Does Herbal Medicine Really Work?

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Chinese herbs pictured left to right: Bai Bian Dou, Fu Ling, Huang Lian, Yu Zhu, Fan Hong Hua

 

“Does Herbal Medicine Really Work?”

This is the response I often get from new clients when I recommend herbs as part of their treatment plan. Which is usually followed by some version of “does it taste bad?”.  The answer to both questions: Yes, herbs really work and sometimes they taste bad.  But I do my best to make herbal formulas convenient and tasty because they play a vital role in your recovery.

I think of herbal formulas as an “acupuncturist in a bottle”.  Herbal formulas address specific symptoms and imbalances that contribute to your health concerns.  Taken daily, herbs strengthen your immune system, decrease pain & inflammation, and continue to address your health concerns between acupuncture treatments.  This is especially important when the cost of frequent acupuncture treatments can be prohibitive. Sometimes clients are only interested in taking herbs or they may fear needles, making herbs a practical tool.

So how do herbs work?

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Chinese herbal floral tea.

This really depends on the special properties and chemicals found in individual herbs.  Some herbs have antibacterial properties and can be used to address bacterial infections.  Some herbs contain compounds that thin the blood and can be used to treat clotting issues or pain. Professor Youyou Tu recently won a Nobel prize for isolating a component of Artemesia Annua, that successfully treats a resistant form of malaria.  Professor Tu discovered this herb after combing through thousands of ancient Chinese herbal texts.  That’s because traditional Chinese practitioners have been using Qing Hao, a traditional Chinese herb, to treat malaria for thousands of year!  Thanks to Professor Tu, we can scientifically identify “why” Artemesia is so effective at managing malaria symptoms.

Interested in learning more? Check out these articles:

Medicine Nobel Recognizes Fights against Malaria and River Blindness: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/medicine-nobel-recognizes-fights-against-malaria-and-river-blindness/

Nobel Prize for anti-parasite drug discoveries: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-34441744

Contact your acupuncturist to find out how herbs can help you!

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