Chinese Herbs for Health |Tio Bustillo |Central Texas Gardener
Alright the community first story is so wonderful. It’s one of the most powerful and interesting thingshappening in our city. Congratulations to all the wonderful folks out therewho are raising gardens and hoping to grow some people as well. Right now we’re gonna be turning our attention toChinese medicine and Chinese herbs. I’m joined by Tio Bustillo who is a doctor of integrative medicine with Baylor’s Scott and White. Alright, well welcome to the program. -Thanks Tom. I appreciate it. -This is gonna be really interesting for me,because I actually am a patient ofacupuncturist and herbalist,so I’ve been kind of learning a lot here about thetreatments I’ve been receiving. In the United States right now there are a lotof different kinds of people who areseeking out care from kind of the wisdomof the east, what do you see that’s in common there?-You know I see a variety ofpeople who come in not only with justaches and pains but a variety ofconditions that stem from general wellnessall the way through Durhamconditions like dermatology conditionsbut often times you find people who areno longer finding treatment in theWestern medicine strategy and they’veturned to Eastern medicine strategies tofind at least some solutions to their pressures. -Okay and I understand that’s just the opposite of what’s happening in China right now. -Yeah so what has happened is that in China where theirpreventive care treatment strategy isalways going to talk to a Chinesemedicine practitionerand then if the Chinese medicine practitioner can’tsolve the situation thenthey usually move over to an MD or a doctor for them. -Okay so very different dynamic here in the states. -Yeah. -So here it’s often people are just frustratedand they’re looking for solutionsto something that hasn’t worked. -Sometimes yes sometimes they can,and this is where we come in and try to do our bestand try to help find that solution. -Okay well gonna be talking about some specific herbs,and some of these of can be grown in Austin. We’re not goingto talk too much about the cultivation,but one thing we want I want people tounderstand is that self medication,even if it’s an herb and thenatural thing, is probably not the best idea. -No so we have to be very carefulabout the things that you’re takingbecause you’re changing basically thebiochemistry of your body,and so consuming an herb or taking any kind of supplementyou’re changing your chemistry. And so we have to talk toeither your physician or someone whospecializes in herbal pharmacologybefore taking any type of herbal medicineand especially at Baylor Scottand White we actually work very wellwith your primary care providers andstart to build a plan around all ofthose treatment strategies which is awesome. -Well and making sure that the herbs you’re taking aren’t counter indicated with medication team. -Exactly which is huge and oftentimes people don’trecognize that those herbs that they’retaking are counter interactive withinmedications that they’re taking. -Okay and prevention of illness is a big thing inChinese traditional medicine. -Correct. -And you’ve bought some herbs and we’re gonnatalk about each of these because theseare all kind of preventive, right?-Yeah you can take them at different stages of your health. -Okay. -So one of them is called Huang Qi or it’s Astragalus in English,and we know that that actuallyhelps to stimulate the immune system,and the way it works is that thepolysaccharides inside of that little herb therestarts to build up more whiteblood cells in the system. Which if you take it for long periods of timebefore the cold and flu seasons,you’ll be ready for the cold and flu seasonsbefore you get to that there. -Okay and this is just a root of a cotton plant from East Asia. -Yeah. -So not necessarily one we would grow herebut commonly available. -Right, I think another common one is going to be Andrographis or Chuan Xin Lian-It’s easy for you to say it. -This one has been around and used in many different cultures. It also has a antiviral and antibiotic therapy to it. It’s been known toactually help with strep. Which is awesome, so if you’re starting to feelthat sore throats or that little coughyou can always start to take that andthen see how that works as well. -Right and maybe prevent having to take an antibiotic. -Definitely, definitely. -That’s a good strategy for that. The next herb is onethat grows everywhere in our area. -Yeah, yeah honeysuckle. Honeysuckle flowersis one that we use quite a bit in Chinese medicine. It has a widespectrum of antiviral, antibacterial andis what I call the original antibiotic. We can utilize this one for symptomsthat