What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?
Chinese Herb Medicine is composed of plants and partly of minerals and animal products. Because most of them are plants including seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes, Herbal Medicine is usually called Botanical Medicine or Phytomedicine. It is the precursor to Western pharmaceuticals in which medicines are extracted or modified from active ingredients in plants. Herbal Medicine can be taken by mouth or through muscle or vein system as internal use and also be used as external admission. There are two kinds of products of internal-use herbal medicine (in USA only digestive herbs are available for internal use): herbal formulas and decoctions. Herbal formulas are based on classic or experienced formulations and these are mostly made by herbal manufacturers; the decoction is made for individual patients by the practitioner who prescribes herbs with different properties and qualities according to the individual needs of the patients’ condition, timing, different environments. They rarely elicit side effects when correctly prescribed by a trained traditional Chinese herbalist compared to even common, over-the-counter Western drugs.
What conditions can herbal medicine treat?
Traditional Chinese herbs have been used as an integral and safe part of traditional Chinese medicine for over 4000 years. It substantially aids in the restoration and maintenance of active balance in the body. Herbal medicine treats many conditions, such as allergies, asthma, eczema, stress, insomnia, migraine, menopausal symptoms, chronic fatigue, and irritable bowel syndrome and so on. The World Health Organization lists 43 conditions which can be treated by Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture. Herbal supplements are best taken under the guidance of a trained health care provider.
How do herbs work?
For most herbs, the specific ingredient that elicits a therapeutic effect is not known. In each decoction the mixed herbs contain many ingredients, and it is likely that they work together to produce more desired medicinal effect also to reduce individual herbs’ toxicity. Health care providers must take many things into account when prescribing herbs. For example, the species and variety of the plant, the plant's habitat, how it was processed and stored, and whether or not there are contaminants (including heavy metals and pesticides). Standardized herbal supplements are the best way to ensure proper dosages and effects. Our purchased herbal supplements are from reputable manufacturers in China and herbs’s qualities are ensured.
How do you take it?
In our clinic we offer extracted and concentrated herbs (powders) for patients’ convenience. Their efficacy is similar to or same as raw herbs. Patients do not need to cook and filter them. After the prescribed herbs are dissolved with hot or warm water, patient can easily drink these warm teas. In a decoction, these herbs are taken 2-3 times each day, one dose in the morning, one dose in the evening or in the afternoon. It is better to drink herbal teas without food, but is ok if that is necessary for convenience or for digestive comfort in most of cases. Please inform your medical practitioner if you experience any digestive discomfort or other side effects from drinking the tea.
For further information, please contact the practitioner when you are taking herb medication.