Chinese Herbal Medicine
What are Chinese Herbs?
Chinese herbs have been utilized in Asian cultures for over 5,000 years. The fundamental idea of living in harmony with nature and the environment forms the basis for the use of Chinese herbs as well as the traditional Chinese approach to health. Knowledge of the healing power of Chinese herbs and herbal remedies has been passed down from generation to generation, and today represents one of China’s greatest gifts to mankind.
The isolation of China throughout history plays a role in the general lack of understanding about Chinese herbs by other world civilizations. However, since the opening of China in 1972, knowledge of the ancient healing powers of Chinese herbs has been gradually spreading to western countries. Chinese herbs are now experiencing a rapid increase in usage and popularity. Health-conscious consumers are concerned about the concentration of synthetic chemicals in western diets and the general environment. Chinese herbs are being welcomed by progressive western consumers who are seeking natural, healthy and balanced alternative remedies.
Traditional Chinese Herbs are very different from the western scientific approach we are accustomed to. Chinese health experts promote a healthful balance of yin and yang – two forces present in all of nature. When yin or yang forces or qi/energy levels are off-balance in the body and spirit, health problems arise. Chinese herbs and herbal remedies are used to help realign an individual’s yin or yang balance in order to improve overall well-being. Chinese herbal formulas include hundreds of popular organic ingredients that work in harmony to produce the desired effects in a person’s body. These ingredients are primarily of plant origin, and may include roots, bark, seeds, flowers and leaves. Each organic ingredient typically has unique characteristics (i.e. yin/yang balancing, qi/energy boosting, etc.) that are reinforced and harmonized in comprehensive ancient Chinese herbal formulas that have been passed down through the years.
Chinese Herbal Medicine combines a deep knowledge of human physiology with the most extensive pharmacopoeia of organic herbs and natural substances in the world. Herbal formulas are carefully prepared from plant parts including branches, leaves, flowers, seeds, or vegetables. These herbal preparations come in the form of medicinal teas, powders, pills, and tonics.
Herbal combinations are tailored for each patientís condition and lifestyle and are designed to treat specific health problems or correct specific imbalances in the body. Natural herbs tend to have slower and more gentle effects than the synthesized chemicals used in prescription or over-the-counter drugs, and have none of the negative side effects associated with such concoctions. As is every therapeutic modality used at our clinic, herbal treatments are both safe and effective.
Because the effects of some herbal formulas can be influenced by diet, patients should discuss with Dr. Pi the possible consequences of consuming the following: shellfish (prawns, shrimps, lobsters, crabs, etc.), icy or cold beverages and food, caffeine, hot and spicy food, ginseng, and radishes. As always, women should inform Dr. Pi if they are pregnant or menstruating.