Chinese Herbal Medicine has a long standing history in the East. Many may brush it off as “folk medicine” but it is actually a very complex organized system of healing with herbs and other natural substances. Herbal Medicine is used to treat a wide range of problems from cancer to ear infections.
Many people respond well to herbs because they are gentler than their Western pharmaceutical counterparts. Herbs also have fewer side effects and interactions.
Modern patients have many options when it comes to taking Chinese herbal formulas. Herbs can be taken in pill, tincture, powder or the original raw herb form. Each way has pros and cons that can be discussed with a patient in order to find the right fit for their particular situation.
Training in Chinese Herbal Medicine is very extensive and intense. One must first learn the English, Chinese, and Latin name of over 300 single herbs. It is then important to know the action and properties of each herb as well as any contraindications. Then a practitioner must learn how herbs work in combination in order to properly create formulas specific for each patient. The NCCAOM has a portion of their certification exam dedicated solely to herbs. If a practitioner is a Diplomate of Oriental Medicine it indicates they have passed this portion of the exam as well as the acupuncture sections. This is an important distinction and should be investigated if one is looking for an Herbalist.