Herbology is one of the more important modalities utilized in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Each herbal medicine prescription is a mixture of many herbs tailored to the individual patient. The practitioner usually designs a remedy using one or two main ingredients that target the illness. Then the practitioner adds many other ingredients to adjust the formula to the patient's yin/yang conditions. Sometimes, ingredients are needed as it is believed that it will cancel out toxicity or side-effects of the main ingredients. Some herbs require the use of other ingredients as a catalyst or else the brew is considered to be ineffective. The latter steps require great experience and knowledge, and make the difference between what is accepted as a good Chinese herbal doctor and an amateur. Unlike western medications, the balance and interaction of all the ingredients are considered more important than the effect of individual ingredients.
Chinese herbs are often used in conjunction with acupuncture for added therapeutic effect. While many cultures have herbal medicine traditions, the sophistication of Chinese herbal medicine is unsurpassed. Chinese herbal medicine has a long history reaching back several thousand years, and the resulting system is now used to treat everything from the common cold to certain types of cancer.
There are thousands of herbs in the Chinese materia medica, of which about 400 are commonly used. You will generally receive a mixture of several different herbs in a formula that has been tailored to your condition. Chinese herbs are extremely effective and normally have only mild side effects, however it is very important to tell me about all the medications and supplements you are currently taking so that we can avoid any unwanted interactions with your formula.