Many herbs contain powerful ingredients which, when used correctly, can help heal the body.
The medicinal benefits of herbs have been known for centuries. Records of Native American, Roman, Egyptian, Persian, and Hebrew medical practices show that herbs were used extensively to cure practically every known illness.
The pharmaceutical industry was originally based upon the ability to isolate these ingredients, and make them available in a purer form. Herbalists, however, contend that nature provides other ingredients in the same herbs to balance the more powerful ingredients. These other components, though they may be less potent, may help to act as buffers, synergists, or counterbalances working in harmony with the more powerful ingredients. Therefore, by using herbs in their complete form, the body's healing process utilizes a balance of ingredients provided by nature.
As a general guideline, most of the bitter-tasting herbs are medicinal herbs. The pleasant-tasting herbs are potentially less toxic and can be used more often. All plant roots and bark are naturally fungicidal and bactericidal. (If they were not, pathogens would destroy them in the ground.)
The active ingredients in most herbs are more potent when the herbs are freshly picked. However, roots, bark, and other herb parts can retain their medicinal value for years if thoroughly dried and kept dry.
Selecting a Herb
The fresh leaves, bark, and roots of herbs can be used in their natural form, or they can be found in the form of tablets, capsules, liquid beverages, bark pieces, powders, extracts, tinctures, creams, lotions, salves or oils. The whole leaves, berries, seeds, roots, flowers and bark of herbs are also dried and made available to consumers.
When selecting an herb, look for it to be "standardized". This ensures a continuity of the effective ingredient.
Many people believe that herbs are just as effective as drugs, but without the side-effects. Most over-the-counter drugs should be used with caution – and many of them are not particularly effective. Others can mask important symptoms, possibly leading to misdiagnoses and, ultimately, worse health problems. It is of interest to note that in many industrialized countries today, herbs are prescribed by physicians and prepared and sold through neighborhood drugstores. In developing countries, where access to hospitals and doctors is limited, herbal remedies often are the only generally available for of medicine.
Certain herbs should be used only for healing purposes, and not for extended periods of time.
Herbs perform many healing functions within the body, but they must be used appropriately, not indiscriminately. Although herbal remedies are less likely than most conventional medicines to cause side-effects, herbs nevertheless can be very potent. Moreover, not all plant life is beneficial. There are poisonous plants, and some of them are deadly, especially if used for long periods of time. In addition, since herbs contain active ingredients, you should be aware that some of these elements may interact negatively with prescribed medications. It is therefore wise to consult a health professional when there is any question about safety.
Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) is a condition in which the platelet count is low enough to cause very easy bruising. In China, primary ITP is the main subject of reports suggesting that Chinese herbs will raise the platelet levels in patients with persistent ITP, often to an acceptable level although only rarely to the normal range.
According to the clinical reports, the use of herbs will often raise the platelets from an unacceptable level (below 50, at which bleeding that is difficult to stop may occur) to an average of about 75-85. Normal platelet levels are usually defined as 150 or above. Some patients described in the literature had their platelet levels reach over 100 and a small number attained a completely normal level.
A Chinese formula used for ITP contains: astragalus, codonopsis, tang kuei, moutan, agrimony, isatis leaf, perilla stem, licorice, raw rehmannia, cooked rehmannia and eclipta. The trial group of 36 patients receiving this formula ranged in age from 13-60 years. Treatment time was at least three months and it was reported that all but 3 of the patients had improvement of symptoms. The average increase of platelets was from 38 to 79, and the average decrease in IgG was from 74 to 32. [Shanghai Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 1991; (3): pp.1-3]
The essential ingredients of "C" Formula and "Y" Formula – CESSIAC® and YUCCALIVE® – include sheep sorrel, burdock root, schidigera yucca and fennel. The results of this group of observations, conducted in China, showed that the combined use of "C" Formula and "Y" Formula had a confirmed therapeutic effect on the treatment and prevention of tumors. They could improve the immunologic function of the body and the overall health of the patient. The herbs had no obvious toxic side-effects. Information and study details can be found at www.cessiac.com.
Of the 39 cases in this study, 23 were tumor patients and 16 were secondary immunologic deficiency patients. Among the tumor patients, three died of advanced metastatic carcinoma since they were already at a critical stage when starting the treatment. There was one case of complete remission, 6 cases of partial remission and 13 cases of moderate remission and stabilized development. The total remission rate was 30.4%. The rate of moderate remission and stabilized development was 56.5% and the death rate 13%. Of the 16 secondary immunologic deficiency cases, 5 were notably benefited, 8 were moderately benefited, and three did not benefit.
Notably, there were no toxic side-reactions as seen with other anticancer drugs, such as arrest of bone marrow, digestive tract reactions and baldness. On the contrary, all patients in the study group had improvements in spirit, appetite, digestive function, physical strength and immunologic function of the body. The herbs were also shown to be effective on hepatitis B, allergic rhinitis, pulmonary tuberculosis and coronary heart disease. Therefore, the herbal combination was considered to be better than other antitumor drugs.
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