Chinese herbs and formulas

Chinese herbal medicine has been used for over four thousand years in China to treat many diseases and conditions. There are over 470 single herbs and more than 400 herb formulations currently used by most Chinese medicine practitioners.

Chinese herbs are comprised of minerals, shells, plants, and animal products; only a licensed herbalist should dispense them. Our clinic uses only the highest grade and quality of herbs, to ensure patient safety. We have chosen sulfur-free and pesticide-free herbs from Taiwan to ensure the best clinical outcome. Herbs combine well with acupuncture to balance the body’s energies both externally and internally. Many Chinese herbs are prescribed in America under a different name, e.g. Chaste tree or Vitex is also Man Jing Zi.

Chinese herbal theory

Chinese herbs are processed in many ways and have different effects when processed differently. For example, herbs can be dry-fried, roasted, baked, or honey-coated. Herbs are also classified by function, taste, temperature, and channels entered.

Herbal tastes and channels entered are:

Pungent — these disperse and move qi and blood; they belong to the Metal energy and the organs of lung and large intestine.

Sweet — these herbs tonify and harmonize and belong to the Earth energy and the spleen and stomach channels.

Sour — these herbs stabilize and bind; reduce and prevent loss of body fluids and belong to the Wood energy of the liver and gallbladder.

Bitter — these herbs sedate heat, purge fire, and dry damp. They belong to the Fire energy of the heart, small intestine, pericardium and triple burner.

Salty — these herbs purge excess, soften masses and belong to the Water energy and the channels of the kidney and urinary bladder.

Bland — these herbs are diuretics.

Astringent — these herbs stabilize and bind; they reduce and prevent loss of body fluids.

Effects of herbs on reproductive health, and some conditions that may be improved by their use:

  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea
  • Recurrent miscarriage and threatened miscarriage
  • Premature labor
  • Labor induction
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Strengthen and improve general health
  • Fibroids, endometriosis, PCOS, POF, PID, luteal phase defect
  • Endometrial thickening
  • Lower elevated FSH
  • Balance immune system
  • Regulate menstrual cycle
  • Increase egg production and quality
  • Increase and alter sperm production, morphology and motility
  • Increase lactation

Side effects of Chinese herbs

Herbs are relatively safe to take, but it is advisable to notify us of all current medication that you are taking so that we can prevent any side effects or incompatibilities. Also, any food allergies or medication allergies should also be brought to the herbalist’s attention to prevent unwanted side effects. Herbs are medications, and should never be self-prescribed.

Traditionally, Chinese herbs are taken in many forms:

  • Medicinal decoction or tea
  • Liquid extract
  • Powder or granulations
  • Pills

In our clinic, we tend to prescribe granulations, so we can customize a formula specifically to each individual. By using granules, we are able to add and subtract herbs as your condition improves and changes.

Things to avoid when taking herbs or herbal formulas:

You should try to avoid foods that are cold, raw, greasy, rotten or spoiled, and other foods that are difficult to digest when taking herbs. Your herbalist will advise you specifically which foods not to eat near or around the time you will be taking your herbs.