People turning to herbal medicines for anxiety, pain, insomnia

The World Health Organization estimates 80 percent of the world's population uses some type of herbal medicine. It's a growing trend in treating a variety of issues like fatigue and stress. 

Seventy-six-year-old Mia is feeling good these days, but a couple of years ago that was not the case. She had broken bones and dealt with pain throughout her whole body after a serious car accident.

The former nurse went through physical therapy and was using an opioid for her sleeplessness. 

"My general practitioner didn't want to give it to me anymore," Mia said. "He said not at your age, you could become addicted to it."

 That's when she visited Jason Gauruder at Garuda Health in Ferndale. 

"The herbal medicine has been around for 2,000 years," Gauruder said. "Four biggest ones I treat are fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, and depression."

Gauruder is a board-certified Chinese herbalist. 

"Anxiety is actually just a symptom," Gauruder said. "It's not a diagnosis in itself. So for them to say, OK, the person suffering with anxiety as a symptom, but what is the Chinese medical diagnosis as to what is causing the anxiety?" 

Gauruder said Chinese medicine can help with chronic care but it is "not so good" at acute care and trauma care. 

If you are considering this holistic treatment, there are some things you need to consider. Packaging and processing of herbal medicines are not well controlled, so you must go to a reputable source. There is the potential for contamination and for different amounts of active ingredients.