Chinese Herbs for the Mind: Who Needs This Book

Chinese Herbs for the Mind: Who Needs This Book


This is my second book about Chinese herbal medicine. I practiced as an herbalist for twenty five years before I wrote the first book, long enough to convince myself that I was an expert. Sadly, almost the moment after the book publication party, my own health came crashing down, and I found myself helplessly ill.  In debilitating pain, bewildered and struggling, for almost 4 years I was clueless to diagnose or help myself. So were all the doctors, acupuncturists, herbalists, bodyworkers and healers that I visited.  It was a bad time for me, but I learned a lot, mainly about the inseparability of my body and my mind, and I got well.

To this day I fear that I paid the price of promoting myself as an authority, but nature taught me that I wasn’t as smart or as incisive as I had imagined.  It was karma, hard, blunt, and painful.

Now that I’m writing a book about mind, I confess to fearing I will lose mine. So with respect to the lords of karma, I declare that I’m not an expert or authority, only a communicator.  I offer this book as a small beginning. I wish only to inform people that Traditional Chinese medicine has a unique view of mind, body, and spirit. I make no promises of efficacy, only safety.  And I don’t pretend to know all the answers, or even most of them.

Let’s hope that I won't fall ill or lose my mind this time, because it’s too late to unwrite the book; it’s already alive in my imagination. It must be written, because so many people need it - badly.  I just hope to survive the aftermath.


Who Needs this Book?


According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about 1 in 5 adult Americans, that’s 43.8 million people, or 18.5% of the population, will experience mental illness in a given year. That includes 9.8 million, or 4.0% of the population who will experience a serious mental illness that interferes with work, stresses a marriage, or relationship, curtails an ambition, or limits other life activities and pleasures.

Breaking that down by condition, more than 15 million were diagnosed with depression, and an astounding 40 million people with anxiety disorder.

One in three people will experience insomnia during their lifetime, and 50% of people over the age of 60 suffer from some kind of sleep disorder

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is diagnosed in nearly 15 percent of Americans, while the World Health Organization warns of a worldwide epidemic of dementia, estimating that 47 million people, worldwide, are suffering from some kind of dementia. This is expected to increase to 75 million by 2050.

Chinese herbs can also help with drug abuse, alcoholism, and other addictions. As mentioned in the first post, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a large percentage of the Chinese population was addicted to opium.  Chinese herbs played a role in ending many of those addictions.

Caretakers and Healthcare Providers Need to Know

Caretakers, be they health professionals, nurses, therapists, counselors, or family members must deal with the mind of those whom they care for, even when they are helping with physical rather than mental illness.  As ay treat someone for a headache, but I find myself faced head-on with their depression, which can be both a cause and effect of their condition. It’s not only psychologists and counselors that deal with mental health issues, but chiropractors, physical therapists, and even massage practitioners witness their client’s state of mind, and may wish to help in any way they can.  None of these people can prescribe drugs, but many will welcome a way to help if they can access a safe and reliable method of healing the mind.

Even those health professionals who do have access to pharmaceutical drugs can benefit from this book.  It’s no secret that many of these drugs have undesirable side effects.  Hopefully, an enlightened psychiatrist or MD will try some of these safe, time-tested herbal remedies, avoiding the path of riskier drugs.

Other Books In This Vein

Herbs for the Mind: What Science Tells Us about Nature's Remedies for Depression, Stress, Memory Loss, and Insomnia, 2000, by Jonathan R. T. Davidson MD, Kathryn M. Connor

Herbs and Nutrients for the Mind: A Guide to Natural Brain Enhancers (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) – 2004, by Chris Meletis, Jason E. Barker

How to Use Herbs, Nutrients, & Yoga in Mental Health – 2012, by Richard P. Brown, Patricia L. Gerbarg M.D., Philip R. Muskin

Non-Drug Treatments for ADHD: New Options for Kids, Adults, and Clinicians –  2012, by Richard P. Brown,Patricia L. Gebarg

What You Must Know About Memory Loss & How You Can Stop It: A Guide to Proven Techniques and Supplements to Maintain, Strengthen, or Regain Memory –  2014, by Pamela Wartian Smith

The Psyche in Chinese Medicine: Treatment of Emotional and Mental Disharmonies with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs, 2009, by Giovanni Maciocia C.Ac

Dragon Rises, Red Bird Flies: Psychology & Chinese Medicine, 1990, by Leon I. Hammer

Psycho-Emotional Pain and the Eight Extraordinary Vessels – 2016, by Yvonne R. Farrell

Five Spirits: Alchemical Acupuncture for Psychological and Spiritual Healing, 2006, by Lorie Dechar

Acupuncture for Insomnia: Sleep and Dreams in Chinese Medicine, 2012, by Hamid Montakab

Shen: Psycho-Emotional Aspects of Chinese Medicine, 2007, by Elisa Rossi MD PhD BA

Natural Healing for Bipolar Disorder: A Compendium of Nutritional Approaches – 2009, by Eva Edelman

   © 2017 Joel Harvey Schreck 

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Did you know that Dr. Shen is also an artist and photographer? See his work here.

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