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...Herbal medicines include herbs, herbal materials, herbal preparations and finished herbal products. The use of herbal medicines refers to the long historical use of these medicines. Their use is well established and widely acknowledged to be safe and effective... - By World Health Organization
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Chinese herbal medicine is one of the world's oldest and most effective medicines. It is also a truly holistic form of medicine based on nature. Chinese herbal medicine has been practiced for thousands of years and still takes place in every corner of the globe. Its written history can be dated back 2,500 years ago and its actual practice is much earlier than that. In the United States, the history of herbal use began in the early colonial days. Although Chinese herbal medicine, like acupuncture, is now called alternative therapy, it has been quickly established itself as a very popular therapy in the West.

Each individual is believed to have an unique disease pattern and presentation. Therefore, similar to the acupuncture treatment procedure, a detailed diagnosis is necessary to understand why a patient is presenting their particular symptoms.

A full case history is taken, including past and present ailments, as well as careful study of the twelve pulses and the tongue before the herbs are prescribed. Together this information helps the doctor form a picture of the individual patient and thereby prescribe a formula best suited to their individual needs.

Herbs and Drugs

Chinese herbal medicine, when practiced as a part of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), 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. Chinese herbs are classified according to certain active characteristics (such as heating, cooling, moisturizing, or drying) and are prescribed according to how they influence the various organ systems. The patient will receive herbs designed to treat his individual pattern as well as the symptom or disease.

Western medicines are usually prescribed for their effectiveness on a group of people. Western drugs are usually used to control symptoms but do not alter the disease process. For example, antibiotics kill bacteria but do not improve a person's resistance to infection; diuretics drain excess fluid from the body but do not improve the kidney function. Chinese herbal medicine can also rid the body of disease but they also nourish and balance the body in very specific ways, thereby improving organ function and building up a person's constitution and immune system.

What is the ingredients of herbs?

Chinese herbal medicine may include natural plants and mineral ingredients. However, the majority of ingredients are from natural plants which include roots, stems, twigs, tubers, rhizomes, leaves, flowers, skin and etc. There are no chemical materials involved.

Chinese herbs are classified according to certain active characteristics (such as heating, cooling, moisturizing, or drying) and are prescribed according to how they influence the various organ systems. Practitioners of Chinese medicine also recognize five herb "tastes" - sweet, sour, salty, pungent, and bitter - each of which is associated with a particular physiological action.

Chinese herbal prescriptions usually contain several herbs, perhaps as many as a dozen. These combinations are chosen not only for their effect on specific diseases but also for their ability to balance effects and direct the therapy to a certain area of the body.

The advantages of herbs

Herbs have been used successfully in North and South America, Europe, Africa, New Zealand, Australia and all throughout Asia. According to FDA's estimation in 1997, Americans spend more than $500 million annually on Chinese medicine treatment, which includes the expenses on the Chinese herbal medicine.
The most significant advantages of the Chinese Herbal Medicine are:

Matured therapy with thousands of years of proven worth.
Rejuvenates the body's organs to correct symptoms at their root causes.
Treats the root cause of health problems, not just the symptoms.
Long-term results.
Long-term results.
No chemical residues due to natural ingredients.

What is the benefit of herbal pills?

The Chinese herbal medicine can be made into several forms according to its properties and the needs of treatment. The commonly seen forms for internal treatment are decoction, syrup and pill.

The concentrated pills are mostly welcome as they contain very effective

components, small in size and dosage, convenient to use and fit for treating various diseases. It is also used to continue therapeutic results.

Is herb safe?

Chinese herbal medicines are food and they very seldom have unwanted side effects. However, as stated above, Chinese herbal medicines are designed for the patient's individual disease. So it is essential to get a consultation from a licensed acupuncturist or an herbalist to make sure you can get an appropriate one.

In addition, Chinese herbal medicines often have positive effects. For example, a patient who came in for lower back pain and received acupuncture and herbs came back a few weeks later and reported that her chronic asthma had "miraculously" disappeared. The reason for this is that, according to the diagnosis, the cause of the lower back pain was that her kidney Qi (energy fluid, pronounced"Chee") was deficient.

This was also the cause of the patient's asthma. When the kidney was strengthened, not only the lower back pain was stopped but also the asthma naturally went away.

Like western medications, Chinese herbal medicines can dispel pathogens from the body and relieve symptoms. However, they also nourish and regulate the Qi, blood, body fluids and the internal organs to alleviate the root cause of the disease.

Where to buy herbs?

As stated above, the Chinese herbal medicine is an individualized therapy. It recognizes that even though two people may share the same disease, a person with a strong conformation will fight disease differently than a person with a weak conformation. By using precise combination of different herbs, a practitioner can resolve the balances of the body's functions.

There are thousands of herbs for different kinds of illness. In order to reduce the risk and get the best result, it is better to get the herbs from your practitioner, licensed acupuncturist, after a detailed diagnosis. You can also call us at (925)600-1488 to get a professional consultation

How to take herbs?

Generally the herbs are given in their dried form, and patients are asked to cook them in water for about 30 minutes. This preparation is called a decoction. Herbal pills are commonly prescribed, too.

A course of treatment usually involves taking a formula daily for several months, depending on how chronic the condition is and the constitution of the patient. During this time each patient is carefully monitored to ensure the formula is effective which may be modified as changes occur.

How to cook herbal tea?

Normally, Each packet of herbs is used twice. Makes one cup of herbal tea each time. Drink one cup in the morning, and drink the other one in the evening.

  1. Pour herbs from one packet into a pot (nonmetal, if possible).
  2. Put 2.5 cups of water in the pot and soak 30 minutes. Make sure that the water covers the herbs. As the herbs vary in bulk, the amount of water should vary somewhat.
  3. Bring the pot to a boil and simmer the herbs over medium heat for about 30 minutes, till approximately 3/4 to 1 cup of herbal tea remains
  1. Carefully pour out the tea. Put the herbs aside. Sip the tea about 30 minutes after meal (You could eat a small piece of candy right after drinking the tea if you find it is bitter or unpalatable).
  2. Pour 1.5 cups of water in the pot with herbs left. Repeat step 3 and 4.
  3. Discard the herbs.
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