Chinese herbal medicine has an uninterrupted history of development dating back thousands of years in China and other parts of East Asia. It is one of the oldest and most long-standing health care systems in the world. Chinese herbal medicine is known as a natural and holistic system of primary health care that is being used by people from a wide range of cultural and social backgrounds to effectively treat a wide range of chronic and acute health problems.
There are more than 450 substances commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine – most are of plant origin though some animal and mineral substances may also be used. You may find some in your kitchen, such as ginger, garlic and cinnamon, while others such as chrysanthemum and peony flowers, are more likely to be found in your garden.
Chinese herbal prescriptions are carefully composed mixtures of individual herbs. The proportions are specific to each person, and they are easily modified to meet the needs of the individual.
Patterns of Chinese herbal medicine
There are three patterns of the herbal medicine in general. They are herbs, granulated powders and Chinese patent formulas. Because of the difficulty of boiling traditional decoctions and the pungent odor, people rarely use herbs now. Granulated powders, which can be mixed with hot water to make a tea, are more convenient to prepare and use, and are not as pungent as traditional decoctions. Chinese patent formulas are pre-made herbal formulations in pill or tablet form. At Acurepoint Health clinic, we normally offer granulated powders and patent formulas to our patients.
Conditions can be treated by Chinese herbal medicine
Chinese Herbal medicine is used to treat a range of disorders including cough, asthma, stomach trouble, hormonal imbalances, high blood pressure, gynecology problems, insomnia, migraines, anxiety, arthritis, depression and other disorders. Chinese herbal medicine may also be used to assist general health maintenance and disease prevention. Please remember, Chinese herbal medicine must be prescribed by a qualified Chinese medicine practitioner.
Benefits of Chinese herbal medicine
There are numerous benefits to Chinese herbal medicine, including the following:
- It is a gentle, natural way to treat difficult imbalances in the body.
- It can often make lasting changes more quickly than acupuncture alone, particularly for long-standing imbalances.
- It is a good way to maintain the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments when treatments need to be spaced farther apart than is ideal.
- It is tailored to the individual. The prescription can be easily adjusted and rebalanced as often as necessary to find the most effective formulation and to adjust for change and progress in a patient’s condition.
It is often safely combined with many Western pharmaceuticals. A qualified herbalist will know which combinations are safe and what should be avoided.