Chinese Herbal Medicine

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Offline cuso4

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Chinese Herbal Medicine
« on: 20/01/2004 09:25:25 »
What does everybody think about Chinese herbal medicine? Anyone tried it before?

Western medicine tend to be antibiotics, painkillers...etc. I tried hebal medicine few times, they seem to tackle the problem in another way. For example if your liver is weak they give you something to make you liver function better and the medical problems related to a bad liver will just disappear gradually. This is just how I think they work but it could be completely rubbish. Honestly, I have no ideal how herbal medicine work.

Angel

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #1 on: 20/01/2004 23:56:59 »
I've had good success with Chinese herbal medicine.  Used an African sea coconut concoction to cure bronchitis.

A later case of bronchitis proved resistant to a number of pharmaceutical prescriptions, so I went to China Town and a herbalist took my pulse, looked at me and wrote a prescription, telling me that if it didn't work the first time I should come back and get a second dose.  An elderly gentleman stacked what looked like animal and reptile "parts" from glass jars onto a piece of paper.  I had to boil the stuff in water and simmer it until there was only one cup of fluid, which I was to drink.  I think there's some psychology to herbal medicine because that stuff tasted like a cow patty smells and I was NOT going to hurl it back up (and taste it again!?!!) and it was damn sure going to work because NO WAY was I going back for a second dose.  I got better.
« Last Edit: 20/01/2004 23:58:41 by Donnah »
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Offline Ylide

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #2 on: 21/01/2004 04:50:13 »
They must be doing something right...in parts of the country they are practically 3rd world, but are some the longest-lived people on earth.  I'm sure a good portion of it is diet and exercise, but the medicine, acupuncture, and chi kung must be doing SOMETHING.  



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Offline tweener

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #3 on: 22/01/2004 04:52:29 »
hahahah  Good story Donnah!  

I think there is definitely something to herbal medicine.  The herbs and foods and whatever contain huge numbers of different compounds, in amounts high enough to be pharmacologically (sp?) active.  The only difference is you get 'em all at once in a sometimes repulsive package and "science" has not studied them extensively.

I've heard the main difference between Eastern and Western medical practice is that in the west the emphasis is on breaking the system down into ever smaller components to be studied and manipulated independently.  Eastern medicine looks at the body as a whole system with highly interconnected parts that have to function together.   To me the Eastern philosophy makes a lot more sense, but it is almost impossible to study scientifically and explain the workings at that level.  So, I guess the best overall approach would be one that tries to combine the best of both worlds.  Pretty rare!


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Offline Ylide

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #4 on: 22/01/2004 08:03:37 »
Modern biomedical research is starting to look at problems holistically.  This is not to say they're going to be using herbs any time soon, but they're starting to understand that a problem in one part of the body can cause illness in another part, and their research is starting to reflect this.  

But a wrinkled old Chinese guy shaking a lizard-on-a-stick at you has chutzpah that Western medicine will never achieve.



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Offline cuso4

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #5 on: 22/01/2004 10:51:59 »
Donnah, I agree with you. I had to drink that as well when I was little(forced by my mom). They certainly don't smell or taste good but I don't remember seeing dried reptile in mine!

Angel

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Offline chris

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #6 on: 22/01/2004 11:39:06 »
Just because something has the tag "herbal" it does not mean safety, or that the agent does not contain potentially harmful agents.

It's worth bearing in mind that over 30% of the most frequently prescribed agents in medicine are derived directly, or have their origins in nature :

Aspirin is the most obvious example. Salicin, fom willow bark, is a close relative of acetyl salicylate, the agent produced by Bayer in the late 1800s as an antipyretic and analgesic. Other examples include morphine, a constituent of opium from poppies, atropine (a heart drug) produced by Atropa belladonna (deadly nightshade), and cocaine (used as a powerful local anaesthetic) which comes from coca plants. Taxol (a promising cancer drug) is a Yew derivative, colchicine (for gout and cancer) comes from the autumn crocus, and digoxin (which can stabilise heart rhythm) has its origins in Foxgloves (digitalis).

