Herbal Medicine, Nutrition, and Nutriceuticals
What is herbal medicine? Herbal medicine is medicine from the plants around us. Some of these plants are quite powerful, some are quite gentle, and Dr. Matthews has studied how to use them safely to suit the patient who is presenting to her. One of the strengths of herbal medicine is that the traditional uses take heed of not just the disease, but also how the patient's particular version of that disease presents itself. Herbs are chosen based on the patient's personal weaknesses and strengths to help balance the patient back into health. Some of the traditional Chinese herbal formulas have been used that way for many hundreds of years. We use both Chinese herbal formulas and Western herbs.
What is nutrition? From raw food diets to food allergy safe diets to diets appropriate for specific diseases (like oxalate bladder stones, portosystemic shunts of the liver, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and cancer), there is a lot of territory to cover in this topic! And happily so, as improving diet can be one of the most powerful tools we have to improve health. Just ask us about the best diet for cats and why...!
What are nutriceuticals? Nutriceuticals are supplements like glucosamine for joint health and fish oil for arthritis. They include minerals like calcium, which we use to balance a homemade diet, and vitamins like vitamin E to support an overworked heart. Sometimes they are purified from plants, but often they are not.
What are some examples of how well these approaches can work? These tools can be used to advantage in most medical issues, but here are a few that they really shine in. For instance, we've seen Chinese herbal medicines make a huge difference in patients with chronic non-resolving corneal (eye) issues, liver cancer, kidney disease, or the almost 'untreatable' granulomatous myeloencephalitis (a brain disease). Diet changes can have a profound impact on patients with allergies, chronic gastrointestinal issues, and stomatitis (oral inflammation). Nutriceuticals can greatly improve clinical signs of feline arthritis and heart disease. And this is just a brief sample. If you want to explore whether they can help with YOUR pet, come and talk with us!