Chinese Herbal medicine has been an important part of the health system in China and in the daily diet of Chinese families for thousands of years.
Having my first taste of Chinese herbal medicine in the late 80’s, however it wasn’t until I was studying acupuncture that I truly fell in love with Chinese herbal medicine and so followed my passion completing a Master’s degree in Chinese herbal medicine.
Chinese herbs form an important part of many treatment protocols designed in our clinic, and can help to extend the effects of an acupuncture treatment - especially for people who would otherwise require acupuncture treatment multiple times per week. Indeed Herbology is one of the essential differentiating features of Acupuncture Holistic Medicine clinic.
Chinese herbal formulas usually contain between 6-18 herbs, with each herb in the formula designed to work synergistically as a whole. I create customised Chinese herbal formulations, in which classical formulas are modified for patients’ individual needs. Herbal formulas are offered as powdered concentrates, as well as pills and capsules.
Acupuncture Holistic medicine’s in-house dispensary maintains more than 150 granular concentrates. While mostly derived from plants, a very small proportion of Chinese herbal preparations are of an animal origin (e.g., oyster shell), however no endangered species or unethical products are ever prescribed at our clinic. People with strict vegan requirements are easily accommodated for. To ensure safety, herbs are tested for pesticides, bacteria and heavy metals and herbal manufacturers employ cGMP (current good manufacturing) practices.
It is important for your herbal formula to be reviewed regularly as your body chemistry and internal harmony will change with time. This way adjustments to your formula can be made - it might be a slight dosage adjustment, or it might be a complete overhaul or change of formula. Usually it can be taken as a sign of progress! Continuing to take the herbs after your issue has resolved may or may not be a good idea – check with your practitioner if you're unsure.
By combining acupuncture treatment with Chinese herbal medicine we have the flexibility of using each modality to its best effect. As Chinese Medicine is based on treating the root cause of a disorder, while also resolving its symptoms, our acupuncture and herbal approach enables us to address a variety of symptoms that are part of the same pattern. This holistic and integrated approach makes it a deeply restorative form of medicine.
Chinese herbal medicines come in a number of different forms and there are standard conventions in professional Chinese medicine about these forms and their uses.
There are two main divisions of Chinese herbal medicines - granule herbs and ready made medicines.
Granule herbs are concentrated preparations that dissolve in a small volume of warm to hot water. Two main advantages of granule herbs are: 1) the formula is individually tailored to your Traditional Chinese Medicine Diagnosis and 2) the doses can vary to facilitate results. A prescribed formula may contain between six and eighteen individual herbs.
Ready made Chinese medicines
Ready made medicines include herbal formulas made into pills, tablets, capsules, powders and tinctures. Traditionally ready made medicines were used for any of the following four main purposes: 1) over the counter self medication; 2) long term use for chronic, slowly changing conditions; 3) prevention or 4) when time was of the essence and longer herb preparation methods were not an option.
Ready made pills are made from either ground, powdered herbs bound together with water or honey. Their advantage is that they are usually low cost, easy to dose and take. However they tend to have low potency so more suitable for the support of chronic conditions over a longer period of time.
Tablets and Capsules
Tablets and capsules tend to be made with slightly higher potency extracts however the formula is not able to modified.
Usually refers to ground raw herbs which due to the higher surface area can be used in smaller doses and steeped as a tea.
For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Nicole Trudgeon (Chinese medicine Practitioner). Nicole is a practitioner of acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine (AHPRA registered) at her Booragoon clinic and is a Chinese Medicine Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Perth campus.