There’s a big problem with the way herbalism is viewed today. It seems the whole system has been hijacked by western medicine.
The amazing part of western medicine is its ability to break everything down into its smallest component, to determine how it works or functions. That said, it has never been able to figure out chi or energy and how it works.
The whole concept of Chinese herbology baffles them, so its usually pushed aside as ineffective or even a hoax. This is a typical human response to anything we don’t understand. It’s better to state that something doesn’t work than to admit you don’t understand how it works.
Astragalus is a great example.
They’ve now isolated chemicals from astragalus that directly affect telomeres, the caps on your chromosomes that determine cellular aging. That’s great information – but it doesn’t tell you about astragalus or why you would take it.
When I started using herbs I was in desperate need of a life change. My chronic fatigue had taken over my life, leaving me exhausted and withdrawn. If I had read about astragalus helping my telomeres I wouldn’t have cared at all. What I cared about was figuring out my extreme fatigue.
Astragalus was one of the herbs in the chi part of my recovery program. Historically astragalus was the principal energy tonic for anyone under 40 years of age. It also built something called Wei Qi, the protective immunity of the body.
Chi is your daily energy
It holds you upright and carries you throughout the day. It also spares your adrenals from being used to power everything and helps you to conserve energy. I needed some daily energy and my adrenals were weak to the point of causing a constant chronic ache in my lower back.
One of the outward signs of chronic chi deficiency is a slumped over look, as if your shoulders move inward and down. The failure to take deep breaths lead to lungs that never quite fill and your chest cavity starts to collapse. That was me with chronic fatigue.
After two weeks on herbs, I began to stand upright. I seemed to grow two inches in height but I was really just beginning to stand up, kind of like a balloon that’s been fully inflated. This led to making eye contact and I no longer stared at the sidewalk three feet ahead of me when I walked. I began to notice my surroundings and the people that occupied my world.
All of this happened because I learned about Chi
I learned about chi and astragalus the way the shamans of China wrote about it thousands of years ago, a long time before microscopes and telomeres.
Looking at herbalism through its historic perspective teaches you real herbology and how it can be used to enhance life. All of the modern research into chemical constituents is nice, but without the traditional information achieved over time by shamans and Taoist monks it’s pretty useless.
It’s nice to be able to access both but without the real knowledge of how things have been classified and used over time, its pretty much useless.