What are Herbal Medicine Therapies?
What Are Herbal Medicine Therapies? – Herbal Medicine Therapies are utilized in many systems of natural and holistic medicine including Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, and Native American Medicine. Each system of medicine has a unique way of combining herbs based on the properties of the herbs, the nature of the imbalances or disease patterns being treated, and the constitution of the patient. Herbal medicine can even be used to treat drug-resistant pathogens. Keep reading to learn more about the ancient wisdom of herbal medicine.
Herbal Medicine Therapies | Holistic Ancient Healing Wisdom By Dr Kathy Veon
Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine
Ayurvedic Medicine: ayur ‘life’ + vedic ‘science / knowledge’ is the ‘knowledge of life’ medicine based on the holistic understanding of a person’s constitution (prakriti), life forces (doshas), and chakras / energy centers in and around the body. Chakras include 7 main energy centers, with 5 or more additional above and below the body for a total of 12+ energy centers or ‘life force wheels’.
A dosha represents a combination of the five elements: water, earth, space, air and fire. The three doshas are:
- Vata: space and air
- Pitta: fire and water
- Kapha: earth and water
Herbal formulas and treatments are chosen based on each person’s unique presentation and constitution in order to restore balance, returning a person to true health. For example, a person who is mainly ‘Pitta’ in nature would need to be careful not to consume too many spicy or ‘hot’ herbs and foods.
An excellent balancing herbal formula safe for all doshas is Chyawanprash and is usually taken in the morning. Another mineral formula rich in fulvic acid is known as Shilajit has numerous health benefits.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Medicine is also based on the understanding that a person is a ‘whole and unique being’ made up of ‘vital substances’ / life force or ‘Qi’, which then creates and supports the physiological, psychological and spiritual being.
Principles of treatment include determining the strengths of the patient’s normal ‘root’ Qi and the pathogenic manifestation, the primary disorder as well as secondary complications, and ‘location’ of the disease pattern (internal vs. external).
Much of this information is readily seen or felt by a seasoned practitioner using traditional Asian medicine diagnostic techniques, including pulse, tongue and hara diagnosis corresponding to ‘dis-ease’ patterns (imbalances) affecting the 12 major meridians.
Chinese Herbal Formulas often consist of several herbs that work beautifully in concert with each other. The hierarchy of ingredients includes:
- Chief: Main herb. Has the greatest impact on the disease pattern
- Deputy: Aids the Chief in treating the principal disease pattern
- Assistant: Reinforces the Chief and Deputy and also moderates the toxicity of the Chief or Deputy ingredients
- Envoy: Focuses the actions of the formula on a specific channel/meridian or area of the body, and harmonizes the actions of all ingredients
The beauty of this system is that when herbs are used alone, they clearly can have toxic side effects, however, when used in harmonized formulas, the toxicity is effectively mitigated.
A beautifully complex and effective herbal formula designed for long-term, daily use and is employed to treat chronic viral disorders is known as Enhance. The Chief herb is Reishi Mushroom ‘Ling Zhi’, which properties are ‘sweet’ and ‘neutral’ and enters into the Heart and Liver meridians.
Astragalus ‘Huang Qi’ is known as a tonifying herb which properties are ‘sweet’ and ‘slightly warm’ and enters into the Lung and Spleen meridians. Licorice Root ‘Gan Cao’ is often used as an ‘Assistant’ and ‘Envoy’ herb as it enters into all 12 meridians and mitigates toxic substances both internally and topically.
Native American Herbal Medicine
Indigenous cultures also recognize the importance of incorporating all aspects of ‘being’ into their medicine and herbal therapies. The Medicine Wheel shows the interconnectivity of our environment, emotions, and spirit, and has numerous meanings including representing:
- four seasons (spring, summer, autumn, winter)
- four stages of life (birth, childhood, adulthood, elder)
- four elements (water, air, earth, fire)
The main herb is Bloodroot, which on its own can have toxic properties, however when mixed with the other herbs in the formula, the herbal preparation becomes a very potent wellness therapy to support the healing of many chronic diseases and imbalances. Although administered as an herbal formula to support healing and recovery from serious illness, a round of therapy can be used once yearly to detoxify the body and maintain optimal balance and good health.
As always, diet and lifestyle therapies are a necessary part of any herbal healing protocol to ensure optimal success.
Herbs and Drug-Resistant Pathogens
Antibiotic and drug-resistant pathogens are a serious and rapidly growing problem that threatens our very existence. The overuse of antibiotics, altered gut microbiome diversity, exposures to environmental toxins including EMFs, vaccines, and chemicals have weakened and altered the human immune response to normal pathogenic exposures.
As quoted from the author of Rising Plague, Dr. Spellberg says “….despite being smaller than one-millionth of a meter long, microbes comprise fully 60 percent of the mass of life on the planet”. Pathogens adapt readily to our modern medicine, which is running out of options for life-saving treatments.
There are natural alternatives to the overuse of antibiotics and other drugs used to treat pathogenic diseases. Although not an ‘herb’, but rather an essential trace mineral, Iodine is proven to treat ‘resistant’ types of bacteria, parasites and viruses.
Most people have very low tissue saturation levels of this necessary and life-giving halogen, which renders them at a higher risk of developing many diseases which are resistant to allopathic treatments.
Herbs which have been studied and used in the treatment of infections include:
- Cryptolepsis is used to treat systemic infections including resistant staph and malaria, and also helps with insomnia
- Sida is used to treat resistant staph as well as wound sepsis and eczema
- Alchornea is used to treat systemic staph, malaria, and severe e.coli
- Bidens is used to treat UTI’s, IBS, and reduces uric acid in the blood to treat gout and urate-based kidney stones
- Artemisia is effective against numerous viruses and parasites
- Ginger acts as a synergist when used with other pharmaceuticals in effectively treating VRE, Acinetobacter baumannii and H.pylori.
An in-depth guide to using herbs to treat drug-resistant bacteria, with medicine-making instructions and tincture ratios can be found here.
Many more healing resources are available on the Patient Resources page. Consuming nutrient-dense foods, healthy lifestyle habits including daily exercise, sunlight, restful and restorative sleep, healthy thought patterns, relationships, and environments are necessary to achieve true healing.
Thanks for reading – “What are Herbal Medicine Therapies?’ By Dr Kathy Veon
Keep Up With Dr. Kathy Veon
Dr. Kathy Veon, DAOM, AP, CCN is a graduate of Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Santa Monica, CA as well as Florida College of Integrative Medicine in Orlando, Florida.
She is a board-certified Licensed Acupuncturist, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, and Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. Dr. Veon is currently serving as Chair of the Florida Board of Acupuncture, and Committee Chair of Continuing Education for the International and American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists (IAACN).
She holds a private practice in Lake Mary, Florida at Central Florida Preventive Medicine where she specializes in holistic medicine therapies such as Functional Medicine, Clinical Nutrition, Quantum Reflex Analysis (QRA), Acupuncture, Pelotherapy, NAET (allergy elimination technique), Western and Chinese Herbology, Nutrigenomic Testing and Nutritional Therapies, EVOX Perception Reframing, Environmental Medicine and helping her patients overcome chronic and debilitating illnesses through finding and correcting the root causes of disease.
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