Chinese Herbal Medicine

What is Chinese herbal medicine?​

Chinese herbal medicine focuses on restoring balance to the body and treating the underlying pattern of disharmony that is giving rise to a particular symptom, condition, or disease.

More than 3,000 herbs, minerals, and animal products are used to create both classic herbal formulas as well as custom herbal formulas. Some herbal formulas contain just a few ingredients. Others contain many different ingredients. Herbs come from the root, bark, leaves, branches, flowers, seeds, and fruits of plants.  Herbal formulas can be prepared in the form of teas, powders, pills, tinctures, or syrups.

Typically, there are one or two herbs in a formula that have the greatest effect on the problem being treated. Other ingredients treat minor aspects of the problem or direct the formula to specific parts of the body. For over 3,000 years the Chinese have been using herbs to treat a wide variety of diseases and conditions.

Chinese herbal medicine has three main functions:

  • It treats acute diseases and conditions, such as bacterial infections or a virus.
  • It helps heal chronic illnesses, such as gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory disorders, immune system deficiencies, etc., by strengthening the body.
  • It helps maintain optimal health by keeping the body balanced.

What are the side effects of herbal medicine?

In general, herbs can treat a wide variety of diseases and conditions. Compared to pharmaceutical medicine, Chinese herbal medicine is more gentle and safe because it is made of natural products. Most Chinese herbs do not cause side effects. For those that do, side effects can easily be counteracted with other herbs.

Chinese herbal medicine can also be used to reduce the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Many chemotherapy drugs can have harsh or even intolerable side effects and that they weaken the immune system during the process of killing cancer cells. Herbal medicine can address the disharmony causing the side effects and can recondition the body so that one can withstand the full course of chemotherapy.