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Herbal Treatment

Chinese Herbal Medicine is based on the concepts of Yin and Yang. It aims to understand and treat the many ways in which the fundamental balance and harmony between the two may be undermined and the ways in which a person's Qi or vitality may be depleted or blocked. Clinical strategies are based upon diagnosis of patterns of signs and symptoms that reflect an imbalance.

However, the tradition as a whole places great emphasis on lifestyle management in order to prevent disease before it occurs. Chinese medicine recognises that health is more than just the absence of disease and it has a unique capacity to maintain and enhance our capacity for well being and happiness.

What substances are used in Chinese herbal medicine?

Chinese herbal therapy involves the use of natural plants, flowers, leaf stalks, seeds and roots in raw or processed form. Today, there are more than 450 substances commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine. You may find some in your kitchen, such as ginger, garlic and cinnamon, while others such as chrysanthemum and peony flowers, are more likely to be found in your garden! Many of the substances used will be unfamiliar to you and have names like chai hu (bupleurum), di huang (rehmannia), and huang qi (astragalus). Some substances that were used traditionally are no longer part of modern professional Chinese herbal medicine practice. For example, traditional remedies that are derived from endangered species have been replaced by other substances with similar actions.

 

How is Chinese herbal medicine prescribed?

Each herb has its own specific characteristics, Chinese herbal medicines are prescribed either singly or made into formulae which take into account the individual therapeutic action of each herb and well as the effects when combined together. A well constructed formula maximises the effectiveness for treating a particular condition, while counteracting and minimising the unwanted effects of an individual herb.