are a cue like if you do have somesort of virus infection it’s given very commonly. The way you want to takethese type of herbs is very interesting. Oftentimes people go ahead and take themover the counter in little capsules butthis is where having that consultationwith your providers becomes importantbecause it’s not necessarilythe herb that does it itself but it’sthe dosage of that one single herbthat becomes really important. -Oh I see. Okay and I understand with the honeysuckle all parts of the plant could be used andthey’re increasingly strong as you getback to the stem. -Right. So the flower is a strong part of the plant,but if you start to go down towardsthe branch and the leavesthe power of itbecomes even stronger and it’s alsoutilized for different type of illnesses. So whether you have lung issues orif you’re having some upper respiratoryinfections versus like a bladder infection. -Right. -So different parts of that plant will be utilized. -Well we’re gonnatalk about more herbs but you use theherbs often in combination with otherkinds of therapies like acupuncture. -Now, describe how acupuncture actually worksto be to some people it seems kind of like magic. -Right so it’s not necessarily magic. Most people think of the meridians of the body,and the meridians of thebody is just a way that they used tocall neurological lines of the body,so now that we realize that your body ismade up of neurological pathways westart to stimulate the neurologicalpathways that go up to the brainstimulate the brain to do A or B andthen there’s when the therapeutictreatment starts to occur. -Because the brain will release for example dopamineor something-Dopamine, yup. The feel good hormones of the body to prevent pain or to stop pain for a while. -Right and it’s actually used sometimes in surgicalsituations. -Right it does. We now know, and in China they’ve been doing this for a while that you can use it in replacement of anesthesia. So if you’ll notice that your insurance may say that can be used in place of anesthesia. Which is interesting. but that just shows you the powerthat acupuncture actually has. -Right and again if a patient comes to you,typically it’s gonna be a blend ofresponses that you work with them on. -Right so you can use it as preventative treatment,you can use it asa cue treatment and I think I think inthese type of relationships with yourpractitioner it’s long-term it’s aboutactually understanding the person notnecessarily the condition. It’s always about establishing thatconnection, so that we know whatyou look like when you’re sick and weknow what you look like when you’re not sickand that way we compare and say “Tomyou don’t look like yourself today, what’s going on?”-Okay hopefully I do look like myself. Now some other herbs that people can grow here for example. Wide variety of gingers can be grown hereI’m sure there are different uses for different kinds. -Definitely so ginger isvery interesting we can not only use itfor gastro issues for stomach problemsbut we can also use it for congestion ofthe nose as well as the chest. Oftentimespeople will use the peel for onespecific condition like upperrespiratory infections or again thewhole root itself for digestive issues. Most people don’t realize though theycan also utilize it as a topical agent. So if you’ve ever taken a warm bath. Tried to warm yourself up when youhave those chills or there’s little fevers,you can actually put the gingerinside of your bath and have a ginger bathwhich warms the body even more. -Sounds like fun. -It’s great. It’s really great. So but you know sometimes we can add alsovegetables in it and the vegetable wouldbe like scallions if you put scallionsand ginger together it warms the body up even more. -Okay we only have a short amount of time but I want you to address echinaceabecause a lot of people use it while they shouldn’t be. -Right so people who have allergies to ragweedshould not be using echinaceasince echinacea and ragweed are part of thesame family you might actually be doingyourself a disserviceand causing more allergy symptoms thanactually boosting your immunity. Very careful. -Alright as an allergy sufferer I will rememberthat for a very a long time. It also sometimes counterindicated for ultimateimmune disorders right?-Right so if you have an autoimmune condition we need to be very mindful of the medications thatyou’re taking. You may not want to boostyour immunity while you are on that typeof medication, so that’s where herb-druginteractions are important. -Okay well Tio this has been fascinating thank you somuch for being a guest on Central Places Gardener. -Thank you so much for having me, Tom. -Alright coming up next it’s Daphne.