By: Stephanie Berube
Herbal Medicine is a theory of Chinese herbal therapy that has been used for centuries. It is a type of medicine that uses leaves, flowers, seeds, roots and stems of plants to improve health, prevent disease and treat pain and illness.
An herbal formula can be made up of a combination of plants and minerals. There are over 300 herbs in use today. Occasionally animal products can be used in herbs although this is not as common. Some of the most common herbs are ginseng, wolfberry, astragulus, cinnamon, licorice and rhubarb.
Chinese herbal formulas can be used for many medical problems! Some of these include (but are not limited to) stroke, heart disease, obesity, womens health, infertility, mental disorders, digestive issues and respiratory disease. Herbal medicine was utilized quite a bit in China to help fight covid and bring back smell and taste post illness.
In western medicine if you have a headache you take an aspirin and it will help it go away (for the most part). In Chinese Medicine, there are over 50 diagnosis for headaches and within that at least 2 different formulas you can use. This is why we often don’t recommend people prescribing themselves herbal formulas. Sometimes herbal formulas need to be tweaked and customizes to the individual.
How do I take herbs? There are 6 different ways to take Chinese herbs:
- Raw herbs
- Capsules (most common)
- Tablets (most common)
- Black tea pills (most common)
A month supply of herbs can be anywhere from $20-$50 depending on the formula and how much you need. There are rare occasions where more than one herbal formula can be recommended at a time.
As far as how long you need to take herbs for, your diagnosis determines that! For example, for the common cold you would take herbs when you start experiencing symptoms until you are feeling better. For something like anxiety you may need to take them for months or possibly even years. Herbs are not like medications in the sense that you are meant to take them forever. Herbs are meant to get to the root cause of the issue and help correct any imbalances. By doing this you are decreasing the need to be on them for long periods of time.
There are seldom any side effects when taking herbal formulas. Most formulas are very gentle and require a few days before you notice a difference. Most people complain their formulas taste bad. One of the most common side effects is stomach upset, but this can be avoided by taking the formula with food.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss herbal formulas you are always welcome to come in for an appointment or give us a call!