Playing devil's advocate just for a moment, in a recently published study researchers analysed samples of "Chinese herbal remedies" dispensed by a large number of supposedly reputable Chinese herbalists. They were surprised to find that nearly half of the samples had been laced with steroids. No wonder people were claiming miracle cures for their eczema and kept coming back for more "traditional rememdies" - they were being powerfully immunosuppressed !

Chris

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Offline chris

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #7 on: 22/01/2004 11:45:39 »
Example of how a story from newspaper "The Sun" discussing a story about colchicine would look :

A Colchicine molecule, yesterday :



Chris

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Offline nilmot

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #8 on: 22/01/2004 12:18:49 »
I think taking herbal medicine is quite dangerous is some sense (I took a lot more than Angel did), you have to trust the doctor in what they know about the chemicals that are in the herb; half of them they probably didn't know what's in it and the side effect they might have apart from curing the main illness. They still have to do studies but I think most of them judge by experience in the condition and what herbs is suitable.

To be honest I thought the medecine was alright (because I have no knowledge of biology at that time). As for the reptile parts....I've never seen that before.

Tom
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Offline chris

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #9 on: 22/01/2004 16:20:24 »
Please be cautious because Chinese herbalists are not doctors. I have seen a case in which an individual ended up in hospital with renal (kidney) damage caused by a brief flirtation with some "herbal medicine".

These remedies are not subject to the rigours of a clinical trial in the same manner as pharmaceuticals like aspirin, antibiotics or anti-depressants.

There is little or no evidence base to support or refute their actions, nor any system of tracing and following up patients who receive them in order to identify side effects, some of which have in the past been fatal.

Herbal agents may also interact with prescribed medicines, altering their action, reducing their effectiveness, or rendering them toxic. For instance women taking the oral contraceptive pill have found that it can stop working properly because substances contained in some herbs can alter the way the liver metabolises other classes of drugs, including contraceptives, anti-epileptics and blood-thinning drugs. This is certainly true for St Johns Wort (hypericum), "Nature's antidepressant".

Until this field is properly regulated, and subjected to critical appraisal in an appropriate clinical setting, I would strongly suggest against resorting to these means.

Chris

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Offline bezoar

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #10 on: 22/01/2004 22:19:24 »
Did you hear something on the news lately that patients were taking herbal medicines that were actually interfering with their treatments for cancer?  For instance, in the past, we figured it wouldn't help, but couldn't do any harm, other than to the wallet.  Now, I understand that it is screwing up their treatments, and very few patients think to notify their docs of what they're taking in the line of herbals.
 

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #11 on: 22/01/2004 23:02:31 »
Proof positive that the whole is more than the sum of the parts.
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Offline chris

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #12 on: 23/01/2004 13:00:33 »
I can quite believe it Bezoar. Polypharmacy is a big problem.

It amazes me that people have this mental picture of drugs being bad, but herbs being good. They seem to neglect to realise that herbs contain drugs. Why else would you take the herbs if you didn't think it could do you some good ? Hence what do you think is doing you good in the herbs if no a drug ??!!

Chris

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Offline nilmot

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #13 on: 23/01/2004 13:31:56 »
I wonder if people will stop taking herbal medicine if someone actually worked out what's in there  then compare the effect of it with the chemicals that is the equivalent to the western medecine and published it to the public.

Tom
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Offline bezoar

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #14 on: 24/01/2004 00:13:27 »
I doubt it.  People have this thing about doing what's "natural."  And herbs seem natural as opposed to medications whihc seem synthetic.  Had a niece that got breast cancer at 35.  She would take the radiation because that was natural, but refused the chemo.  I told her that what's "natural" would be for her to die.  That anything that would be done to interfere with that process is unnatural.  Advised her to take the chemo.  She didn't.  Died about a year and a half later - naturally!
 

