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Chinese Herbal

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Chinese Herbal

PostAuthor: Hazel » Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:51 pm

Chinese Herbal medicine

In 2735 B.C., the Chinese emperor Shen Nong wrote an authoritative treatise on herbs that is still in use today. Shen Nong recommended the use of Ma Huang (known as ephedra in the Western world), for example, against respiratory distress. Ephedrine, extracted from ephedra, is widely used as a decongestant. You'll find it in its synthetic form, pseudoephedrine, in many allergy, sinus, and cold-relief medications produced by large pharmaceutical companies.

Chinese Herbal Medicine is one of the great herbal systems of the world, with an unbroken tradition going back to the 3rd century BC.
Yet throughout its history it has continually developed in response to changing clinical conditions, and has been sustained by research into every aspect of its use. This process continues today with the development of modern medical diagnostic techniques and knowledge.
Because of its systematic approach and clinical effectiveness it has for centuries had a very great influence on the theory and practice of medicine in the East, and more recently has grown rapidly in popularity in the West. It still forms a major part of healthcare provision in China, and is provided in state hospitals alongside western medicine. Chinese medicine includes all oriental traditions emerging from Southeast Asia that have their origins in China.
Practitioners may work within a tradition that comes from Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan or Korea. It is a complete medical system that is capable of treating a very wide range of conditions. It includes herbal therapy, acupuncture, dietary therapy, and exercises in breathing and movement (tai chi and qi gong). Some or several of these may be employed in the course of treatment.
Chinese Herbal Medicine, along with the other components of Chinese medicine, is based on the concepts of Yin and Yang. It aims to understand and treat the many ways in which the fundamental balance and harmony between the two may be undermined and the ways in which a person's Qi or vitality may be depleted or blocked. Clinical strategies are based upon diagnosis of patterns of signs and symptoms that reflect an imbalance.
However, the tradition as a whole places great emphasis on lifestyle management in order to prevent disease before it occurs. Chinese medicine recognizes that health is more than just the absence of disease and it has a unique capacity to maintain and enhance our capacity for well being and happiness.
The RCHM believes that Chinese herbal medicine has a role to play in the treatment of the following conditions:
• Skin disease, including eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, urticaria
• Gastro-intestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, ulcerative colitis
• Gynaecological conditions, including pre-menstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhoea, endometriosis, infertility
• Hepatitis and HIV: some promising results have been obtained for treatment of Hepatitis C, and supportive treatment may be beneficial in the case of HIV
• Chronic fatigue syndromes, whether with a background of viral infection or in other situations
• Respiratory conditions, including asthma, bronchitis, and chronic coughs, allergic and perennial rhinitis and sinusitis
• Rheumatological conditions (e.g. osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
• Urinary conditions including chronic cystitis
• Psychological problems (e.g. depression, anxiety)
Many of these conditions, especially in their chronic forms, create great difficulty for conventional medicine, whilst Chinese Herbal Medicine has a great deal to offer. The results that can be expected and how long a patient will have to take the herbs for will depend on the severity of the condition, its duration, and the general health of the patient.

Who can take Chinese herbal medicine?
Chinese medicine can be used by people of any age or constitution. Your practitioner will take any previous or current illness or medication into account before prescribing herbs to you.. With suitable adjustments for dosage and with some provisos which will be determined by your practitioner, children and pregnant women can very well be treated by Chinese medicine.

What are the herbs like and how much will they cost?
Herbs are now available in a number of formats, both traditional and modern. The traditional method is to boil a mixture of dried herbs to make a tea or to use pills. The herbs are also now commonly prescribed as freeze dried powders or tinctures. The herbs will at first taste unusual and often bitter to anyone who has not tried them before, but the vast majority of people get used to the taste very quickly.

Are herbs safe? Chinese herbs are very safe when prescribed correctly by a properly trained practitioner. Over the centuries doctors have compiled detailed information about the pharmacopoiea and placed great emphasis on the protection of the patient. Adverse reactions can occur with any form of medicine. In the case of Chinese herbal medicine these are rare. RCHM members give guidance on this to all patients. The RCHM also works with the Bristol Chinese Herb Garden and with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in building botanical knowledge of high quality herbal medicines.
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Hazel
 
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:54 pm

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