Chinese Herbal Medicine is one the most sophisticated and effective forms of herbal medicine being used with a recorded history of clinical usage dating back more than two thousands years.
An Herbal Consultation is offered by an NCCAOM board-certified herbalist with formal education. This consult includes a detailed analysis of signs & symptoms to uncover a pattern of disease & formulate a high-quality, professional-grade herbal prescription.
Professional suppliers of herbal products are chosen for clinical use and treatment based on their commitment and guarantee regarding quality assurance, laboratory testing & GMP(Good Manufacturing Practices).
Origins of Chinese Herbal Medicine. Emperor Shen Nong (Shen Nong – Divine Farmer), Legendary ruler of China around 2800 BC, is credited as being the father of agriculture and herbal medicine. The Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (Divine Husbandman’s Classic of Materia Medica), the Earliest Pharmacopeia of China, is a compilation of oral traditions written between about 300 BC and 200 AD. This text classifies the medicinal properties and functions of hundreds of substances – primarily plants, but also mineral and animal sources including how and when to collect and process them to maximize therapeutic effect. As an interesting note – the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (ca. 460 BC – ca. 370 BC), referred to as the father of Western medicine, also proclaims the importance of food as medicine.
About Chinese Herbal Medicine. Like acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine is a highly detailed and effective therapy guided by the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with historical references dating back several thousand years. As acupuncture can be considered an external medicine, herbal medicine is the complementary internal medicine.
Herbs are combined in formulas and offered as capsules, teas, tinctures, or powders. Herbs can be taken individually but more often are selectively combined into an elaborate formula that synergistically enhances their therapeutic effect and reduces side effects. A combination of substances can best be tailored to fit a patient’s individual pattern of signs and symptoms. Such unique formulations create a new therapeutic agent treating more effectively and completely than a single substance.
This can be compared to the way we eat foods individually or combined to provide optimal nutrition. TCM is a holistic practice that emphasizes treating the whole body instead an individual sign or symptom.
Natural vs. Unnatural. Denatured and fractionated food products that are refined, highly processed, with additives, and preservatives; or supplements sourced from fractionated, synthetic elements or made from a process that degrades nutritional value; or pharmaceuticals that are synthetic or highly concentrated carry harmful side-effects in comparison to natural, organic, whole food sources that are careful grown and processed to ensure high nutritional value. The entire nutrient content of whole foods or herbs carry a purposeful synergistic benefit that offers more nutritional value and diminishes the harmful effects of any single, highly concentrated nutrient. Another important difference between many pharmaceutical drugs and herbs or whole foods is how drugs control body function, whereas herbs and whole foods support the body’s natural ability to function and heal. Drugs tend to force the body to function sometimes beyond the body’s capability which can drain internal resources and weaken the body further. Herbs and whole foods mostly support and nourish natural body function and replenish internal resources so the body’s natural ability to heal is augmented and not diminished. Sometimes pharmaceutical drugs are necessary particularly in an acute health crisis but an emphasis on natural practices in prevention and support to promote longevity are needed. More often through natural means of support the body can heal itself.
Herbal Medicine Consultation administered under the guidance of a board-certified herbalist with formal education.
During the consult a detailed analysis of signs & symptoms, including unique tongue & pulse diagnosis methods to uncover a pattern of disease & formulate an herbal prescription from American-based herb sources offering high standards in purity & potency with quality insurance and good manufacturing practices. Herbs are usually offered in tablet form for their ease of use and better patient compliance. Traditionally dried herbs were given to a patient to take home and decoct into a tea. Many patients dislike the taste of these teas. Like food, herbs need to be optimally taken 3 times per day making tea’s more cumbersome to take. An herbal formula is quit complex. Multiple herbs are combined together into a formula according to a patient’s unique pattern of signs and symptoms. It is typical to modify an herbal formula through the different stages of a patient’s recovery or illness. As therapy progresses some herbs may be removed and/or others added; the quantity of some herbs in the formula may be increased or decreased to adjust the formula to address any changes observed in the patients presenting pattern of illness. Like peeling away the layers of an onion, presenting signs and symptoms can be peeled away or changed only to reveal a new pattern requiring modification in the applied herbal formula. Because individual herbs in a tablet-based formula cannot be changed the only methods to modify a tablet-based herbal formula are to increase or decrease the number of tablets per dose, combine it with another formula or completely switch to a different formula.
It is important to let your practitioner know if you are taking any medications, herbs or supplements. Understanding possible drug-herb interactions are important. It is also important to let your practitioner know if you are pregnant or nursing and infant. Pregnancy and programs to promote fertility can be greatly supported by herbs but some herbs may not be appropriate under certain health conditions.
Indentifying a Qualified Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner:
NCCAOM.org – Offers board exams and national certification for Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine
Certification as a Diplomate in Chinese Herbology
Certification as a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine (a combined certification in Acupuncture & Chinese Herbology)
Certification as a Diplomate in Acupuncture Info
Rhode Island state acupuncture licensing verification
Laboratory Testing and Quality Assurance – Herbal products and supplements are chosen based on high quality standards and laboratory testing. Visit the links below to see specific claims regarding laboratory testing that checks samples from each batch to assure potency and safety. Concerns regarding the amount of active components, strength, and efficacy are verified through analysis. Additionally, other testing is performed and independently verified such as, screening for pesticides, heavy metals, sulfites, and bacterial contamination.
Choice products exceed current international GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards.
Links to some choice U.S. herbal suppliers: Links are some examples of the professional suppliers chosen for clinical use and treatment based on their commitment and guarantee regarding quality assurance and laboratory testing.
GFCH – Golden Flower Chinese Herbs -Manufacturing, Testing, and Quality Assurance
Health Concerns – Product Quality Assurance
MediHerb – Quantified assurance, safety and efficacy
Standard Process – Quality Control, Testing & Manufacturing Processes
- Standard Process is a professional grade supplement only sold by Standard Process through health professionals. The quality, safety and efficacy of black market products are not support by Standard Process.