WHAT MAKES CHINESE HERBS DIFFERENT FROM WHAT I BUY AT THE HEALTH FOOD STORE?
Chinese herbalism has developed over thousands of years into a complex medical system that complements acupuncture. Each of the hundreds of substances in the Chinese pharmacopoeia is meticulously catalogued in terms of function, energetics, organs and meridians affected, medical usage, and contraindications. What is unique to Chinese herbalism is its emphasis on formulas. Rather than single herbs, the Chinese have perfected the art of combining herbs so that usage is refined and optimized, and side effects minimized. A typical formula may have ten to twelve herbs in it. The effect of the whole combination is different from the effect of each herb used singly. Licensed acupuncturists in California are trained in the use of Chinese herbs. Prescribing herbs properly is an art that depends on careful diagnosis and a thorough understanding of the interactions of the herbs. In the hands of an experienced practitioner, herbs can be a powerful addition to the client’s treatment plan.
DO I HAVE TO BOIL THE HERBS, AND ARE THEY SAFE?
I use standardized classical formulas in pill form, and liquid extracts which I can combine to customize a formula. These products are selected for their quality and ease of administration, and are carefully screened by the manufacturer for contaminants and toxic residues. Herbs prescribed by a qualified practitioner are safe and free of side effects.