Herbal Formulas and
Pain Medications Without a Prescription,
Which is safer?
When people are ill, they often seek 'pain medications without a prescription', that is over-the-counter (OTC) drugs at their local pharmacy without first visiting a physician for prescription medicine.
Even though a drug is OTC rather than prescription, it can still have side effects. In fact, many 'pain medications without a prescription' have drug interactions with prescriptions and other OTC drugs. Interactions may cause dangerous results. Furthermore, some ingredients should only be used by adults and older children.
There are others who opt to use Chinese medicine instead of non-prescription medication when they are sick. Before choosing a mixture of herbs for a patient, the traditional Chinese practitioner will ask about the symptoms and examine the patient, often focusing on the skin, pulse, voice and other elements. Thus each patient might receive a different treatment for the same illness depending on the person�s own Qi (Chee) and yin yang balance.
It is important to consult a licensed practitioner and his / her general doctor before taking any herbal supplements due to the fact that some of them may have negative side effects when taken in conjunction with other medications.
Commonly Used Chinese Herbs
Astragalus (Huang Qi)
A perennial plant with small leaflets. Its long root is used for colds and flu as well as fatigue and digestive disorders, like diarrhea and bloating. Astragalus is also given to boost the immune system, treat skin disorders and replenish Qi (or energy) of the spleen and stomach.
Chinese angelica (Dang Gui)
The root of this plant is reputed to relieve menstrual disorders, anemia, chronic abdominal and bodily pains, and chronic constipation. It is also used to treat insomnia and fight skin infections.
Chinese yam (Shan Yao)
A root vegetable that is reputed to strengthen the spleen, lungs and kidneys. It is also given to reduce fatigue, treat chronic cough and wheezing, and stabilize the leakage of fluids in urogenital conditions.
Eucommia bark (Du Zhong)
A tree bark used in cases of aching back and knees by nourishing the liver and kidney as well as the sinews and bones. It is also used to prevent miscarriages in cases of bleeding during pregnancy.
Fleece flower root (He Shou Wu)
A root that is used to invigorate the liver and blood and strengthen the kidneys. Fleece flower root is also given to treat constipation and to clear toxins. It is commonly used to maintain both hair color and hair growth.
Licorice (Gan Cao)
A sweet-tasting root that is reputed to treat sore throats and coughs, muscle spasms and digestive weakness. Licorice has been used in treatments for liver disease, respiratory ailments like allergies and bronchitis, heart conditions such as irregular pulse or palpitations, and stomach problems like heartburn.
Poria (Fu Ling)
A fungus that grows on pine tree trunks. Poria is said to enhance the immune system, increase the flow of urine and improve the spleen's function of transforming fluids. It is also used as a mild sedative that can relax the mind and reduce insomnia.
Wolfberry fruit (Gou Qi Zi)
Small red berries that contain large amounts of antioxidants. They are believed to help eyesight, protect the kidney and liver, and improve circulation by nourishing the blood. Wolfberries are also said to improve the immune system.
Remember, take all medications including 'pain medications without a prescription' and herbal medicine with care and cautions.
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