Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Herbal Formulas vs Pharmaceuticals

We hear more and more of multiple pharmaceutical drugs either being pulled off the market or receiving warning from the FDA. From Avendia for Diabetes to the most popular asthma medications, consumers are becoming more aware of the dangers of prescription medicine.

Why is this happening?

Is there something basically flawed in the pharmaceutical model?

Well, the answer is obviously yes. With the exception of compounds that are identical to the ones manufactured by our own bodies, such as insulin, or Thyroid hormone, many drugs are simply too toxic.

We notice again and again that herbal formulas don’t have these kinds of detrimental effects. Why?

Let’s take a look at the basic principles behind the construction of an herbal formula in Chinese medicine. Based on Confucius philosophy, there are hierarchies in the formula structure. The predominant herbs, usually one or two main formula ingredients, are considered the “leader” herbs, which perform the main function intended by the formula. However, if used on their own, these main herbs could potentially cause side effects. So the key herbs are then supported by their “ministers,” other herbs that are a part of the team that supports the overall function. “Helper” herbs also assist in the communication between the various parts of the person. There are also categories of herbs that balance and counteract expected side effects, while harmonizing and smoothing out the formula. The results are effective herbal formulas with minimal side effects.

Similar approaches can be utilized when designing and formulating nutritional supplements. Supplement formulation can use these key principles and fine tune them using concepts such as geometrical structure of flow in nature and in human physiology, as well as the creation of synchronicity between the macrocosms and the microcosms of our own individual physiology. For example, many nutritional supplements and herbal formulas can help support proper DNA replication, while also supporting harmony between major systems of the body, and simultaneously promoting healthy mind, body and spirit connections.

In contrast, synthetic drugs are designed with no relationship to the organism (our whole body system including mind and spirit) except the effect on a specific symptom, while producing numerous other and often worse symptoms, known as side effects. Death is not an uncommon side effect of many drugs, especially in a weakened individual. Many drugs can mutate DNA, permanently damage liver and gastrointestinal functioning, and have other irreparable effects, particularly with long term use. They simply cannot harmonize with our bodies, much less promote a state of harmony within our whole system. Many herb and supplement formulations, on the other hand, have the complexity and intelligence present within the DNA of the plants or extracts, to communicate effectively with our bodies and synergistically promote a state of balance, health and wholeness. This is the essence of holistic therapy.

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