Chinese herbal medicine is an integral component of traditional Chinese medicine and is often used in conjunction with acupuncture as a safe and effective means of healing the body and mind. Herbs are used in combination within a formula to treat each patient’s underlying constitution and root pattern.
Are Chinese Herbs Safe?
When prescribed by a qualified practitioner, Chinese herbal medicine is extremely safe and effective. Our practitioners have been trained to pay careful attention to dosage, combinations of herbs and any known drug-herb interactions. In addition, the Chinese herbal profession is working with the FDA to ensure the quality and safety of Chinese herbs imported into this country.
Herbs are usually more gentle than pharmaceutical drugs because of their balancing or regulating effect on the body. However, side effects from herbs are possible. The most common problem is gastrointestinal upset, gas and bloating due to slight difficulty digesting the herbs. This or any other problem should be reported to your practitioner so that necessary changes can be made to your formula.
It is important that your practitioner be made aware of any medications or supplements you are taking to prevent any possible interactions with your herbal medicine treatment. In addition, patients should inform their Western medicine physician of the herbs they are taking.
How are Herbs Administered?
Herbal formulas are traditionally administered in a variety of forms including raw herbs that are decocted at home, granule powders, pills, and tinctures. Our office utilizes granule powder herbs as appropriate and carries a full-line of pills and tinctures including pediatric formulas. Chinese herbal formulas are generally taken 2-3 times daily over a designated treatment period.
Conditions Treated by Chinese Herbs
Chinese herbal medicine is a comprehensive form of medicine that can effectively address a wide variety of conditions. It has a long clinical history of treating acute and chronic conditions. It excels in treating conditions that Western medicine has difficulty in treating – such as, gynecological issues and infertility, and chronic conditions, as well as conditions that do not have a Western medical diagnosis. Chinese herbal medicine may be used to treat infants, elderly patients and pregnant women.