The Flu Season is Here – What’s Your Choice of Medicine?

July 20, 2012

There are lots of antibiotics to target individual bacteria available but only a few anti viral agents. Antibiotics were first discovered in the early 30’s (Pyocyanase and Lysozyme) and successfully applied in the laboratory but were too toxic for humans. In 1928, Alexander Flemming made the observation that one of his Petri dishes, already discarded, grew mould that was killing the bacteria. He investigated further and discovered Penicillin (in a nutshell). A life saving medicine was discovered! [i]

As a Chinese Medicine practitioner I see a lot of patients who have been prescribed antibiotics for what I consider unspectacular conditions such as a cough, cold, stomach upsets or diarrhoea. Children as young as 2 or 3 or 4 years of age, are being prescribed antibiotic agents and if they don’t work after the first course, they are prescribed a second one. This is scary and we all know that.    

“We have come almost full circle and arrived at a point as frightening as the preantibiotic era: for patients infected with multidrug-resistant bacteria, there is no magic bullet.” (Dr Arias, A/Prof University of Texas Medical School, Houston). [ii]

How effective are herbal treatments? Do we use anti-bacterial or anti-viral herbs as found in laboratory tests in newer times or do we stick to pattern differentiation and apply it diligently and wholeheartedly, following the steps of our forefathers of Chinese herbal medicine? Do we trust that the herbs that we choose work as effectively as an antibiotic that would be prescribed (hopefully after swaps to determine the strain) by a medical doctor?

As a Chinese medicine practitioner how to you combine the two worlds – the Western heritage and the Asian principles? Personally, I found that a hard question to answer but lately, I decided that I am sticking to the classics. They might not answer all my questions and are really challenging my lateral thinking but I feel it’s a system well established and applied for many thousand years. So, that’s where I want to put my trust and my commitment.

As an herbal dispensary service for Australia, we are committed to supply you with all the herbs at high quality that you require to successfully treat any condition – flu or others.  

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