We’ll be looking at herbs for the rest of the month of May here. Today we are talking about a few conditions that will respond very well to taking herbs, and how you might take herbs that an herbalist gives for those conditions.
People can have problems sleeping for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s due to pain, or because of worry, or perhaps a result of hormones (ie. hot flashes). In these cases, your herbalist should provide you with a formula to address the root cause of the problem, using Chinese medical language to construct a diagnosis and an appropriate formula to treat it.
However, sometimes the problem is that sleeping patterns are erratic – something more akin to narcolepsy. In this case an herbalist can still help. An herbalist will often prescribe two formulas in this case, one for the morning and one for evening. The herbs in these formulas are meant to help reset a person’s sleep schedule, to help them be awake during the day and sleep at night. Proper sleeping habits and circadian rhythms will take over once the herbs begin to work.
Stress & Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are very common problems. Depending on the severity of the problem, formulas can be given that will help lower baseline anxiety or stress, or help mitigate acute stressful situations or panic attacks.
And for those who are regularly taking medications for anxiety, herbs can help you cut back on your dose or eliminate medication use entirely. On the surface, this may seem like trading one form of medication for another. In truth, a Chinese herbal formula can not only help your immediate anxiety or stress, it can also help strengthen your body and mind to become more resilient. Patients taking herbs for stress and anxiety most often don’t end up staying on them forever.
The easiest introduction to herbal medicine is for the use of the common cold. Many companies know this and have designed herbal formulas that are meant to help a person get over colds faster and without as severe symptoms.
However, you shouldn’t overlook seeing an herbalist for colds even if there are remedies available over the counter. Herbalists are well trained to distinguish which sets of herbs will be useful for the exact symptoms you have, whereas remedies in pharmacies have to tailor their prescriptions more generally. The difference here is remarkable – whereas generic remedies may help shorten a cold down to a few days, an herbalist that gives the correct formula can eliminate most colds in 1-2 days without a problem. Seeing an herbalist is also a good idea if your cold symptoms tend to be the same from one cold to the next, because this way you can get access to a ready supply of medicine specifically tailored for you.