For thousands of years, herbal medicine has been practiced, as a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Chinese herbal medicine treats the full range of human disease. It treats acute diseases, such as intestinal flu and the common cold, as well as chronic diseases, such as allergies, gynecological disorders, autoimmune diseases, chronic viral diseases, and degenerative diseases due to aging. Chinese herbal medicine promotes the body’s ability to heal and recuperate.
Did you know that 15-20% of the standard Chinese herbs repertoire of 500 ingredients originated from outside China? The Chinese adopted herbs from all over the world and incorporated them into their materia medica. What makes these “Chinese” herbs so effective is that they are prescribed according to Chinese medical theory and a TCM pattern diagnosis. In China, the most common method of taking herbal medicine is as a decoction — the herbs are boiled for 30 minutes to an hour or more and then strained and drank 2-3 times per day. As a convenience, there are herbal pills, tinctures, and powdered extracts for those who do not have the time to brew the decoction. These alternative forms are also suitable if you do not like the taste of the brewed decoctions. Because the Chinese herbal teas are made mostly from roots and barks, which can taste very bitter, you get the strongest medicinal ingredients.
Most of the medicinals in the Chinese materia medica have very low toxicity compared to even common, over-the-counter Western drugs. At Advanced AllergEase and Acupuncture, we prescribe according to correct TCM pattern diagnosis. Thus, the herbs have virtually no side effects, only beneficial healing results. If you experience any discomfort while taking Chinese herbs, you should tell us immediately. We will modify your formula until there are no side effects.
Unlike Western folk herbalism, rarely does TCM use a single herb in treatment for a specific ailment. Instead, combinations of herbs are formulated to address the source of the problem as well as moderate the individual herbs’ properties. TCM formulas typically include 6-18 herbs. This combination treats each individual specifically, avoiding side effects which could be present with a single herb or its extract.
In the “West”, Chinese herbal medicine is quickly establishing itself as one of the most popular and effective alternative therapies. In TCM, herbs are used to help bring about internal healing that acupuncture does not. When acupuncture and Chinese herbs are used together, they produce a very powerful, but gentle, process of healing and staying healthy.
In the State of Texas, all acupuncturists must pass national exams for Acupuncture and for Chinese Herbal Medicine to be a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.). The National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists & Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) has created a certification process for Chinese herbal medicine. Practitioners who have passed that certification process are entitled to add the abbreviation Dipl. C.H. for Diplomate of Chinese Herbs after their name. Chinese herbs are safe when professionally prescribed by the trained, knowledgeable practitioners found at Advanced AllergEase and Acupuncture. You should inquire about the training and credentials of a potential practitioner if you go elsewhere. Chinese herbs are strong medicine and it is important that a practitioner be adequately schooled and experienced in their use.