|Posted by Gwen Williams on September 23, 2012 at 10:20 PM|
I worked in science research for decades but I always wondered why the path to health and longevity was so expensive, technology dependent, difficult to achieve and in the hands of so few? Surely we came into existence with more accessible tools for health and survival? If the birds and little creatures in this world have everything they need to thrive, why not us?
Having a background in botany, I always thought perhaps the tools we were meant to use are found in nature. For example we can use dandelion (for liver), coltsfoot (for lungs), plantain leaves (for bleeding), yarrow (for fever/colds), and self-heal (as an anti-inflammatory and many other things).
My first time in a Spanish pharmacy, I was surprised to see wall-to-wall shelves of dried herbs. It looked totally different than any pharmacy I had seen before. I also saw many stores in the Chinatowns of our bigger cities filled with dried herbs and formulas (combinations of herbs) for every kind of ailment you can imagine.
Now that I am an acupuncturist and Chinese medicine practitioner, I have first hand knowledge of the value of herbal medicine. Western drug companies are now investigating Chinese herbs because they have healing benefits and treat conditions that have no treatments in western medicine. I have formulas that are anti-viral and antibiotic; some that can help chronic pain like sciatica, arthritis or joint pain; others for immunity, blood deficiencies, menstrual disorders, fertility, sleep, fatigue, digestion, bowel issues, vision loss, lung problems, menopause and emotional imbalances to name a few.
The herbal companies in China continue to grow and become better regulated in terms of quality. I get my herbs from a company in the US that oversees quality production in Taiwan. Well-respected doctors in my field, endorse the products, they are safe, well balanced and effective from years of usage and perfecting of the recipes.
China’s traditional medicine, that includes acupuncture and herbs, is regarded a national treasure and is exported around the world. They integrated their thousand-year-old traditions with modern medicine, partly because it was the only way to affordably treat such a large population of people. At a hospital in China you will have your modern MRI and surgery in the same place as your herbal medicine, acupuncture and qigong.
We have preserved our western herbal heritage to some extent; we have local herbalists with lots of knowledge and our natural food and supplement stores are growing in popularity. We too have a “national treasure” that needs to be developed further for a healthier, sustainable and affordable way to keep ourselves well.
Paracelsus has a quote that confirms my suspicions that everything we need to be healthy exists in nature. He said: “The art of healing comes from nature and not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature from an open mind”.