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Chinese Herbal Medicine

The Chinese medicine encompasses many forms of medicine,among which is the herbal medicine. Instead of trying to cure a disease Chineseherbal medicine is aimed at restoring the body’s energy and spirit. There aremany components of the Chinese herbal medicine employed for different aspectsof one’s health that it is fairly difficult to analyze all of them. Also, it should be noted that practitioners havediscovered that certain Chinese herbs contribute to cancer treatment whencoupled with modern medicine methods but further research is necessary to betterunderstand their effectiveness. Contrary to modern medicine’s striving to treatthe root cause of a problem, Chinese herbal medicine focuses on the alleviation of symptoms. The practitioners focus on dealing with the imbalances, which arecausing various health problems.

The Herbs

The most commonly used herbs in Chinese medicine areeleuthero, ginseng, green tea, ginko, and astragalus. They are combined totreat numerous health issues such as breathing difficulties, hormonal imbalance,infections of various sorts, and so on. Many followers claim that herbal blendscan prevent different types of cancers but they do not ascertain that the herbscan cure the disease once it starts to develop. On the other hand, when coupledwith radiation or chemotherapy herbal blends assist in easing the pain, strengtheningthe immune system, and overall improving the quality of life.

When it comes to actually creating themedications, there are over 3,000 herbs and 300 minerals and various otherextracts involved in creating 400 different recipes. The Chinese herbal blends can be produced indifferent forms such as syrups, pills, tinctures, powders, and teas. The majorproblems are usually treated by a combination of 1 to 2 herbs, while the restof the ingredients are present to treat minor symptoms or to improve theeffects of the main contributors.

As a result of the growing popularity ofChinese herbal medicine many herbs and blends are sold all over the US inpharmacies, health food stores or directly from the practitioners. In addition,when creating a formula for a patient, most practitioners perform a physicalexamination involving the skin, tongue, eyes, hair, voice, and pulse to try tounderstand where the imbalance is coming from. The symptoms definitely play a major role in creating a blend of herbsfor each individual.

In addition, behind today’s formulas lie thousands ofyears of development and implementation. During the Ming dynasty the classicbook on Chinese herbal medicine was first written, and it included over 2,000herbs and animal extracts. The latest edition of the book was revised inthe 1990 only to include 500 of the most effective herbs and extracts and 300minerals.

The use of Chinese herbal medicine in China had been viewed asfolklore between the time periods of the spreading of the Western medicine andthe end of WWII. Today, on the other hand, the Chinese government supports theuse of both the modern Western medicine and their own herbal medicine. As far as the usage of the traditional Chineseherbal medicine goes in the US it first became popular in the 1970s. Interestingly, around 40 states issuelicenses for practicing Oriental medicine in the United States through 50 differentcolleges.

Possible Complications

It should be noted that there are various kinds ofsubstances, which have not been thoroughly examined when it comes to theirinteractions with nutritional supplements, foods, or medications. Therefore,most available information on any side or adverse effects of Chinese herbalmedications should be viewed as limited. When it comes to combiningprescription medications and herbal formulas individuals should always becautious, as many ingredients of the herbal medications are not alwayslisted. For instance, diabetics need tostay away from particular Chinese herb formulas as they contain substanceswhich can have negative effects on their health but are not clearly identified.

It is always advised that individuals whowish to take any types of alternative medications consult with their primaryhealth care provider first in order to avoid medical complications. There havebeen publications on various herbal formulas containing prescription drugs oreven some toxic substances such as lead or mercury so it is best to buytraditional Chinese herbs only from authorized practitioners.

Outside the USthere have been some similarly alarming findings. For instance, in Japanresearchers found that some herbal medications can lead to serious thyroid andliver difficulties. Further, out of awide range of herbs cultivated in China there are some that are known to betoxic, but there have been instances in which such plants have been mistakenlyused in herbal formulas. Nevertheless, many of the previous problems that thetraditional Chinese herbal medicine has been associated with have been resolvedand as long as the products are purchased from a reliable source withpermission from the primary health care provider the individual should be safe.

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