Usage of herbal and nutritional supplements is widespread and is gaining popularity.
Chinese herbal therapy is tailored to each individual depending on his or her special energy deficiency or disharmony pattern. It has been practiced for thousands of years in China. Physicians well trained in traditional Chinese medicine take a history from patients first and then examine the patient with particular attention given to the tongue and the pulse examination before prescribing herbal remedy. Herbal medicine is used to improve the yin and yang imbalance. The purpose is to restore balance and harmony. Once the goals are met, herbs are discontinued.
I saw a gentleman with an advanced hepatoma (primary liver cancer) recently, he was started on a mixture of herbs according to the principles I just outlined. This gentleman had disease that no one could help in Western conventional therapy. However, in three weeks, he felt much better with improved energy level and appetite and decreased abdominal bloating. He was happily surprised that his quality of life has improved so much so quickly.
In Western conventional therapy, we have established the so called standard of care and clinical pathway for may disorders. We are also beginning to understand that there is no such thing as one size fits all.
Herbal usage is supervised and directed by experienced physicians. Herbal remedy, generally speaking, has been very safe in China, this old country with several thousand years of history.
Herbs may do good and herbs may do harm, just like aspirin or any other prescription drugs. Incidences of herbal induced morbidity and mortality in the United States are largely due to unsupervised and improper use of certain herbal ingredients over and extended period of time.