tibetan herbs

Do You Need a Tibetan Herbalist?

Are you looking for traditional Tibetan or Chinese herbal formulas? Do you need the services of an experienced herbalist who knows how to compound the ancient remedies of the Far East? Would you like to know whether you could benefit from this centuries-old practice? If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, then you can come to our site for information on these traditional medicines.

Traditional Oriental herbal medicine, which includes Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan and Ayurvedic plants, are rarely mastered arts that are very popular in Europe and the Far East. For more than 2500 years, generations of patients and physicians have depended on traditional herbal medicine for preventative care and basic medical treatment. Herbal medicine and the dietary treatments of the Far East also can help to deal with complex disorders of long standing.

Plants have always been valued in Oriental medicine for their healing applications. In fact, most of the major classes of Western pharmaceutical drugs have their origins in the plant and mushroom world. The word "herbalist" is somewhat limiting when applied to the complex dietary therapies of the Orient, as many more classes of plants than herbs are routinely utilized. Roots, barks, stems, fruits and seeds are used in traditional recipes as a method of rebalancing the body's state. Animal and mineral products are also indicated on occasion. By the expert application of such therapies, emotional and physical root causes for imbalances as well as symptoms of these imbalances can be addressed.

The role of the Oriental herbalist is not one which comes easily. Many years of practice and study are required to master the many flavors and directions of the ingredients. In the Tibetan and Yoruba traditions, a personal direction and power is added by the physician. It takes a close relationship with an accomplished master physician to enable a student to learn how to add this positive direction to medicines as they are being compounded. Then, it takes years of practice to perfect, just as it takes many decades to master the formulas themselves, and their individual ingredients.

Someone in practice 10 years should be moderately skilled; after 20 years, highly skilled; and from 30 to 50 years of practice you will find the true masters. Of course, there are some who can attain a high level of expertise more quickly, and there are some who never quite "get it", even after many years of practice. Let your intuition guide you if you are not sure, and it always helps if a person who has already had successful treatment from a practitioner refers you.

However, it is important to point out that if you are taking pharmaceutical drugs, you should be sure that your herbalist is well trained in Western pharmacology, as there are situations where drugs and herbal formulas may interact. Herbalists' training is less standardized than that of acupuncturists, so interactions between drugs and herbs must be monitored by someone familiar with both.

Plants are drugs, and though they are in general less dangerous than prescribed medications and have fewer side effects, "natural" does not mean "safe". An experienced herbalist should be prescribing formulas for about 80% of their patients, and almost everyone should be receiving some dietary advice also. Most good herbalists are also good cooks, by the way.

Dr. L.B. Grotte, M.D., was the first physician in Ohio to be board certified in both acupuncture and Chinese herbology. He has studied Oriental medicine since 1972 and has practiced Oriental medicine in Cleveland for more than 27 years. Our small practice specializes in creating individualized treatment plans combining Western and Oriental methods. Call us at 440-461-7488 to make an appointment or visit our website for more information.

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