The Basics of Chinese Herbal Medicine
By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac. www.Acufinder.com
is a Chinese Herbal Formula?
* What is the difference between Western Herbs and
* Safety of Chinese Herbs
* Selection of Quality Herbs
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine consists of 5,767
substances derived from plant, animal, and mineral
sources. The use of these substances can be traced back
to 1,000 BC. Over the past 3000 years, an incredibly
rich and powerful system has medicine has been created.
During this time, classical herbal formulas that are
effective for many health concerns have been developed.
The herbs are available in the form of herbal teas,
liquid extracts, tablets, capsules, granules, lotions,
creams, salves, or poultices.
is a Chinese Herbal Formula?
Individual substances are rarely prescribed alone in
Traditional Chinese Medicine. A carefully balanced
recipe of several different herbs is specifically
tailored for each person's entire health condition.
Each herb is chosen for its own specific functions. In
addition, herbs can enhance the strengths and reduce
the side effects of each other. The combination of
substances in a formula creates a new therapeutic agent
that can treat much more effectively and completely
that a single substance.
is the difference between Western Herbs and Chinese
Western Herbal Medicine tends to use one or two herbs
to treat just a specific symptom. A Chinese Herbal
formula has as many as 20 different herbs. The herbs
are selected to work synergistically to treat the whole
person. In Chinese medicine, due to our diagnostic
system, we are able to assess a persons whole
constitution (the health of their whole body) and treat
the root (or cause) of a health concern along with a
branch (or the symptoms) of a health concern. It is in
this way that we are able to treat a person's whole
body and mind, rather than just a symptom.
of Chinese Herbs
One of the most appealing qualities of Chinese Herbal
Medicine is the low risk of adverse reaction or side
effects. Herbal medicine uses all the constituents of
the plant, including the cellulose. The herb is
completely balanced, and therefore has minimal side
The most commonly reported adverse reaction is minor
gastrointestinal upset. Modifying the herbal formula or
adding herbs to strengthen the digestive system can
remedy this. If you do notice any side effects, please
stop taking your herbs and consult your herbalist right
of Quality Herbs
To be confident that the herbs that you use are of the
highest potency, quality, and safety; only use herbs
from manufacturers that are certified by the
Therapeutic Goods Administration of the Australian
government as having Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)
- a hygiene guideline even more strict than in the
Do not use endangered species (plant or animal), and
promote wildlife conservation through the use of
surrogate natural substances.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food
and Drug Administration