I love herbs. I’ve been using them since I was young (teas for tummy upset, peppermint for indigestion, ginger for fever, etc.). As an adult, I became more acquainted with the stronger therapeutic effects of herbs, both in singular and combination forms, and learned to use them medicinally for multiple health problems. I have studied and used Western herbs for over twenty-five years and consider myself to be quite knowledgeable. I earned a Masters in Oriental Medicine, where a third of my program was the clinical indications and pharmacology of Chinese herbs. So I’m pretty well-versed in herbology in general, and have written many alternative medicine articles on various conditions and how to treat them with Chinese medicine – including herbs. In Chinese medicine, herbs fall into the same category as Chinese nutritional therapy, the 2nd branch of the medicine.
With the increase in demand for Chinese herbs – this is a good move away from conventional drugs – also comes the downside: the availability of certain herbs. An increase in human population has increased demand for natural resources, and that has caused some herbs in the wild to become scarce (via over-cultivation or habitat loss). It has become paramount in our profession then, as Chinese medicine doctors, to protect and preserve these natural resources of a powerful medicinal approach that has served so many for thousands of years.
Read the following article by Eric Brand, LAc: