Friday, March 8, 2013

What is the difference between Chinese herbal medicine and the Western herbs?


What is the difference between Chinese Herbal Medicine and Western Medicine?


Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

    There are thousands of herbs used in traditional chinese medicine. They have studied them there and proven over thousands of years their effectiveness in healing the body and conditions......these are documented , and continually documented in modern times.

   The herbs can be the same, and they also use ones not as familiar in the west. the main difference is in ayurvedic and traditional chinese medicine is the herbs are thought about with certain healing properties,and they are put together in well balanced formulas to keep the body well , heal, and prevent side effects......because it is all in balance and works with the body.

   The problem comes in when the westerners do not understand or think the same way in healing, and they dont know how to test the methods used, or claim not to know. The trials they conduct are usually on one herb at a time, and they tear it all down, looking for an 'active' ingrediant'. Most of the trials are not conducted in a way that the exerts know will prove they work, and instead botch most of the research. Most herbs and herbal formulas are not tested because it would take millions of dollars to conduct the tests /trials correctly and big pharma is the main source of money to run drug trials. 

      The herbal and other trials are not conducted in the same way a practioner of quality would treat with them.
Sometimes it is the synergenic action that does the healing , and western 'scientific' method doesnt know what to do with that. Still there are over 1500 herbs and alternative means that have been 'ok'd' through the FDA and deemed to have healing properties.

There are entire groups of physicians and investors that are always looking for the next 'miracle' herb from around the world.........then they tear it down and mess it up.They also cant make any money on it, so big pharma , instead make drugs out of some of them.....drugs are usually from herbs, or synthetic. But drugs are not in balance, with the principles of healing from an eastern perspective, and always cause side effects and danger., for other parts of the body.

The usa is one of the few places that do not train their doctors in eastern and western medical views. All asian doctors are taught both east and western medicine.And I have known herbalists that have cured many many illnesses using herbs alone, including cancers. Each case is individual and should be treated as such, using the best medicine for that situation.


Chinese medicine succeeds in one case where  

Western medicine failed


One man’s story of how traditional Chinese medicine was able to help cure his intestinal ailments where Wester medicine couldn’t:
“Growing up, Henry Lu was skeptical about the ancient art of Chinese medicine, even though his uncle ran a Chinese herb shop. But then, as an adult, suffering from chronic digestive problems, he experienced a profound awakening to the possibilities of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
For years, he followed his own doctor’s advice by taking a daily laxative and trying different diets and exercises — all to no avail. Having seemingly exhausted all of the treatment options available to him through Western medicine, in desperation he travelled to Hong Kong and Taiwan, where he was prescribed an herbal formula and underwent acupuncture treatments. Together, they cured him of his ailments.
This inspired Lu to begin studying TCM. He subsequently left his position as a professor at the University of Alberta to open his own college, the International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Vancouver, in 1986.
“I became convinced that drugs used in Western medicine do not outweigh the side effects in many cases,” Dr. Lu says. “Unlike Western medicine, which commonly strives to control symptoms, Chinese medicine focuses on the cause of the illness, and treats the cause.”
For many Westerners, TCM might seem confusing and off-putting, with its exotic terminology, peculiar diagnoses, and unconventional treatments. And yet it’s become increasingly popular, due to its emphasis on preventative health and controlling chronic conditions.
“I strongly believe that if we want to import Chinese medicine to [the West], we have to teach Western people. Chinese medicine shouldn’t just be confined to the Chinese Chinatown,” Dr. Lu says.
TCM was developed more than 3,000 years ago, making it the oldest continually-practiced system of medicine in the world. Since it was developed at a time before the scientific traditions of the West, it developed its own terminology and systems, mainly based on physical observations.
TCM is based on the concept of Qi (pronounced chee) — the “vital energy” that invisibly circulates throughout the body, along specific interconnected channels called meridians. In Chinese medicine, the smooth flow of Qi is responsible for good health, and ain or illness occurs when Qi is blocked. “Disease is thought to be caused by disharmonies within the body, or between the body and the environment,” says Dr. Lu. Chinese medicine seeks to restore a harmonious balance within the body — which is believed to be a reflection of the universe — so it can heal itself. It does this by balancing the passive yin with the dynamic yang, the opposing yet complimentary sides of nature: cold and hot, day and night, dry and wet. “

