Chinese Herbal Medicine
Herbal Remedies are an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
(TCM). Generally combining herbal treatment with acupuncture, both
cases basing diagnosis and treatment on TCM principles. Nourishing
and harmonising herbal remedies serve as excellent tonics, strengthening
those weakened by stress, overwork, serious illness, childbirth, menopause
or poor diet and irregular eating. They also promote the smooth flow
of energy, fluids and blood and thus reduce pain and congestion. Herbs
with a cooling action can counteract fevers, night sweating, hot flushes
and other signs of overheating. Equally, herbs with a warming action
can help those who are cold. They work on the mind as well as the
body, reducing such states as anxiety, depression and insomnia. Herbs
can be used for acute as well as chronic conditions: for instance,
mumps; colds; chest infections and acute cystitis.
The use of Chinese herbal preparations to treat skin conditions has
been favourable - mentioned in "The Observer" and several other leading
newspapers. The National Eczema Society has been funding scientifically
controlled trials as Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital and,
for adults, at the Royal Free Hospital.
This often manifests with such chronic flu-like symptoms as aching
muscles, extreme tiredness, a muzzy head with poor concentration and
nausea. The body, perhaps initially weakened by overwork or stress,
is unable to throw off a viral attack. Chinese herbalists have recognised
and treated this condition for hundreds of years.
Herbal remedies are far safer than the drugs used in orthodox medicine.
The latter's approach is to isolate an active ingredient (e.g. aspirin
from willow bark, digoxin from foxglove). This means that it is not
balanced by other ingredients in the plant that render it safer to
use. The Chinese herb "Ma Huang" (Ephedra), for instance, yields ephedrine,
an alkaloid that raises blood pressure if given as an extracted drug.
In the whole plant there are other alkaloids, one of which lowers
What makes Chinese herbal medicine particularly safe (and effective)
is the art of combining herbs to form a carefully balanced prescription.
This would contain herbs not only to treat the main problem, but also
ones to treat associated secondary problems; to help the body to absorb
and assimilate some of the herbs; to direct them to particular areas
of the body; and to counteract any adverse side effects from the more
powerful herbs used. Each prescription given is usually based on a
standard, classical one that has been tried and tested through centuries
of use. It is modified to fit the needs of the patient. Herbs are
usually given as decoctions produced by simmering dried herbs in water.
"Cooking" times vary from less than 5 minutes for very aromatic herbs
like mint to more that 30 minutes for tonics like ginseng. They may
also be taken in pill form where the appropriate remedy is available.
Although more convenient, especially for long-term use, pills are
not necessarily as powerful or as flexible as decoctions.
Chinese herbs may be used to treat a wide range of complaints including
headaches; ear, eye and throat problems; toothache; sinusitis; asthma;
bronchitis; hay fever; heart disease; angina; hypertension; ulcers;
indigestion; diarrhoea; constipation; cystitis; thrush; prostatitis;
period problems; menopausal problems; arthritis; back pain; sciatica;
RSI; sporting injuries; weak immune system; lack of energy; ME; anxiety;
insomnia; depression; eczema; acne; psoriasis; children's diseases.
See also Frequently Asked
practices Acupuncture and Chinese
Herbal Medicine at the Haelan Clinic on weekdays. He also uses acupuncture combined
with herbs to help people to stop
To book an appointment please contact Kim directly on 07949 671 440. Please note that 24 hours notice is required for cancellations or a fee may be charged.
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