Review - Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism



Disclaimer:  I received this book free from Healing Arts Press in exchange for an honest review.  I did not receive any form of compensation.

I have always been interested in learning how we can fully integrated ancient herbal techniques with modern medicine in a way that would be meaningful and healthy.  Donald R. Yance has found a way in which to marry the two in order to help people to overcome illnesses.

The first part of the book is an explanation of how some of the ancient herbal practices started.   Plus he shows a scientific basis on how herbalism can actually be beneficial.  The second part of the book goes through a listing of various herbs and their usages.

I loved that Yance had written the first part in a way that someone without even a rudimentary knowledge in how the body functions can understand and utilize this knowledge.  However, it is also written in a way that those of us who do understand the mechanics of the various body systems don't feel like we are reading a primer.  Yance is truly the master of balance in terms of his writing style.

I was especially interested in the section on thyroid function since I suffer greatly from hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's thyroiditis.  Even though I have read basically anything I could get my hands on regarding the thyroid, there were quite a few points that I hadn't realized until I read his explanation of the functions performed.

Another section that really stood out for me is "Enhancing Metabolic Function and Maintaining Immune Protection".  I had always known that when my thyroid functions were out of whack, that everything else was too.  But for some reason, my mind just never grasped that it was really a double edged sword  for me.  Since I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, this means that I have an autoimmune disease that attacks my thyroid thereby decreasing its function.  So when I get sick, stressed or have an allergic reaction, my body goes into gear & attacks the thyroid.  The thyroid functions go crazy throwing all my numbers out of sync.  With my numbers out of sync, my metabolism decreases and I do not get the nutrients that my body needs in order to keep my immune system in balance.  With my immune system out of balance, it attacks my thyroid even more.  So as you can see, unless I can jump off of this merry-go-round, it is an endless cycle.

Yance not only describes how things work and what you should be doing, but also why.  Sometimes, changes in our diets or lifestyles don't stick because we don't fully understand the reasoning or science behind it.  We know we should avoid this food or should be getting more of this herb or supplement, but we don't know why or what function it actually portrays.  This book describes all of that and more.

I know that after my surgery, I am planning on starting on Rhodiola as a supplement for my thyroid.  Yance states that this is the main adaptogen that he recommends.  Plus it is also in the chapter regarding cancer.  So that one herb will have multiple benefits for me.  I would have loved to have started it right away, but unfortunately, when you are preop you are told to avoid any and all herbal supplements.
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