Are Your Chinese Herbs Full of Fillers? Pacific Herbs Supplements Have No Fillers

Are your supplements full of fillers? Most vitamins, herbs and dietary supplements on the store shelf are made with inert fillers. The reason for adding fillers to vitamin supplements is because to put any substance into a capsule the encapsulation machines will clog if fillers are not used.

Common fillers are starch, magnesium stearate, sugar or titanium dioxide. Fillers have no health benefits; in fact they may be harmful.

Pacific Herbs takes great pride in offering organic Traditional Chinese Herbs with no fillers.

As part of the safety process in producing Pacific Herbs there is a Specie Authentication process that macroscopically examines the raw herbs and a TLC (thin layer chromatography) authentication that is completed. Testing for pesticides, heavy metal and over 200 possible contaminants.

Certificate of Analysis (COA) tracks herbs from raw to finished product. Purified water is our only solvent. We provide the best Chinese herbs and herbal supplements available.

 

Balance Your Hormones Naturally

Pacific Herbs can help you naturally restore hormonal balance. Suffering from PMS, menopause or peri-menopausal? Traditional Chinese Medicine from Pacific Herbs can help!

A natural alternative for symptoms of hormonal headaches, PMS, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, anxiety, mental clarity and other hormonal imbalances.

Asian cultures have used this combination of herbs effectively as a natural alternative for years. Pacific Herbs is a great solution to create hormonal balance for women with natural progesterone.

For more healthy tips and Chinese herbs to help keep you healthy check out reishi mushroom link and video at https://www.pacherbs.com/boost-your-immune-system-naturally/ or visit https://PacHerbs.com

Prison Sentence For Diluted Herb and Vitamin Supplements Maker

deptofjusticesealA Press Release from the U.S. Justice Department, Office of Public Affairs on Wednesday, September 9, 2015  announced the owner of  a dietary supplement company is being sentenced to prison for a multi-million dollar scheme in which the company adulterate dietary supplements.

 Pleading guilty, the owner admitted that from at least 2009 through November 2013, that he instructed employees to add “fillers” to the vitamin/herbal supplements sold through his company Raw Deal Inc.  These “fillers” were added without customer consent or knowledge.  He also directed employees not to list the “fillers” as ingredients on certificates of analysis issued to its customers as proof of the identity of the ingredients contained in the products.

This topic is one that I have discussed in earlier blogs.  Since starting Pacific Herbs I’ve seen the inner workings of supplement manufacturers.  This announcement from the Justice Department is no surprise.  This company is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a LOT of adulteration happening in the supplement business.  There are a lot of unscrupulous types that choose to deceive the public about what’s in there products.  As a Licensed Health Practitioner first, Pacific Herbs products are a product line you can trust.  We do not add fillers or use solvents to make our concentrated granules.  See the inside of our manufacturing facility here and get the whole story.

U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas of the District of New Jersey ordered a sentence of  40 months in prison and one year of supervised release. Steinlight was also ordered to forfeit $1 million in profits from his fraudulent scheme. Steinlight previously pleaded guilty to a one-count information charging him with conspiring to commit wire fraud.

“The Justice Department has increased its attention on supplement sellers who sell products that are not what they claim to be,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “We will investigate and prosecute companies and individuals that sell supplements that threaten the health of the American public and drain their bank accounts with misrepresented products.”

The “fillers,” adddd to the health supplements included maltodextrin, viobin cocoa replacer and rice flours, all sold to customers who thought they were buying a vitamin supplement. These “fillers” were added without customer consent or knowledge.

“Buyer Beware” has never been more important!  If you’re going to spend money on supplements,  know where they come from, who’s making them and who stands behind them.  It’s that simple.  There are many excellent companies out there, but the products are not sold at the big box stores.  Stop buying vitamin supplements and herbs full of fillers.  These products are a huge waste of money and they are out there.  This was not the only company doing this.  He just happened to get caught.

