The Role of Herbal Medicine in Integrative Healthcare
For centuries, the people of China and other Asian countries have embraced herbal medicine to help treat a range of illnesses. In more recent times, patients and healthcare providers in western countries have also begun to understand the value of using the herbs found in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Many integrative medicine practitioners expertly combine Chinese herbal medicine with aspects of western medicine to help their patients achieve optimal health.
How Does Herbal Medicine Work?
Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on the theory that all of the body’s organs mutually support each other. Therefore, in order to be healthy, an individual’s organs must be in balance. This balance can be attained through many methods, including acupuncture, proper diet, and by ingesting herbs.
Herbalists work from a traditional Chinese medicine text called Materia Medica that lists thousands of plant and other extracts. Your herbalist may prescribe a traditional formula or create a custom-compounded formula for you.
Chinese herbs often take the form of easy-to-digest capsules. But herbal therapy may also involve teas, liquid extracts, granules, or powders. It’s important that your herbalist and doctor follow your progress. Checking liver and kidney function regularly will ensure that you’re metabolizing herbs correctly.
What Herbs are Commonly Used?
While there are thousands of herbs available, the ones commonly used by integrative physicians include:
- Astragalus to boost immune function.
- Ginkgo biloba for brain health and memory enhancement.
- Red yeast rice to treat high cholesterol.
- Cinnamon to improve energy and circulation.
- Ginger to relieve digestive problems.
- Ginseng to increase energy and stamina.
- Gotu kola to fight bacterial infections and viruses.
This is just a brief description of the healing properties associated with these herbs, but they have other benefits as well. Your healthcare provider will be able to take a complete health history and prescribe the combination of herbs that’s right for you.
Why Should You Consider Herbal Medicine?
You may want to consider herbal medicine if you’ve tried conventional treatments to address your ailments, but they haven’t worked. Herbal medicine may be effective for you on its own, or it may help boost the effectiveness of conventional treatments.
An integrative physician may also recommend herbal medicine to help decrease any unpleasant side effects you may be experiencing from conventional medications. If you’re undergoing cancer treatments, then herbal medicine can even help ease the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
Is Herbal Medicine Right for You?
The only way to know if herbal medicine is right for you is to consult with a trained and licensed herbalist or an integrative healthcare provider. While many of these herbs are available at local health food stores and pharmacies, these over-the-counter supplements may not react well with other medications or supplements you may be taking. These supplements may also contain questionable ingredients and low amounts of the effective ingredient. An integrative physician will make sure that you are given a safe, high-quality herbal remedy in the correct dosage that will help you achieve optimal health.
If you are ready to experience the benefits of herbal medicine, then contact NJ Natural Family Health. Dr. Shannon DiCarlo RN LAc DAOM is a Registered Nurse and an integrative medicine practitioner offering acupuncture, herbal medicine, and nutritional counseling. Her practice features an on-site herbal pharmacy which she utilizes to provide her patients with formulas that focus on managing symptoms and addressing any underlying causes. Dr. DiCarlo is dedicated to helping her patients enjoy a long, happy, and healthy life.
New Jersey Natural Family Health offers unique natural healthcare strategies that will address both recent health issues and chronic disease. Dr. Shannon DiCarlo RN LAc DAOM utilizes her nursing background with her extensive experience in Chinese Medicine to develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient. Through acupuncture, Chinese Medicine therapies, and an on-site herbal dispensary, Dr.DiCarlo can restore true health to the body, mind, and spirit. Please call (973) 650-8053 or visit in-person at 366 Passaic Ave, Nutley or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.