I grew up in a country where herbal medicine is often used and prescribed. Most of my ailments as a child were treated with herbs and/or acupuncture even though all my family members were trained in allopathic medicine. It was considered quite normal and I never gave it much thought. After moving to the U.S., I realized that most people had strange notions about herbal medicine. Many consider it hocus-pocus, primitive or unscientific. Some, on the other hand, think it’s magical and cure for all. Both attitudes create obstacles to understanding. I hope that I can help you deepen your understanding of Chinese herbal medicine. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Herbal medicine is an integral component of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is also one of the oldest (and most popular) forms of health care. The term “herbal medicine” refers to substances derived from plant, animal or mineral origin.
Individual substances are rarely prescribed alone in Traditional Chinese Medicine. A carefully balanced recipe of several different herbs is specifically tailored for each person’s entire health condition. Each herb is chosen for its own specific functions. In addition, herbs can enhance the strengths and reduce the side effects of each other. The combination of substances in a formula creates a new therapeutic agent that can treat much more effectively and completely than a single substance.
The key to effective treatment is ensuring each individual’s particular needs be addressed. We will tailor each herbal remedy to meet your body’s requirements.
What is the difference between Western herbs and Chinese herbs?
Western Herbal Medicine tends to use one or two herbs to treat just a specific symptom. A Chinese Herbal formula has as many as 20 different herbs. The herbs are selected to work synergistically to treat the whole person. In Chinese medicine, due to our diagnostic system, we are able to assess a person’s whole constitution (the health of their whole body) and treat the root (or cause) of a health concern along with a branch (or the symptoms) of a health concern. It is in this way that we are able to treat a person’s whole body and mind, rather than just a symptom.
Are Chinese herbs safe?
One of the most appealing qualities of Chinese Herbal Medicine is the low risk of adverse reaction or side effects. It is important to note that in order for the herbal formula to be safe and effective it must be prescribed by a trained herbalist.
The most commonly reported adverse reaction is minor gastrointestinal upset. Modifying the herbal formula or adding herbs to strengthen the digestive system can remedy this. If you do notice any side effects, please stop taking your herbs and contact us.
Herbs To Aid Fertility
Practitioners of Chinese medicine have over 500 medicinal substances to their disposal. Most practitioners tend to use around 150 different herbs and each formula can contain around 5 to 15 substances. No individual herb is considered a special “fertility enhancer” although some herbs tend to be used more frequently in fertility treatments. The formula blend will depend on individual situation of each patient: their age, symptoms, overall constitution, western medical diagnosis (if any) as well as practitioner’s training, experience and preference. Formulas for women and men tend to be different but there is some overlap in ingredients used. Chinese herbs are most commonly administered as herbal decoctions (tea), granules (powders that are dissolved in hot water), pills and capsules.