Over the past several years, many people have started to use Chinese medicinal herbs more frequently. Modern medical treatment often comes with a price, including insurance premiums that more and more people are not ready to pay. Herbal Medicine has been around for thousands of years and offers a safe alternative that many claim works much better than other forms of medical treatment.
Here is a quick history, the Ancient Chinese and Egyptian cultures created a medical tradition using herbs for both treatments and healing rituals. At first, the entire herb was used, but with time, as technology advanced, scientists started to conduct chemical tests. Modern medicine formed as plant compounds and their benefits were modified, extracted and chemically mimicked to produce the pharmaceutical drugs present today.
In Western Cultures many depend on Western medical treatment, however, the World Health Organization reports that more than 80 percent of people throughout the world actually depend on herbal supplements. As unrest over the rise in prescription costs builds, people in the United States are turning to a more natural, organic mindset.
What is an Herbal Supplement?
The U.S. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 describes Herbal Supplements simply as Dietary Supplements. Due to this, they can be sold as long as they are made under good manufacturing conditions. They are also not as heavily regulated as pharmaceutical drugs.
Why Use Chinese Herbal Supplements
It is up to you, but there are many reasons to try supplements as an alternative. Some of these reasons are:
Herbal medicine is versatile. There are herbs to treat almost every condition, such as asthma, pain, fatigue, blood pressure and many other health issues. In addition, with the variety of herbs, they can be combined to make healing more effective, for example:
- An herb, such as Ginkgo, can help strengthen memory and help increase blood circulation.
- Kava kava might help a person relax and reduce stress.
- St. John’s Wort is often used to balance the mood, much like other medicines that treat moderate depression.
- Valerian helps a person rest, gently calming them so they can sleep without prescription sleeping pills.
- Echinacea may build up a person’s natural immunity.
Herbal supplements offer many avenues for dealing with current health issues without investing heavily in medicines that often mask the symptoms or are too expensive to purchase.
What to Watch For
As with any treatment you may use, there are things to watch for as you use Chinese Herbal Supplements.
Make sure you are not having an allergic reaction. If, for any reason, you feel nauseous, develop a rash or other irritation, feel like your breathing is constricted, then definitely stop using the herb and seek medical attention.
If herbs are used correctly, they usually work well, but things do happen. They are unregulated and can be mislabeled. Toxic additives may be present. You take herbs at your own risk, so be mindful of what might go into the product you buy.
Certain herbs have properties of which you should be aware. For instance, St. John’s Wort causes sensitivity to sunlight, among other things. Kava kava has been linked to a rare liver dysfunction. Although Valerian helps many sleep, it has acted as a stimulant for certain people, everyone is different.
Due to the differences for each person, Chinese Herbal Supplements must be taken with care. It goes back to the idea that when a Chinese Herbalist prepares an herbal plan for an individual, he or she takes a look at that person’s emotional state, how the elements affect him or her, and what symptoms are present. It’s a holistic approach that requires carefully balancing the individual’s entire well-being with the current needs.