Sub-Health Condition: A New Killer
What is A Sub-health Condition?
Sub-health condition is defined by the World Health Organization as a state between health and disease when all necessary physical and chemical indexes are tested negative by medical equipments, things seem normal but the person experiences all kind of discomfiture and even pain.
Most of us have the experience of driving into a repair shop and tell the mechanic that your car acts strange and some parts do not work. After checking over, you are told that they can not find any thing wrong, and you can come back when something happens. You left and you begin to worry that something is going to happen to the car, but you do not know when and where!
It is the same thing to your health. Should you congratulate yourself and forget about it when your doctor tells you that they have found nothing wrong ? Perhaps not.
Criteria of Sub-health Condition
If you suffer from the following symptoms you probably are in this condition:
- You have chronic fatigue complex as results of over taxing physical and mental work or long term stress, such as insomnia, forgetfulness, somnolence, profuse dreaming, dizziness, distention in the head, mental fatigue, cumbersome limbs, shoulder and back soreness, lack of concentration, proneness to flu and cold, etc.;
- You have a poor appetite, dizzy head and vision, depression and fright, vexation, agitation, irascibility, tidal fever, vacuity sweating, congestion, short of breath, general body weakness, irregular menses, poor sexual performance which are the results of endocrine disorders, menopausal complex and aging; and
- You experience vacuity sweating, congestion, short of breath, palpitation, dizzy head and vision, and general lack of strength, which occur after a serious illness or chronic diseases.
In a sense sub-health is more dangerous than disease. Ask yourself a common sense question: What is more dangerous, when you know the enemy or when you do not?
Sub-health is a critical state between health and disease, or a gray state of health. The body has a weak immune system and pathogens may invade easily and seriously, and it is more dangerous also because most people neglect it and many therefore get into serious troubles.
The demarcation between health and disease is thin. How thin? Very thin. Consider this:
Diabetes is reliably diagnosed if the test detects a blood-glucose concentration greater than 140 milligrams per decaliter after an overnight fast. What is the normal range? It is 70 to 100 mg/dl. Are you normal if your result is 101 to 139?
The World Health Organization found that 10% of world adult population are in sub-health condition. If you feel this 10% is not a big deal, think again. The 10% is not shared evenly among the world population. Due to various reasons, some industrialized societies and some developing societies are the most seriously hit. Long term stress, overtaxing physical and mental work, environmental pollution, all pose to push us into this condition. According to the latest survey, 75.31% people in Beijing, China are in sub-health condition, and most of them are people with high education level and people who are playing key roles in various fields.
What Can I do?
Everyone is different. One should do according to the particular situation one is in. There are three things we can do.
- Form healthy life habits including alternate work with rest, be moderate with smoking and drinking and do exercises;
- Take balanced diet that helps recuperate;
- Take scientifically proven dietary supplements to accelerate recovery and build up immunity.
There are many supplements including herbals, vitamins and minerals, etc in the health food markets and it is difficult to determine which are the ones one need to take. You can talk to you herbalists or nutritionists for advices. But here are few suggestions that may help you determine what you need and take.
Seabuckthorn Seed Oil
Often it is a good idea to take supplements that have multi-nutritional and remedial values. Some supplements may contain many good stuff that have the needed effects on your health. Seabuckthorn seed oil, flax seed oil, etc are among those popular ones.
Modern research uncovered many great medicinal and nutritional values of seabuckthorn fruit and seed oil. Seabuckthorn, especially its seed oil is packed with wonderful bioactive substances and nutrients. Nearly 90% of seabuckthorn seed oil is unsaturated fatty acids including linolenic acid (Omega 3), linoleic acid (Omega 6), oleic acid (Omega 9), palmitoleic acid, etc. It is also exceptionally rich in Vitamin E with vitamins A, D, C, D and K, etc. Its active ingredients include carotene, flavonoids, phytosterols, serotonin, amino acids and trace elements including iron, zinc, calcium, manganese, selenium, iodine, etc., that are so important to good health.
Cardiotonic, stomachic, dermatropic, antioxidant, anti-infection, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-radiation, anti-constipation, healthy cholesterol maintaining, blood vessel softening, blood fat reducing, pro-blood circulation and pro-natural healing, Seabuckthorn seed oil has a wide range of uses both internal and external, including the prevention and cure of cardiovascular disease, cancers, ulcers, burns, and immune disease, gastrointestinal disease, respiratory disease, urinary disease such as yeast infection, and gynecological disease, skin disease, etc. They regulate and harmonize the endocrine, circulatory, autonomic nerve and digestive systems. This with antioxidant and free radical resistant properties, may effectively restore health and get rid of sub-health conditions. As seabuckthorn seed oil protects the white blood cell against damage by radiation and chemotherapy and speeds up regeneration of tissue cells and promoting natural healing, it can provide essential help to those under going radiation and chemotherapy for cancer patients.