Only buy herb and vitamin supplements through your health practitioner or buy from a company that is completely transparent about it’s processing and sourcing.

Source:

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/owner-dietary-supplement-company-sentenced-prison-multimillion-dollar-scheme-adulterate

Women , You Can Balance Those Hormones

I see so many women struggling with hormonal balance today.  From age 15 to age 80 it seems everyone has symptoms. Some patients are breast cancer survivors others are dealing with menopause symptoms. Hormonal imbalances are not always just PMS & hot flashes, some of my patients have cold hands, irritability, mood swings, pre-menopausal bone fractures, sluggish metabolism (fatigue), thyroid dysfunction, fibrocystic breasts, anxiety, fibroids, irregular menstrual cycles, and /or insomnia to name just a few?

All of these symptoms can be related to hormonal imbalance and a state known as “Estrogen Dominance” which refers to as a cumulative load of estrogen effects that outpace progesterone.

So how does someone become “estrogen dominant” and how does estrogen effect our overall health? Understanding the causes requires first a look at the most common places we find estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen (E1) is produced mainly in the ovaries. Progesterone is produced mainly from the outside lining of a mature egg released from the ovaries. Our modern world has bio-mimicking hormone disruptor’s just about everywhere, the water we drink, the food we eat, the buildings we live in. Estrogen can also become a dominant hormone through the exposure to xeno-estrogens (chemicals that act on estrogen hormone receptors).

Xeno-estrogens are known endocrine disrupting chemicals and can be found in:

  • Body-care products, including ones like sunscreens we coat on our bodies.
    Pesticides in our food supply
    Hormones used to plump up animals in our meat supply chain
    Hormones in our milk supply
    Unfiltered tap water can contain synthetic estrogen from birth control pills
    Microwaving food in plastic containers releases xeno-estrogens
    Some non-stick coated cookware release xeno-estrogens
    Plastic water bottles contain xeno-estrogen chemicals
    Processed food can contain propyl-paraben a well know endocrine disruptor (Propyl paraben is in 49 widely-available processed foods)

 

We can solve this, right? We can drink filtered water, eat only organic meat and vegetables, change some lifestyle habits and our hormones will go back into balance, problem solved. Theoretically this approach should work, IF the body can detox/eliminate the accumulated toxic estrogen load. Often this load is stored in fat and so many of us are struggling with our weight.

 Lifestyle changes will help the toxic overload of estrogen but, unfortunately this is often not enough to bring the body back into balance.  Considerations these tips for help with reducing your toxic estrogen load.

Creating a safer estrogen by-product or metabolite should be part of the overall detoxification plan.

1. Chinese herbs formula Jia Wei Xiao Yao San AKA Relax Herb Pack – This popular Chinese herb formula sold worldwide for stress and anxiety outsells all other Chinese formulas, year after year. Stress dramatically affects liver function through continual overproduction of cortisol. When the body over produces cortisol, estrogen dominance can flourish. Help the liver with stress and the downstream effects will improve. In Chinese medicine we always treat the liver first when there are signs of stress and estrogen dominance.

2.  Methionine – This supplement provides sulfur (not the same as sulfa drugs) and acts as a cellular cleanser. It literally donates methyl groups for the biochemical reaction that rids you of poisons and harmful estrogen by-products. Foods can also donate methyl groups a few good ones are beets, legumes, eggs, broccoli, leafy greens, nuts and sunflower seeds.

3. Methylcobalamin – A form of B12, this supplement also provides a “methyl” group which helps the estrogen detoxification process. Keep in minds, antacids, some diabetes medications, certain cholesterol binding medicines and alcohol can wipe out your supply of methylcobalamin.

4.  Calcium D-Glucarate – This is not the same as plain calcium. Toxins must combine with water-soluble substances to leave your body. This supplement combines with estrogen to help move it out.

