I’ve found in recent years that, alas, I’m not immune to maladies that were   perhaps brought on by the aging process. I won’t bore you with a lengthy list, after all they’re not that rare or interesting: asthma, the odd autoimmune disease, etc. But, what I’ve also discovered (besides the harrowing fact that I’m no longer a sprightly 22-year-old gazelle) is that western medicine, and its adherents, in the pithy words of my friend, “don’t know shit.”

While this may be a little extreme, as there are massively impressive breakthroughs in western medicine occurring every year, we still can’t even find suitable treatments for chronic rhinitis (stuffy nose), asthma, or the simple common cold. This has led me to dabble, recently in the eastern remedies associated with acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. And boy, let me tell you, both western and eastern doctors have an almost palpable distrust/dislike of each other.

I bring all this up, because I have often thought that if the money for research were available to Chinese remedies that is available for, say, western anti-aging creams, perhaps many more illnesses could be treated. Well, it appears that a very large Chinese medicine company, who is backed by the Orange telephone giant, is about to pump a huge amount of money into validating 2,000 year-old treatments by using Cambridge University’s pharmacology department. Interesting.

Hutchison Chi-Med is headed by Asia’s richest man, La Ka-shing, and as the Guardian newspaper reports, they are seeking to isolate the active ingredients in many remedies, effectively validating ‘alternative’ treatments which for many years western doctors have thought of with derision. They already have a patent for a heart disease medicine that is also shown to be helpful in treating everything from Cancer to Stroke.

The smart investment money is with these guys. If you think the profits drug companies have made with the swine flu vaccine are impressive, wait until an ancient Chinese herb is found that stops wrinkles. Look out! My tip for 2010 is to start buying stock now.