Acupuncture in the Treatment of Emphysema and COPD
Share to Facebook  Share to Twitter  Share to Linkedin  Share to Google  Share to MSN  Share to Plurk 

Herbal Medicine
Herbs have been an integral part of the healing arts since the dawn of civilization.  For thousands of years now, essentially every known culture that has ever inhabited the planet Earth has used herbs medicinally.  Although herbs have an extensive history of medicinal use, there are still a few individuals within the mainstream medical establishment that either frown upon their use or just outright dismisses their medicinal worth.  These individuals will usually defend their position toward herbs by asserting that herbs are not "scientifically proven" to be effective.  Nothing could be further from the truth, and, once again, perspective is everything.

The truth of the matter is that the medicinal properties of herbs have been "proven" when you broaden the criteria of what is accepted as the standard of proof.  In today's scientific and technologically driven world of medicine, the standard of proof for medicinal efficacy has been narrowed to the point where only the information that is derived through conventional scientific research and controlled double–blind studies is considered acceptable.  Conventional scientific research is usually aimed at attempting to explain the mechanism of how a substance works fundamentally, while double–blind studies attempt to determine whether or not the substance under investigation is clinically effective and safe for use in human beings.  Although current research methods are absolutely necessary in order to advance our understanding of science and medicine, and double–blind studies certainly yield much-needed data concerning a substance's clinical efficacy and safety, I would contend that it would be very remiss of us to disregard the wisdom and knowledge of medicinal herbs that has been formulated by various cultures throughout history if it is only for the reason that many of these herbs have not been subjected to current research protocols or double–blind studies.

There are many drugs that are routinely used in medicine today that may have "passed" the criteria of double–blind studies, yet the mechanism of how they work fundamentally is still not known.  Not fully understanding how a drug works, however, does not necessarily stop modern medicine from using the drug.  But what is to be said of the "proof" that is derived through the history of a substance being used safely and effectively for hundreds or thousands of years?  I would submit that if an herb has been consistently and reliably used over the centuries because of its recognized and effective medicinal properties, then this in and of itself establishes the basis of historical "proof."  I would further submit that using the historical record of an herb to substantiate its medicinal value is every bit as legitimate as a modern double–blind study.  Passing the test of history, rather than a clinical trial, is what has enabled us to know how to use any particular herb safely, effectively, and appropriately.

It is encouraging to know that over the last two decades since the American public began to undergo a paradigm shift in their perceptions towards healthcare and began to embrace natural approaches to maintaining their health, the medicinal use of herbs has experienced a tremendous renaissance that is still flourishing to this day.  The paradigm shift that has been occurring across America has been not only driven by a culminating dissatisfaction with the conventional healthcare system's limitations to effectively address the myriad of health issues that confront a significant portion of the American population, but also because America has slowly and steadily become aware that the true key to addressing chronic disease lies in embracing and applying the principles and methods of natural medicine and the natural approaches to health and living.  The vast majority of the American public has now come to realize that natural medicine is a very viable means by which to improve their health, and the number of skeptics within the conventional healthcare system toward the use of medicinal herbs is rapidly diminishing.

In most cases the medicinal use of herbs today is still based upon their historical use, however, the herbal medicine renaissance that has been growing in America over the last couple of decades has provided the impetus for the scientific research of herbs that is now occurring in many of our university research laboratories.  Much of what is being discovered through the scientific analysis and research of herbs is confirming what has been known empirically throughout history.  Research is also resulting in the discovery of new applications and roles that herbs play in human health.  The significant benefit of this research though, is that it has begun to present scientific explanations for the actions of herbs, which provides the credibility and justification required by the conventional medical community to substantiate their use.

Unlike pharmaceutical medications, which are single isolated compounds, herbs contain many compounds.  Although only some of the compounds within an herb may be responsible for giving the herb the medicinal attributes for which it is classified, you must understand that these "active ingredients" of the herb are working synergistically within the context of the larger molecular population of the whole herb that was assembled by nature.  Many of the conventional drugs that are used in mainstream medical practice today are isolated derivatives of herbs.  When you isolate a compound from an herb and manufacture it as a single drug, you take that compound out of its natural context, and not only do you then lose synergy but you invite all the side effects and complications that result from using an isolated compound that is not in its natural form. 

Aspirin is an easy example to make this point.   As far back as the fifth century B.C., willow bark was known for its ability to reduce fever and relieve pain.  It wasn't until the 1800s, some 2,200 years later, that salicin, the active extract of the willow bark, was isolated and crystallized.  The salicin that is contained within willow bark is what you have come to know as aspirin.  It is not that aspirin is inherently bad in and of itself; it's the notion that nature intended for salicin to exert its action within the context of the whole herb.  Willow bark, when used to relieve pain or reduce fever, has no side effects.  Willow bark may take a little longer to begin acting, but its effect may actually last longer, and unlike aspirin, it doesn't cause bleeding in the stomach or have an association with a more serious health concern such as Reye's Syndrome.  Herbs, in general, are obviously not without their potential side effects, but when properly administered, the potential side effects of herbs are usually rare and significantly less serious than the common, and very often deleterious, side effects of pharmaceutical medications.

It is interesting to note that the vast majority of serious illness in this country is all lifestyle related.  Heart disease, cancer, stroke, and COPD (the top four leading causes of death in the United States) are all for the most part diseases of lifestyle.  There is the occasional unfortunate case where one of these illnesses has struck an individual who otherwise lived a healthy life, but by and large these are diseases that are intrinsically rooted in our dietary habits and our lifestyle choices.  We are as critically ill as we are because of the bad choices we have made, and if we weren't so sick as a result of our bad choices, we wouldn't need such aggressive medication to help us stay alive.  Fortunately, though, Americans have begun to realize these things, and along with beginning to embrace natural alternatives to their healthcare, they have more importantly begun to really understand diet and nutrition as the cornerstone of health and are making the necessary changes in their eating habits so as to avert serious disease and live healthier, happier, and longer lives.

Senior Expert Service
--Provide professional and valuable advice on health issues.

--One-to-one full service by assigned experienced expert.
--We customize your diagnosis based on syndrome differentiation.

--We customize prescriptions to meet specific needs of your condition.
Quality Guarantee
--We use only natural medicines approved by SFDA.

--We guarantee TCM product of unsurpassed quality.
Economical & Personalized
--We help you to save a lot of examination fees.

--24 hours online, all service to meet your own needs.

Copyright @2000-2025 All Rights Reserved.