Herbal formula medicine as a replacement for pharmaceuticals?

Herbal formula medicine as a replacement for pharmaceuticals?

While there is no doubt that conventional medicine and pharmaceuticals have contributed significantly to improving health outcomes in many areas, there are also valid concerns regarding their potential side effects and environmental impact.

One of the primary concerns with conventional medicine and pharmaceuticals is the potential for adverse side effects  (although, as a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine, i would argue that there ARE no side effects, ONLY effects)  While many medications are highly effective in treating specific conditions, they can also have significant side effects (or unwanted effects) that range from mild to severe. For example, some medications can cause gastrointestinal problems, dizziness, fatigue, or skin reactions. More serious side effects can include liver or kidney damage, increased risk of heart disease, or even death in rare cases. In some instances, the side effects of a medication can be worse than the condition being treated.

In addition to the impact on the human body, pharmaceuticals can also have negative effects on the environment. When people take medications, they eventually get metabolized and excreted in urine and feces. These substances can then end up in the water supply, where they can potentially harm not only aquatic life but also our whole  ecosystems. Pharmaceutical waste contaminates soil and groundwater, and eventually makes its way into rivers and streams.

In this context, the integration of Traditional Chinese medicine into Western medicine offers a promising improved approach to healthcare. 

Acupuncture and TCM herbal formulas have been used for centuries to treat a wide range of conditions with minimal side effects. (or rather, with a full scope of known, documented and well understood complex range of effects)  

Many of the herbal remedies used in TCM are derived from natural sources and have been extensively studied for their potential benefits. Additionally, they do not have a harmful impact on the environment. 

TCM herbal formulas are sometimes derived from animal sources or from endangered species, but as the library of herbs are in the thousands, substitutes for all of the questionable herbs are available.

 TCM therapies ARE in fact, very often a much better substitutes for conventional medical treatments and pharmaceuticals. But please, ask your conventional  doctor before stopping any medication. 

Remember that TCM doctors are real doctors, and as such we ARE qualified healthcare professionals.

Integrating TCM into conventional medicine is common practice in many parts of Asia, with promising outcomes.   Since this offers a more holistic, patient-centered approach to healthcare it is essential to begin correcting the negative course that western medicine has taken in the west, most importantly, in the United States.

The following article is one of thousands of articles that already gets published in Asian countries, this one published to JAMA. It is time that we catch up to safer, more effective treatments:

“Effect of an Herbal-Based Injection on 28-Day Mortality in Patients With Sepsis”


ABSTRACT: Previous research has suggested that Xuebijing injection (XBJ), an herbal-based intravenous preparation, may reduce mortality among patients with sepsis. 

(Xuebijing (XBJ), a traditional Chinese medicine compound injection, activates blood circulation to dissipate blood stasis, eliminating pathogenic heat from the blood and degrading toxins. Dang Gu, or Angelica sinensis Chi shao or  Radix Paeoniae Rubra, Chuan Xiong or Ligusticum wallichii, Dan Shen or Salvia miltiorrhiza, Hong Hua or Carthamus tinctorius)  

Primary Outcome

The 28-day mortality rate was 230 of 882 patients (26.1%) in the placebo group vs 165 of 878 patients (18.8%) in the XBJ group (P < .001), risk difference of 7.3 (95% CI, 3.4-11.2) percentage points. The Kaplan-Meier survival curve for the full analysis set is shown in Figure 2. Fifty-seven patients (33 in the XBJ group and 24 in the placebo group) had an unknown mortality status at day 28 and were assessed as assumed alive by the investigators. Similar results were confirmed in the 2 sensitivity analyses (eTable 2 in Supplement 2), worse-case analysis (eTable 3 in Supplement 2), and tipping point analysis (eFigure 1 in Supplement 2).

Secondary Outcomes

There was a significant between-group difference in the ICU mortality after randomization (placebo, 20.0%, vs XBJ, 14.2%; risk difference, 5.8 [95% CI, 2.2-9.2] percentage points; P = .001) or in hospital mortality after randomization (placebo, 22.8%, vs XBJ, 17.0%; risk difference, 5.8 [95% CI, 2.1-9.5] percentage points; P = .002), or in ICU-free days, or in 28-day cumulative mechanical ventilation–free days (Table 2). The results of the secondary outcomes were considered exploratory only.

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