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What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Chinese herbal medicine is the result of thousands of years of analyzing the healing properties of different elements found in nature.  Chinese herbs consist of an array of leaves, stems, roots, flowers and seeds of plants, fungi, and insect shells. Along with those more natural substances, you may be surprised to know that there are many common foods that are used in Chinese herbal medicine including: ginger, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, mint and goji berries.

Through studying the herb properties singularly and in combination and testing them through trial and error, many formulas have been developed over time. With the development of modern medicine, science and technology, all the herbs and formulas have been extensively tested to ensure both safety and effectiveness when used in correct doses for specific conditions.

Similarly to acupuncture, herbal formulas can be used to treat multiple concurrent symptoms as well as the root cause of the problem at the same time. This allows all aspects of your health to be addressed, including your physical, mental and emotional well-being. There are hundreds of patent formulas designed to cover all possible Chinese medicine pattern diagnoses.

If you are considering trying a Chinese herbal formula, it is important to see a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner, who can prescribe the most accurate formula based on your condition, ensuring that it will not interact with any other medication you are taking. Given that Chinese herbal medicine is a natural alternative, the likelihood of side effects or drug interactions are slim but when dealing with your health, it’s best not to take any chances.

What does a typical TCM visit look like?

In general, an appointment where a patient is looking for an herbal remedy would be similar to an acupuncture appointment. The initial interview portion of the visit may be a little more in depth in order to get a very specific diagnosis. Your Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner will not only ask what medications you are currently taking but will also want a detailed health history, including any past & current medical conditions.  Observing the tongue and pulse is also very important to developing a diagnosis.

What sort of effects can I expect with herbal formulas?

Formulas are categorized based on their primary function (eg. warming, cooling, releasing qi) however within a specific formula the individual herbs might have different functions. Some would be the same as the primary formula function, but others may be used to enhance or balance the formula and some may be used to treat additional symptoms. For example, formulas that are used to treat a common cold or respiratory concern would have the function of “releasing the exterior”, with the main herbs sharing that function. Additional herbs might be added to balance the presence of heat or cold (based on whether you had a high fever or strong chills, etc), and herbs could be added to treat symptoms of a cough or nasal congestion. 

For pain conditions, your TCM practitioner would first need to determine the root cause and nature of the pain. Is it from deficiency or excess? Is it more hot or cold in nature? Is it caused by internal or external factors? From there they would look for a formula that blends herbs with complimentary functions for your specific pattern.

For example if the pain is chronic and worse on cold or rainy days, this would likely be deficient, cold pain caused by external factors. For this pattern you would want to take a formula with herbs that have the functions of boosting, warming and protecting against external factors.

Chinese herbal formulas are also particularly good for treating internal problems including difficulty sleeping, stress or emotional concerns, respiratory or allergy problems, digestive problems and gynecological conditions. Due to the holistic nature of Chinese medicine, herbal formulas are particularly beneficial when you have symptoms relating to multiple organ systems. For example the symptoms of neck tension, getting stressed easily, having difficulty sleeping and strong PMS symptoms can all be treated concurrently using a formula to treat Liver qi stagnation.

There may also be times when two formulas may be taken concurrently. One to address the more acute symptoms, as well as one to treat the root cause of the imbalance to prevent it from coming back.

How much will I have to take? And how often?

In general, you would be required to take 2-3 capsules three times per day (but this can vary depending on the formula and whether you are taking one or two formulas at a time).  Each bottle of herbal capsules should last approximately 10 days, so once it is completed, the patient would need to be reassessed to see if their pattern has changed at all.

An herbal formula could be taken concurrently with acupuncture to help prolong the effects of a treatment, or can be taken for a separate concern that isn’t being treated by acupuncture

A bit about our supplier - Golden Flower Chinese Herbs

Chinese herbal formulas are available in many different forms. Capsules or granules are most common due to their ease of preparation and consumption. With capsules, the formula has been portioned out already so you just need to note how many capsules you must take and how often they need to be taken. Granules will come with the instruction of how many spoonful’s you should add to hot water, to be drank as a tea. It is also possible to purchase the herbs in their raw form, which would require you to boil the herbs to create your own tea-like decoction.  Finally, Chinese herbal formulas can also be used topically for skin problems or injuries.

Golden Flower Chinese Herbs is owned and operated by two Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. They have been producing and selling top quality herbal formulas since 1990. 

They have over 100 optimally concentrated formulas, including traditional formulas as well as formulas created by their experienced practitioners. They have many formulas based on common North American health concerns. This means that there should be a formula that meets the needs of most Chinese medicine patterns.

All the herbs they use are tested to ensure the highest level of purity and there are no unlisted additives used in their formulas, making them all natural and exceptionally safe to consume.  The formulas are available in tablet form and are guaranteed pharmaceutical-grade with high bioavailability and are easy to swallow.

Golden Flower Chinese Herbs is committed to the following values:

  • Integrity & Quality
    • Two Chinese Medicine Practitioners, who saw a need for Chinese herbal formulas that were not only reasonably priced, but also produced using the highest quality raw herbs, founded the company.  They hold themselves accountable for providing formulas that are free of additives, impurities or other questionable ingredients found in some prepared formulas. This is achieved through advanced techniques in herb selection, identification and processing, as well as extensive testing for pesticides, microbial activity and heavy metals.
  • Affordability
    • They intentionally offer their high quality herbal formulas at an affordable price to ensure Chinese herbal medicine is accessible to any patients who would benefit from them.
  • Patient compliance & ease of use
    • The formulas are extra-concentrated, meaning that a patient can take fewer tablets to achieve the desired benefits. The tablets are also a reasonable size, making them easy to swallow

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