A national survey done by Prevention magazine in 1997 revealed that about one-third of adult Americans, or about 60 million people, say that they frequently use herbal remedies. Americans spend an average of $54 per person on herbs each year—about $3.2 billion as a nation. What's more, a 1993 survey reported in the New England Journal of Medicine indicated that 7 in 10 people using herbal products do so without telling their health-care providers.
Pharmacists and doctors in the United States are learning more about herbal products and know that they can produce drug or drug-like effects. Many practitioners are adding them to their practices; all encourage their patients to tell them what herbal remedies they are taking and how much of each they take
While herbal supplements have enjoyed a surge of popularity during recent years in the United States, they have been very popular in Europe and Asia, particularly in China. The practice of using herbs dates back thousands of years. Today in America, conventional drug manufacturers are adding herbal ingredients to their products to satisfy consumer demand.
People choose herbs for all sorts of reasons: because they hear from others that they works, because they feel it's natural and believe it's likely to have much less side effects than drugs, or because they prefer its holistic approach.
Herbal medicines can be used to treat health problems that are short-lived (acute) or firmly established (chronic). It is a matured therapy with thousands of years of proven worth.
In America, herbs have been defined as Dietary Supplements by FDA. Herbs are the most nutritious of all foods. Nutrition is the basis for good health and prevention of illness. They are ideal for health maintenance because you can take them every day, providing the nutrients your heart and other organs need, without danger of harming your body.
Although being "dietary supplements" doesn't make something automatically safe. But, on the whole, the side effects seem to be much milder and more infrequent than for pharmaceutical drugs. A study recently completed and reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that in 1994, in hospitals, over 106,000 patients died and 2.2 million were made ill by drugs prescribed by doctors. That does not include those that died, or were made ill, at home.
In short, the main benefits of herbs includes:
Matured therapy with thousands of years of proven worth.
- Rejuvenates the body's organs to correct symptoms at their root causes.
- Long-term results
- No chemical residues due to natural ingredients
People have always relied on plants for food to nourish and sustain the body. Herbal medicine can be seen in the same way but contain much rich nutrition of all foods. For example, Burdock Root (articum lappa) is excellent for building and strengthening the entire system. It is high in a variety of minerals, especially iron, thus enriching the life force of blood. Its also a cleansing effect for the liver and the lymph systems. In US, herbs are Dietary Supplements.
Plants with a particular affinity for certain organs or systems of the body are used to 'feed' and restore to health those parts which have become weakened. As the body is strengthened so its ability and power to fight disease is increased, and when balance and harmony are restored, health will be regained.
We all have a healing, or immune system that operates continually and is always on call. Herbs allow us to cooperate with the healing system to repair damage done by injury, lifestyle, environment, toxins, drugs, etc. There are many herbs that will strengthen the immune system and help protect our health.
Research results show that herbs produce oil sacs between the cells of their leaves, flowers and roots, which are filled with essential oils. These oils contain between 50 and over 2,000 chemical constituents, the active ingredients responsible for the healing and balancing effects of herbs.
Because of their diverse chemical make-up, they are effective in small doses and produce few side effects. Some herbs work as general tonics that cleanse, nourish and rebuild on a cellular level. Others have an affinity for a specific system or organ, and may be used to treat related imbalances or symptoms. They work gently and naturally to support the body's own healing process.
The differences in between herbs and pharmaceutical drugs exist in many aspects. A key difference is that drugs directly attack or "kill" disease, whereas herbs rely on the use of various measures to strengthen the body so it can fight the disease itself.
Herbs act as a supplement to provide our body with micro-nutrients. They take time to work. A drug can provide almost instant relief from symptoms. However, they do not work to supply these nutrients the body needs to repair itself. Suppressing symptoms is a short-term answer to a long-standing problem. Unfortunately, most of us would rather find a "quick fix in a pill" rather than expend the effort necessary to build health.
Of course, the drug companies always say that their unique molecules are better, stronger, more targeted and safer than herbs. I'll readily agree that they are stronger. In fact, they're often too strong and have bad side effects that their herbal precursors might not have.
In January, 1999, Business Week reported the fourth leading cause of hospitalizations: damage from FDA-approved drugs, affecting 2.2 million people a year. Americans are dying, one every three to five minutes, from the effects of FDA-approved pharmaceutical drugs, used as directed!
As for pharmaceuticals being better, that's hard to say drug is more effective than herbs. In some studies, herbs clearly perform better. Ginger, for example, has been shown to be superior to the pharmaceutical dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) as a preventive therapy for motion sickness.
