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Chinese herbal medicine, along with acupuncture, dietary therapy, Tai Qi & Chi Gung is based on the concepts of Yin & Yang. It aims to understand & treat the many ways in which the fundamental balance and harmony between the two may be undermined & the ways in which a person’s Qi or vitality may be depleted or blocked. Clinical strategies are based upon diagnosis of patterns of signs & symptoms that reflect an imbalance. Treatment aims to restore the balance.
The complexity of plant materials is far more balanced than medicine based on isolated active ingredients and is far less likely to cause side effects.
Herbs are typically prescribed in combination, the different components of a formula balance each other, and they undergo a mutual synergy which increases efficacy and enhances safety.
Herbal medicine primarily seeks to correct internal imbalances rather than treating symptoms alone.
What can Chinese Medicine treat?
Chinese medicine is successfully used for a wide range of conditions. Among the commonly treated disorders are:-
· Skin disease – including eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, urticaria.
· Gastro-intestinal disorders – including irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, indigestion.
· Gynaecological conditions – including pre- menstrual syndrome & dysmenorrhoea, menopausal syndrome, endometriosis, some forms of infertility.
· Male urogenital conditions—including impotence, prostatitis & premature ejaculation.
· Respiratory conditions – including asthma, bronchitis, chronic coughs, allergic & perennial rhinitis & sinusitis.
· Urinary conditions – including cystitis,
· Rheumatological conditions – including rheumatoid and chronic osteo- arthritis.
· Headaches & Migraine
· Ear/Eye – Tinnitus, Meniere’s disease
· Chronic fatigue syndrome
· Mental/Emotional – anxiety, depression, insomnia, stress, panic attacks, addictions.
· Hepatitis and HIV – some promising results have been obtained for Hepatitis C, and supportive treatment may be beneficial for HIV.
Support Chemo/Radiotherapy—to help overcome the side effects of the treatment.
Treatment with Chinese herbal medicine involves the use of combinations of herbs designed to correct the particular disharmony of the individual. The Chinese materia medica details several hundred commonly used ingredients, including roots, stems, flowers, leaves, fruit, seeds, and bark, together with some non plant materials.
The art of the herbalist is to produce an individual formula derived from classical formulae and tailored to the patients needs.
The individual qualities of the herbs ; temperature and synergy are matched to the individual patient’s pattern of disease.
Chinese herbal medicine may be administered as:
· A tea, made up from raw herbs, or concentrated powders
· Pills—capsules or tablet form.
· External washes—for skin conditions.