Chinese Herbal Medicine is sometimes not as well known as the practice of acupuncture. Nonetheless, the herbs are actually just as important to your therapy as your acupuncture treatment. Herbal medicine is a major component of Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been used for over 3000 years in China and worldwide. Chinese Herbal Medicine is based on the same theories as acupuncture and allow your therapy to continue when you are away from the clinic. We administer herbs in various forms including raw herbs, pills, powders, teas, and tinctures. Great care is taken in selecting the form of herb that assures maximum results and best matches the patient’s lifestyle.
Before pharmaceuticals (and even the use of acupuncture needles) herbal remedies were used to heal and balance the human body. Chinese herbs have shown their effectiveness under the scrutiny of both empirical study and modern clinical trials. These herbs can be used to augment the treatment of a particular imbalance, working together or sometimes in place of acupuncture and other medicines. When used properly, Chinese herbs are extremely safe and effective. One should always consult a trained herbalist when selecting which herbs and formulas to take.
What does it involve?
In China, there are over 3,200 herbs, 300 mineral and animal extracts, and over 400 formulas used. Herbal formulations may consist of 4 to 12 different ingredients, to be taken in the form of teas, powders, pills, tinctures, or syrups.
Chinese herbal remedies are made up of one or two herbs that are said to have the greatest effect on major aspects of the problem being treated. The other herbs in the formula treat minor aspects of the problem, direct the formula to specific parts of the body, and help the other herbs work more efficiently.
Native cultures all over the world have traditionally used herbs to maintain health and treat illnesses. Chinese herbal medicine developed with Chinese culture from tribal roots. By 200 BC, traditional Chinese medicine was firmly established, and by the first century AD, a listing of medicinal herbs and herbal formulations had been developed.
The classic Chinese book on medicinal herbs was written during the Ming Dynasty (1152-1578) by Li Shi-Zhen. It listed nearly 2,000 herbs and extracts. By 1990, the latest edition of The Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China listed more than 500 single herbs or extracts and nearly 300 complex formulations.
Chinese herbal medicine first came to wide-spread attention in the United States in the 1970s, when President Richard Nixon visited China. Today, at least 30 states license practitioners of Oriental medicine and more than 25 colleges of Oriental medicine exist in the United States.