Chinese Herbal Remedies (Supplements)
Traditional Chinese Medicine has a history of thousands of years, and herbal medicine is one of its most important aspects. People in China have been using thousands of natural herbs to treat a wide variety of diseases and conditions throughout this time. However, only 300 to 500 of these herbs are commonly used. These natural herbs, collectively referred to as herbal medicine or herbal supplements, are composed of roots, barks, flowers, seeds, fruits, leaves, branches, and other plant parts. Herbs are prescribed to treat disease or as a dietary supplement to build and strengthen various bodily functions.
At In Harmony Healing, Inc., we use herbs that are prepared as pills, capsules, tinctures, powders, or pallets in specially prepared formulas based on Dr. Zao’s 35 years of clinical experience. The formulas are prepared in his company, East Tao. Each bottle consists of at least two different Chinese formulas specifically prepared for certain needs of each patient.
Facts About Chinese Herbal Medicine
What is a Chinese herbal formula?
Chinese herbal medicines remedies (supplements) are very seldom formulated from a single herb. Herbal formulations are commonly made from a combination of 8 to 15 different herbs.
There are three major reasons for combining herbs:
- To create a stronger effect through a combination of herbs with similar functions and indications together;
- To create a stronger effect as one herb enhances the power of another; and,
- To eliminate or reduce the side effects of the main herb in the formula.
What are the benefits of using Chinese herbal remedies?
When do I take Chinese herbal remedies?
Generally, Chinese herbs can treat many different conditions and diseases. In comparison with chemical medicine, Chinese herbal medicines are much gentler and safer since they are made from natural herbs. Only some of the Chinese herbs may cause mild side effects. Those side effects can be easily eliminated or reduced with a combination of another herb.
There are three main functions of Chinese medicines or supplements:
- To treat acute diseases and conditions caused by viruses and bacteria, or to treat injuries;
- To heal chronic illnesses such as gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory disorders, allergies, and immune system deficiencies by strengthening the body and helping its natural systems to recover; and,
- To maintain daily life health by keeping the body balanced and preventing future problems.
How long do I take the herbal remedies?
Generally, it is best to take herbs 30 minutes before or after a meal. Your practitioner can give you specific instructions. If you experience any discomfort while taking Chinese medicines, contact our office as soon as possible.
Are there any counter-indications for taking Chinese herbal remedies?
It is different from case to case. For acute illnesses you may take the supplements for only a short time. For a chronic illness, you may be required to take the herbal supplements for a longer period of time. Your practitioner will determine the length of time by examining your body.
Can I just buy them and take the remedies on my own?
Although most Chinese herbal medicines do not cause adverse reactions, some patients might experience an allergic reaction. ZD Chudyba, our practitioner, always checks for allergies before prescribing any Chinese formulas or other supplements for our patients. If you experience any signs or symptoms such as bloating, gas, stool change, or skin or throat itchiness, call our office immediately.
Taking Chinese herbal medicines on your own is not recommended. For instance, some herbs are too strong for pregnant women and may cause miscarriage. Also, some foods or prescription drugs might interact adversely with Chinese herbal medicines. In order to avoid problems, check with your Practitioner before buying any over-the-counter herbal formulas. Also, take your prescription drugs at least 1 to 1 1/2 hours before or after your Chinese herbal formulas. Some prescription drugs cannot be taken with herbs (including herbal teas).