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Offline nilmot

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #15 on: 24/01/2004 09:42:18 »
bezoar,

I think you and Chris are right about the people who take herb medecine. That they think all the natural products are good but don't really understand what it's doing to the person. Just lack of understanding really.

Tom
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Offline bezoar

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #16 on: 24/01/2004 13:37:50 »
Yeah, but often a deadly misunderstanding.  Proof that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
 

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #17 on: 24/01/2004 20:09:55 »
Anybody got the statistics on how many people die each year from pharmaceutical side effects?  Herbal side effects?  I'm willing to bet there's a rather wide margin between the two.
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Offline Ylide

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #18 on: 26/01/2004 00:32:14 »
Probably a wider margin than the statistic showing the number of people who were helped by pharmaceuticals and the number who were helped by herbals.

Of course herbals have less side effects, most of the time they aren't making any significant biochemical changes to your body.  So of course fewer people are going to die from side effects.  I'd guess that with pharmaceuticals, most of the deaths occur from using the drugs with other drugs that are contraindicated.  With some exceptions (Phen-fen for example), drugs that make people randomly die don't tend to make it past the FDA.  

Herbal medicine has its place, but unfortunately much of it is ineffective for real illness.  I think it's better suited to maintainance of general health as opposed to actively treating diseases.  





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Offline bezoar

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #19 on: 26/01/2004 03:19:55 »
With the under reporting of the use of herbal medicines, there's not much of a way you could get accurate statistics.  I do think that the medical profession needs to be more aware of what's being used over the counter and the side effects of the herbals, especially where they interfere with the therapeutic affects of prescription drugs.
 

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Offline Ylide

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #20 on: 26/01/2004 07:20:55 »
I can't speak for most doctors, but the ones at the clinic at my college asked me if I was taking anything herbal before they prescribed something for my anxiety.  (ended up putting me on Klonopin, it's working quite well, I am starting to feel human again)

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Offline chris

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #21 on: 26/01/2004 12:50:22 »
Bezoar is right. As I said earlier, the apparent "safety" of herbal remedies is exactly that - "apparent" due to the fact that there are no proper follow-up procedures or side-effect monitoring protocols for herbal rememdies because it is an un-regulated system. Therefore if you rely on this data you will always over-report and over-condemn prescribed agents compared with herbal remedies.

Chris

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Offline bezoar

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #22 on: 26/01/2004 14:14:15 »
Probably because St. John's Wort has gotten real popular as an over the counter herbal for depression.  We ask our patients also during the pre-op visit, because some of the herbal increase the clotting time.  But that question has been initiated by the nurses, not the docs, who know even less than we do about herbals.
 

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Offline chris

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #23 on: 26/01/2004 14:41:25 »
I can't speak for the US, but in the UK the doctors are pretty au-fait with the issue of interactions between prescribed medications and what people take "on the side".

But there is still an image problem that 'normal' medicine has to surmount ! People love to prove us wrong and demonstrate how just a bunch of herbs can cure them when 15 doctors all failed. The reason that these stories rise to prominence is because they are so unusual. It's like the story that always gets trotted out by smokers about their 900 year old grandmother who smoked 500 cigarettes a day and died under a bus as fit as the day she was born. The reason that that story stands out is because it it so unusual. The claim that smoking protects your brain from dementia is a fallacy. Most smokers don't live long enough to develop dementia. Or lung cancer come to that !

Chris

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Offline Donnah

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #24 on: 26/01/2004 21:17:24 »
I don't think that alternative medicine is better than allopathic medicine or vice versa.  They each have their place, I use both effectively and would not want to be without either.

The problem with herbal remedies is that you either have to do a lot of research about the product (uses, cautions, contraindications, effective brands...) or put your trust in an N.D.  I do think that you are less likely to kill yourself by misuse of over the counter herbals than by misuse of pharmaceuticals.
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Offline tweener

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #25 on: 28/01/2004 04:56:05 »
I agree with Donnah that they both have their place.  There are many herbal and natural remedies that have (or are currently) undergone rigorous clinical trials to prove their safety and efficacy.  At least in the US, the pharmaceutical industry and the medical profession really play down the role of natural remedies.  I believe there is a lot more acceptance in Europe.

