Why Chinese Herbal Medicine?
Herbal Medicine is the true core of the Chinese Medicine. In China, acupuncturists are certainly respected but mostly considered glorified massage therapists. The Chinese Herbalists are the real “Doctors”, and as such they are tasked with curing patients of their ailments.
To explain Herbal Medicine, it is important to start with the fact that Herbal Medicine is not energy medicine. Herbal Medicine is physical medicine. In general terms, Herbal medicine is focused on 1.) improving blood flow, 2.) enhancing nutrient delivery to cells throughout the body and 3.) optimizing organ function. Human health may be summarized as having nutrient-rich, oxygen rich blood flowing throughout the body along with an organ system in optimal function. When all of these foundational processes are in place, then a strong, healthy individual will be the natural result.
Herbal extracts have the ability to restore proper organ function and blood flow. The compounds in herbs have been shown to change to change human physiology in measurable ways. Links 1-4 below highlight PubMed studies that illustrate these effects. Some of the physiological changes enhanced by herbal medicine include:
- Heart Ejection Fraction & Systemic Blood Flow 
- Liver Function & Liver Enzymes 
- Digestive Enzyme Production & Intestinal Motility 
- Seasonal Allergies & Immune Response 
Taking Chinese Herbal Medicine:
Herbal powders are the most effective way to take Chinese herbs. Powders are the preferred way to take herbs because:
- Powder formulas can be customized for the patients’ exact condition and symptoms.
- Powders can be easily taken in an adequate dosage (most people have not experienced the benefits of herbs because they have never taken them in the necessary dosage or frequency).
These powdered extracts are concentrated in a 5:1 ratio from the raw herb, meaning the powders are 5 times more concentrated than the unprocessed form. The concentrated powder is taken 3 times per day with warm water to make a tea.
The herbs used in a formula will depend on the patient’s condition and a diagnosis. This means formulas are individualized to best improve the overall physiology of the patient; Therefore this is not simply a symptom-based medicine. For example, two patients may both have chronic headaches and allergies, but their herbal formulas may be quite different. Patient #1 could have a diagnosis of poor Liver function effecting blood flow to the head while also reducing the clearance of histamines from the blood stream. Meanwhile, Patient #2 may has a diagnosis of an imbalanced immune response, which has created sinus inflammation and headaches as a result. Clearly, patient 1 and 2 would need completely different formulas to eliminate the same symptoms.
In practice, a custom herbal formula is created specifically for each individual patient. This formula may be changed over a course of treatment as the health of the patient improves. Getting the proper dosage of an herbal formula is critical. Just as an antibiotic medication may not work if the dosage is too low, likewise, herbal medicine will work best when taken in the correct dosage. For most individuals this dosage is 3 grams, 3 times per day. A small plastic spoon is included with herbal powders which measures exactly 1 gram.
MORE ON HERBAL MEDICINE
At Meridian Health Clinic, we use Evergreen Herbs, the primer producer of clean and effective Chinese herbal powders. To ensure quality, Evergreen Herbs are verified for authenticity using advanced laboratory testing. Next, all herbs are screened for pesticides, heavy metals, fungus, etc to ensure purity and safety.
If you are interested in a historical perspective on Chinese herbal medicine you can read through our page titled An Introduction to Chinese Herbal Medicine.
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