The healing power of plants is not only acknowledged by holistic forms of medicine, but also by conventional modern medicine. Most pharmaceutical drugs today are made from plants. When whole herbs are used to treat health problems, as opposed to isolated chemical constituents, the problems of drug side effects are eliminated and a broader picture of health can be taken into account.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses certain diagnostic criteria to assess your state of health. Specifically, your tongue and pulse are often used in conjunction when evaluating your physical, mental, and emotional characteristics. The tongue is like a road map to the body, it can indicate imbalance in certain organs by its colour, coating, and shape. For example a red tongue indicates heat in the body, while a pale tongue indicates cold. In Chinese medicine, heat and cold are qualities of yin and yang. Yin is cold, yang is warm.
The pulse also gives an indication to the state of health of the body. The speed, depth, and fullness or emptiness of your pulse, point to your general condition. Specific organs can be assessed as well through taking the pulse at different depths and positions. This is a highly developed system which when used in conjunction with other assessment tools, provides valuable information.
Chinese medicine is based on the energetic concepts of qi, also spelled “chi”. Qi is the energy of the body and is responsible for its health. An imbalance of qi leads to health problems and disease. Specific herbs can be used to balance your health and improve the flow of qi throughout your body/mind system. Herbs are often taken in conjunction with other treatment methods, and/or diet recommendations, to support your constitution or condition.
Conditions such as digestive problems, menstrual problems and menopause, anxiety, depression, fatigue, blood pressure problems and more, can all be helped through the use of herbal medicine. Even common culinary herbs such as garlic, ginger, and turmeric have strong medicinal properties and can be used therapeutically for conditions such as digestive problems and arthritis. Scientific study is rapidly revealing the power and potential of herbal medicine in the treatment of disease.
Herbs can be safely taken with most pharmaceutical drugs, but should be supervised by a health care professional to ensure safety for long term use.