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Chinese medicine is a set of practical skills targeting a full array of diseases, from the common cold to more serious ones, such as tumors and heart disease.
The main difference between Chinese and Western medicine is that the former is rooted in traditional culture, while Western medicine is a branch of modern empirical science.
In today’s society dominated by Western medicine, people tend to doubt the efficacy of Chinese medicine. Even in today’s China, Chinese medicine is often debated.
In fact, in the past 5,000 years, Chinese people have been dependent on Chinese medicine to cure diseases and to protect themselves against epidemics. Consequently, Chinese medicine has contributed to population growth throughout history


Everything YOU Need to Know About Chinese Medicine and More...

Chinese medicine is a medical system that is capable of treating a very wide range of conditions.
Together with acupuncture, massage, and food cures, they form the four distinct methods of treatment in traditional Chinese medicine (also known as TCM or T.C.M.). Today, TCM still plays a major part of health care in China, and is provided in state hospitals alongside with Western medicine.
You may ask why we need TCM when the modern and scientific medicine is available to us. The reason is that many diseases that cannot be cured by Western medicine can be treated by TCM successfully.


The Methods of Diagnosis

When you visit a doctor practicing TCM, he or she will observe your complexion, examine your tongue, check your pulse, ask you questions about your symptoms, your eating habits and your food preferences.
Then based on the doctor’s diagnosis of what is ailing your body, he or she will advise you whether acupuncture or herbs will be the most effective treatment as well as which food is good for you.

Differences between Western Medicine and TCM
There are basic differences between Western medicine and TCM. Western medicine focuses more on the treatment of symptoms while TCM focuses more on the causes of these symptoms.
Most Western chemical drugs are strong and may have side effects. On the other hand, Chinese herbs, acupuncture and food cures are less drastic, and when used the right way, generally do not produce side effects.


Foods 'n' Herbs


The History of Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine, known as TCM, has a history dating back more than 5,000 years. Emperor Shen Nung (c. 3000 BC) was recognized as the first person who tasted the "poison plants." He accidentally discovered the apparent medicinal properties of various plants when introducing agriculture to his people. Most of his findings were handed down verbally because written language did not exist then. He was recognized as the father of Chinese herbal medicine.

Emperor Shen Nong
Other important Chinese doctors include The Yellow Emperor (2696 to 2598 BC), who took immense interest in medical science and discovered more medicinal plants. He was so pleased with his findings that he invented writing to record them. His book, Nei Jing, The Yellow Emperor's Classics of Internal Medicine 黃帝內經, was documented around 200 to 100 BC in the written language that can be understood today. It is the first Chinese medical textbook and has remained the basis of Chinese medicine ever since. The theories of yin and yangthe five elements and preventive care were his invention. His work was further developed and established as a sophisticated practice during the Han dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD). However it wasn’t until 700 AD that the first school of medicine was established and the system of formal study and examinations for doctors began.

The Yellow Emperor


Hua Tuo, a famous doctor who was born in 110 AD, emphasized the importance of exercise to health and invented the movements of tai chi.


Hua Tuo

Li Shi Zheng (1518 to 1593 AD) is the greatest naturalist in Chinese history. He developed the most important reference book in Chinese herbal medicine called the General Catalogue of Herbs, which includes 52 volumes and 1,160 illustrations.
Chinese medical theory is strongly influenced by Taoist beliefs and the ancient philosophers' view of the cosmic law and structure, the universal order, the mystery of life and man's place within that structure. This theory has become the philosophy that governs how people should live their life. It is about discipline, responsibility, values and the best ways to live in harmony with the universe and has not changed since ancient times. It has been most practical and effective in guiding the huge Chinese population to take care of their health.

Dr. Li Shi Zhen
Source :  Foods 'n' Herbs.com

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