Herbal remedies are an integral part of Traditional Chinese medicine. The origin of Chinese herbal medicine in China can be traced back at least 5000 years, making it one of the oldest and most long-standing health care systems in the world.
Chinese herbal medicine takes an holistic approach to understanding normal functioning of our body and its disease processes, and focuses both on the treatment as well as the prevention of illness. Chinese Herbs have been used to treat a wide variety of illnesses with proven effectiveness and low risk of side effects.
A qualified Chinese herbal medicine practitioner is able to prescribe a Chinese herbal formula that specifically matches and treat your individual health condition. As your health condition changes and improves with treatment, the herbal formula is also adjusted and modified until the desired health condition is achieved.
Today, there are more than 450 substances commonly used in Chinese Herbal Medicine - most are of plant origin, though some animal and mineral substances are used. Some common ones that you may find in your daily life include ginger, garlic, scallion, cinnamon, chrysanthemum and peony flowers. Some traditional herbs that are derived from endangered species have been replaced by other substances with similar therapeutic actions.
A Chinese herbal formula may consists of a single herb, but more commonly consists of multiple herbs, sometimes as much as 20 different ones, which take into account the individual therapeutic action of each herb as well as the effects when combined together. A well constructed formula maximizes the effectiveness for treating the conditions of the patients, while counteracting and minimizing the unwanted effects of an individual herb.
Today, herbal medicines can be dispensed in a number of ways. The traditional way of making decoction out of a raw herbs for the patient to consume orally is still commonly practiced in China and many parts of the World. However, modern technologies make it possible to prepare herbal formula into tablets, pills, and granules for the ease of carrying and consumption. Many well-known and time-tested herbal formulas for common ailments are made into patent pills and granules and can be bought from herbal pharmacies with herbal prescriptions written by certified herbalists in the US.
For many conditions, the optimal treatments are often a combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine.
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