Questions and Answers on Chinese Herbs

Q: What problems can be treated by Chinese Herbal Medicine?
A: Chinese Herbal Medicine treats a full range of diseases and health-related imbalances. See list on homepage.

A large number of clinical data shows that many patients with chronic diseases, treatment with Western medicine can also take Chinese herbs to increase the clinical effect.

Q: What can I expect on my first herb treatment?
A: Your first consultation may be longer than subsequent sessions. Your practitioner needs to assess your general state of health, identify the underlying pattern(s) of disharmony related to your current issues, and evaluate your constitutional condition in order to give you the most effective treatment.

You will be asked about your current symptoms and what treatment you have received so far, your medical history, family history, your diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and emotional state.

To assist in the diagnosis, your practitioner will feel your pulses on both wrists, noting their quality, rhythm and strength. The shape, color and coating of your tongue also give insight into your physical health. These findings are combined with any modern Western tests and a diagnosis is achieved. Since the patient is usually not familiar with Chinese medical terminology, the diagnosis is explained in a manner that the patient can understand in relation to his/her own body. From the diagnosis, a suitable treatment plan is decided upon. This most likely will include a customized herbal formula, or plus acupuncture treatment together, and possibly other Chinese medical modalities or dietary or supplement recommendations.

Q: Do all the herbs come from China?
A: The Chinese have incorporated herbs from all over the world into their material medical. What makes medicinal herbs "Chinese" is that they are prescribed according to Chinese medical theory and specific TCM (acronym for Traditional Chinese Medicine) pattern diagnosis. Our suppliers are Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) certified. The herbs we use are batch tested to ensure they are free of pesticides and heavy metals. Chinese Herbs Powder is made in USA.

Q: How are Chinese herbs taken?
A: Chinese herbalists create a custom herbal formula based on your specific needs. The most common method of taking Chinese herbs is as a decoction or tea. Raw herbs are boiled for 30-60 minutes, strained, and the liquid is taken 2-3 times per day. In addition to raw herbal formulas, there are also pills (known as "patents"), capsule, and concentrated granular powders ("granules"). These alternate delivery methods are ideal for those who do not have the time or desire to make traditional "raw" herbal decoctions. Pills and powders are good for prolonged administration of chronic diseases, where formulas do not need to be changed very often. Pills and powders are also commonly used to continue therapeutic results after a successful initial treatment with liquid herbal medicine.

Q: When should I take my granular herbs?
A: On the label you will find the total amount of scoops of granular powder you should take per day. Ideally, this amount would be split into three doses per day. However, many people find it more convenient to take herbs just two or three times per day. Granular herbs are best taken on an empty stomach (30 minutes before or 60 minutes after a meal). If this upsets your stomach, you can take the herbs with food. Food in the stomach should eliminate any stomach upset.

Q: Does Chinese Herbal Medicine have side effects?
A: Chinese herbs are generally safe and effective, yet they can be strong, powerful substances. Patients who experience discomfort or adverse effects (gas, bloating, etc) while taking herbal formulas should tell their practitioner. Custom-made formulas can be modified and adjusted as needed. Some of the components of Chinese herbal medicine have a very low toxicity compared to common, over-the-counter Western drugs. When they are administered according to a correct Traditional Chinese Medical diagnosis, they should not have any side effects, only healing results.

Q: Can Chinese Herbs Replace Western Drugs?
A: Many conditions treated by western drugs can also be successfully treated with Chinese medicine. Patients and their physicians are often discouraged by the undesirable side effects of western medications, or the prospect of having to remain on these drugs for long term periods. The roles of Chinese herbs for patients with chronic diseases, Chinese herbs can reduce the side effects from western medicine. Herbs can support the role of western medicine, and improve the ability of the patient to resist disease. Chinese medicine often offers superior clinical results and longer lasting treatment than conventional medicine. When beginning TCM treatments, patients on western drugs may continue taking their medications. As the condition improves, they begin titrating (weaning) off the drug under their prescribing doctor's supervision. Once they are completely off the drug and symptom free, the patient is released from regular TCM visits. Knowledgeable health practitioners will help you make proper decision based on your condition. TCM in the west is still new to many, and it is not always easy for someone to accept something different to their trainings and beliefs.

Q: Can pregnant women take Chinese herbs?
A: Yes. Chinese Herbal Medicine has been used for more than 2,500 years to successfully treat diseases and symptoms during pregnancy. Typically, a woman will experience menstruation, pregnancy, and delivery of newborn as well as breast-feeding at different stages of her life. Traditional Chinese Medicine mainly helps to maintain a good and healthy female reproductive system, as well as study the pathological characteristics of certain reproductive disorders or diseases in an attempt to treat the ailments early to prevent further pathological changes. Lactating mothers can also take Chinese herbs that have been properly prescribed by a trained TCM practitioner.

