Chinese Herbs and Nutritional Supplements
Herbal medicine has been a form of medical treatment for thousands or years. Multiple cultures developed some type of natural plant based medical treatment, including Native American and Western Herbal remedies, India’s Ayurvedic Medicine and Chinese Herbal Medicine. Many of our current western medication’s where originally derived from whole plants, or herbs. For example digitalis is from foxglove and aspirin from willow bark. Many ancient Chinese herbal formulas contain apricot and peach pit. Western research on those Chinese formulas led to the development of Laetrile, a cancer treatment containing Amygdalin which is found in apricot pits.
Training in Traditional Chinese Veterinary medicine (TCVM)
is necessary to properly prescribe Chinese herbal formulas. Similar to western or allopathic medicine, TCVM uses the patient’s history and examination of the patient’s body to help determine what type of imbalance or disease exists. Where TCVM differs from western medicine is the examination includes diagnostic acupuncture points on the body, as well as tongue and pulse examination. The history questions will also focus on different observations such as preference for hot or cold, and time of day when change are most often seen, for example "patient" vomits every day at 9 am. Based on the TCVM findings a single herb, a single formula or a custom combination of formulas and single herbs can be selected to treat for the specific imbalances found for that patient.
Dr. Adams is certified in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Herbal Medicine through the AAVA course taught by Steve Marsden DVM, ND, MSOM, LAc, Dipl.C.H., and Mona Boudreaux DVM, CVA, AVCA, IIMQ. Dr. Adams has taken multiple advanced courses form various instructors and has been integrating Herbal Medicine with traditional treatments for over 20 years, Dr. Adams had the opportunity to treat patients with herbal medicine at a referral hospital for several years. Patients seen at the referral hospital included out-patient, and critical care patients not responding to traditional western medical treatments. Use of Chinese Herbal Medicine expands the options that Dr. Adams has to treat her patients. Conditions where Chinese Herbal Medicine can be beneficial include:
- IBS/IBD or leaky gut
- Vaccine reactions
- Immune mediated disorders, IMHA, IMT, lupus, polyarthritis
- Neoplasia or cancer
- Perianal fistulas
- Traumatic bruising or bleeding
- Chronic cystitis or bladder infections
- Infectious disease and parasites
- Pain management for musculoskeletal disorders
The body requires micronutrients to function properly, including vitamins, minerals and fatty acids among other nutrients. After an illness or infection there many be microscopic damage to cells or tissues, which may or may not show up on basic, or specific, traditional lab tests. Biopsies of tissues may show damage to tissues such as gut lining where medications may not be as useful as treatment with vitamins, minerals or nutritional supplements. Our need for certain nutrients also changes as our body’s age and cellular function declines. Oxidative stress levels increase with illness, surgery, aging and exposure to toxin’s; nutritional supplements including various anti-oxidants can support the body during recovery form oxidative stresses and toxin exposure.
Nutrition is very important for general health as well as recovery from illness or injury. However even vitamins, minerals and supplements can be toxic if given in the wrong dosages, or may interfere with or enhance the effects of medications. Although there are hundreds of supplements available over the counter (OTC), supplements are not regulated by the FDA.
Quality and purity of supplements can vary dramatically, to the extend that, what is on the label may not be in the container at all. Many companies who sell supplements have done no actual studies to confirm that their product works.
OTC supplement providers may use the studies or research of other company’s supplement as evidence that their product is as effective. However if cheaper quality or different dosages of components are used they may actually decrease effectiveness, or limit the supplement form working at all. One good example of this is glucosamine and chondroitin. Not all sources of chondroitin with work with glucosamine and poor quality chondroitin will actually block absorption of glucosamine, and patients may decline or become more painful on cheap glucosamine products. Much of the information about supplements found on the Internet is not research based, but is marketing material to promote sales, including personal reports of a supplements effectiveness. Consumers should use caution when buying OTC products.
Dr. Adams has been integrating the use nutritional supplements such as super oxide dismutase, SOD, probiotics, glutamine, omega-3 fatty acids, milk thistle, mushrooms, colostrum, and Standard Process supplements ** (see information below) to treat chronic and acute medical issues, along with traditional medical treatments since 1990. Along with certification and CE lectures, she has reviewed extensive research from the National Institutes of Health, NIH, as well as research from other countries, and continues to pursue additional education every year. The products she prescribes and recommends have all been tested, under go routine quality control, and have been researched for their effectiveness.
The companies producing recommended supplements also test for contaminants such as heavy metals, mold or other toxins, and the regular quality controls ensure the dosages and quality will be the same with each bottle.
Nutritional therapies do not replace traditional medicine or proper diagnostics in cases of chronic or acute illness. Supplements can be extremely beneficial in recovery from an illness or injury, but can be equally harmful if they are used incorrectly, for example some antioxidants and vitamins can promote rapid growth of cancers rather then provide protection against cancer. If your pet is suffering form a chronic medical issue, is slowing down with age, or is not responding fully to current medical options, then a consultation about nutritional options may be beneficial. Medical advise, including advise on nutritional support is based on a comprehensive history and examination and is not given over the phone with out an examination.
Think Beyond the Bowl
Nutrition is more than just putting kibble in a bowl. Standard Process Veterinary Formulas help bridge the gap created by the processing of foods. Standard Process supplements are made from whole food ingredients your pet would instinctively eat. These ingredients deliver the full spectrum of nutrition in its natural form. When your veterinarian chooses a Standard Process Veterinary Formula, they are providing your pet with essential nutritional complexity.
Targeted Nutritional Support Using Whole Food Supplements
Since 1929, Standard Process has been dedicated to the field of nutritional supplements and the whole food philosophy. In 2002, our Veterinary Support formulas were created with a veterinarian, with this same philosophy in mind. The goal of nutritional support is to provide complete nutrition to each cell, restoring normal metabolic function.
Available and Active Nutrients
Whole foods contain hundreds of biologically active compounds, including enzymes, phytonutrients, and amino acids. When left intact, whole food nutrients are more available and active than isolated nutrients.
Meeting a Patient’s Individual Needs
Nutritional requirements can vary greatly from one animal to another. Whole food supplements enable the body to compensate for these individual differences by providing a full complement of nutrients. With whole food supplements, the body can pick and choose needed nutrient substrates without overloading any one system or organ.
Quality FROM SEED TO SUPPLEMENT
At our office, we believe that given the proper nutrition, your pet has the amazing capability of keeping itself healthy. We also believe that nutrition should be individualized to meet each patient’s needs. For these reasons and many more, we proudly recommend Standard Process Veterinary Formulas.
If you are interested in scheduling a consultation for herbal or nutritional options for your pet please call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Adams at one of the clinics listed below.