For centuries, China and other Asian countries have embraced herbal therapy. Now America is beginning to see the value of combining Chinese herbs with Western medicine.
In 2012, Ohio joined an increasing number of states that license Oriental Medicine practitioners to prescribe herbs like Ginseng, reishi mushroom and astragalus.
This is good news for the many patients and physicians who have asked about Chinese herbs over the years.
Chinese herbs can help if:
Like acupuncture, herbal therapy addresses unhealthy body patterns. Doing so can restore balance and strengthen your resistance to disease. Here is how Chinese herbs can help:
If you’re interested in trying Chinese herbs, start by consulting your doctor. If your doctor clears you, look for an herbalist who is trained and licensed. Then make sure the herbalist is willing to work with your physician.
Your herbalist will ask for a detailed health history, including past and current illnesses. He or she will want to know which medications you’re taking too. This is important because herbs and drugs may not interact well together.
Herbalists work from a traditional Chinese medicine text called Materia Medica that lists thousands of plant and other extracts. Your herbalist may prescribe a traditional formula or create a custom-compounded formula for you.
Chinese herbs often take the form of easy-to-digest capsules. But herbal therapy may also involve teas, liquid extracts, granules or powders. Whatever the form, make sure your herbalist uses only the highest-quality products.
It’s important that your herbalist and doctor follow your progress. Checking liver and kidney function regularly will ensure that you’re metabolizing herbs correctly.
Chinese herbs are an important component of holistic therapy. In trained hands and with medical supervision, herbal therapy is good medicine.