I am a strong supporter of "normal" medicine also.  If you really think about it, the only substantial change in our lives in the past two hundred years is that now we have a very high probability of living to see our children grow up to become adults.  Otherwise, not much has changed.


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Offline Ylide

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #26 on: 28/01/2004 05:57:43 »
I'm all for using herbs to treat illnesses that CAN be treated with them.  I'm more concerned with the history some homeopathic "professionals" have with condeming all pharmaceuticals and western medicinal practices while selling treatments that will not work for what is ailing their patient.  

So yeah, treat your glaucoma with pot, treat your insomnia with valerian, treat your depression with St John's Wort, but don't be a dumbass and try to treat your colon cancer with a wheat grass colonic or some such nonsense.



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Offline Jay M. Fredrickson

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #27 on: 29/01/2004 09:54:54 »
Hey everyone, I just wanted to say hello briefly and mention that i'm happy to have stumbled across this forum.

I initially took notice to a different thread wherein a member was inquiring about Usana and it's products and their involvement in the network marketing industry. While I am a believer in the products and also involved in the business, im not here to preach. People can inqurie what they will.

I dislike the stereotype brought forth by such people who go about saying this and that and give a bad image to something, network marketing or anything.

Anyhow, I just wanted to say that while I haven't caught up on all the threads yet, this one is very well spoken by all parties. I look forward to continuing to read and possibly contribute with my own thoughts and perspective from time to time. Im not an avid forum attendee but I try to keep up -

Take care everyone -
Jay
 

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Offline bezoar

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #28 on: 29/01/2004 17:30:00 »
Hi Jay, and welcome.  Hope you do come back.  What gives you the background in supplements?  Are you studying in the field or just your own interests?
 

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Offline Jay M. Fredrickson

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #29 on: 29/01/2004 17:56:23 »
Hey Bezoar,

My background in supplements as far as study goes is minimal. I completed first year human kinetics but then switched into business & commerce. I have done a lot of research into various company's products though.

I guess they wouldn't be an area of expertise, but one of high interest. I attend the gym regularily and play competitive level sports like volleyball, squash and soccer.

How do you view supplements?
 

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Offline bezoar

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #30 on: 30/01/2004 02:18:53 »
I'm not sure there's much difference in natural versus synthetic.  I definitely think supplements have a place, and I'm not so sure that the minimum daily requirements are accurate.  Obviously, with the water soluble vitamins, there's not much harm done if you overdose, however, I did read that those who megadose with vitamin C develop a sort of dependence on it.  I'm really confused about the trace minerals.  You have to understand, in nursing school, we got one nutrition course that was very conservative and basic.  I don't think the docs get much more.  I got more nutrition conscious after I had children, in an effort to feed them well.  They are, by the way, extremely healthy kids, but I don't know if that's good nutrition or good genetics.
 

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Offline Jay M. Fredrickson

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #31 on: 30/01/2004 03:04:09 »
You're very correct in being unsure of the RDA of supplements. They have yet to catch up with modern science and are still based on minimal quantities to stave off such things are scurvy. When's the last time you heard of someone with scurvy?

In 1st world countries where people have the choice, they should be looking to give their bodies optimal levels of nutrition throughout the day. Selling yourself to the lowest bidder (often big box stores where you get 1500 capsules for $8.99) just doesn't make sense to me. A high end product costs a quarter or half days wages at the most?

Anyhow...Supplements are not a magic bullet by any means. They are just that, supplements. Meant to be taken in addition to a well balanced healthy diet and rounded physical fitness.
 

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Offline Ylide

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #32 on: 30/01/2004 04:11:28 »
You pretty much summed up how I feel about supplementation, Jay.

Supplements have worked great for me in the times I've worked to develop better overall health.  (protein supplements for when I'm weight training, etc)  I've never had much luck with them for actually treating a disorder, and I don't think they're really meant for that.

