Chinese herbal medicine is a vital part of traditional Chinese medicine that serves an indispensable role in strengthening the body as it fights illness.
Chinese herbal medicine practitioners use an extremely complex system of diagnosis to prescribe formulas; combinations of herbs whose constituent herbs, dosages and methods of preparation are specific to each patient. Because practitioners use combinations, rather than individual herbs, formulas can use larger dosages and work on many different issues simultaneously, in keeping with Chinese medicine’s holistic approach.
Chinese herbal medicine has been supported by the World Health Organisation since 2019. While practitioners can utilise the beneficial effects of literally hundreds of different medicinal plants in their treatments the products prescribed by licensed practitioners are strictly controlled.
In terms of its use during treatment herbal medicine has many benefits, either used alone or in combination with other therapies such as acupuncture and/or Tui Na. One of these is that it gives your body more resources to draw on. Acupuncture and physical therapies work by encouraging your body to heal itself. However, if the resources of your body are diminished, either through the wearing effect of chronic pain or other factors, these treatments become less effective and more draining. Herbal medicine adds fuel to the fire while also stoking it, literally giving your body the nourishment, it needs to heal itself. making it an excellent option for chronic conditions. It is of particular benefit for such as gynaecological, fertility, digestive issues etc.
Are Chinese herbs safe?
The Chinese Materia Medica lists hundreds of commonly used ingredients including roots, stems, barks, flowers and leaves. Although there are also non-plant-based materials such as minerals and animal derived medicinals, in the UK the use of animal products of any kind and minerals are banned (practitioners instead use a variety of plant substitutes). All products also adhere to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) meaning that there is no use of endangered plants either.
I only use herb suppliers that are committed to quality, have ethical standards and have been approved by the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RHCM).
How do I take Chinese herbs?
Herbal medicine is taken twice a day.
The herbal prescription is taken in the form of a tea which is made up of dry raw herbs or concentrated powders, or ready-made tablets. Chinese herbs tend to have a sweet to bitter taste depending on their prescribed herbs.
What are your qualifications?
I completed a MSc in Chinese Herbal Medicine at the University of Westminster. I am a member of RCHM which demands high educational standards for admission and upholds stringent professional rules on safety and compliance, with a professional code of conduct.