Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese Herbal Medicine, along with the other components of Chinese medicine, is based on the concepts of Yin and Yang. It aims to understand and treat the many ways in which the fundamental balance and harmony between the two may be undermined and the ways in which a person's Qi or vitality may be depleted or blocked. Clinical strategies are based upon diagnosing the patterns of signs and symptoms that reflect an imbalance. As with the points used for acupuncture, Chinese herbs have specific functions and are combined to mutually assist each other. Herbal formulas are usually comprised of several herbs, which are highly specific in their actions and also target several aspects of the patient’s disharmony.

Herbs are now available in a number of formats, both traditional and modern. The traditional method is to boil a mixture of dried herbs to make a tea or to use pills. The herbs are also now commonly prescribed as freeze dried powders or tinctures. The herbs will at first taste unusual and often bitter to anyone who has not tried them before, but the vast majority of people get used to the taste very quickly.

Chinese Herbal Materia Medica includes substances derived from plant, mineral and animal products but the majority of herbs are plant-derived and include roots, stems, flowers, leaves and bark. Following the codes of practice of the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine, only plant materials can be used in prescriptions and the use of any type of endangered species is prohibited.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss a particular issue. For more detailed information about Chinese herbal medicine and current research into its effectiveness please visit the Register for Chinese Herbal Medicine.