Learn about the power of Chinese Herbal Medicine

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Chinese Herbal Medicine is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and follows the same principle that every person is unique and as such every treatment must be unique.

Chinese Herbal Medicine has been used for thousands of years across China & Asia and is still widely used today.

Unlike pharmaceutical medicines that introduce chemicals into the body to perform specific functions, a herbal medicine prescription is carefully matched to your own condition and the herbs work together with your body to treat the underlying cause of illness as well as the presenting symptoms.

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What are Chinese Herbs and how do they work?

Each herb is carefully considered based on its therapeutic properties. These may include taste, temperature, movement, target area as well it’s traditional indications and modern indications (such as it’s anti-viral or anti-cancer properties).

The specific combination and dose of each herb is specifically chosen to match your constitution and presenting pattern. Chinese herbs are very rarely used alone, they are usually combined with other herbs in a formula to enhance their effect and to treat the whole pattern that is presented - Traditional Chinese Medicine always aims to treat the ‘roots and branches’ of any condition so that you feel better and stay better.

Frequently asked questions...

Does Chinese Herbal Medicine use endangered animal products?

NO – absolutely no substances from endangered species of any kind are used.

Traditionally Chinese Herbal Medicine would have included plant parts (roots, stems, flowers, leaves, bark, fruit) as well as some non-plant material such as minerals (for example from sea shells or rocks) and some animal-derived medicinals.

In the UK we are subject to strict rules that prohibit the use of medicine containing material sourced from endangered animals and plant species so your Chinese herbal prescription will contain only non-endangered plant material.

What if I am taking medicine from my Doctor?

Please continue to take your prescriptions and let me know about any medication and treatment you are taking so that I can ensure your herbal formula will not interfere with your medication. If you have any concerns about taking Chinese Herbal Medicine please contact me and I’ll be happy to discuss this with you.

Is it safe?

YES – Chinese Herbal Medicine has been used for thousands of years with great success. Some of the classical Chinese Medicine books were thought to originate in 3000BC and are still used today. There is a huge amount of experience documenting the use of Chinese Herbal Medicine and more recently there is a growing amount of research into the use of herbs as medicine, so we have a really good understanding of the chemical constituents in herbs and how they work. This also means we have become aware of new ways to use the herbs -for example we know some herbs have anti-inflammatory or anti-viral properties so we can combine a modern approach alongside traditional use.

As an RCHM (Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine) member, I am regularly kept up to date with new information and research relating to the safe practice of Chinese Herbal Medicine.

Are there any side effects?

One of the advantages of Chinese Herbal Medicine is the lack of serious side-effects. Generally side effects are rare and may include some mild digestive upset or difficulty managing the taste -if this is the case we can modify your herbal prescription or adjust the dose. More serious side-effects are very rare are we will discuss what to look out for when you are given a prescription. In reality, many people report positive side effects such as reduced fatigue, better sleep, better appetite.

How do I take Chinese herbal medicines?

Usually, you will receive your prescription in granule form (a bit like instant coffee) and you just mix it with warm water and drink. Sometimes herbs may be raw and will need to be decocted (boiled) or herbs can be in pill/capsule form. Topical Chinese Herbal Medicine for skin conditions is usually in the form of a cream/lotion/wash. Full instructions will be given.

Can it be used for children?

YES – Chinese Herbal Medicine is suitable for all ages; children are regularly given herbal medicines and generally respond very well to treatment. A much smaller dose of herbs is given.

How long do I have to take it for?

It really depends on your condition. Sometimes you may need to take your herbal formula twice a day, sometimes more often and sometimes less often. Once your condition improves and your body is in balance, we will reduce the herbs and you may not need them any more at all.