I am editing this question since I cannot delete it.
The reason why herbs were helping me for a while (I no longer take them) is because they offer some very important anti-oxidants and stimulants. So in a way, they work like a natural multi-vitamin.
However, herbs do not provide 100% cure. Only nutrition will. If you take herbs but do not stick to an anti-inflammatory diet (a high nutritional density low carb version of Paleo) no herbs in this world that would help you.
So... Chinese herbs really do help, but they won't cure you. If you want to restore your health completely, you need to eat well meaning stick to your diet and stay healthy.
My question now is - what is your herbal experience?
Without listing the herbs in question, no one can answer question 1. Even if you were to list them, it's quite likely only a DOM (or equivalent degree) could answer fully. Perhaps you should ask the doctor you saw, as he fits that description c:
This site is primarily focused on diet and lifestyle changes, and while there are lots of discussions with, from, and by folks with serious disease, most of it is run-of-the-mill tweaking of the n=1 experience. Paleo is a long-term and lifestyle change that enhances the body's ability to handle its own issues, not a medical (and herbs are medicine) treatment to cure a pathological problem.
I know this doesn't aswer all your questions, but I don't think they're all answerable, given the information you've shared, and I certainly can't answer any of the specifics about the herbs even if you were to share them. But I do hope it helps you to understand why you didn't get the specific advice nor results you wanted from our little community.
And I'm glad you're better. I've only had incredible experiences with traditional Chinese medicine over the last fifteen years; and as a medical student myself, I'm unsurprised you found relief there that standard Western medicine could not provide. Though I AM surprised your treatment was so effective despite no physical meeting or examination.
The short answer:the theory behind Traditional Chinese Medicine is about restoring balance in the body. The elements/ organs sound very metaphorical to us coming from a rational/ empiricist model of medicine, but the diagnostic methods are thorough and the remedies powerful where other methods failed. I too am impressed he did not need to see you in person and observe you. I've heard it said that herbal remedies are much more effective when the diet is clean from wheat, sugar, dairy, processed foods etc. So you may have been laying the groundwork for the herbs to work. Congrats on your recovery. TCM is very big on eating meat to build blood and strengthen the body by the way.
Maybe what you're doing could be better defined as naturalist. Hardcore paleo people won't tout herbal supplements because supplements were not around in Paleolithic age.
I will say though that I had all of your symptoms and went to a naturopath who told me to go paleo. Those symptoms were a result of hypothyroid and autoimmune problems. You might want to seek an endocrinologist or naturopath. If your problems are thyroid or autoimmune related, monitoring that may be beneficial.
If you feel good that's wonderful. I take some too and they help. You just may want to look further in to what herbals you're consuming. I'd want to know exactly what I'm putting in my body.
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