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Chinese Herbal Medicine.

What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Herbal medicine is a major component of traditional Chinese medicine, a comprehensive health care system used for over 3,000 years in China and throughout the world today.

Chinese medicine views the body as a dynamic, interrelated whole possessing a vital energy or life force called Qi (pronounced "chee"). Health depends on the free flow of this energy and the interplay of the body, mind and spirit. When disease occurs, specific herbs are chosen to rebalance the energy and allow the body to heal itself.

Herbs affect the Qi and promote healing in one or more systems of the body. Usually herbs are combined into formulas that address the main health problem and support the mind body system.


Are Chinese Herbs safe?

In the hands of a well trained herbal practitioner, Chinese herbs are effective and safe. Careful attention to dosage and combination of herbs, as well as any known drug herb interactions, are covered in comprehensive Chinese herbal medicine education programs. 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 have a balancing or regulating effect on the body and are usually gentler than pharmaceutical drugs. Side effects from herbs are possible, but are usually minor. The most common problem is gastrointestinal upset, gas and bloating due to slight difficulty digesting the herb material. If this or any other problem occurs, discuss it with us so we may change your formula.

Herb drug interactions are rare. However, in order to allow your health care providers to treat you effectively and work in partnership, you should inform your Western medical physician that you are taking Chinese herbs just as you should inform us of any prescription medicines you are taking.

How are Herbs Administered?

Chinese herbal medicine is actually composed of over 5,000 plant, mineral and animal substances. Most herbalists, however, work with 200 to 300 herbs. The traditional method of preparing herbs is to cook the raw herbs in water to form a decoction or tea. Nowadays, however, depending on your preference, or the recommendation of us, you may take herbs in pill form, as a tincture, or in a powdered or granulated form easily dissolvable in fluid. Although the taste is sometimes bitter, most people find this acceptable given the health benefits.

What to expect at an Herbal Consultation?

We will ask a variety of questions regarding your specific complaint and your general health. We may take your pulse and/or look at your tongue in order to form a Chinese medicine diagnosis.

After completing an evaluation we may recommend a formula consisting of several herbs. Although Chinese herbal medicine can effectively address a wide variety conditions, sometimes Western medicine consultation and treatment may be appropriate. In this case, we will suggest that you see your primary Western medical provider. As in any form of healing, your attitude, diet, determination and lifestyle affect the outcome of your course of treatment. You are encouraged to participate in your healing process to obtain the best possible results.

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