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Herbal Medicine

Chinese Herbal Medicine, an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is an incredibly rich and powerful system that has been created and practiced in China over the past 3000 years. During this time, classical herbal formulas that are effective for many health concerns are developed. Today, the use of Chinese herbs has spread all over the world for the treatment of acute and chronic illnesses, for balancing mental and emotional health, for eliminating pain and other symptoms and for the preservation and restoration of health. Through clinical use, classical study and scientific research, Chinese Herbal Medicine has become a very complex and sophisticated healing modality.

How do I know which Chinese Herbs are good for me?

If you are considering taking Chinese herbs, you should consult a Licensed Acupuncturists who specializes in Chinese Herbology. This is a very important step as the practice of Chinese Herbal Medicine is a complex system which is dependent on the knowledge and experience of a skilled practitioner.

In what form do Chinese Herbs come?

Chinese Herbal Medicine consists of 5,767 substances derived from plant, animal and mineral sources. The herbs are used in their whole form. They have not had specific chemicals extracted in proportions that are different from what is found in their natural form. The herbs are available in the form of herbal decoction, liquid extracts, tablets, capsules, granules, lotions, creams, salves or poultices.

What is the difference between Western Herbs and Chinese Herbs?

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 person’s whole constitution and treat the root (cause) along with a branch (symptoms) of a health concern. It is in this way that we are able to treat the whole person’s body and mind, rather than a symptom.

Are Chinese Herbs good for everyone?

There is never one answer for every problem. Oriental Medicine is based on the foundation of this philosophy. A person's underlying condition must be taken into account in the treatment of his or her problem. With all of the attention that herbal medicine is receiving these days, the impression is given that if you hear that an herb is good for a certain problem then it must be good for everyone for that problem! THIS IS NOT TRUE! A single herb is almost never prescribed for any patient within the scope of Chinese Herbal Medicine. Formulas must always be delicately composed to protect the patient's constitution against the possible unwanted effects of the herbs he or she needs to take. This is the way side effects are avoided and higher results are achieved.

Can I take Chinese herbs with my regular medication?

Your healthcare provider should be aware of all medications, vitamins, herbs, and recreational drugs you are taking. Combining any of these substances may or may not be a good idea. It is important to rely on the advice of your healthcare provider.

Who practices Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Licensed Acupuncturists in the State of California (L.Ac.) have passed the minimum educational and board testing requirements necessary to practice Chinese Herbal Medicine. There is an additional test which may be taken by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). There are two parts to this certification. The first is the acupuncture portion (Dipl.Ac.) and the second is the Chinese Herbal Medicine portion (Dipl. C.H.). These credentials also indicate that the National standards for Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology have been achieved. Health care providers without an education and licensing in Oriental Medicine are not necessarily qualified to practice Chinese Herbology or may be practicing herbal medicine from a different viewpoint. The requirements vary from state to state, the following is an explanation of credentials.

C.A. Certified Acupuncturist.

L.Ac. Licensed Acupuncturist.

D.O.M. Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

A.P. Acupuncture Physician.

Dipl.Ac. Diplomat of Acupuncture (NCCAOM) A National Certification required by 37 States. Dipl.O.M. Diplomat in Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) A National Achievement Certification.

Dipl. C.H. Diplomat in Chinese Herbology (NCCAOM) A National Achievement Certification.