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Chinese Herbal Medicine

What is Chinese herbal medicine?

Herbal medicine has a long history in the Orient. The first Chinese material, the Shen-Nung Herbal Classic, was begun during the Stone Age and completed in the later part of the 5th century B.C., from which some important formulas originated. After diagnosing a pattern of disharmony and administering acupuncture treatments, a practitioner often writes an herbal formula from over a thousand common herbal formulas or from more effective traditional family formulas. Medicinal herbal therapy works in concert with acupuncture by providing the nourishing support for the energetic “re-programming” and “re-balancing” efforts of acupuncture.

Benefits of herbal medicine:

Chinese herbal medicine, alongside acupuncture, is an integral part of the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine. These medicines are prescribed as decoctions or teas. There are also topical applications or ointments. These formulas are carefully chosen and their dosages administered according to the individual’s condition and set of symptoms and complaints. They are safe, effective and inexpensive and give the patient the opportunity to be actively involved in their healing regimen

Can anyone take herbal medicine?

Traditional Chinese herbs rarely elicit side effects when correctly prescribed by a trained traditional Chinese herbalist and have been proven safe and effective during thousands of years of use. They are highly specific in their actions and traditional Chinese herbal formulas contain a range of herbs that possess different qualities and properties which can target specific areas of disharmony in the patient. These traditional Chinese herbal formulas are specifically customized for the individual needs of each patient.

Is Chinese herbal medicine Safe?

Traditional Chinese herbs are not dangerous and have no side effects when correctly written. If a side effect such as digestive discomfort should occur, the formula can be modified so that there are no side effects. The most regularly used Chinese herbs have a very low toxicity compared to even common, over-the-counter Western drugs. Traditional Chinese herbs work synergistically with acupuncture and have been used as an integral and safe part of traditional Chinese medicine for over 5000 years. Traditional Chinese herbs substantially aid in the restoration and maintenance of balance in the body. They are made from natural substances such as plants, flowers, minerals and animal products and are the precursors to Western pharmaceuticals.

How does an herbalist prescribe herbal formulas?

Herb Formulas are developed to use each herb to its greatest advantage. By combining different herbs together, we will not only adjust and increase the treatment results, but also reduce or release the side-effects from the other herbs. It also makes it possible to treat complicated diseases at the same time. Formulas are based upon treatment principle, and treatment principle is dependent upon the cause. Because of the different cause of diseases, the herbal formula varies. In thousands of years of experience in Chinese medicine, generation by generation, there are hundreds of excellent classic formulas to be used to treat different diseases. They have proven to be very effective in treating all kinds of conditions. Often we prescribe a formula based on the classic formula, and add or deduct some herbs, adjusting the dosage depending on the patient’s condition. In a clinic setting, it is not always appropriate to use the same formula to treat one condition. The doctor usually changes the formula to follow with the change of the patient’s condition, general health and age. First of all, the number of the herbs in the formula can be changed. If the patient’s main complaint doesn’t change, but the secondary complaint changes, the doctor will add some herbs to treat the new complaint, and take out the herbs that were used to treat the primary complaint, which is nonexistent now. In addition, the dosage of each herb in the formula can be changed to follow the changes of the disease. Increase or decrease in one herb’s dosage may change the treatment principle.

Qualifications of an Herbalist:  Who can prepare herbal medicine?

Herbal practitioners are trained and experienced in the use of Chinese and Western natural medicinal substance. They are certified in herbal medicine by the National Commission for the Certification in Chinese Herbology.
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