It is no exaggeration that seabuckthorn seed oil is a great herb store of natural remedies by itself, and if you decide to take just one supplement, this is IT.
For more detail about seabuckthorn seed oil please Seabuckthorn Seed Oil: A Rich Natural Remedies Store by Itself
Another great herb for this purpose is rhodiola. Rhodiola contains salidrosides, tyrosol, dendrolasin, safranal, 17 amino acids needed by the human body, of which 7 can not be synthesized in the body. It also contains 21 trace elements, a number of vitamins and various volatile oils, alkaloid and flavones. These active elements are highly potent and play very important biological functions. It is one of the best gifts of nature that helps the body to adapt to different, especially to adverse environments with its adaptogenic and bi-directional modulating functions, discharging in case of excess and supplementing in case of inadequacy, thus keeping the body in biologically healthy and balanced condition. Modern research has confirmed its anti-radiation, anti-fatigue, anti-hypoxia, antioxidant, detoxifying and cardiotonic effects and the properties to eliminate stasis and accumulation, maintain normal blood pressure and promote natural healing. Other reported benefits include its ability to maintain the central nervous system and endocrine systems for better memory and endurance.
Rhodiola Sacchalinensis A. Bor, is a rare precious herb growing between 1700 and 2300 meters (5577-7546 feet) above sea level in the frigid zone on the Changbai (Permanent White) Mountains in NE China. Due to its ability to survive tough conditions and strong vitality, local people call it "the herb of longevity" and "the herb of immortality," and used it as a tonic and sexual elixir for both man and woman.
The Shen Nong's Canon of Materia Medica compiled around the second century AD described it as a "superior herb." By royal edict of Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722) of the Qing Dynasty, it was named the "God-given Herb" and it became an exclusive tribute to the royal court and the general public was strictly forbidden its use. He often rewarded his soldiers with Rhodiola wine to maintain their good health and enhance their military performance.
In the 1960s, the Russians discovered Rhodiola by chance in their search for tonics. Pharmacological analysis proves that Rhodiola contains rich nutrients and what is more special, it has adaptogenic properties and is more precious than ginseng. The Russians formulated a variety of health foods with Rhodiola for use by their astronauts, pilots, divers and athletes, and rhodiola began to be known in medical circles as "the gold plant" and the "magical herb of the Orient."
Starting from the 1970s, research institutions in China and elsewhere conducted systematic studies of the chemical constituents and pharmacological functions of Rhodiola. As a result clinical applications and tests on animals have shed light on many more beneficial aspects of this valuable herb. Today it is one of the most important herbs maintaining good health for those who always move in the fast lane in general, and those subject to frequent electromagnetic influence, including computer operators, cellular phone users, TV viewers and athletes, in particular.
Reishi Broken Spores
Stories abound in Chinese folklore and legends in which filial sons or daughters, devoted brothers and sisters, friends and lovers went through all kinds of unimaginable difficulties and hardships and risked their lives to go to the heavily guarded celestial garden to get Reishi or Lingzhi, the "herb of immortality" to bring their loved ones back to life from the teeth of death.
These seemingly fallacies are not only supported by the effective use of Reishi by traditional Chinese doctors but are also being verified by modern sciences and new technology. In countless cases this magic herb or its products have saved the dying. In China, many recovered patients attest to this fact.
Reishi is called "Lingzhi" in Chinese. It appears in Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (Shen Nongs Canon of Materia Medica) as a superior herb. It is the dried fungus Ganoderma Lucidum (Leyss ex FR.) KARST. of the basidiomycetes family.
The antitussive, expectorant, hypotensive, antihepatic and antibacterial effects of Reishi are well known. For thousands of years the Chinese have been using it as a tonifier and detoxifier to enhance the immune system, vitality, and blood circulation, disperse stasis and accumulation, and dispel inflammation. Chinese doctors prescribe it for deficiency, fatigue, neurasthenia, insomnia, tuberculosis, hepatocirrhosis, bronchial cough in elderly persons and carcinoma, etc.
Research found that Reishi spores when broken are much more potent than Reishi. They are rich in proteins, 18 amino acids, polypeptides, polysaccharides, nucleosides, terpenoids, alkaloids, carbohydrates, germanium, vitamins and minerals. Extensive lab tests found that Reishi broken spores speed up T lymph cell transformation, enhance phagocytosis of macrophage and increase white blood cell, promote serum agglutination, raise activity of glutathione peroxidase in blood, inhibit metastatic tumor (S180 sarcoma), increase resistance to hypoxia, reduce cholesterol, etc, without side-effects.
