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Chinese Herbal Remedies

A lot of people are pretty casual about Chinese herbal remedies.  It is true that Chinese herbs are everywhere nowadays, so many people reason that they are always safe to take. Herbal weight-loss supplements, immune systems support boosters, and many other drugs are all derived from herbal Chinese remedies. In the last couple years, traditional Chinese medicine has become a big business in this country. Everyone wants to get into acupuncture, acupressure, Tai Chi, and of course, Chinese herbal remedies. Nonetheless, just because something is a Chinese herbal remedy does not mean that it is safe for everyone. These herbs are traditionally only given out by trained healers, so self-diagnosis can be extremely dangerous.

The problem is that people are not very well educated about what natural herbal remedies are safe and what aren't. For example, some of the most common ingredients in over the counter Chinese herbal remedies can be dangerous when taken with the wrong things. Take ginseng, for example. In most circumstances, taking ginseng is perfectly safe.  When it is combined with ephedra, another common ingredient in Chinese herbal remedies, it becomes extremely dangerous. It can cause palpitations and even heart attacks. Nonetheless, people continue to take ginseng and ephedra together without even realizing the damage they could be doing to their health.

The basic rule of thumb is that any Chinese herbal remedy that you can buy in the drugstore is probably safe if used by itself in the manner recommended. After all, the more serious Chinese herbal remedies are only available through herbalists. You can take ginseng, Echinacea, Chinese weight-loss herbs, and other similar things without any serious problems with your health. If you're going to take anything more powerful than that, you really should go see a Chinese herbal practitioner.  Otherwise, you can do serious damage to your health.

I would really like to see Chinese herbal remedies integrated more fully with mainstream modern medicine. After all, both Eastern medicine and Western medicine have some things that they are good at. Western medicine is excellent for the treatment of acute problems. If you suddenly have a heart attack, a broken bone, a stroke, or some other medical emergency, you are much better going to a Western doctor. Traditional Chinese medicine, on the other hand, is much better at treating chronic conditions. Chinese herbal remedies can be used to treat problems before they even happen. This is what is so great about Chinese medicine.

 
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