In a carefully formulated detoxification plan, three stages would be targeted. They are 1. Detoxify toxins 2. Rebuild health 3. Health maintenance. Herbs including Traditional Chinese Medicine, are basically used for the stage II and III.
Herbs are rich in compounds that are nourishing to all our body systems. There are two basic categories of herbs; tonics and stimulators.
Tonics help balance and tone cells, tissues and organs and in Traditional Chinese Medicine terms, balance Yin and Yang of the body inner environment. Tonic herbs are generally very gentle and are used for overall nourishment.
Stimulating herbs have strong action and are used for certain ailments. They are taken for shorter time periods.
Even though herbal medicine is not the mainstream in the United States, the World Health Organization estimates that 80 percent of the world’s population depends upon plants for their medicinal needs. Synthetic medicine is predominantly chemical substance that works effectively for a large number of people, while others find plant medicine more congenial to their body needs and they prefer herbs medicine over conventional medicine.
There are purging formulas in TCM, that eradicate pathogens such as virus and harmful bacteria, however they are not recommended in the detoxification program, because at the same time, purging formulas may increase the burdens on detox organs.
Harmonizing formulas are mostly helping the equanimity the unhealthy surges in the digestive systems, in which liver and gall bladder are playing an important part. By harmonizing the interaction between organs and systems, and by adjusting the imbalanced functions, the health can be restored. The constipation and diarrhea are two of the main symptoms that need to be addressed before the overall health can return. In this sense, combined herbs with colon hydrotherapy, the general detoxification goal can be reached.
Followings are herbs that are often used in the stages of rebuilding and maintaining health:
1. Ashwagandha Root and Leaf
Ashwagandha is an ancient Indian herb that has been used as therapeutic means in the history. It has the tonic effect for all types of weakness and illnesses. Alternative medicine practitioner use Ashwagandha to strengthen kidneys function, nurture the adrenal tissues. By improving the functions of adrenals the compromised immune system can be picked up in the recovering process that leads to overall health.
Ashwagandha is considered to be an adaptogen, meaning a substance that helps the body to restore its energy level. Side effect is not significant, and no negative drug interaction is reported.
2. Korean Ginseng Root (also called Panax Ginseng)
Korean red ginseng root has the heat effect, for some people at the middle age or menopause period may experience some adverse side effects. The irritability, sexual excesses, mood swings are the symptoms. It is said that Korean ginseng root is more suitable for men than for women. It is good for kidney enhancement as well. A TCM doctor would recommend starting a small dose and gradually scaling up to moderate dose. Long term use and big dose should be avoided.
3. Siberian Ginseng Root
Siberian ginseng root is known to have the immune system boost effect. By strengthening the adrenal glands, the capability to counteract the diseases is increased, the metabolism is improved, the energy level and mental state can also be sustained.
4. Licorice Root
Licorice root is used in many Traditional Chinese Medicine formulas. The effects include enhancing vitality, energy level and harmonizing the interaction of the herbs in the formulas. Due to its blood pressure raising effect, cautions should be exercised for pregnant women and high blood pressure patients.
Herbs that have stimulant nature are not to be used for people at the detoxification stage. The use of the herbs such as mentioned above will complicate the situation when toxins in the body are the source of the illnesses. After the toxins are expelled from body, and the recovery process has started, the body is ready to take the positive effects of the adaptogens and the health goals can be reached.
Self navigating is not recommended in taking adaptogens. The reason is simple, that it takes professionals to provide health evaluation, the timing, the titrate of the dose, the type of stimulant herbs, all these matter a great deal in the process of the recovery. The body may produce temporary sign of recovery that may mask the underlying problems.