As a nontoxic, natural anticancer synergist, an application has been filed in China for official recognition as a new anticancer drug. Meanwhile Reishi broken spores have become very popular and many cancer patients (in mid to late stage) and patients with other difficult and complicated symptoms have been saved.
Popular as they are, Reishi spores are very rare and the "breaking" of the spore wall involves high-tech processes. Generally speaking the real reishi broken spore is very expensive. If you can afford for it, it is a good idea to take it for a while, especially after a major disease, operation, or serious problems, that need major overhaul and strong remedies.
Astragalus and Chrysanthemum
Astragalus and chrysanthemum are two common herbs that if you do right will help a great deal on daily basis. You can put the two together as teas. Simply put, astragalus is to enhance immunity and chrysanthemum is mainly to improve blood circulation to the capillaries, especially the brain and limbs.
Astragalus has been used as an immunity booster in China for thousands of years. The Shen Nongs Canon of Materia Medica compiled around the second century AD (or early? Some put the date as early as second century BC.) listed Astragalus as one of the "Superior herbs" which, "is nontoxic, nurtures life and helps adapt to nature (principles of Heaven), and will not hurt for long term and high dosage use."
Belonging to the Leguminosae family, Astragalus membranaceus is one of the most frequently used food supplements and remedies in China. Herb specialists call it an adaptogen, a type of nontoxic natural substance that helps the body maintain its normal balance of health and wholeness as defined by Dr. I. I. Brekman of the Institute of Biologically Active Substances, Academy of Vladivostok, Russia. "Make up energy and redress balance" is the most central quality of Astragalus. Chinese often keep it in their water container to get the tonic effect constantly.
Analysis shows that Astragalus contains polysaccharides, monosaccharides, flavonoid, alkaloid, including choline and betaine, folic acid, various amino acids, mucoitin, gum, cellulose, picrorhiza, and fourteen mineral trace elements, including selenium, zinc, iron, etc, which are inperative for man and animals. It is believed and used in Chinese traditional medicine for its following pharmacological functions:
- It strengthens immunity to disease. It has certain inhibiting effects on molecular pathological changes caused by viruses, increases growth of plasma cells, stimulates synthesis of antibodies, and builds up body defense.
- It deters aging process and facilitates longevity. It delays the natural aging process of diploid blastocyte, prolonging by one third the life span of the cells.
- It enhances body energy. It promotes metabolism of serum and liver proteins, stimulates growth of antibodies, increases white blood cells, and thus increases resistance to viruses. It also induces production of interferon.
- It is diuretic, detoxicating and reduces proteinuria and cures kidney disease.
- It inhibits gastric secretions, reduces gastric acid, and thus helps cure stomach ulcers.
- It is cardiotonic. It has even more remarkable effects on heart failure due to poisoning or exhaustion.
- It protects the liver and alleviates liver injury caused by stilbenemidine.
- It relieves impotence and frigidity.
Numerous scientific studies have confirmed the medicinal value of astragalus. Immunopharmacology (1990;20) and Mutation Research (1992) found enhancement response by Astragalus extract, Journal of Ethnopharmacology (1990) reported a hepatoprotective effect and indicated that ethanol extract of Astragalus alleviates liver injury, Archivos del Instituto de Cardiologia de Mexico (1993) announced the vasodilator and antihypertensive properties of Astragalus extract.
Since the 1950s, scientists have discovered the potential use of Astragalus for treatment of cancer (The Journal of Urology 1991;146:486-490). Investigations conducted by institutions for cancer research indicated that in areas where selenium content in foods is high, rate of stomache cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, bladder cancer, colon cancer, etc, is low. Selenium content prevents cell damage caused by hydrogen peroxide and oxidative lipids. Antioxidation effect of selenium is 500 times that of vitamin E. Recently the immunity enhancing properties of Astragalus have led medical scientists to use it in experiments of AIDS treatment (Virology, March 1992). It is considered one of the most promising herbs.
Astragalus is available in many forms. Chinese drug store sell dry roots, some stores sell powder of the roots, some market the extract, while others make it the central ingredient of herbal teas. While some use only the root, others also use the leaves and flowers.
Originated in the far East, chrysanthemum is either an annual or pperennial herb belongs to the large genre of the daisy family.
As an important food supplement and tonic, chrysanthemum has been used in China for more than two thousand years. The Shen Nong's Canon of Materia Medica compiled before the Christian era, rated it as a superior herb the use of which prolongs life. Its central pharmaceutical properties recorded in traditional Chinese medical manuals, are, "pacifying the liver and brightening the vision, relieving fever and removing toxins".
Cuisines with chrysanthemum flowers abound in China, especially in the south. Guangzhou (Canton) features its famous Autumn Chrysanthemum Banquet, and Nanjing (Nanking) provides serialized cuisines with chrysanthemum flowers as the principal ingredient. Chrysanthemum liquor is also very popular.
