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Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese herbal medicine is the major treatment method in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). They have been used to promote health and wellness for several thousand years. Although acupuncture was the first Chinese method of treatment to widely accepted in the west, Chinese herbal medicine is quickly establishing itself as one of the most popular and effective alternative therapies in the west.

Chinese Herbology is the study of combining medicinal herbs. Medicinal herbs are used to prevent and treat diseases and ailments or to promote health and wellness. Medicinal prescriptions are based on specific combinations of herbs meant for an individual. It can be a very powerful adjunct to acupuncture care. They can strengthen your body or clear it of excess problems.

What conditions can be treated by Chinese Herbal Medicine?
Chinese Herbal Medicine treats the full range of human diseases including but not limit to:
Acute diseases: common cold, cough, flu, trauma and injury.
Chronic diseases: allergies, internal organ disorders, gynecological, autoimmune diseases, chronic infection (viral, yeast, bacteria).
Degenerative diseases caused by aging: osteoarthritis, post-menopausal syndrome.

Does Chinese herbal medicine work effectively for western patients?
Yes, Chinese herbal medicine works as well for Western patients as it does for Chinese. It has been widely used successfully in North, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, Pacific Island, and all throughout Asia.

What forms of Chinese herbal medicine have?
There are many forms of Chinese herbal medicine: raw, pill, capsule, tablet, syrup, tincture, powdered extract, plaster, lotion, ointment, and suppository. The raw form has to be prepared by boiling the selected herbs into herbal tea or decoction. This is most common and potent method of taking Chinese herbal medicine by drinking a liquid (decoction). This method allows the practitioner maximum flexibility in writing a prescription. They can put in just what is necessary in just the right amounts. Also, the formula can be changed frequently according to patients' conditions. The liquid form tends to taste bitter because they are made mostly from roots and barks where the strongest medicinal ingredients are found. The bitter taste may go away after a day or two.

Do Chinese herbal medicine have side effects?
Most components of Chinese herbal medicine have a very low toxicity compared to even common, over-the-counter Western drugs. When they are prescribed according to a correct pattern diagnosis, they should have few, if any, side effects, only beneficial healing effects. If you experience any discomfort while taking Chinese herbal medicine, inform your practitioner who will modify the formula until there are no side effects.

How long does it take to see results with Chinese herbal medicine?
In acute conditions, results may occur in a matter of minutes. In chronic conditions, some results may be seen within two weeks, some may require a longer time depending patients' conditions.

Can children or pregnant women take Chinese herbal medicine?
Yes for both. Pediatrics or gynecology is a specialty within Traditional Chinese Medicine. Children can be given reduced dosages. Chinese herbal medicine can treat fever, cold, flu, cough, colic, the fussiness of teething, earache, and diarrhea. A professional practitioner also can prescribe appropriate herbal medicine for pregnant women and lactating mothers.

@2006 OMD Acupuncture & herbal Care