5. Reishi Mushroom  – Reishi is high in poly-saccharides which feed the body’s microbiome, which, in turn, help your metabolism including liver metabolism.  Since your liver is your main detoxification organ, you need to do everything possible to keep it working optimally. Get into the habit of feeding your body foods that help every organ perform better. (Check out organic coffee & tea with reishi here)

6.  Fermented foods such as miso soup, tempeh, kombucha, fermented vegetables i.e. pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi.

Keep in mind, reaching hormone balance can be accomplished faster with the elimination and avoidance of xeno-estrogens. However, most doctors will agree, diet, supplements, exercise and lifestyle-based strategies are equally important. Establish realistic goals for yourself and you will be successful in treating the root causes and symptoms of estrogen dominance.

References:

1. Microbiome Researcher, Rob Knight Ph.D. The American Gut Project http://americangut.org/
2. Environmental Working Group. http://www.ewg.org/research/ewg-s-dirty-dozen-guide-food-additives/generally-recognized-as-safe-but-is-it
3. More great info on the human microbiome https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DTrENdWvvM

Can Chinese Medicine Heal Your Gut?

Heal Your Gut with Chinese MedicineUsing traditional Chinese Medicine to heal gut issues

Our rapidly changing world is challenging our health, in particular our digestive health. In this era of a degrading food supply, systemic inflammation and overuse of drugs (i.e. antibiotics), the landscape of our guts has been altered. As a result of antibiotic overuse, superbugs (a.k.a. deadly antibiotic resistant bacteria) are on the rise. The question is, can we heal our gut and reverse the damage already done? A solution you may not have considered is Acupuncture and Eastern /Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). A Licensed Acupuncturist/Chinese Medicine doctor is well trained to help you repair and improve your digestive health and gut bacteria.

The real definition of Alternative Medicine:

Never before in history have we had to overcome the effects of man-made drugs in the quantities we are seeing today. Would you believe, this is not the first time in history that doctors needed to find a cure for the gut? A cornerstone of Traditional Chinese Medicine is a healthy digestive tract. Solutions for digestive health were pondered over 800 years ago when many TCM books and theories were first written on the importance of the stomach, pancreas and the entire digestive system. Chinese /Eastern medicine approach is very different than the Western medicine approach. Eastern medicine relies upon several holistic healing methods including healing cuisine, herbs and acupuncture and lifestyle modifications. Licensed Acupuncturists in the U.S. are trained in these theories and can help you get your gut back on track.

With the advent of the worldwide Microbiome Project science is confirming microscopic bacterial colonies living in our digestive tract have important jobs for both our physical and mental well being. Chinese/Eastern medicine has always known if we nourish our gut, we in turn nourish ourselves. Today we are at a crossroad, we can no longer ignore our guts. Because, “for hundreds of thousands of years bacterial and human cells have existed in a peaceful symbiosis that is responsible for the health and equilibrium of our body. Now, this invisible Eden is being irrevocably damaged by some of our most revered medical advances—antibiotics—threatening the extinction of our irreplaceable microbes with terrible health consequences. “ 1

Chinese/Eastern medicine teaches the connection between a healthy gut and a healthy body. Here are 10 reasons why a Licensed Acupuncturist/Doctor of Oriental Medicine is the best health practitioner to help you heal your gut.

1. A Licensed Acupuncturist trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine will counsel and treat your particular health challenge with several modalities, foods, acupuncture treatments, herbs and counseling. (Check that your Acupuncturist is comprehensively trained and received a Masters or Doctorate degree in Oriental Medicine or Chinese Medicine, not just a few weekend courses.)

2. Acupuncture treatments received quarterly can improve your general health and digestive health by strengthening your spleen and stomach channels. (In Western medicine terms this is your digestive system.) The World Health Organization has approved acupuncture treatments for worldwide use and throughout Asia acupuncture is covered by national health insurance policies. The U.S. is lagging behind but quickly catching up, as California Insurance providers are now mandated to cover acupuncture treatments.

