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TCM Knowledge ~ ~ Terms & Definitions

TCM Knowledge  

2. Why Chinese Herbal Formula?  

   Long History of Healing -- Many ancient civilizations originated excellent medicines. China is unique in that, for a number of social, cultural, political, and economic reasons, its medicine experienced a relatively continuous development. Generations have continued to refine and develop the rich medical traditions that can be traced to classic ancient texts, many of which are thousands of years old.

   A Complete Medical System -- Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) offers an entire theoretical and scientific system. It is not simply a gathering of pieces of experience, remedies, and knowledge, it is a medicine with its own theory of the body that underpins explanations of how and why certain treatments are used and how and why sickness originates and resolves.

   Reliable Clinical Results -- TCM has its own medical schools, clinics, and hospitals. Half-a-million TCM doctors in China and thousands of acupuncturists and herbalists outside of China treat billions of people internationally. Hundreds of medical journals record and assess clinical results. More and more TCM practitioners and researchers are using modern research techniques to conduct systematic and extensive research. When herbal formulas are used properly, practitioners have found time and again that they offer reliable clinical results.

   Gentle, Natural, and Safe -- A growing number of medical consumers are interested in natural medical treatments. They want herbal remedies with few side effects. Chinese herbal formulas are powerful yet gentle treatments that offer patients natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals. Even when consumed in dosages five times that of what is recommended, most herbal formulas are safe and non-toxic.

Instead of... Consider...
Laxatives GTL
Sleeping pills AML
Hormone Replacement Therapy QHBJ
Aleve J, BT, GJTF, or TT
Echinacea or Goldenseal First Defense or RG

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   Increased Strength Through Formulas --The saying "power in numbers" makes good sense when applied to herbal formulas. For thousands of years Chinese doctors have realized the advantages of using combinations of herbs to treat illness. The healing properties of individual herbs are strengthened and nuanced when used in correct combinations.

   Excellent Complementary Treatment -- Chinese herbal formulas will generally not interfere with Western pharmaceuticals. They should not be taken at the same time, but should be ingested two hours apart. In some cases Chinese herbal therapy will actually increase the effectiveness of allopathic treatments. For example, more and more research confirms that certain Chinese herbal formulas increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation while decreasing side effects and protecting healthy tissue from damage.

   For certain conditions, acupuncture alone can produce quick and dramatic results. In the West, most patients come to acupuncturists with long-term chronic complaints. For these problems, acupuncture and herbs together can provide better and more expedient results.

   Inexpensive and Proactive -- For certain conditions, other TCM methods of treatment such as acupuncture and Tuina should be done more than once each week to achieve best results. Due to financial and time constraints, many patients simply cannot afford such frequent treatments. Chinese herbal formulas allow patients to bring their treatments home. They offer medical consumers a proactive approach to their health care.

   Targets the Underlying Condition -- Many Western herbal and allopathic treatments are aimed at treating symptoms. In order to maintain a relief from symptoms, the treatment must be continued indefinitely. Chinese herbal formulas target the underlying conditions that lead to symptoms. Once the underlying condition is treated, the symptoms will subside, and treatment can be stopped.

   TCM theory categorizes illness differently than Western medical theory. Similarly, treatments are aimed at countering very specific kinds of ailments. For example, many Westerners take echinacea and golden seal at the onset of a cold. Echinacea, a warm and tonifying herb, would actually exacerbate an attack of Wind-Heat and Goldenseal with its cool properties would exacerbate an attack of Wind-Cold. Differentiating between Wind-Heat and Wind-Cold (See "Cold and Flu" Disease Profile) is necessary in order to treat the condition correctly. Taking the wrong single herb, such as Goldenseal or Echinacea, could actually worsen the attack and prolong the illness. Likewise, depression, according to TCM theory, can be due to a variety of underlying conditions. Therefore, the idea that a single herb like St. John's Wort could treat the majority of cases is highly suspect. In Chinese medicine, the idea is simple: locate the underlying condition, if that is treated, natural balance will be returned to the body and there will be no symptoms.


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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.



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