Drugs are usually used to control symptoms, but don't necessarily do anything about the cause. For example, antibiotics kill bacteria but do not improve a person's resistance to infection; diuretics drain excess fluid from the body but do not improve the kidney function. The more drugs we use, the more damage we are doing to our natural defenses against disease. Herbs heal; drugs can kill.
In addition, drug are usually prescribed for their effectiveness on a group of people. Chinese herbs are classified according to certain active characteristics (such as heating, cooling, moisturizing, or drying) and are prescribed according to how they influence the various organ systems. The patient will receive herbs designed to treat his individual pattern as well as the symptom or disease.
The concentrated pills are mostly welcome as they contain very effective components, small in size and dosage, convenient to use and fit for treating various diseases. It is also used to continue therapeutic results.
Herbal pills, produced by combining powdered medicinal substances (the Materia Medica includes mineral and animal substances in addition to plant material or herbs) with water, honey, rice powder, or wax as binders, and are known as Zhong Cheng Yao or "Ready-to-be-Taken-Medicine." The prepared herbals are based on well-known classical formulas and are produced by manufacturers meeting the strict quality control standards of China’s Drug Control Act, 1985.
In America, these prepared herbal pills are commonly referred to as "Patent" medicine. The history and development of Patent medications parallels that of Chinese herbology itself. By 1155, the first Imperial formulary describing over 700 prepared medicines was published and the first formal pharmacological manufacturing facility established. By 1368 during the Ming dynasty, smaller, privately-owned pharmacies were developed, and through the Qing dynasty the production of medicine in pill form was accelerated.
The oldest herbal pharmaceutical manufacturer in China today, Tong Ren Tang, established in 1669, is located in Beijing and has been at the same address since 1702, 74 years before George Washington and Paul Revere!
Herbs have been most effective when used in combination within various synergistic formulas that have been developed for treatment of specific health problems and issues. The following is a list of conditions and/or diseases which often can be prevented or treated by the healing action of herbs.
|AIDS||St. John's Wort|
|Alcohol Abuse||Kudzu, Milk Thistle (Silymarin)|
|Anal Fissures||Gotu Kola|
|Anxiety||Chamomile, Gotu Kola, Passion Flower, Valerian|
|Arthritis||Angelica, Astragalus, Boswellia, Cayenne, Cilantro and Coriander, Devil's Claw, Juniper, Licorice, Meadowsweet, Oil of Evening Primrose, Turmeric|
|Asthma||Astragalus, Coffee, Eucalyptus, Kola|
|Bacterial Infections||Clove, Dill, Echinacea, Eucalyptus, Garlic, Goldenseal|
|Blood Clots||Garlic, Ginseng|
|Blood Pressure||Garlic, Hawthorn|
|Burns||Aloe, Astragalus, Echinacea, Gotu Kola, Marsh Mallow, Peppermint, St. John's Wort|
|Cancer||Angelica, Astragalus, Buckthorn, Cascara Sagrada, Garlic, Ginseng, Gotu Kola, Rosemary, Tea, Turmeric, White Willow|
|Chest Congestion||Coffee, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Tea|
|Cholesterol (High)||Cayenne, Celery Seed, Garlic, Ginseng, Gugulipid|
|Circulation (Poor)||Cayenne, Garlic, Ginkgo Biloba, Gotu Kola, Hawthorn|
|Colds / Flu||Allspice, Angelica, Astragalus, Coffee, Echinacea, Garlic, Goldenseal Root, Peppermint, Tea|
|Cold Sores||Balm, Cascara Sagrada, Peppermint|
|Colic||Cilantro and Coriander, Dill, Fennel|
|Colon Cancer||White Willow|
|Constipation||Aloe, Buckthorn, Cascara Sagrada, Psyllium, Senna|
|Coughs||Angelica, Licorice, Marsh Mallow, Mullein, Thyme, Wild Cherry Bark|
|Cuts||Aloe, Cilantro and Coriander, Clove, Eucalyptus, Marsh Mallow, Sage, Thyme|
