While sister Abbie was in town and we were cruising around Chinatown, we went into a Chinese herbalist’s office, recommended by my garden neighbor, Mrs. Cheng. The herbalist doctor I visited in the past had died in August of this year after falling down a staircase and hitting his head. His son’s wife reported the hospital advised that all organs were in good shape for a 77 year old, but that he had suffered head trauma. An unfortunate tragedy for his son and wife, who dispensed the herbs prescribed. Yim Bo Him was a tireless Chinese doctor; people from many walks of life went to visit him for many different ailments, including cancer, diabetes, nerve problems.
The new herbalist is a woman, whose small office is next to the old Chinatown post office substation in Honolulu’s Chinese Cultural Plaza (I’ve misplaced her card). When we arrived, there was one woman waiting for an acupuncture patient and two of them being treated in a small back room. The doctor helped me, asking my condition questions in broken English, checking pulse on both wrists and writing very quickly in Chinese on a small pad. The prescription was given to an English speaking assistant, who weighed out the sticks, berries, bark, seeds—looks like mulch—on a small balance scale. Two bags: enough for 4 cups of adaptogenic medicine. Her prescription is much more palatable than those prescribed by Yim Bo Him.
I go sometimes to Chinese heralists because of the philosophy of eastern medicine: I like the idea of treating with adaptogens, of non-harm, and of bearable cost ($25 for office visit and herbs). You have to consider that this stuff has been around for a lot of years, compared with our Western medicine. It’s stands to reason it works. It’s modalities are not a quick-fix, and maybe that’s what we pay for in allopathic doctoring. You can’t beat hospitals for broken bones, but when it comes to thyroid issues, they are far behind the curve; many sufferers of hyper-and hypothyroidism are getting relief in alternative medicines.
Another link to the difference between Chinese and Western medicine: