Acupuncture, Herbs, Massage & Integrative Health in Carrboro, Chapel Hill & the Triangle of North Carolina & Internet Prescription Herb Service

Author Archives: Phil Kosdan

One Integrated Medicine

If you look closely at pharmaceuticals, that is, “drugs,” they are not all that different chemically and practically from medicinal herbs. Both pharmaceuticals and herbs are either organic compounds, mostly, or sometimes inorganic elements or compounds, not as frequently. Both can be therapeutic depending on what they are treating. Either can be toxic; although, herbs less toxic. Yet, then again, herbs tend to be less potent than drugs, which is fine some of the time, but with more serious illnesses you might want the more toxic but stronger drug. These are never hard and fast rules, of course, the strongest herb may be stronger than a weak drug; and, toxicity can vary as well.

Still, there is one difference that holds more generally, where exceptions only prove the rule. Pharmaceuticals are in the majority artificial, that is, man-made. Even penicillin, originally derived from bread mold, is now synthesized rather than natural. (The natural in this case, by the way, is stronger than the lab made. Interestingly.) Herbs are nature made. And, that is that.

Many drugs are imitations or variations on natural herbal themes. Sometimes, as with steroids, they are lab made imitations of what a part of your body, your adrenal glands in this case, are making. I think if we thought about it a bit more and put things in perspective, we could even say that pharmaceuticals are a continuation of the age old traditions of herbalism. Human beings are simply always on the look out for any thing any where, whether it be forest floor or big pharm laboratory for substances that will help with our ills and illnesses. Whether they are there for the cooking or we must invent them, either way, earlier pulling at roots and then processing them in a caldron or later manipulating carbon and hydrogen in another kind of hot caldron, it is all a continuation of tradition, however different in appearance it may look.

Why herbs are alternative medicine and modern medicine favors only man made artificial chemicals and not nature made chemicals is not beyond my comprehension, but creates an issue for me. It simply is, frankly, prejudicial and has far more to do with economics and the official government approval process for healing substances. Now without a long discourse on the FDA and money — which I might save for another blog post — and again, if we saw medicine and its medicines in proper historical and philosophical perspective, I am quite sure that we would understand that: THERE IS ONLY ONE MEDICINE. Separation — and the separation is professional as well, there being physicians who prescribe man made drugs and naturopaths and others who use herbs (myself included ) in their practices —  into alternative and conventional, traditional and modern, is unnecessary and unproductive.



Advertising II

If necessity, as is said, is the mother of all invention; then, financial necessity is the mother of all advertising. I do not like it when it applies to healing and medicine. Applied to iPhones versus Samsung Galaxies, I am okay with that. A Mustang versus a Cougar — I mean the car not theContinue Reading

Talking Advertising I

Given our First Amendment right to free speech, I am not one who would censor pharmaceutical advertisements on the television or any where else for that matter. However, why anyone would want any of those drugs after listening to their possible draconian side effects that often cover in time about half the commercial is aContinue Reading

Post Flu Malaise

The flu season this year, at least in this part of North Carolina, seemed to fan out and infect a good portion of the population, including this practitioner-herbalist. One feature of this flu also appeared to be, besides its characteristic cough that lingered for days, and for some people, weeks on end, a notable dipContinue Reading

Integrated Medicine, What?

I recently listened to a Teaching Company course on Holistic Integrated Medicine. I can recommend both The Teaching Company and this course to you, The Science of Natural Healing, by Professor Mimi Guarneri. Yet, the more I hear about or read about “Integrated Medicine,” the more I realize that there is little agreement about exactlyContinue Reading

How Does It Work?

Acupuncture, How It Works, The Mystery             Whether I can help them or not — and for the most part I do — almost everyone pretty much asks the same questions, first among them, “how does it work?” Actually, I really do not know; although, I do have my suspicions. Just saying you do notContinue Reading

Depression, Anxiety, Stress and Other Psychological Problems

According to my Chinese herb teacher, Ted Kaptchuk, author of The Web That Has No Weaver, originally the most potent herbs were considered the most psychoactive. In fact, the use of herbs for physical problems only comes later. First and foremost, herbs were understood and appreciated for their ability to change one’s state of mind.Continue Reading

High Blood Pressure

Can Chinese herbs help and cure high blood pressure (HBP)? As in all problems in medicine, it depends. And what it depends on is cause. So what are some of the typical causes of HBP which itself can lead to other and serious consequences. Some typical causes: overweight, stress and tension, old age arthrosclerosis, dysfunctionContinue Reading

Hair Loss +

Normal male pattern baldness is not a condition that Chinese herbs treats. It is considered normal and natural that men as they age lose their head hair. One simply inherits that trait and that is that.      However, if hair loss is precipitous in men or in women, then there is a problem. Chinese MedicineContinue Reading

From Heartburn to Irritable Bowels, Crohn’s +

Chinese herbs are especially effective for digestive problems from one end to the other of the digestive system. • Conditions treated well with Chinese herbs: esophagitis, heartburn, overacidic stomach, gall bladder pain, stomach and intestinal pain, irritable bowel, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, and hemorrhoids, these are justsome of the distresses of the digestive system that ChineseContinue Reading