The origins of herbal medicine in China can be traced back at least 5000 years, making it one of the oldest and most long-standing health care systems in the world! Chinese herbal medicine takes a holistic approach to understanding normal function and disease processes and tends to focus as much on the prevention of illness as on the treatment.
Most illnesses present with a core set of recognisable signs and symptoms, but the actual presentation of a particular illness will vary from person to person. For this reason, people with similar health conditions may be provided with quite different herbal medicine prescriptions. A qualified Herbalist, like myself, is able to prescribe a herbal formula that specifically matches and treats your individual health concern. As your condition changes and improves with treatment, the herbal treatment is adjusted and modified until the desired health outcome is achieved.
Today there are more than 450 substances commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine – most are of plant origin (animal products in formulas are not used in my clinic). Many of the substances used will be unfamiliar to you and have names like Chai Hu (bupleurum), Di Huang (rehmannia), and Huang Qi (astragalus), while some you may know like Dang Gui (angelica root) and Ren Shen (Panax ginseng). Some substances that were used traditionally are no longer part of modern professional Chinese herbal medicine practice.
Herbal medicines are prescribed either singly or made into formulas containing on average between 2 and 18 herbs which take into account the individual therapeutic action of each herb and well as the effects when combined together. A well constructed formula maximises the effectiveness for treating a particular condition, while counteracting and minimising the unwanted effects of an individual herb.
I use mostly herbal granules as teas or in capsules. These granules are prepared in such as way as they are more potent than dried, ground herbs. Because of this, I don’t need patients to take as much product each day during their course of herbal treatment as they would if they were to take patent formulas as tablets. I prepare herbal teas on site and create formulas specific to an individual’s particular imbalances. For some patients, however, formulas in tablet form are the best method for them. I have access to hundreds of patent formulas for patient care. Occasionally I use herbal tinctures as well which are strong decoctions of formulas that are added to water for effective delivery.
I do not regularly rely on herbal therapy for patient care. But when I believe it is the best treatment for you, I follow your progress closely and do not endorse using most formulas for an extended period of time without planned breaks. Herbs are medicines in their own right and need to be treated with great respect.
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