Q: Can children take Chinese Herbal Medicine?
A: Yes. Children are typically given smaller doses based on their age and body weight. Specially prepared pediatric medicines are available in pills, granules, liquids, and tinctures. Chinese Herbal Medicine can treat colic, fussiness associated with teething, earache, diarrhea, cough, and relieve fever.

Q: Can Chinese Herbs help with Fertility?
A: Many people who have had fertility success with Chinese Medicine probably have no idea how it helps fertility, or gynecological issues. Large numbers of patients, who have tried IVF (acronym for In vitro fertilization ) several times and were unsuccessful, have become pregnant soon after Chinese Medicine treatment. Medical imaging shows that after acupuncture, the color of women's ovaries change from cloudy to bright and clear. The follicles double in number and the uterine lining becomes thicker. Patients experience fewer side effects compared to Western drugs and feel better emotionally.

Chinese herbs can improve fertility and pregnancy rates in several ways: help regulate the menstrual cycle, strengthen the reproductive system, balance hormones, improve blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, relax the patient and decrease stress levels, lessen the side effects of drugs used in IVF and gynecology, strengthen the immune system (very important as Western Medicine treatments usually decrease immunity), improve the sperm count and motility to produce better quality embryos, decrease and prevent the chances of miscarriage.

Preparing for pregnancy is just like an athlete preparing for a big race, those who put in the training and get the body ready, both physically and mentally, have a much better chance of reaching the finishing line.

Q: How long does it take to see results with Chinese Herbal Medicine?
A: In acute situations, rapid results can be expected. For chronic conditions, results should be seen within a few weeks. Chronic conditions may require that patients take Chinese Herbal Medicine for an extended period of time, but some patients may notice improvement quickly.

Q: How are herbal formulas made into granules?
A: Raw Chinese medicinal herbs are cooked in water in pressurized industrial cookers, under precise conditions to extract the active constituents. Once extracted, the liquid is sprayed onto a binding medium, either a potato starch or hypo-allergenic dextrin base, and dried, forming ("granules") Note: granules are not simply powdered raw herbs. Granules are made from herbs and formulas that have been pressure decocted in advance, to save patients the time and effort required to decoct their own raw formulas.

Q: How many treatments will I need?
A: The number of treatments depends upon the severity and duration of your complaint, and your own specific goals for health. For acute symptoms, one or two weeks treatments may be enough, while chronic or degenerative conditions may take 5-10 weeks or even more treatments to see significant progress. To help get the most out of your treatments, your practitioner may recommend dietary changes, relaxation techniques or self-massage, all of which can help increase the efficacy of Chinese herbs therapy and maintain your health between treatments. Even after the acute situation which brings them to herbs practitioner has resolved, many people choose to continue treatment to address other less severe imbalances and improve overall health. Some of patients with chronic diseases, that need to take a long time Chinese herbs, Western medicine in order to reduce the role of pay, or reduced to take does of western medicine, to support the patient's immune function, reduce some of disease recurrence and metastasis.

Q: What is the role of Chinese herbs vs. Acupuncture?
A: Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine are both branches of Oriental Medicine. Each has different strengths and the two works very well together. Acupuncture is well known for its ability to treat musculoskeletal injuries, eliminate pain, speed healing and increase functionality of acute or chronically injured tissue and injuries. Acupuncture is also well known for stress relief and relaxation. It is less well known that Chinese herbal medicine can also help with these complaints, and that herbal medicine is especially well suited for the treatment of internal medical conditions, ranging from colds and coughs to gynecological complaints to digestive disorders.

Q: Why Acupuncture and Herbal Therapy for Cancer patients?
A: Acupuncture and Herbal Therapy can help those suffering with cancer in recovery, to prolong and enhance quality of life. In China, Acupuncture and Herbal Therapy are used as primary treatments for the treatment of cancer. Most western cancer patients often choose to combine their biomedical treatment with alternative therapies. Often chemotherapy, surgery and radiation cause damage to healthy tissues, as well as diseased tissues, and weaken the immune system. This is where Chinese medicine can be very helpful. Chinese herbal medicine is the therapy of choice in treating the side-effects experienced by oncological treatments and acupuncture can be used in strengthening immunologic function.

For cancer patients who are unsuitable for an operation or with postoperative treatment the therapies of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be applied in combination. The therapies of TCM can be applied for the treatment of reaction of gastrointestinal tract (symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dry throat and poor appetite etc.) and leukothrombopenia caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, cancer is caused by the stagnation of energy and blood in the body due to strong emotions, poor exercise, poor diet, inadequate rest and hereditary factors. Acupuncture and Herbal Therapy eradicate disease through the balancing and moving stagnant energy and blood.

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