Chinese and western herbs have been used for millennia to restore health. Pharmacopoeia’s of various traditions have classified thousands of herbs. The oldest Chinese materia medica was the Shen Nong dated nearly 5,000 years ago. Many conditions greatly benefit from the use of Chinese herbal therapies alone, or with acupuncture.
Western pharmaceuticals, in contrast, tend to strongly move the body and suppress symptoms, rather than address the root imbalance causing the disease. Because the FDA only approves them when they are proven on group of people, each having an individual, unique constitution, they often are are very strong and have harsh side effects. Also, the for-profit pharmaceutical industry promotes patentable, expensive medicine and doesn’t have much interest in low-cost, natural alternatives. Harsh western drugs an not meant to be in the body long
A fundamental difference between western pharmaceuticals and herbal medicine is the herb is not a single alkaloid extracted from the plant (or sometimes hydrocarbon in the case of some pharmaceuticals). An herbs contains many isomers (chemical variants) of the main active ingredient and will often have an compound with a total opposite effect of the principle component. The body likes this because the body is a harmonic, energetic, highly interconnected system. Chinese formulas work this way with a king herb and an assistant herb along with a messenger herb, which is included at a very low dose and which has properties antithetical to the king and assistant. The body likes this balancing because it then play a roll in taking exactly what it needs.
Chinese and Western herbs offer safe, effective alternatives to many western pharmaceuticals.