Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese herbal medicine is an important component of Eastern medicine and is used to treat a whole host of diseases and conditions such as the common cold and flu, issues with the digestive, gynecological, musculoskeletal, or immune system, and respiratory disorders.

Herbal medicine may be used in conjunction with acupuncture for a synergistic effect, or herbal formulas may be administered as the sole method of treatment. Chinese herbs have a proven track record of safety and medicinal usefulness backed by thousands of years of use as well as extensive modern research.

Herbal remedies may contain ingredients from animal, plant, or mineral sources, though plant sources such as leaves, flowers, roots, and bark of plants are most commonly used.

Most modern pharmaceuticals were originally developed from an herbal source, but to be mass-produced, they are now manufactured as a synthetic form in a laboratory. Herbal remedies, on the other hand, are made from complex organic compounds found in nature. Taking a complex natural herb greatly reduces side effects and risks.

In the Chinese tradition, herbs are combined together into a formula. This formula approach allows the practitioner to administer a smaller amount of each individual herb, thereby reducing or eliminating side effects. Also, by combining different herbs into a formula, the herbalist can custom design the formula for each individual patient.

When considering the administration of a Chinese herbal formula, it is very important that the herbalist is aware of all medications, Western and otherwise, that a patient is taking. Though there are very few reports of interactions between Chinese herbs and other medications, it is important that the potential for interactions be scrutinized carefully.

At Harmony + Health Acupuncture, herbal formulas are dispensed in granular or pill/capsule form. The pill/capsule form is familiar to everyone. The granule form can be custom designed for individual patient needs. The granules look like instant coffee, and a scoop is dissolved in warm water so that the solution can be swallowed.

It is important that Chinese herbs are purchased from a trusted source. At Harmony + Health Acupuncture, herbal manufacturers are closely scrutinized and only those that guarantee their products are from factories that meet or exceed international Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and who provide rigorous testing to safeguard against contamination and to assure quality are selected. Please ask if you have additional questions.

 

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