|Depression (Mild)||St. John's Wort, Valerian|
|Detoxification||Milk Thistle (Silymarin)|
|Diarrhea||Astragalus, Cilantro and Coriander, Cinnamon, Clove, Dill, Fennel, Ginger, Goldenseal, Kola, Meadowsweet, Peppermint|
|Digestion (Poor)||Allspice, Cayenne, Chamomile, Cilantro and Coriander, Clove, Dill, Fennel, Ginger, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage|
|Drowsiness||Coffee, Kola, Tea|
|Ears (Ringing In)||Ginkgo|
|Esophageal Cancer||White Willow|
|Fatigue||Angelica, Coffee, Eleuthero (Siberian ginseng), Panax Ginseng|
|Fever||Balm, Black Haw, Meadowsweet, Turmeric, White Willow|
|Flu||Angelica, Coffee, Echinacea, Ginger, Meadowsweet, Tea|
|Foot Pain (in Diabetes)||Cayenne|
|Fungal Infections||Cinnamon, Garlic, Goldenseal|
|Gas (Flatulence)||Allspice, Cilantro and Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Peppermint|
|Headache||Black Haw, Cayenne, Coffee, Kola, Meadowsweet, White Willow|
|Heart Disease||Cayenne, Garlic, Tea, Turmeric|
|Hemorrhoids||Horse Chestnut, Mullein, Witch Hazel (topical)|
|Herpes||Balm, Cascara Sagrada, Ginseng, Licorice|
|High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)||Celery Weed, Feverfew, Garlic, Juniper, Valerian|
|Immunity (Lowered)||Angelica, Echinacea, Garlic, Ginseng, Goldenseal, Marsh Mallow|
|Indigestion||Allspice, Balm, Chamomile, Cilantro and Coriander, Cinnamon, Dill, Feverfew, Peppermint, Thyme|
|Infections||Aloe, Astragalus, Cilantro and Coriander, Echinacea, Eucalyptus, Goldenseal, Thyme|
|Inflammation||Chamomile, Cilantro and Coriander, Gotu Kola, Licorice, White Willow|
|Insect Bites & Stings||Balm, Clove, Mullein|
|Insomnia||Gotu Kola, Hops, Lemon Balm, Passion Flower, Valerian|
|Irritable Bowel Movement||Peppermint|
|Joint Pain||Allspice, Cayenne|
|Liver Dysfunction||Ginseng, Milk Thistle (Silymarin), Turmeric|
|Memory Loss (Forgetfulness)||Ginkgo Biloba, Gotu Kola|
|Menstrual Irregularities / PMS||Allspice, Angelica, Balm, Black Haw, Chamomile, Dong Quai, Feverfew, Juniper, Meadowsweet, Oil of Evening Primrose, Rosemary, Thyme, Valerian|
|Migraines (Headaches)||Feverfew, White Willow|
|Muscle Cramps or Spasms||Valerian|
|Muscle Soreness||Allspice, Cayenne, Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Peppermint|
|Nausea||Ginger, Chamomile, Peppermint|
|Nervousness||Astragalus, Balm, Chamomile, Valerian|
|Numbness (in Legs)||Gotu Kola|
|Pain||Allspice, Black Haw, Cayenne, Kola, Meadowsweet, Peppermint, White Willow|
|Prostate Enlargement (Benign)||Saw Palmetto, Stinging Nettle Root|
|Rectal Cancer||White Willow|
|Respiratory Problems||Angelica, Tea|
|Skin Conditions||Calendula, Chamomile (topical), Clove, Gotu Kola, Tea Tree Oil (topical)|
|Skin Ulcers||Gotu Kola|
|Sore Throat||Goldenseal, Licorice, Marsh Mallow, Mullein, Sage|
|Stomach Cancer||Garlic, Ginseng, White Willow|
|Stomach Upset||Chamomile, Cilantro and Coriander, Cinnamon, Clove, Dill, Peppermint, Rosemary|
|Stress / Tension||Eleuthero, Ginseng, Kava Kava, Passion Flower, Valerian|
|Stroke||Garlic, White Willow|
|Toothache||Allspice, Chamomile, Clove|
|Ulcers||Aloe Juice, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Licorice, Meadowsweet, Turmeric|
|Urinary Tract Problems||Cinnamon, Cranberry, Uva Ursi|
|Varicose Veins||Bilberry, Gotu Kola, Horse Chestnut, Witch Hazel (topical)|
|Viral Diseases & Infections||Astragalus, Balm, Cascara Sagrada, Cinnamon, Clove, Echinacea, Eucalyptus, Garlic, Ginseng, Goldenseal|
|Water Retention||Celery Seed, Dandelion Leaf, Tea, Uva Ursi|
|Wounds||Aloe, Balm, Cilantro and Coriander, Clove, Echinacea, Goldenseal, Gotu Kola, Marsh Mallow, Mullein, Peppermint, Sage, St. John's Wort|
1210 E. Arques Ave., Suite 202
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
|tel: 408.524.0676 fax: 408.524.0663|
|Mon. ~ Fri.:||10am - 7pm|
|Sat.:||9am - 1pm|
Emotional & Psychiatric
Ear, Eye, Nose