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Herbal medicine, regulations and hospital use

Chinese herbs can be very effective medicine when properly prescribed
Chinese herbs can be very effective medicine when properly prescribed

Many hospitals in China utilize Chinese herbal medicine alongside modern biomedical pharmaceutical drugs. Many of these hospitals have trained herbalists working alongside biomedical trained physicians in an effort to find the best therapy for the patient. There was a recent announcement that the Cleveland Clinic is now following the same path.

The Cleveland Clinic announced that Chinese Herbal medicine would be available in the hospital provided by trained and nationally certified herbalists. Many hospitals in the U.S. have been experimenting with providing acupuncture in the hospital setting. Herbal medicine was usually not allowed in many biomedical settings.

Time magazine wrote about the story in April 2014. While many Herbalists were excited to see this step forward in regards to the acceptance of herbal medicine, many were concerned about one aspect of the Time article. The Article stated that herbs are not regulated by the FDA. This myth of non regulation continues to get repeated throughout many media stories about herbs and herbal medicine. The truth is that herbal products are highly regulated, and many herbalists utilize herbal medicines from suppliers that they trust are not only meeting but are often exceeding the requirements of the FDA. The American Herbal Products association wrote a letter of correction to Time Magazine on this issue.

The hope is that more hospitals will look at the growing scientific validation of herbal medicine and add nationally board certified herbalists to their staff. Properly prescribed herbal medicines are powerful medicine, and medicine which could help a lot of people if only there was a greater access and acceptance of the medicine.