Things You Need to Know About Herbal Medicine

What is Herbal Medicine?

Clinical Herbology is the combination of different forms of the therapeutic uses of medicinal herbs. The types of Clinical Herbology range from Traditional Chinese herbs to specific Plant Enzyme Formulations based on your bodies exact needs. A detailed counseling will assure the maximum of the effectiveness and the safety use of herbs such as cautions of drug interactions. Individualized formulations are a critical and effective part to successful patient

Instead of the use of only single-herb in the treatment, Chinese Medicine typically individualizes multi-herbal formulation; these different herbs have been found to work together to have synergistic effects in order to potentiate the healing of the individual. Ancient Chinese Doctors discovered these synergistic effects over thousands of years of practice and research. Today Chinese herbal medicine is used worldwide for a multitude of different health complaints.

How does Herbal Medicine Work?

Similar to pharmaceutical medications, herbs have interactions with the body that cause physiologic changes with the person through the active chemical components found within the formula. Interestingly, many pharmaceuticals are derived from plant origin. These drugs tend to then extract only one active ingredient to use in the drug. This one active ingredient is used in extremely high dosages, even though the original herb may have had hundreds of active ingredients. Herbal formulas utilize the whole herb, thus incorporating all of its active ingredients and maximizing its effects.

In Chinese Medicine theory, herbs have effects on specific organs and energetic pathways known as meridians. If there is pain or dysfunction anywhere along the course of the meridian or with the affected organ, particular herbs can be used to clear the channel or balance the affected organ. These effects can be either direct or indirect.

In Chinese Herbal formulations, herbs are prescribed as having different therapeutic roles, such as “Chief”, “Administer”, “Assistant” and “Guidence”. Another principle of Chinese Herbology is the “Mutual Influences” theory which emphasizes herbs being used conjunctively in various manners such as: “Mutual Accentuation”, Mutual Enhancement” and Mutual Suppression”. These features assure that the formulations will achieve maximum benefit with minimal side effects. Other ingredients may be added to complement the main herb and to make them more absorbable.

Is Herbal Medicine Safe?

Herbal Medicines are safe when taken by the instruction of a competent practitioner. Herbs have been used in almost all cultures for centuries to fight illness and promote health. Even today in America we are using a form of Herbology without even realizing it, for example, when you season your food with various aromatic herbs and spices, many times you are not only making the food you eat taste better, but also improving it’s digestibility and nutritional value. Some herbs can have a very strong action on the body, so discretion has to be taken when using them. When used correctly under the supervision of a trained professional, herbs can be extremely successful without any or very minimal side effects. The reported harmful implications with herbs were primarily from improper employ at excessive dosage, without proper medical supervision.

Are There any Herbs and Drug Interactions?

According to JAMA, an estimated 15 million adults in the United States (representing 18.4 % of all prescription pharmaceutical users) took prescription drugs concurrently with herbal remedies and/or vitamins in 1997. Simultaneous taking of herbs and prescription medications should not be done unless under the supervision of a competent practitioner. Herbs and prescriptions can have similar effects and if an herb is taken that has the same effect as a drug already being taken, the two can have a multiplied effect, or the two can negate each other.

Furthermore, even if they don’t have similar actions, herb/drug interactions can cause certain ingredients to not be absorbed or over absorbed, so to minimize this problem, certain herbs and prescriptions should be taken separately by at least 2 hours. Drugs can also alter the functioning of various organs and thus either cause an herb to build up in the system due to improper elimination or go through the system too quickly and not have a pronounced effect. These considerations have to be taken in order for herbs/drugs to be used effectively.

How long does it take for Herbal Medicine to work?

For very acute conditions such as sudden onset of a cold, flu, or other painful conditions herbal medicines can have very quick results. When diseases have not had time to deeply assault and damage the body, they are much easier to expel. On the other hand if a condition has been present for many years it may take a bit longer to create a positive change. Even though it may take a longer period of time to notice substantial change if the condition is a chronic one, there should still be signs that the formula is working.

Is Herbal Medicine Safe for Children?

Children that are given proper herbal medicines respond exceptionally well, such as for cold, ear infection and digestive trouble, however caution must be taken seriously. According to specific symptoms, a thorough consultation and assessment should be completed to decide the herbs and its dosage. Herbs when used appropriately by a professional can have wonderful results.

What Conditions Can be Treated With Herbal Therapies?

Herbal therapy can be a powerful tool if used correctly. Herbal Therapy can be effective as the only treatment used, or as an adjunct to other treatments in many medical and surgical disorders. Almost all conditions can be helped with proper herbal therapy. The only safe way to find out if herbs could help with a particular problem is to consult with a trained professional. Together you can discuss the pros and cons of herbal therapy and of possible drug interactions.