Is Eastern Medicine Effective?

There is arguably no area of medicine that has gone under as much scepticism and enquiry as Eastern Medicine. Up until quite recently there was a large level of tolerance towards alternative therapies for treatment, but with many now finding cheaper and proven alternatives as the go-to (for example, Yoga for rehab patients) it leads to the question of how effective Eastern medicine really is.

In this short piece I’ll be laying some facts you might not know about how countries in the west are dealing with this type of medicine.


Taking one kind of medicine can have problems

As the NHS in England points out, taking an unprescribed form of herbal medicine may not be the best idea if you’re taking a dedicated prescription from your GP or hospital. Because Eastern medicine doesn’t have a higher level of clarity on what its ingredients are or what its benefits can be, it can unknowingly reduce the effect of other drugs.


It has a slightly murky status

In America, the FDA has very strict rules on what can be labelled as medicine and for any company to get their product cleared is a big deal. It would be very hard (and cost a lot of money) for those shipping in Eastern medicine to federally approve their products as being medicine.

To save money on this, all Eastern medicine sold in stores is categorised simply as a dietary supplement because the testing is a easier to get by.


You can’t get exact ingredients

With the use of so many natural ingredients, keeping tabs on what exactly is in one herbal cream for acne in one store when comparing it with cream sold in another store. The same goes for the types of teas that are sold too.


There is a level of religion involved

Much of the practices carried out in Eastern medicine come from ancient beliefs that have been passed down generations. When you talk about these beliefs out loud it can put a dent in accepting the validity of what it can do.

Some of these include:

  • The Yin & Yang belief of the body needing to be in continuous balance
  • We have an energy flowing through our bodies called Qi that maintains our health
  • Our bodies are miniature version of the universe as a whole
  • The elements (fire,water etc) can explain all functions in the body and why we get sick

Now while much of that can be deemed as just a philosophical element in practice, it can be a bit worrying when you want your health to be taken seriously.

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