As one of the main branches of Chinese medicine, Chinese herbs have been used for thousands of years to help in the healing of physical and mental disorders. Many people find herbs to be an attractive treatment option because herbal medicine supports and enhances one’s overall health. Chinese herbs are generally free of side effects when used skillfully.
A Chinese herbalist is more interested in strengthening the foundation of one’s health rather than offering symptomatic band-aids. In this sense, herbal medicine works from the inside out; it treats the core issues that underlie our symptoms, which will either sooner or later rectify the symptoms themselves.
This is in contrast to Western drugs which work from the outside in. Drugs can offer immediate symptomatic improvement without directly addressing the deeper cause of the symptoms. While there are certain cases where this is warranted, the long-term use of Western drugs for chronic health problems can be detrimental to one’s foundation of health. This is why it is often best to pursue plant-based medicines and nutrition before going the drug route. It partnership with a trained herbalist it is a gentle, life-affirming way to heal yourself.
Chinese herbalists generally use individual herbs in various combinations to make up formulas for the patient. A skilled herbalist can combine several herbs to offer a highly specific treatment personalized to the unique needs of the patient.
Herbs are quite versatile. As an example, a formula can have ingredients for treating depression and all of its byproducts such as pain, insomnia, or menstrual problems. When the underlying pattern of disharmony is addressed, all of the symptoms associated with that pattern will likely improve.
In regards to physical health complaints, Chinese herbs can be used for a wide range of conditions including:
- Chronic pain
- Menstrual cramps
- Weak immunity
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
When it comes to treating the mind with Chinese herbs, it has long been recognized that there are numerous herbs that offer direct benefits for our emotional and psychological health. Everything that we ingest as food or medicine affects the mind in some form or another. Sometimes, however, it is too subtle to detect. When certain herbs are concentrated and given at a sufficient dosage, there can be tangible positive effects on one’s mental state.
Chinese herbal formulas that work on the mind can:
- Make you feel psychologically lighter
- Relax and calm your thoughts
- Open your perspective on yourself and life
- Engender patience and calmness
- Boost confidence levels
- Induce more peaceful sleep
Chinese herbal medicine is widely regarded as a wonderful complement to acupuncture treatment. Many practitioners use Chinese herbs as a way to offer continual therapeutic input into the body between acupuncture treatments. By taking herbs on a daily basis, the positive momentum created by acupuncture is enhanced.