3. Acupuncture treatments including ear protocols can help reduce food cravings. This is especially important since processed foods are the most commonly craved foods. Processed foods and supplements contain emulsifiers which are harmful to your gut. Limiting ingredients commonly called “lecithin” derived from soy (likely GMO), Datem, (found in commercial breads) Calcium propionate, Cmc and polysorbate 80, is a first step at repairing gut absorption problems. 2

4. An Acupuncturist will tell you to avoid antibacterial hand sanitizing products. Eastern medicine recognizes bacterial diversity is good. There are safe, natural cleaning products for your body and surroundings. (Ok, you can do this on your own but it took an Acupuncturist to tell you this and get your attention on this subject.)

5. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese herbal remedies can boost your immune system and reduce or eliminate the need for prescription antibiotics.

6. An Acupuncturist will tell you to avoid meat fed antibiotics. (Again, possible without an Acupuncturist, but more importantly, a Licensed Acupuncturist is trained in nutrition and can help you look at your food journal and together you can create a healthy eating plan.)

7. Acupuncturists can teach you which Pre-biotics foods to eat every day and counsel you on what foods are right for your body. Prebiotics foods are commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and food is medicine. Prebiotics enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria and can be found in fermented foods such as kimichi, sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha, miso and other fermented foods. A daily sampling of new live bacteria from fermented foods makes your gut community more adaptable. (Hint, Eastern medicine doctors are trained to know this stuff.)

8. Ask an Acupuncturist if Chinese herbs can help you. There are many traditional herbs used throughout Asia and Chinese/Eastern medicine to support healthy gut bacteria. For example;
Astragalus (also known as Huang Qi) is an extremely powerful herb used alone or in formulas. Huang Qi’s high polysaccharides content is fantastic at improving overall immune health and the growth of healthy bacteria.3
Other beneficial herbs for the spleen and stomach channels are codonopsis (dangshen), atractylodes (bai zhu), Chinese angelica (dang gui) dioscorea (shan yao), lotus seed (lianzi), roasted ginger (paojiang), longan (long yan rou) and baked licorice (zhi gan cao). 4

9. A Licensed Acupuncturist, trained in herbs will know which Chinese herb formula can best help you. Treating a compromised or weak digestion with herbs should be done by only individuals who are Licensed professionals. Look for a Licensed Acupuncturist and/ or Oriental Medicine Doctor’s (DOM) trained in herbs to prescribe a custom or patent herbal blend such as the following. Oneherbal combinations for a compromised gut is Si Jun Zi Tang also known as Four Gentleman Decoction.

 

As we learn more about our gut bacteria and the origins of our immune systems we must explore all the healing options. Using traditional chinese medicine to heal gut problems can be a valid and effective solution. In today’s world we can no longer ignore the effects of superbugs, toxic foods and toxic lifestyles. Licensed Acupuncturists / DOM can help you fortify your overall health and vitality. Many insurance plans cover acupuncture visits and in California insurance companies are required to cover Licensed Acupuncturists. Don’t wait another day to improve your overall health and vitality. TCM is one of the world’s oldest systems of medicine, is proven effective and has treatment protocols for today’s biggest health challenges.

 

References:

1. Blaser, M. 2014 Missing Microbes, How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues, Henry Holt and Co. April 2014

2. Food Quality & Safety magazine, Re-Evaluating Additives on the GRAS List by Maybelle Cowan-Lincoln April/May 2013

3. Terry Bone, Principals and Practice of Phototherapy, Modern Herbal Medicine 2nd Edition Elsevier 2013 pg. 381-389

4. Institute For Traditional Medicine, http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/spleen.htm

“Some of My Best Friends are Germs”. The New York Times Magazine May 15, 2013. Dr. Justin Sonnenburg, Stanford Microbiologist.

Embrace the Change – Menopause Health and Wellness Summit

Finally all you need to know on how to embrace the menopause change.

