What is Chinese herbal medicine?

Chinese herbal medicine can be traced back at least 5000 years. It incorporates the use of more than 450 different substances, including mostly plant and mineral matter.

Where western medication isolates compounds and uses that compound to target specific micro-biological organisms or DNA, herbal medicine uses multiple substances, that are mixed together by a herbalist, to create the desired effect, with very few, if not, no side effects.

Most western diseases are categorised and diagnosed according to specific signs and systems and treated with specific treatments whereas TCM diagnoses encompasses the whole body and not just the western categorisation of disease. Thus the treatment, or in this case the herbal medicine, is catered specifically for the individual patient and may include the treatment of other signs and symptoms that may not be related to their western diagnosis.

Chinese herbal medicines are prescribed either singly or made into formulae which take into account the individual therapeutic action of each herb and well as the effects when combined together. A well-constructed formula maximises the effectiveness for treating a particular condition, while counteracting and minimising the unwanted effects of an individual herb.

In addition to providing effective treatment for a wide range of health disorders, Chinese herbal medicine may also be used to assist with general health maintenance and disease prevention. By strengthening and enhancing normal body functions, the immune system is boosted and a general sense of well-being promoted.