Chinese Herbal Pharmacy

 
 

Herbs are a variety of naturally found products that have medicinal properties that add to the healthful benefits of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese treatments.

 

For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners have known of and employed a vast array of herbs with medicinal properties. Western Pharmacology is now beginning to acknowledge these natural counterparts without the side effects of processed pharmaceuticals.

 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine a patient's diagnosis reflects a state of balances in his or her body.  Thus the herbal remedies, if needed can be formulated in correspondence to this state. Herbs, combined with the application of Acupuncture, are effective in facilitating the flow of qi (pronounced "chee"), by removing blockages in the Meridians, nourishing and fortifying the internal organs and Harmonizing organ functions.

Herbal formulas can be taken in a variety of ways. You may be prescribed raw herbs, that can be used to steep into a tea, or you may be given herbal supplements in pill and/or capsule form. At Meridian Harmonics all herbal formulas are created for a single patient, according to his or her specific pattern of disharmony.  It is unlikely that two patients, even with the same diagnosis, will receive the same herbal prescription.



What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Herbal medicine is a major component of traditional Oriental medicine, a comprehensive health care system used for over 3000 years in China and throughout the world today.

 

Oriental medicine views the body as a dynamic, interrelated whole possessing a vital energy or life force called Qi (pronounced chee). Health depends on the free flow of this energy and the interplay of the body, mind and spirit. When disease occurs, specific herbs are chosen to harmonize the body's energy and allow it to heal itself.

 

Herbs affect the Qi and promote healing in one or more systems of the body. Usually herbs are combined into formulas that address the main health problem and support the mind-body system.



Are Chinese Herbs Safe?

In the hands of a well-trained herbal practitioner, Chinese herbs are effective and safe. Careful attention to dosage and combination of herbs, as well as any known drug-herb interactions, are covered in comprehensive Chinese herbal medicine education programs. In addition, the Chinese herbal profession is working with the FDA to ensure the quality and safety of Chinese herbs imported into this country.

Herbs have a balancing or regulating effect on the body and are usually gentler than pharmaceutical drugs. Side effects from herbs are possible, but are usually minor. The most common problem is gastrointestinal upset, gas and bloating due to slight difficulty digesting the herb material. If this or any other problem occurs, discuss it with your practitioner so he/she may change your formula.

 


How Are Herbs Administered?

Chinese herbal medicine is actually composed of over 5000 plant, mineral and animal substances. Most herbalists, however, work with 200-300 herbs and 150-200 formulas. The traditional method of preparing herbs is to cook the raw herbs in water to form a decoction or tea. Depending on your preference, or the recommendation of your practitioner, you may take herbs in pill form, as a tincture, or in a powdered or granulated form easily dissolvable in fluid. Although the taste is sometimes bitter, most people find this acceptable given the health benefits.

 


What To Expect At An Herbal Consultation?

Your Chinese herbal practitioner will ask a variety of questions regarding your specific complaint and your general health. Your practitioner will inspect your pulse and look at your tongue in order to form an Oriental medicine diagnosis. Meridian Harmonics has developed a proprietary pulse diagnosis technique, The Pulse Matrix, for determining the robust acupuncture and herbal treatment strategies

 

After completing an evaluation, your practitioner may recommend an herbal formula consisting of several herbs. Although Chinese herbal medicine can effectively address a wide variety of conditions, sometimes a Western medical consultation and treatment may be appropriate. In this case, your herbal practitioner will suggest that you see your primary Western medical provider.

 

As in any form of healing, your attitude, diet, determination and lifestyle will affect the outcome of your course of treatment. You are encouraged to actively participate in your healing process to obtain the best possible results.


Conditions Treated by Chinese Herbs

Chinese herbal medicine is a comprehensive form of medicine that can effectively address a wide variety of conditions. It has a long clinical history of treating acute and chronic conditions. It excels in treating conditions that Western medicine has difficulty in treating as well as conditions that do not have a Western medical diagnosis. Chinese herbal medicine may be used to treat infant, elderly patients and pregnant women.

 
Listed below are some of the many conditions that may be addressed through Chinese herbal medicine:

 

Ear, Nose, & Throat Disorders

Toothaches, pain after tooth extraction, gingivitis, acute or chronic earaches, acute sinusitis, acute rhinitis, hay fever, runny nose, and acute tonsillitis.







Respiratory Disorders

Colds and influenza, acute and chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma (in children and adults when uncomplicated), acute and chronic laryngitis.

 






Gastrointestinal Disorders

Spasm of the throat and diaphragm, hiccup, gastroptosis, acute or chronic gastritis, sour stomach or heartburn chronic duodenal ulcers, acute or chronic colitis, acute and chronic diarrhea, acute bacillary dysentery, nausea and vomiting, constipation, and ileocecal valve problems.

 





Eye Disorders




Acute conjunctivitis, central retinitis, nearsightedness (in children), and cataracts without complications.

 







Neurological & Muscular Disorders

Headaches, migraines, trigeminal neuralgia, facial paralysis (within the first 3-6 months), post-stroke numbness and paralysis, peripheral neuritis, neurological bladder dysfunction, bed-wetting, intercostal neuralgia, neck pain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, sciatica, low back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, clenched jaws and TMJ.

 






Gynecological Disorders



Painful periods, PMS, infertility, menopausal complaints, excessive uterine bleeding, amenorrhea, morning sickness, delayed labor, prolonged labor, painful labor, mastitis, acute and chronic vaginitis, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breasts.

 







Stress Disorders




Insomnia, anxiety, palpitations, and hypertension.

 





The above are only the disorders either identified by the WHO or considerable Chinese research treated by acupuncture. Oriental medicine, including internal and external herbal medicine, remedial massage therapy, and Oriental dietary therapy treat these conditions and many more. In addition, Oriental medicine not only seeks to treat disease but to improve health and vitality. It boosts the immune system, increases energy, helps preserve youth, and promotes longevity.

 

Oriental Medicine is a complex form of medicine that has been practiced in several countries around the world for thousands of years. As a result, there are many valid schools of thought and traditions within the profession. In order to obtain the best health care, you should seek a practitioner who has been comprehensively trained in all facets of Oriental Medicine.

 

Over 40 states have passed statutes or regulations setting standards for the practice of acupuncture and herbal medicine by professional acupuncturists. If you live in a regulated state, you should seek a Licensed, Registered or Certified Acupuncturist. If you live in an unregulated jurisdiction, it would be best to locate an individual licensed in another state or certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).


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All information on this site is for informational purposes and should not be considered as recommendations or medical advice. Consult your physician before beginning any new health, exercise, or nutritional program.

 

What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?