Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese herbal medicine was developed in the 3rd Century BC. Since then it has continued to form a large part of the healthcare system in the East, with Western medicine being introduced to work alongside it as an integrated system. In the West, many acupuncturists combine acupuncture treatment with Chinese herbal medicine. Chinese herbal medicine practitioners are professionally trained in order to be able to prescribe safely and effectively.

Chinese herbal medicine works on the same premise as acupuncture. Herbs are prescribed, usually in combination with acupuncture, to help restore the balance of Yin and Yang. An imbalance in a bodily system can result in symptoms of poor health. Your practitioner is trained to be able to identify patterns of signs and symptoms and hence prescribe herbal medicine correctly. Chinese herbal medicine works to restore internal equilibrium. Unlike many pharmaceuticals, it works to heal a whole person and not just an isolated symptom.  When prescribed in combinations the different aspects of each herb combined create a mutual synergy, often balancing the medicinal properties inherent in each. Chinese herbs are far less likely to have side effects than pharmaceuticals.

How do I take Chinese herbs?

Traditionally, Chinese medicine was prescribed in the form of dried herbs, which are then boiled and drank as tea. This is still a common way of taking Chinese herbs. Chinese medicine is also prescribed in the form of a freeze dried powder or a tincture. The taste may often be bitter at first but it does not take long for someone to become used to it. All medicines prescribed by the Alma Vale practitioners are purchased from approved suppliers ensuring the safest and highest quality.

What conditions can Chinese medicine help with?

The RCHM believes that Chinese herbal medicine can be a beneficial part of treatment of the following conditions:

  • Skin conditions
  • Gastro-intestinal disorders
  • Gynaecological conditions including infertility
  • Hepatitis and HIV
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndromes
  • Respiratory Conditions
  • Rheumatological conditions
  • Urinary conditions
  • Psychological problems

Will I still need to see my doctor?

Potentially, yes. As per The Royal College of Herbal Medicine’s Code of Ethics we “will always advise patients, in the case of serious illnesses or uncertain diagnosis, to seek advice from their GP/consultant”. Similarly “with the patient’s consent, liaise with that patient’s other health professionals, where appropriate”.

Has the efficacy of Chinese Medicine been researched?

Yes. Like acupuncture, Chinese medicine continues to be under-going research programmes. Please see the links for research that has been carried out:

How much does it cost?

Herbal prescriptions can vary greatly depending on their form and quantity. The price of herbs can be discussed with the practitioner at the appointment.

Mixed Chinese Herbs

Meet the Practitioners

Contact the Alma Vale Centre here
to find out more about Chinese Herbs