Now a days more and more women are seeking natural solutions for menopause symptoms such as depression, anxiety, weight gain,  insomnia, lack of libido and much more. Some of which can be extremely annoying and life interfering.

And that's why I am excited to announce that I will be collaborating with Kris T. Smith and many expert speakers to bring you much of those needed solutions for menopause during the "Embrace the Change" Menopause Health and Wellness Summit for 8 consecutive days starting September 22-29th, 2013.

It's a FREE summit that will bring you life-changing results and ways to help you thrive through midlife, peri-menopause and menopause. 

Go Here to Get your guaranteed FREE Spot
 

The 22 expert speakers will give you valuable information and life changing results for you to keep forever.

Topics such as:

How to Ignite the Flame in your Relationship and Thrive through Menopause

5 Ways to Avoid Packing on the Pounds

Vaginal Dryness

The 6 Secrets to Overcoming Weight Loss Resistance and Achieving Diving Health

The Mindful Way through Menopause-How to Stay Cool and Embrace the Change

Diabetes and Menopause

Living with Zest

“Stinkin Thinkin” during Menopause

Using Essential Oils for Menopause

Reclaiming Your Feminine Power

Stress Reduction

How to get Better Sleep

The Power of Mindset

AND MUCH MORE

I bet you are ready to Embrace the Change, stay healthy, be balanced, look and feel your best, and create your very best second half of life!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND REGISTER FOR FREE, NOW

The best of this all is that is FREE and the 22 experts will bring you valuable information. There will also be many bonuses for you.

Sign up today—you'll be glad you did. You won't want to miss this opportunity of a lifetime!

Be Well, 

 

Cathy Margolin, L.Ac. Dipl.

President Pacific Herbs

 

P.S. REGISTER TODAY and RESERVE YOUR SPOT by CLICKING HERE NOW

Oh….don't forget to share the opportunity with all your friends and family as well.

 

 

           

Hormone Use Increases Breast Cancer Risk

Newly released research sugherbs for menopausegests that the long-term use of any type of hormones (this includes the birth control pill) can increase the risk of breast cancer. Women taking  long-term hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopause symptoms are at an even greater risk. 

Research has already shown that taking birth control pills with combined estrogen and progestin, the most common type, can increase breast cancer risk.

 

The outcome from this new study states any type of hormones (i.e. birth control pills, HRT ) after many years of use, results in cancer.

 

This new study tracked the health of over 100,000 registered nurses and found that use of any kind of hormones for 10 years (or more) raised the chances of developing breast cancer. "There's a continued increase in risk with longer durations of use and there does not appear to be a plateau," said study leader Dr. Wendy Chen of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

 

There are natural and safe answers to menopausal hot flashes, night sweats and other menopause symptoms.Traditional Chinese herbal medicine has been used for generations of women to elliminate the uncomfortable symptoms on menopause such as hot flashes and night sweats. See our Menopause Relief Herb Pack here.

 

 

The hormone picture has been confusing and now doctors say women should use the lowest dose needed for the shortest time possible.

– Estrogen use with progesterone for 10 to 14.9 years had an 88% higher incidence of breast cancer

– Estrogen use with progesterone for 15 to 19.9 years had an increase risk of “more than twofold”

– Estrogen use alone for 10 to 14.9 years had a 22% increased risk of breast cancer

– Estrogen alone for 15 to 19.9 years had a 43% increased risk of breast cancer

"It's hard to be surprised that if you keep taking it, sooner or later it's going to raise risk," said Dr. Robert Clarke of Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

——————————————————————————————-

Reference:

American Association for Cancer Research –    http://www.aacr.org/

See study here:

http://www.abstractsonline.com/Plan/ViewAbstract.aspx?sKey=489622a8-6ba9-4309-b54c-6e00a5886d06&cKey=726a2cb6-a357-418f-8fe2-cc997d8ce387&mKey={2D8C569E-B72C-4E7D-AB3B-070BEC7EB280}

How To Relieve Menopause Symptoms Whithout HRT (HRT Linked To Breast Cancer)

Breast cancer alternative therapies beyond HRTHow many women do you know that have been diagnosed, are being treated for, have survived, or even lost the battle against breast cancer? The current statistic is that 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer!

