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Herbal Remedies and Supplements
Herbal medicine is itself a powerful method of healing. Western drugs often control symptoms, but do not alter the disease process ( antibiotics eliminate bacteria but do not improve a person's resistance to infection; diuretics fid excess fluid without improving kidney function). Chinese herbs treat the underlying condition as defined by traditional diagnosis, and rarely cause unwanted side-effects.
Just as soil becomes depleted through overuse, so the Qi, Moisture, Blood are eroded by overwork, emotional tension, mental strain, too much or too little exercise, and inadequate diet or rest, impairing the capacity of the Organ Networks to do thier jobs.
"The sniffles, scratchy throat, and headache that I expected would blossom into a full-fledged cold never did. Herbs cleared me right up."--Jake Talman, age 28
How Herbs Work
Since fatigue results from a lack of Qi, herbs that nourish the Qi have an energizing effect. Since blurry vision, restless sleep, and irritability result from depleted Blood, Blood-enriching herbs improve vision, sleep, and equanimity. Since dry skin and dehydration arise from insufficient Moisture, herbs that replenish it soften the skin and relieve an otherwise unquenchable thirst.
Herbs assist the Organ Networks in the performance of thier tasks. Particular herbs enhance the capacity of the Heart to propel the blood and soothe the mind, the Spleen to manage digestion and fluid equillibrium, the Lung to handle respiration and body's defenses the Liver to maintain resillient emotions an supple limbs, and Kidney to sustain sexual and regenerative power. Some herbal formulas address ailments such as colds, allergies, inflammations, or cramps with dramaic and immediate results, while others fortify body reserves over time.
For example, Jake's stuffy head and cloudy senses are relieved by herbs that dispel Heat and Wind. Herbs that strengthen the Lung and Qi will increase his resistance to colds and flus. Kate experiences menstural distress as a result of congested Qi, Moisture, Blood in the abdomen-a traffic jam that results in sore and swollen tissue, a puffy face, irritability, lethargy, and cramps. Herbs that invigorate her circulation can dislodge the pile-up, relieving her symptoms.
Linda is concerned about the signs of aging that occur as Essence and Blood diminish. Herbs that nourish the Kidney and Liver replenish Essence and Blood so that healthy bones, supple skin, shiny hair, and an even temperament prevail while the fading of sexuality or hot flashes are prevented.
"I stopped estrogen replacement therapy because of the side effects-bruising and water retension-but I was desparate for help with my irritable mood swings and hot flashes. Acupuncture plus herbs helped me tremendously. Now, three months later, I feel fantastic-much better than I did on estrogen."--Julia Wisner, age 56
|Harriet Beinfield, L.Ac. and Efrem Korngold, L.Ac., O.M.D. have pioneered the practice of Chinese medicine in America for the last 28 years as educators, writers, and practitioners. They are the co-authors of the......more