What You Should Know About Chinese Herbs
For centuries, China and other Asian countries have embraced herbal therapy.Now, the In Western Europe and the US, herbal medicines and eating special natural food for healing, health and strength is increasingly appreciated by many people. But in China, traditional herbal remedies have always been commonly used.
It is easier to find a Chinese traditional medicine herbal store (中药商店) selling herbs and traditional medicines made from animals and minerals in China than it is try find a store that sells herbs in the US.
“There are several studies that prove the safety and effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine,” notes certified and licensed Chinese herbalist in kings park chiropractic clinic. “But just because it’s natural does not mean it’s problem-free. Treat Chinese herbs like a prescription — first get an evaluation from a qualified practitioner before taking anything.”
What is Chinese herbalism?
Chinese herbal medicine uses herbs to improve health. “The biggest difference between Western and traditional Chinese herbalism is that herbalists don’t treat symptoms or diseases. They treat entire human beings, including their patterns of symptoms,” says chiropractor near me .
Chinese herbal medicine has thousands of years of data to back it up. “Throughout history, Chinese emperors worked to preserve and multiply the knowledge of the previous ages. That means today we have almost 2,000 years of clearly written records about how herbs and herb combinations work in different people.”
Chinese herbal therapy can come in the form of:
A custom formula that your herbalist creates for you.
Teas, liquid extracts and powders.
A traditional formula.
Granules or easy-to-digest capsules.
“We use traditional formulas that consist of a few herbs that have strictly designated roles. Some of them are the main active ingredients that address the primary complaint. Others may address secondary complaints or symptoms,” says doctor Kings Park Chiropractic. “That’s why we customize the majority of herbal formulas to each person.”
Seeking natural ways to promote wellness, people have grown interested in taking Chinese herbs but don’t know where to start. Here, a doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine and herbal dispensary manager at kings park chiropractic clinic, answers five questions about Chinese herbs.
1) What exactly are Chinese herbs?
Chinese herbs are individual herbs that work synergistically together to accomplish certain goals. They are similar to pharmaceuticals in that they are medicine, but the body processes them the same way it processes food. They stay in the system for three to four hours at most, so they require a longer-term regimen. Each formulation has anywhere from two to 50 individual herbs, and the formulations are made for the individual, depending on what’s going on with them.
2) What do people take Chinese herbs for?
They can be used for a variety of things, such as supporting proper digestion or relieving low back pain. A lot of people like to use different Chinese herbs for arthritis or autoimmune conditions—they can help regulate inflammation or the entire immune system. There are herbs for more chronic conditions like asthma, Lyme’s disease, menstrual issues, or fertility.
3) Must Chinese herbs come from China?
Most Chinese herbs are grown and cultivated and processed in China. They are run through the FDA for purity and tested for toxins and heavy metals when they land on our shores. Some are grown here, like ginseng. But any of the medical-grade Chinese herbs have to be grown in specific places in China due to agricultural needs like soil and climate. There are properties in the soil and how they are grown in China that make them a medicinal herb. There are many things we can’t grow here due to our climate.
4) What is the biggest mistake people make with Chinese herbs?
Buying unvetted herbs. Don’t go on Amazon and buy a 1 pound bag of astragalus. You don’t know where it’s from, if it was vetted and screened for toxicity. There have been deaths in California due to that. Or people assume they can’t get sick from Chinese herbs and they get their hands on something that’s inappropriate for what’s going on with them, and then they get worse.
5) When should someone see an herbalist?
It’s usually fine to buy some things from a co-op, like you would buy over-the-counter medicine for a cold or seasonal allergies. In Chinese medicine, we do have some premade formulas that are in common use. But if you’re not seeing results from over-the-counter herbs or you have a chronic condition, then it’s time to come in for a consultation. You might need more specific formulas that a licensed and trained herbalist build for you. We’re also trained to do a drug/herb interaction check. There are specific instructions we can give to counter interactions.
Here, find a licensed acupuncturist who specializes in Chinese herbology, a practitioner of Oriental Medicine (OM), or try the kings park chiropractic clinic.
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