HOW DO CHINESE HERBS COMPARE TO WESTERN DRUGS?
There are 5767 Chinese herbal substances, which are the culmination of thousands of years of empirical as well as recent pharmacological and clinical research. The major ingredients in many of these herbs have been identified and are identical to those found in some western drugs. Like acupuncture, Chinese herbal remedies address the functions of the body as a whole system. The complex actions of these herbal formulations treat the underlying cause of disease and do not simply mask symptoms.
HOW DO YOU TAKE CHINESE HERBS?
Chinese herbs are available in several forms: bulk herbs require decocting and drinking as a tea, while concentrated powdered herbs are dissolved in a small volume of water or encapsulated. Several formulas are available commercially in tablets or capsules. In general, herbal remedies are taken over a one or two week period, but may be taken long term for chronic ailments. The advantage of taking Chinese herbal formulas is that they are made specifically for each patient. As the patient’s symptoms change, the herbal formula is modified to reflect these changes. In this way, herbal remedies act together with acupuncture to treat the patient’s condition as it changes from disharmony to health. Herbal formulas may also be taken to strengthen immunity, boost energy and help prevent future illness.
CAN CHINESE HERBS BE TAKEN IF I AM TAKING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS?
In general, Chinese herbs to not interfere with Western prescription drugs as long as they are taken several hours apart. This prevents the possibility that drug absorption is inhibited in the gut by the herbs and vice versa. Because there are a few specific contraindications between herbs and Western medications, it is imperative that each patient provides all information, about any drugs and/or herbal supplements they are taking, to their practitioner before herbs are prescribed. Chinese and Western medicine can work very well together to bring optimal health to the patient. Alternatively, many patients who fail to respond to conventional pharmaceutical therapies often have excellent results with Chinese herbal formulas.
ARE CHINESE HERBS SAFE?
Harmony Acupuncture purchases only herbs made at GMP certified (Good Manufacturing Practices) facilities. This ensures the products meet the strict health standards and hygiene requirements of the government of Australia and are of good quality and free from harmful contaminants. Chinese herbal formulas that are not marked with the GMP certificate should be used with caution because some of these products do not list all of the ingredients on the label and may be ineffective or unsafe.