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Offline Jay M. Fredrickson

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #33 on: 30/01/2004 05:42:43 »
I take daily cellular nutrition (vitamins/minerals) not to treat anything but rather give my body the best platform to prevent diseases. I take a high priced product because I see a difference in potency and bioavailability of products.

There is an obvious major shift from sickness' like polio to degenerative diseases like hypertension, cancer etc. Many of these degenerative diseases are believed to be preventable and im just doing what I can to have the best fighting chance.

I also take a soy-based protein and nutrition shake mix for a morning meal replacement...mm mmmm

haha...
 

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Offline chris

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #34 on: 30/01/2004 12:52:22 »
quote:
Originally posted by Jay M. Fredrickson

You're very correct in being unsure of the RDA of supplements. They have yet to catch up with modern science and are still based on minimal quantities to stave off such things are scurvy. When's the last time you heard of someone with scurvy?



You'd be surprised. Although not common it does happen. I have seen a patient with scurvy which responded promptly to a few oranges a day. Most at risk are the elderly who survive on tea and toast...

Chris


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Offline bezoar

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #35 on: 30/01/2004 14:40:00 »
Not in our country.  In the land of the obese, we don't live on tea and toast.

But Jay, I think the shift in disease patterns, with more degenerative diseases, is just because we are living longer.
 

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Offline Jay M. Fredrickson

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #36 on: 30/01/2004 18:56:29 »
Thats funny that you say that...a good friend of mine actually got a mild case of scurvy while he was in college...very amusing. Good guy but had the worst diet imaginable. You can imagine the surprise everyone had.

With respect to people living longer, I think there may be some discussion on that. In generations before, a major benefactor to studies done on life expectancy was the high infancy mortality rate. With this nearly wiped out, or severely lower than earlier, the life expectancy has seemed to increased but this one factor may have just increased the average when looking at numbers.

I hope that all made sense. I just rolled out of bed and the brain isn't functioning at 100% yet..

Jay

 

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Offline bezoar

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #37 on: 30/01/2004 20:40:16 »
Were infant deaths included in figures of life expectancy?  That would screw up the statistics big time.
 

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Offline Jay M. Fredrickson

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #38 on: 30/01/2004 22:27:55 »
As far as I was told they were...I may have been misinformed.

Kind of changes the perspective though hey? When you really look around, more people are dying younger due to heart conditions and cancer when they are in their 40's 50's and 60's than before. Im pretty sure nearly everyone knows someone personally who was a victim to this.
 

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Offline bezoar

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #39 on: 31/01/2004 14:38:36 »
I haven't seen the stats.  Are they really dying younger from cancer and heart disease?  Even with all the new treatments and medications?  I find that hard to believe.
 

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Offline Ylide

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #40 on: 31/01/2004 18:09:02 »
My girlfriend's Master's Degree is in sociology, so she's studied a crapload of social statistics.  I asked her about infant mortality counting towards average life expectancy, and she says it sure does.  Just so you know.  



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Offline Jay M. Fredrickson

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #41 on: 31/01/2004 19:59:31 »
Thanks Cannabinoid for the info -

Im not sure if people are dying younger on a whole from things like cancer, but it seems that on just a personal basis, hearing that a friends dad died from a heart attack, or that more and more people are getting cancer seems to be prevalent.

The fact that lifestyle choices can be a huge factor in degenerative diseases is worrying as the way society is moving >
http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/parenting/01/05/obese.teens.ap/index.html
and
http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/parenting/01/05/fast.food.ap/index.html
 

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Offline Ylide

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #42 on: 31/01/2004 23:03:13 »
My big worry is accumulative toxicological effects.  Things like pesticides, heavy metals, and organic solvents are present, albeit in extremely low levels, in most of our food and water supply.  The amounts we are exposed to present no acute effects, but research is showing that long term low-level exposure is indeed harmful.  Metals accumulate in the nervous system, solvents cause long term liver damage, and pesticides can affect just about every major system in the body.  