Breast cancer is occurring in alarming numbers of American women and nobody, not even the top doctors on the subject i.e. Dr. Susan Love, (who I recently heard at a conference),  have definitive answers regarding the causes. 

During menopause, many women turn to HRT for relief. Evidence linking breast cancer with HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) was recently released. This study, the largest ever done, was called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI).  It was first released in 2002 and now, more evidence from researchers following these women have found that HRT significantly increases a woman’s risk of being diagnosed with invasive type of breast cancer and cause death. 

The new evidence suggests:

  • high dose HRT increased a woman’s risk more than low-dose HRT, and
  • combination HRT, both estrogen and progesterone carries an increase risk over estrogen only HRT.

After the initial WHI report was released in 2002, HRT use declined and a drop in breast cancer diagnoses was also evident.

“What’s important about this study is that it really provides tremendous clarity regarding the risks of hormone replacement therapy,” says Dr. Freya Schnabel, of New York University’s Langone Medical Center.

“I think from this point onward any woman who’s considering taking hormone replacement therapy will need to genuinely consider these risks,” says Schnabel.

What I believe is most important  for women suffering from menopause symptoms such as  hot flashes, night sweats, irritability etc,  is to realize there are other options beyond HRTNatural herbal remedies for menopause have been proven effective and have been used for generations of women.  Women who chose to see health providers such as Acupuncturists, Homeopaths, Naturepaths and other Complementary Medicine practitioners know there are many other options for natural menopause relief. 

Women really don’t need to suffer with hot flashes, poor sleep and low libido. Natural Menopause Relief does exist and it does work.   If you are suffering with menopause symptoms, learn about other safer options than HRT.

 

 

Chinese Herbs Reduce Hot Flashes Says American Menopause Society

HT Hormone Therapy Risks

The American Menopause Society recently published the results of a study on the use of Chinese herbs as a menopause treatment.  It's always nice to see a clinical trial like this published in English (many are in Mandarin only)  and this study was completed in a manner consistent with top notch clinical protocol.  The study was double-blind, randomized and controlled…..ahhhh the gold standard for clinical research.

 

Chinese Herbal Formulas Can Reduce Menopausal Hot Flashes Safely and Effectively

The women in the study were experiencing menopausal hot flashes and were between the ages of 40 to 50 years old.  The participants drank either a concentrated extract of herbal granules twice daily for 12 weeks or a placebo, fake herbal tea.  The women who drank the Chinese herb remedy found their hot flashes dropped by 62%.  Most importantly, the dosage of herbs was discussed in this trial and the participants used 15 grams of concentrated extracts in a sachet each day.  (See Menopause Relief Herb Packet herbal granules here)
 
 
It is important to note the herbs were dried into granules and no pills or capsules were used in this trial. Pills and capsules always contain fillers. It is also very difficult to take 15 grams (15,000 milligrams) of herbal concentrate when taking pills or capsules because it requires a high number of pills to be swallowed.  In this case it would be 15-20 pills per dose.
 
 
THE TREND CONTINUED

Even three months after the study ended, the participants said their hot flashes did not increase after the study ended and they stopped using the menopause herbal remedy. This study shows, compared with Hormone Replacement therapy, Chinese herbs are a safe and viable alternative for menopause symptoms. 

 

Although previous studies have found that Chinese herbs can help reduce hot flashes, those studies were not of the same quality methodology as this study, according to the researchers at Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society.

 

SOURCE: Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society, online February 25, 2013.

Bio-Identical Hormones and Menopause Symptom Relief

Soy for menopause or bio-identical homrmonesThe question many women suffering with menopausal hot flashes and night sweats are asking is whether bio-identical hormones such as progesterone cream and phytoestrogen (plant sourced estrogen) are safe and effective AS  the chemical hormones found in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs?

