Chinese herbal medicine in the most basic sense is an ancient system of using herbs and plants to heal the body and mind.
It has developed, changed and been refined numerous times over the centuries as the causes of illness and disease processes have been discovered. In its native country it is not viewed as alternative medicine, but instead is used in hospitals to complement more modern medical treatments.
For thousands of years, Chinese herbal remedies have been used to treat all kinds of diseases around the world, but are just now gaining some measure of mainstream approval with Western physicians and patients.
The reason that Chinese herbal medicine works is the simple knowledge that health is more than just the absence of disease, it also involves keeping the body in a condition to properly fight disease and the mind balanced and clear. A doctor that specializes in Chinese herbal remedies will treat the symptoms you are currently having, but the traditional view places the greatest importance on preventing disease before it occurs.
Unlike some of the popular prescription drugs that are on the market today, adverse reactions to Chinese herbs are extremely rare and the side effects that occur are negligible when compared to the host of heart, liver and kidney problems commonly reported after use of certain "safe" prescription drugs. This is one of the main reasons why they are so popular with everyone from pregnant women to parents of very young childen.
Just about any kind of Chinese medicine herb that you are looking for can be found in reputable health food stores and online, with the most popular being tinctures and capsules that contain the concentrated essence of the herb. Some people feel that the tinctures, which are often the purest form of Chinese herbs in an alcohol, give the best results while still others prefer the use of teas made with the herbs. However, if you are sensitive to strong tastes or smells, using capsules or tablets might be a better option, since you need to take them regularly to get the maximum benefit from Chinese medicine herbs.
To the surprise of some consumers, it turns out that some of the large, well known private health insurance companies are now making provisions for alternative medical therapies. Most often, this means that they are covering procedures such as acupuncture, but there are a few will also pay for herbal treatment. It's best to contact your insurance company to check before making an appointment with an herbalist to find out their policy on covering treatments by traditional Chinese herbal medicine.
After centuries of learning, studying disease processes and refining their treatments, it's not surprising that Chinese herbal remedies are trusted by millions of people to heal and treat all kinds of illnesses from colds and flu to drug addiction. Chinese medcine herbs may seem a little strange at first to some people, but once they have seen the benefits that can be achieved they rarely return to a program of strictly modern medicine treatments.
Chinese herbs have been healing people for centuries, so why not give them a try?
more than Chinese herbal medicine on our Medicinal Herbs page
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