Chi­nese Herbology

Chi­nese Herbology

Herbal med­i­cine is the main treat­ment method within Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Med­i­cine (TCM). TCM is the world’s old­est, con­tin­u­ally prac­ticed pro­fes­sional med­i­cine. Its writ­ten his­tory stretches back over 2,500 years and its prac­tice is prob­a­bly much older than that. Although acupunc­ture was the first Chi­nese method of treat­ment to gain wide accep­tance in the West, Chi­nese herbal med­i­cine is quickly estab­lish­ing itself as one of the most pop­u­lar and effec­tive alter­na­tive ther­a­pies in the West.

With more than 25 years as a prac­ti­tioner and an edu­ca­tor in Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Med­i­cine (TCM), Jian­shu Cheng has ded­i­cated him­self to the excel­lence of this pro­fes­sion. He strives to pro­vide the best pos­si­ble Chi­nese med­ical care to his patients.

What’s the dif­fer­ence between West­ern folk herbal­ism and Chi­nese herbal medicine?

West­ern folk herbal­ism pri­mar­ily treats dis­eases or symp­toms, such as headaches, runny nose, men­strual pain, etc. Chi­nese herbal med­i­cine, when prac­ticed as a part of TCM, is based on an indi­vid­u­al­ized pat­tern diag­no­sis as well as a dis­ease diag­no­sis. Your pat­tern is made up of your signs and symp­toms, your emo­tional tem­pera­ment and the over­all com­po­si­tion of your body. The TCM patient receives a cus­tom writ­ten herbal pre­scrip­tion designed to treat their indi­vid­ual pat­tern as well as the symp­tom or dis­ease. The for­mula is crafted to treat your entire pat­tern as well as the symp­toms or dis­ease that prompted you to seek treat­ment. TCM for­mu­las may include six to eigh­teen herbs to treat the symp­toms or dis ease as well as your entire pattern

Do all the herbs come from China?

The Chi­nese have incor­po­rated herbs from all over the world. 15% to 20% of the 500 ingre­di­ents used in Chi­nese her­bol­ogy orig­i­nated from out­side China. These herbs are pre­scribed accord­ing to Chi­nese med­ical the­ory and TCM pat­tern diagnosis.

Does Chi­nese herbal med­i­cine work for West­ern patients?

Yes, Chi­nese herbal med­i­cine works as well for West­ern­ers as it does for Chi­nese. Chi­nese herbal med­i­cine has been used suc­cess­fully in North and South Amer­ica, Europe, Africa, Aus­tralia, New Zealand, and all through­out Asia .

How are Chi­nese herbal med­i­cines applied?

Com­mon ways of using Chi­nese herbs are:

  1. Herbal Decoc­tion. This is the very tra­di­tional method to use Chi­nese herbs. Decoc­tion is extracted by boil­ing the herbs for a spe­cific period of time. The decoc­tion is then taken mul­ti­ple times daily.
  2. Herbal Pills or Cap­sules. This is prob­a­bly the most con­ve­nient way to use herbs. Raw herbs are pow­der­ized and then com­pressed into pills or encap­su­lated into cap­sules. It is then taken orally with water.
  3. Herbal Gran­ule. This is one of the more con­tem­po­rary ways of using Chi­nese herbs. Through extract­ing processes, herbs are made into dis­solv­able, con­cen­trated gran­ules. They then can be encap­su­lated or used in the form of tea by adding water.
  4. Exter­nal Use. Herbs are made into tinc­ture , oils etc specif­i­cally for exter­nal use. This is an effec­tive approach to treat var­i­ous skin dis­or­ders, muscular-​skeletal con­di­tions etc.

What are the ben­e­fits of drink­ing Chi­nese herb med­i­cines in liq­uid form?

Freshly made Chi­nese herbal tea is no doubt the strongest and the most effec­tive way to use herbs clin­i­cally. It works much quicker and effi­cient. More impor­tantly, t his method allows the prac­ti­tioner max­i­mum flex­i­bil­ity in writ­ing a pre­scrip­tion. They can put in just what is nec­es­sary in just the right amounts. The for­mula can be changed fre­quently, if necessary.

Do Chi­nese herbal med­i­cines have side effects?

Most of the com­po­nents of Chi­nese herbal med­i­cine have a very low tox­i­c­ity com­pared to even com­mon, over-​the-​counter West­ern drugs. When they are pre­scribed accord­ing to a cor­rect TCM pat­tern diag­no­sis, they should have few, if any, side effects, only ben­e­fi­cial heal­ing results. From TCM stand­point, an herb is pre­scribed only when cer­tain clin­i­cal symp­toms have man­i­fested. Any unnec­es­sary use or abuse of Chi­nese herbs can lead to sig­nif­i­cant consequences.

What is Chi­nese herbal med­i­cine good for?

Chi­nese herbal med­i­cine treats the full range of human dis­ease. It is used to treat:

  1. Acute dis­eases, like intesti­nal flu and the com­mon cold. For exam­ple, a well herbal for­mula is able to improve com­mon cold within a few hours. Early use of herbs can effec­tively con­trol fur­ther devel­op­ment of a cold or flu
  2. Chronic dis­eases, such as aller­gies, gyne­co­log­i­cal dis­or­ders, autoim­mune dis­eases, and chronic viral diseases
  3. Degen­er­a­tive dis­eases due to aging Chi­nese herbal med­i­cine is espe­cially good for pro­mot­ing the body’s abil­ity to heal and recover from illness.

How long does it take to see results with Chi­nese herbal medicine?

In acute con­di­tions, results may occur in a mat­ter of min­utes. In chronic con­di­tions, some results should be seen within two weeks. Although chronic con­di­tions may require tak­ing Chi­nese herbal med­i­cine for a long time, signs that the med­i­cine is work­ing should be appar­ent to the patient and prac­ti­tioner alike almost from the very start.

How do I know if a prac­ti­tioner is pro­fes­sion­ally trained in Chi­nese herbal medicine?

Although Chi­nese herbal med­i­cines are safe when pre­scribed by a trained, knowl­edge­able prac­ti­tioner, they are strong med­i­cine. Patients should ask about where the prac­ti­tioner trained, how long the train­ing was, how long he or she has been in prac­tice, and what expe­ri­ence the prac­ti­tioner has had in treat­ing the patient’s spe­cific ailment.


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