 

Many women today are being told "bio-identical" hormones are identical to those your body makes. Even though progesterone and estrogen bio-identical creams may be closer to what your body produces there are certainly risks in using any hormone therapy.   Some doctors believe the risks are just as great as taking an hormone replacement therapy drug (HRT) others believe the jury is still out because we have no long term data since these products are still very new to the market.  Risks may be tied to the dosage which varies greatly from women to women.

 

Bio-identical hormones made from plant sources may be perfectly safe in low doses, which is the way we would ingest these chemicals found in yams, soy beans and a handful of herbs but at higher doses may be harmful. Nearly every substance found in nature can be safe in minute doses yet toxic at a higher dose. Even water can kill us when taken in to large a dose over a very short time period.  Knowing what dose is right for your body can be tricky depending on blood, urine and saliva testing which may not give an accurate reading of circulating hormones in your blood which changes daily and even hourly.

 

Bio-identical hormones, make no mistake can be just as powerful and dangerous as taking a prescription hormone replacement drug.  Phytoestrogen  used in minute doses the way we find in nature may be completely safe and effective.  Asian women have a long history of eating soy beans nearly everyday of their life from childhood through adulthood and experience very few menopausal symptoms.  The isoflavones in soy are known to act as a hormone balancing chemicals.

 

So, which should you choose, bio-identical hormones or synthetic hormone replacement therapy for your menopausal symptoms?  How about neither!   There is a third option that women in Asia have used for centuries and the Western world is just beginning to see on store shelves.  Traditional Chinese herbs are another option for menopause symptom relief.   You can learn more about it here.

 

Herbal Medicine Honors For Dr. Guo

My favorite nonprofit organization has just announced the recipient for a very special award and I wanted to share the news because it has everything to do with Chinese herbs, one of my favorite topics to write about.

 

ABC also know as American Botanical Council in Austin Texas just announced its “Excellence in Botanical Research Award” recipient for 2013 will be,  Professor De-an Guo, PhD, of Shanghai, China.
Dr. Guo’s research has centered on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) quality control, biochemistry, and metabolism; his phytochemical investigations of traditional Chinese herbal medicines have resulted in the identification of 100 new chemical entities. In addition to his professorship, Dr. Guo serves as director of the State Engineering Laboratory for TCM Standardization Technology and as director of the Shanghai Research Center for TCM Modernization at the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He earned his doctorate in pharmacognosy from Beijing Medical University’s School of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1990, and conducted his postdoctoral studies in the department of chemistry and biochemistry at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
Among his many accomplishments, including more than 430 published scientific papers to date, Dr. Guo acted as the vice-editor-in-chief of the 2005 edition of the Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China and editor-in-chief of the 2010 edition. At present, he sits on the editorial boards of several highly respected international scientific journals, including Planta Medica and Phytomedicine. Dr. Guo is an expert committee member of the United States Pharmacopeia and a member of the ABC Advisory Board.
“Professor Guo is not only an established scientist, he has provided leadership in the modernization of TCM,” said past recipient of ABC’s Farnsworth Award, Professor Ikhlas Khan, PhD, a research professor of pharmacognosy and associate director of the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi. “He is a deserving recipient and I am proud to call him my friend.”

 

All I can say is WOW!   Dr. Guo is more than deserving and a life time of research in the field of Chinese herbs and Traditional Chinese Medicine is nothing short of inspiring.  Congradulations Dr. Guo.
ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal said; “He is clearly one of the leading figures in scientific medicinal plant research in China, a country with a vast spectrum of traditionally used medicinal plants that are undergoing modern scientific research and validation.”

Chinese Medicine From A Western Medicine Viewpoint

How a Harvard-trained doctor began to appreciate Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM.

