By Isaac Eliaz, M.D.
"As an integrated system of health care,
Tibetan medicine can offer allopathic medicine a different perspective on
health. However, like other scientific systems, it must be understood in
its own terms, as well as in the context of objective investigation. In
practice it can also offer Western people another approach to achieving
happiness through health and balance."
In this article I want to discuss a Tibetan-based herbal formula that reflects the philosophy outlined by H.H. the Dalai Lama. PADMA BASIC® is an extensively researched formulation that bridges the gap between Classical Tibetan Medicine and the modern Western medical paradigm. With over 50 published scientific papers spanning the last 30 years, PADMA's popularity among Western medical professionals can be attributed to its history of safe use and its health-enhancing properties.
The original formula, used for centuries as a cardiovascular tonic and to counteract "heat" (inflammatory processes or infections), made its way to Europe by the first half of the 20th century. Acceptance of an ancient Tibetan formula into the Western medical tradition requires sensitivity to both the original Tibetan intention, and the rigorous requirements of the international pharmaceutical community. Today PADMA BASIC is produced in accordance with strict manufacturing guidelines. The herbs are grown organically, or meticulously tested to ensure they are not contaminated. Ingredients are verified using thin layer or high pressure liquid chromatography. While the highest "scientific Western methods" are used, traditional Tibetan "scientific methods" of smelling and tasting are also followed.
PADMA BASIC can be understood from two viewpoints. In Classical Tibetan Medicine, good health means maintaining a dynamic equilibrium of universal elemental forces. Illness is a manifestation of imbalance. Therapeutic intervention aims at restoring balance by treating the cause, not just the symptoms. Within this traditional model, PADMA has three functions:
To the Western medical practitioner, untrained in Classical Tibetan Medicine, these concepts provide little practical guidance. However, we can examine such energetic terms in relation to "Western Physiology."
* Cooling effect: Our body systems reflect our Western lifestyle, which tends to "excess heat" caused by running too fast without a break; eating on the run, not sleeping enough, etc. The result is inflammation, the hallmark of imbalances involving our cardiovascular and immune systems, cell health, and much more. Since inflammation causes oxidative stress, such a formula has profound antioxidant value.
* Enhancing wind: This concept relates to flow in the body. When substances heat up they get sticky and do not move harmoniously. In Western medicine this translates to issues such as hyperviscosity or blood thickness, and circulatory imbalances.
* Vitalizing blood: As the system cools and flows harmoniously, circulation improves, influencing multiple systems from memory to cardiovascular health to immunity.
Following the Western medical paradigm, extensive clinical research demonstrates that PADMA supports circulation, cardiovascular health and immunity, moderates inflammation, and has antioxidant effects. From a pharmaceutical point of view, its compounds can be classified into functional groups, including tannins (anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cleansing), polyphenols/flavonoids (immune and circulatory support, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative), and essential oils (digestive support, cleansing, anti-inflammatory, immuno-stimulating).
Research shows that the circulatory and cardiovascular benefits of PADMA BASIC are partly due to its antioxidants. These compounds promote arterial health and normal blood flow, which, in turn, supports oxygen supply to the heart, extremities, and all living systems. They also protect blood lipids from oxidation, shown in controlled studies to contribute to detrimental vascular effects.
While specific nutrients are beneficial, the synergy created by combining ingredients far exceeds their individual effects. It is the unique integration quoted by H.H. the Dalai Lama that is responsible for such benefits. As we move forward to understand and research ancient formulas, it is my belief and clinical experience that we need to respect and preserve their origin and traditional indications.
Ingredients: Iceland moss (Cetraria islandica), Costus root, neem fruit (Azadirachtaindica), Cardamom fruit, Red Saunders heart wood (Pterocarpus santalinus), chebulic myrobalan fruit (Terminalia chebula), Allspice fruit, bael tree fruit (Aegle marmelos), Calcium Sulfate, Columbine aerial part (Aquilegia vulgaris), English Plantain aerial part, Licorice root, Knotweed aerial part (Polygonum aviculare), Golden cinquefoil aerial part (Potentilla aurea), Clove flower, Spiked ginger lily rhizome (Hedychium spicatum), Valerian root, Lettuce leaf (Lactuca sativa), Calendula flower, Natural Camphor (Cinnammum camphora).
Dr. Isaac Eliaz is a medical doctor and licensed acupuncturist with extensive training in complementary modalities. For 15 years, his practice has centered on the integrative treatment of cancer. He has been involved in numerous studies investigating the effects of nutritional supplements on cancer and has been granted two patents. He directs the Amitabha Medical Clinic and Healing Center in Sebastopol, California (707) 829-5900. For more information, please visit: www.dreliaz.com.
Published with exclusive permission of
Source Naturals, Inc.
Published with exclusive permission of Source Naturals, Inc.
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