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Chinese Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine uses plants or plant extracts that are taken by mouth (usually in capsule/tablet form or as a tincture or tea) and/or applied to the skin. Since ancient times, herbs have been used by different cultures throughout the world to treat illness, assist bodily functions, and promote health.

Plants play an essential role in sustaining life in the world. In addition to their vital role in providing the oxygen in the air we breathe, we are able to use their powerful healing essences to balance our life force. Herbal remedies in the form of extracts, tinctures, capsules, tablets, essential oils, and teas are typically used in herbal medicine.

Proper nutrition (food and herbs) is essential for health and longevity. The food, drink, and air we take in is what nourishes all of the cells in our body and provides the raw material for us to feel and function in a happy and harmonious way. It is our fuel - it is what powers the metabolism and energy production of the body and allows us to think, move, digest, process, and maintain life. As humans, we are a part of nature and we are built to function and thrive on things also found in nature.

How Does Chinese Herbal Medicine Work?

Each herb has its own personality, flavor, temperature, and mechanism of action. The unique characteristics and nature of each herb determines the way it interacts with other herbs and how it works in the body. Each herb serves the body in a different way and has its own specific functions and affinity to particular channels and organs.

Herbs nourish the body and regulate imbalances from the inside out. When recommending herbs, I take into consideration your symptoms, pulse and tongue presentation, constitution, current medications, size, age, health, and various other factors. Like acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine follows the holistic approach of TCM philosophy in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. It aims to resolve the root cause of dysfunction in order to harmonize imbalance and restore health and homeostasis. This approach is compared to Western medicine which mainly focuses on treating the symptoms of disease.

Herbal medicine can be helpful for anything from the common cold and flu to hot flashes, menstrual issues, infertility, pain, digestive complaints, insomnia, fatigue, skin problems, allergies, sinusitis, vertigo, and many other conditions.


The Sourcing of Herbal Medicines

Most Chinese herbs are flowers, leaves, seeds, roots, stems, barks, and minerals. I am mindful in the quality and sourcing of the herbs that I prescribe. All of the herbal medicines used are manufactured in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), which ensures that there are no foreign materials, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, etc. in the formulas. When manufactured according to GMP principles, stringent quality control checks take place to make certain that the herbs are not contaminated in any way. Medicines produced in GMP facilities are pure, guaranteed to be what they claim to be, and only contain the ingredients listed on the label. Additionally, no endangered species or harmful/cruelly derived substances are used.

The Chinese Herbal Medicine Experience

Chinese herbs can be used alone, but are often used in conjunction with acupuncture for added therapeutic effect and to help accentuate the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture sessions only last about an hour and a half, which is a minute portion of your entire week. Thus, what you do when you are not receiving treatment to support yourself is vital in being able to heal, thrive, and function optimally..

For the purpose of convenience and compliance, I primarily prescribe patent medicines and tinctures for my patients. They are made from raw or processed herbal materials and are based on ancient Chinese herbal formulas. Patent medicines typically come as capsules, tablets, powders, or liquid extracts for ingestion. Plasters, liniments, and salves are applied topically and are commonly used for pain and skin conditions.

With granules (herbal extract powders), you are able to get a personalized formula that is customized to your individual imbalance. Although patent medicines are very effective, using granules allow me to modify the formula specifically for you and your unique internal disharmony. However, granules do require some commitment in the sense that they are typically mixed with hot water and taken as a tea twice a day.

Together, we can tailor a course of treatment to meet your health goals.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions, concerns, and/or to book appointments!

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