Drug - Supplement - Food
A surge of the return to basics in food and medicine, a trend of back to nature quietly surging around the world. Chinese medicine is the surf boat of the trend, the United States are a pioneer positions. More and more Americans believe in natural medicine, herbal supplements, they buy herbal health care products. They tired for chemical and Knifes. In the shopping malls, pharmacies, online, everywhere efforts to promote sales Chinese health care products. Some even think that application of herbal supplements as fashion.
As a Chinese medical practitioner, I saw the opportunities of Chinese medicine benefit to human, and also feel confusion in the development of Chinese medicine.
What are Herbs and Supplements?
As we all know, Chinese herbal medicine in the United States managed by FDA ( U.S. Food and Drug administration) as a food and supplement .
There are two categories of food and drug in the United States and all western country:
1, food and supplement;
2, medicine, ( drug and Chemical medicine)
Concept in the West, the drug basically refers to Chemical drugs, herbal medicine is not medicine, but only food supplement.
Concept of oriental , since ancient time, the medicine has been including herbal drug that those are not chemical processing, called natural medicine.
Since centuries, the Western chemical drug were into China, our Asians in the concept, the food and drug divided into three categories:
2, herbal medicine(natural drug);
3, chemical medicine(chemical drug).
In other words, there are two kind of drugs: Western medicine(the drugs have been getting chemical processing); and herbal medicine (natural drugs or say organic medicine). We call medicine rather than supplement, emphasize that they are for the purpose of medical treatment.
In American classification, for the purpose of seeking medical treatment were classified as drugs, it is Medical Doctor’s patent. Therefore, if counted as herbal medicine, there will be a strange phenomenon: MD does not know how to use herbal medicine, but they have the right to use them; and as Chinese medical practitioner, we know how to use herbal medicine, but have no right to prescribe the herbal medicine. Therefore, Chinese herbal medicine into the U.S. market as a first step, we can only put them as herbal supplement. This is understandable and wise. Indeed, many herbal medicine are also food. And the fact, it is successful, for example, Red yeast rice low cholesterol, Chinese dates help sleep, Chrysanthemum would help eyes, Angelica regulation gynecological problems……they have been benefit of people of the United States.
But with extensive promotion of Traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese medicine as such to the management of food and supplement, have more and more prominent side effects: the abuse and the banned in Chinese herbal medicine.