There are two main pillars of Chinese medicine. One of them is acupuncture, and the other one is herbal medicine. Herbal medicine can be delivered in all kinds of ways. It is possible to have raw herbs and granular herbs or powdered herbs. The benefit of raw herbs are you can easily cook them if you need to and granular or powdered herbs can be used for topical purposes. The fun fact is that most of the herbs are already waiting for you in your kitchen, ginger, mint, garlic etc for example. Many western style medicines were also invented from these herbs. Such as, the chemical of Aspirin comes from the bark of a willow tree. People of ancient times use the bark of the specific tree and boil it for liquid medicine to drink.
Chinese Herbals are always complicated. Sometimes they use plenty of herbs to use as a single medicine. Some herbs play the actual role and others help to reduce the side effects. Herbs mainly plant based but they can be mineral-based, and sometimes they can be animal-based.
Popular Tradition of Herbs
Medicinal Herb has a lot of traditional systems and they are different based on the countries and philosophy. Africa, America, India, Indonesia and China are the best places for the practice of herbalism. Study says that around 80% of the population in Africa is interested in Traditional medicine. Most popular two forms among people of the world are:
1. Ayurvedic from India
2. Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM
Ayurvedic Medicine or Ayurveda, is a healing system which originated in India. This holistic approach started in around 1500 B.C. The herbs that are found in the Indian environment are usually treated here. Even the making process of Ayurveda is also slightly different from China or other countries.
Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM
Herbalism occupies a large part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. A lot of treatments in TCM are somehow dependent on herbs. Practitioners of TCM always use diet therapy with herb medicines.
History of Herbal Medicine
Herbal plants are used to heal the sick. In fact, the word “Drug” comes from the words “Dried plant”. The ancient Greeks and Romans learned from early civilizations and kept records of plants they use. Such as the poppy for pain relief, garlic to fight infections and belladonna has been and is used in many ways. Hippocrates, the father of Medicine knew the importance of medicine. “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine your food,” Hippocrates said. When the Romans invaded, they brought even more knowledge of plants used in cooking and healing which they shared with the local healers. Unfortunately at the same time, ancient practices were seen as superstitious, how much knowledge was lost!
In the 6th century, Christianity arrived in England bringing various traditions such as beautifully ordered monastic herb gardens filled with medicinal plants. Monks were the keepers of many herbs or manuscripts kept in ancient times. They traveled the world looking for medicine creating a network of information about medicinal plants. During medieval times when we know, we were not seen as equals by men. One herbalist stands out. Hildegard von Bingen, a nun who was considered the first female doctor in Europe. She was both a physician and a musician. Throughout the ages, women have been central to medicine as midwives, nurses, and caregivers.
Although some suffered for their art, some village-wise women were condemned as witches in Curia. In the sixteenth century, a huge fan of herbal medicine managed to legalize herbal medicine yet he complicated matters by destroying some monasteries and their herb gardens.
In 1652, Nicholas Culpeper published a complete herbal book called the English physician. He wanted to help ordinary people make their own herbal remedies instead of having to buy expensive imported ones thus enabling people to dig their health into their own hands. In fact, for over 3,000 years across the globe, almost all medicines were derived from plants. In the 17th century, dangerous mineral medicines such as mercury became popular with doctors and the Industrial Revolution continued to move us even further away from nature. The 20th century saw huge advances in chemistry and technology and the development of antibiotics held the rise of modern medicine. Increasingly plants are forgotten but now are needed more than ever.
Today herbal medicine is more accepted. Medical herbalists trained at University and collaborate with doctors. Herbal medicine is popular due to the lack of side-effects and tailored individual prescriptions by medical herbalists. Medicinal plants can also enhance the benefits of medicine prescriber your GP and reduce some of its side-effects as well as being easy to grow in your garden.
Benefits and Side Effects of Herbal Medicine
1. Peppermint has been used for many years for colds, coughs, respirator and sinus infections. The oil of peppermint is also used on skins, muscle pain and etc. It is advised to be used for digestive problems including vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome etc. But this peppermint causes trouble by allergic reactions, heartburn and headache.
2. Aloe Vera is used to anti proliferative, anti aging, wound healing, recovery from burn injury etc. But you may be surprised that aloe vera is also responsible for kidney damage.
3. Rosemary is accepted as a very powerful antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial. Studies have also shown that undiluted oil is unsafe to take by mouth and taking large amounts can create vomiting.
What is Fungi?
Of all the living organisms that adorn the forest floor, there are few as captivating as mushrooms. Certain types of mushrooms have been mythologized by writers and artists over the centuries, largely due to their strange morphologies and peculiar properties.
Mushrooms, along with a variety of other organisms like yeasts and molds, belong to a group of organisms called fungi. Many people perceive fungi like mushrooms as being quite similar to plants, given that they sprout from the ground and never move. But plants and mushrooms share very little in common apart from this. In truth, fungi have more in common with animals than they do with plants, which explains their omission from the botany series.
What is Mycology?
