Chinese herbal medicine is one of the great herbal systems of the world, with an unbroken tradition going back to the 3rd century BC. It is a complete medical system that is capable of treating a very wide range of conditions, including common colds, anxiety, gynecology, and dermatology among a few. Using natural medicine allows your body to recover while being nourished. Herbal Medicine can boast the immune system while eradicating illness.
Understanding Herbal Medicine
While herbal medicine is safe and powerfully effective it is a complicated process to finding the most effective formula for every individual patient.
I am frequently asked questions like “What herb should I take for my sinuses?” or “I’ve heard ginseng is good for fatigue. Is that true?” My answer is always the same. You must first be diagnosed before being treated. Herbal Medicine is a holistic approach to health. Therefore, one must take a holistic approach to determine what herbs are best suited for each individual. We are looking at your body as a whole. It is not a question of which herb is good for which ailment. Rather, the question is “why are you suffering from headaches, fatigue, diarrhea, etc?” In Chinese medicine the goal is to treat the root of the problem rather than the symptoms. If we simply treat the symptoms the true imbalance is not corrected. In which case symptoms will either reoccur or manifest as other symptoms.
Another important detail to point out is that Chinese medicine hardly ever uses only one herb to treat a patient. Approximately sixteen individual herbs can be combined from hundreds of commonly used herbs. It is imperative to understand the complexity of combining herbs to treat a patient. There is a distinct synergist reaction that occurs when specific herbs are combined.
There is also the challenge of utilizing herbal medicine while a patient is on prescription medication. For instance, if a patient is on Cumadin (a commonly prescribed blood thinner) an herbalist knows to be cautious using herbs that invigorate the blood such as Hong Hua or Chuan Xiong.
Herbal medicine is a safe and effective form of treatment when used correctly. The public should be aware that all natural/alternative medicine should be used with the guidance of a professional who has been trained to use their modality in an efficient and harmless manner.
With drug companies frequently pulling their products off of the market because of adverse reactions, it is time we find better ways to promote healthy living. For over two thousand years herbal medicine has been used as a powerful healing tool. It is not only the way of the past but also the way of the future.