China Astronaut Research and Training Center doctors have been testing new varieties of traditional Chinese medicine on astronauts, which could help treat ailments like osteoporosis and insomnia, besides improving immunity. The new remedies will be prepared for sale after further tests during the country's third manned space program in 2008, reports The China Daily.
The medicines have been packaged in pill and capsule forms for the first time to enable astronauts to take them in space.
The medicines were intended to improve cardiovascular and heart and blood vessel functions during short space flights or space walks, said Li Yongzhi, a doctor with the center.
"We have finished human trials and the results were satisfactory," said Li.
The center has been working with a pharmaceutical factory to produce the medicine, which would undergo clinical tests by the end of the year, said the doctor, but she declined to elaborate.
"The medicine is expected to be on the market in the next two years," she added.
Li's center has applied traditional Chinese medicine to the health care of astronauts since 1997.
Li said Russia and other European countries had begun research into traditional Chinese medicine for space programs.