First of all, I am an outsider on the subject of herbs, I know nothing about the types of herbs and the effectiveness of herbs.
I know a doctor from PRC for a very long time. When I was secondary school student, my father often brought my mother to visit this Chinese doctor. She has low blood pressure and apparently traditional Chinese herbs are perceived to be more helpful than western pills. I think cost is also a reason as the consultation fee and herbs of this Chinese doctor were cheaper than western clinic.
I was a science stream student at that time and started to expose to the world of science. I looked down to this type of vague diagnosis using traditional herbs. My negative opinion of this type of herbal treatment was reinforced when I noticed my father paid expensive money to buy the wild ginseng which according to the doctor is essential to enhance my mother’s vitality and blood circulation.
Cut the story short, my mother is 74 years old now and she has no problem to wake up at 5.30am every day and join my father for a morning walk. She eats well, sleep well and can handle herself.
So, I was wrong about this Chinese doctor. I tried to know more about this doctor and from him, I understand a little bit about how a doctor was trained in PRC and what are the key elements required to be a good practicing doctor. He is a professor of a medical school in PRC and came to Malaysia during a government-to-government exchange program in the 80s. He applied to stay here and opened a clinic in my hometown. I witnessed how he cured patients with acute illness (some are my close relatives) using herbs alone. I won’t touch on this subject as not to give false hope to anyone.
What I can learn from him is – Chinese traditional treatment and herbs therapy is 博大精深 (broad and profound). To be effective, it required a very knowledgeable and experienced practitioner and most importantly, a practitioner with a good heart.
Whereas, the Chinese medicine emphasizes on dialectical analysis of human body as a collective interrelated system, therefore, the holistic approach is slower but beneficially in long term basis particularly for complex illnesses.
The reality is that over 5000 years, Chinese people have been depending on Chinese medicine to cure illnesses and protect themselves against epidemics. Undeniably, Chinese medicine has contributed to the population growth over these years and attains its today’s status of world largest population with 1.37 Billion people or nearly 19% of world population.