Herbal Remedies

An area of study in the Master of Science in Oriental Medicine is herbology. Many NUHS clinic patients receive herbs from the NUHS pharmacy. The patients typically report vast improvement when receiving a combination of acupuncture and herbs. One of my patients agreed to share her herbal treatment experience for this week's blog. 

The patient, Ruth (her name has been changed), is currently being treated for foot problems. Ruth reported having a bone chip, torn ligaments and hypermobility found after a foot X-ray and ultrasound. Ruth reported that she was advised to have no weight bearing on her foot. She also explained due to previous traumas, she is unable use crutches and other non-weight bearing devices as they reactivate old injuries. Ruth explained she came to the clinic in hopes treatment would help in her foot's recovery process.

At Ruth's initial treatment, she received acupuncture and was given an external herbal foot soak suggestion to be administered daily. Ruth chose to follow the herbal suggestion. She was advised to continue receiving acupuncture every few days. Her future appointments would include acupuncture and cupping, alongside her herbal regime. 

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Ruth reports she is using her herbal remedy at home. She has a special blend of herbs, which help heal and promote the recovery of her foot. Ruth boils her herbs in cheesecloth, which you can see from the pictures, and then strains the herbs from the decoction. The liquid created by the boiled herbs is called a decoction. Ruth then places ice into the decoction to cool the liquid. Once cooled, she soaks her injured foot in the decoction for 30 minutes. She performs this herbal foot soak daily. 

Ruth has reported a decrease in pain and swelling since beginning her treatment plan. I have seen her regularly and notice a decrease in swelling along with a decrease in tenderness upon palpation (touch). Ruth has reported she feels that the combination of oriental medicine alongside her allopathic treatment plan proves to be a productive choice for her. She has reported that she was not a "big fan of herbs initially" but understands their benefits now.  

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As an AOM student, which includes being an herbal student, it is very gratifying to see patients receive help through herbs. Herbology can be a challenging subject. Many times I have questioned whether or not to be in the herbal program, or to choose the acupuncture program without herbology. I have always enjoyed learning about nature and its healing benefits. At times I have become very challenged by the herbal classes, but it is an honor to be part of the team helping patients receive benefits from herbs. Patients such as Ruth help me stay motivated as I see how much this knowledge can benefit patients.