As a child growing up in China, I was always aware of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is what we refer to as Eastern medicine, in contrast to the Western medicine we know from U.S. hospitals. I never understood much about TCM, only that it somehow involves herbs and that many Chinese people used it. The more I progressed in my medical training in major U.S. academic centers, the more distanced I felt from TCM. Why should I learn about something that lacks evidence, when there’s so much to know about for which there is good research?

 

Last fall, I went to China on a research trip. While my study is primarily on its Western medical system, I was so fascinated by what I learned of Eastern medicine that I spent many free evenings observing TCM practitioners. There is so much I didn’t know. As a discipline, TCM is far too complex for me to understand in my short observation, but there are some very important “lessons from the East” that are applicable to our Western medical practice:

 

#1. Listen—really listen. The first TCM practitioner I shadowed explained to me that to practice TCM is to “listen with your whole body”. Pay attention and use every sense you have, he said. I watched this doctor as he diagnosed a woman with new-onset cervical cancer and severe anemia the moment she walked into his exam room, and within two minutes, without blood tests or CTs, sent her to be admitted to a (Western) medical service. I’ve seen expert clinicians make remarkable diagnoses, but this was something else!

 

“How could you know what you had and that she needed to be admitted?” I asked.

“I smelled the cervical cancer,” he said. “I looked and saw the anemia. I heard her speak and I knew she could not care for herself at home.” (I followed her records in the hospital; he was right on all accounts.)

#2. Focus on the  diagnosis. I watched another TCM doctor patiently explain to a young woman with long-standing abdominal pain why painkillers were not the answer.

“Why should we treat you for something if we don’t know what it is?” he said. “Let’s find out the diagnosis first.” What an important lesson for us—to always begin the diagnosis.

 

#3. Treat the whole person. “A big difference between our two practices,” said one TCM doctor, “Is that Western medicine treats people as organs. Eastern medicine treats people as a whole.” Indeed, I watched her inquire about family, diet, and life stressors. She counseled on issues of family planning, food safety, and managing debt. She even helped patients who needed advice on caring for the their elderly parents and choosing schools for their child. This is truly “whole person” care!

 

#4. Health is not just about disease, but also about wellness. There is a term in Chinese that does not have its exact equivalent in English. The closest translation is probably “tune-up to remain in balance”, but it doesn’t do the term justice, because it refers to maintaining and promoting wellness. Many choose to see a TCM doctor not because they are ill, but because they want to be well. They believe TCM helps them keep in balance. It’s an important lesson for doctors and patients alike to address wellness and prevention.

#5. Medicine is a life-long practice. Western medicine revers the newest as the best; in contrast, patients revere old TCM doctors for their knowledge and experience. Practicing doctors do not rest on their laurels.

“This is a practice that has taken thousands of years to develop,” I was told. “That’s why you must keep learning throughout your life, and even then you will only learn just a small fraction.” Western medicine should be no different: not only are there new medical advances all the time, doctors need to continually improve their skills in the art of medicine.

 

#6. Evidence is in the eyes of the beholder. Evidence-based medicine was my mantra in Western medical training, so I was highly skeptical of the anecdotes I heard. But then I met so many patients who said that they were able to get relief from Eastern remedies while Western treatments failed them. Could there be a placebo effect? Sure. Is research important? Of course. But research is done on populations, and our treatment is of individuals. It has taken me a while to accept that I may not always be able to explain why—but that the care should be for the individual patient, not a population of patients.

“In a way, there is more evidence for our type of medicine than for yours,” a TCM teacher told me. “We have four thousand years of experience—that must count for something!”

 

There is so much I have not covered about TCM. Its practices vary regionally, and no doubt, there are more and less capable practitioners (as there are in Western medicine). More research into TCM methods will be important. However, regardless of whether we Western doctors want to prescribe TCM treatments, we should recognize there is much to learn from Eastern medicine, including what it means to be a physician to really care for our patients. Upon my return from China, I, for one, have a new found appreciation for Eastern medical practice a renewed understanding of holistic medical care.