's experts from around the world, who had been working on traditional medicine research and practices for years.
China has been promoting the modernization of TCM and pushing for TCM to gain acceptance and popularity worldwide. Chinese pharmacologist Tu Youyou was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2015 for her research in TCM.
While the use of herbal medicines, acupuncture and other traditional medical practices has been on the rise, there's still a shortage of global classification and terminology tools for traditional medicine, according to officials with the WHO.
"The decision is to promote the safe and effective use of traditional medicine by regulating, researching and integrating traditional medicine products, practitioners and practice into health systems, where appropriate," the WHO was quoted as saying by Nature.