The last eight emperors of China averaged 53 years and the average life span at that time was about 50. The famous Empress Dowager Ci Xi who ruled China for 43 years however, lived 73 years, and was able to keep a young body! According to analysis, it was mainly because she adhered to a herbal diet. Of all the herb foods she loved and used chrysanthemum longevity jelly the most. During her last years she used it every day.
Modern analysis shows that chrysanthemum contains choline, vitamin A, B1, glycosides, adenine, amino acids, flavonoid, volatile oil, etc. It is said to have inhibiting effect on bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus hemolyticus B, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Shigella dysenteriae, tubercle bacillus and dermatomycosis. It may have antivirus and antispirochete qualities, enhance capillary resistance, and it is used in Chinese traditional medicine to deal with high blood pressure, heart colic, coronary heart disease, arteriosclerosis and high cholesterol, relieve congestion, palpitation, short breath, dizziness, migraine headache, cold, flu, etc. Regular use is believed to " lead to energetic body, better vision and hearing, alert brain and longevity".
Chrysanthemum is available in three forms, some stores just sell dried flowers, some market its extract, while some others provide herb tea with it. Now more and more people are enjoying the loving care of this "mum".
What Can We Learn from Traditional Chinese Medicine?
The above suggestions are based upon the philosophy and principles of traditional Chinese medicine, which can be said as a science of biological balance. Sometimes, especially in case of sub health conditions an experienced Chinese herbal doctor is more accurate than modern medical equipments. In no way any equipment can make a wholistic diagnosis like a Chinese herbal doctor does.
Those who often suffer sub health conditions would do themselves a rewarding turn by understanding some basics of traditional Chinese medicine.
Theories of Illness: In Chinese medicine, disease is defined in terms of breaking up of the relative balance in the human body. According to this theory, there is an endless process of adaptation among all parts of the human body and between the human body and the environment. This process maintains a relative dynamic balance which in turn supports normal biological activities. When the human body is in harmony with the environment, pathogens will not hurt it.
Diseases happen under two circumstances, one is when functional disorders occur in the human body and the ¡°right Qi¡±is relatively weak, and the other is when strong ¡°evil Qi¡± has affected the body. Right Qi means normal functional activities and the body¡¯s ability to resist diseases, and the evil Qi means pathogenic factors. Inset and changes of the disease reflect the course of the struggle between the right Qi and the evil Qi.
Diseases strike only when the right Qi is relatively weak. Outcome of the struggle between the right Qi and the evil Qi depends on the constitution, mental state, environments, habits, nutrition and exercise.
Prevention as Priority Determine the root cause is the overall guiding rule in treatment of diseases in Chinese medicine. It includes two aspects, one is to take precautions before disease strikes£¬emphasizing that internal factors lead to diseases. There are many formulas and methods to help enhance the immune system. As early as sixteen century, Chinese invented inoculation for smallpox. There is also a need for prevention even after a disease strikes. This is to intercept possible pathological changes. For instance, liver problems may lead to problems of the spleen, when the liver is out of order, it is important to protect and strengthen the spleen.
Balance as the Ideal State of Health In Chinese concept, everything is connected to every else in a relationship of cooperation and coordination. For the human body, when all are maintained in a relative equilibrium and balance, ideal health prevails. If there is anything wrong in a man, it is the relationship, either between him and his environment, or between one part of him with other parts and equilibrium is broken. It is the mission of Chinese medicine to address this balance. What is more, in reestablishing this balance, efforts must be taken to avoid creating any new imbalance the other way round which might be worse for the patient. That is why treatment with Chinese medicine is expected to be slow and noninvasive.
Holistic considerations and Individualized Treatment Occurrence, development and changes of diseases are subjected to all kinds of factors. In prevention, diagnosis and treatment, everything, including the season and local conditions, physical and psychological environment, the patient¡¯s age, gender and general physical conditions, family history, etc, all have to be considered. A patient from Western cultures may feel uncomfortable with a doctor of Chinese medicine when the doctor asks questions that are too personal.
The holistic approach of Chinese medicine has also contributed to the classification of the human body into functional systems rather then particular organs in anatomical sense.
Another result of this holisticism is the predominant use of compound formulas rather then single herbs. This becomes very obvious when one steps into a health food store in the U.S and compare Chinese made dietary supplements with local products.
This holisticism, together with the abundance of available means in terms of method and medicinal materials makes a doctor of Chinese medicine a resourceful practitioner. What he can do is virtually limitless. It is no exaggeration that Chinese medicine is an art of healing, and a good doctor of Chinese medicine treats the patient rather than the disease.