Given that fungi exist in their own kingdom, separate from the plant and animal kingdoms, they deserve to be studied separately as well, and the study of fungi is called Mycology the study of fungi. Although some think of fungi as little more than a pizza topping, many species of fungi are some of Earth’s most important organisms. In September 1928, microbiologist Alexander Fleming was looking through his Petri dishes, which housed the pathogenic bacteria genus, staphylococcus. There was something unusual about one of the dishes. It was full of bacterial colonies, apart from a single spot around a growing colony of mold, which is a type of fungus. Fleming found that this mold was stopping the growth of bacteria through the production of a chemical that turned out to be the first antibiotic ever discovered, penicillin. Through the continuing effort of scientists since then, penicillin and other antibiotics have saved hundreds of millions of lives.
But it does not end with antibiotics. Though we more commonly think about mushrooms and molds, unicellular fungi known as yeasts have historically allowed for the production of food and drink like wine, beer, cheese, chocolate, and bread. Many mushrooms themselves such as morels and chanterelles are highly sought-after gourmet ingredients.
Other wild mushrooms like turkey tails and lion’s mane have the potential for medicinal value. Fungi provide nutrients to forests and crops. They produce chemicals required for the production of commodities ranging from paper to laundry detergent. And most notably, they are skillful decomposers, so without them, we would be buried in organic matter and debris.
Undoubtedly, fungi are an indispensable component of the circle of life. Recently, scientists have even started to employ fungal abilities to decompose pollutants in the soil through a process called bioremediation. Fungi, therefore, have fantastic potential to aid humanity. But no matter what we can say about the utility of fungi, there is one thing that remains the most interesting aspect of this kingdom. Fungi produce countless magnificently unique mushrooms. Consider the jack-o-lantern fungus or Omphalotus illudens. It already looks like an interesting bright orange mushroom, but when placed in the dark, it glows an eerie greenish-white color and the bleeding tooth fungus or Hydnellum peckii. It secretes a bright red fluid that covers the mushroom in small droplets.
Photo: Jack-o-Lantern and Bleeding Tooth Fungus
Anyone can study mushrooms, and citizen science programs have the potential to progress the understanding of mushroom biology far beyond its current state. By learning about Mycology the study of fungi, you may find that your prior self was suffering from mushroom blindness, remaining oblivious to their existence in your immediate vicinity. But hopefully, this will soon change, as you become more aware of these fascinating organisms, and by extension, the natural world.
Healing power of Mushroom
Depression is one of the most common illnesses affecting 260 million individuals worldwide. Although some may have a higher predisposition to this disorder, it can affect nearly anyone. Depression has the potential to affect the mind as well as the body. Often resulting in disruptions in all areas of life like schoolwork, social life, and relationships; it is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide and despite the many treatment options available such as therapy and medication. We can mention here some names for you. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Aromatherapy and Alternative medicines etc. 20 percent of individuals do not respond to any intervention. In recent years psilocybin mushrooms are sometimes known as magic mushrooms made a comeback in the scientific community for the use in the treatment of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction.
Where do magic mushrooms come from?
Historians believe that psilocybin mushrooms have been around since 9000 BC. based on representations in ancient paintings and sculptures. They made their way to Westerners in the late 1950s when Robert Gordon Wastin, a mycologist participated in a ritual ceremony using psilocybin mushrooms in Mexico. To do further research was not in a friend isolated and extracted psilocybin and psilocin. The active principles in magic mushroom and brought them back to the United States. By the 1960s these magic mushrooms became widely used by the public in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. They had a powerful impact on American culture and soon became a symbol of the hippy movement. In 1968 the possession of psilocybin and psilocin became illegal in the United States and by 1971 the United Nations implemented the Convention on psychotropic substances making psilocin and psilocybin a Schedule one drug in 71 countries.
After decades in 2000 researchers at John Hopkins were able to obtain regulatory approval in the United States to reinitiate research with psilocybin mushrooms with volunteers. 36 adults were administered psilocybin and after 14 months study participants reported the positive effects of their mystical experiences. They had descriptions about their personal meaning and spiritually significant lives. In 2016 one of the first studies looking at magic mushrooms for treatment-resistant depression was conducted in the UK. Twelve people with moderate to severe depression were given oral doses of psilocybin seven days apart.
Symptoms of depression were markedly reduced one week and three months after the high dose treatment. A significant improvement in anxiety and enjoyment of life was found in that research. Researchers proposed that psilocybin with psychological support helps revive emotional responsiveness and depression enabling patients to reconnect with their emotions. The effects of psilocybin were found to be opposite of those previously found in SSRIs or antidepressants and in contrast to SSRIs psilocybin allowed patients to confront negative emotions potentially reviving emotional responsiveness and enabling patients to reconnect with their emotions.
As a result of the efficacy of psilocybin mushrooms, the FDA gave a breakthrough designation for psilocybin-assisted therapy. This means the FDA will be working to expedite the development and review of psilocybin mushrooms to be legalized for psychedelic-assisted therapy. It is unsure when magic mushrooms will be legal for therapeutic purposes but studies are still being done and scientists are trying to learn more about how this magical drug works.
Benefits of Mushrooms
1. Lower Blood Pressure
2. Boost Immune System
3. Weight Loss
4. Enough Nutrition
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