The moral of the story, use a water filter and buy organic when possible.

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Offline Jay M. Fredrickson

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #43 on: 31/01/2004 23:12:31 »
I can definitely relate.

What's going on into our food is scary at the least of times. I'm not 100% convinced that buying organic is the way to go either. Unless grown in a green-houses with hepa-filtered air systems, pollutants and other toxins still effect what is being grown in fields right? Just because the farmer does physically go and spread pesticides, it doesn't mean that toxins aren't going into the foods.

Anyhow, just my view. Here's an interesting little article for those interested > http://www.cgfi.org/materials/articles/2000/feb_11_00.htm

 

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Offline Ylide

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #44 on: 01/02/2004 08:45:10 »
I'm not worried about a little residual pesticide from the farm down the road or chemical fallout from the neaby city.  I rinse my veggies off before I use them.  As long as pesticides aren't being sprayed on in huge concentrations, I'm relatively sure I can get all of the crap off before I eat it.

I'm more concerned with the state of meat products.  Between mad cow disease, growth hormones, and excess use of antibiotics, I'm getting more and more careful about eating meat and dairy products.  (but they taste so GOOD I can't make myself go veg)



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Offline tweener

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #45 on: 02/02/2004 03:31:08 »
Actually, I'm not very impressed with the organic rules at all.  Some of the "organic" pesticides and herbicides that are allowed (because they are natural) are much more toxic than the commercial chemical that would do the same job in a lower concentration.  Good examples of this are lime-sulpher and Bordeaux mixture.  They are both extremely toxic, very stable in the environment, accumulate in tissues of fish and birds, and are allowed under the rules of most "organic" certification.  

Other factors to consider are cost and regulation.  The commercial pesticides are expensive, and farmers are required to undergo some training to be able to buy them (at least in the USA).  When they apply them, they are subject to audit to make sure they are using them within their permit and the label directions, and they don't use any more than they have to because they are expensive.  The "organic" stuff is usually not regulated, so anyone can buy it.  It is usually cheaper, so they will buy more.  And, it is not as effective, so they will use more.  So, keep washing your vegatables, even the organic ones.

Another big factor in making you want to wash vegatables is biological contamination, like salmonella or e-coli.  This makes for more sickness than pesticide posioning, though the cumulative risk is more of a long term problem.


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Offline Ylide

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #46 on: 02/02/2004 15:03:33 »
I think everyone who goes to college should be required to take a semester of microbiology.  You'll never eat a fruit or vegetable again without scrubbing the hell out of it.  People just have no idea how ubiquitous microorganisms really are.





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Offline Donnah

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #47 on: 04/02/2004 19:13:51 »
I still go organic.  I prefer to grow my own because that's the only way you really know how organic it is.  I suspect that a little residual pesticide might be a good thing.  Our bodies will encounter that crap in our food supply sooner or later (unless you never eat in restaurants) and maybe our immune system will protect us better if it is aware of that particular toxin.  What does the scientific community have to say about this theory?
« Last Edit: 05/02/2004 01:08:44 by Donnah »
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Offline tweener

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #48 on: 04/02/2004 21:36:58 »
I forgot to mention that I still buy organic if possible without bankrupting myself.  Overall, I think it is worthwhile and the practice should be supported.  Even if the rules need to be better understood by the public and maybe changed.


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Offline Ylide

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Re: Chinese Herbal Medicine
« Reply #49 on: 05/02/2004 19:45:58 »
Chemical toxins aren't generally affected by the immune system.  That's why things like botulism and E. coli 0157:H7 are so bad...you can kill the organisms but the toxins they excrete have already gotten into your system and started doing damage.  Hence, you can't readily build up an immunity.  There are other mechanisms for developing a tolerance to chemicals, but I don't know what they are.

The harmfulness of the pesticides depends on the composition.  Carcinogenic ones are not good in any dose, especially long term.

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