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What is Chinese Herbal Medicine

The system of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) has been evolving over three millennia, across the cultures of East Asia, the Middle East, and European countries. The first documented Chinese medicine textbooks that exist today are dated at more than two thousand years old, although the health system and concepts were already well established by that point.

Originally, the philosophy of Taoism and Buddhism had a huge impact on the theoretic system, in which health is viewed as an aspect or reflection of the natural and social environment. This view determines the analysis and treatment of ‘dis-eases’ with a broader view of reason and the integrity of physical and mental wellbeing(天人合一). For example, a simple shoulder pain could be a result of accumulative imbalance within the person or surrounding environment.

The logic behind treatment is patient centred, rather than disease focussed only. For example, in the case of infection, the herbalist will observe and work with your unique body response to the infection, instead of a cross-board elimination of the microorganism itself. Seasonal effects will be considered too, as our energy alters cyclically.

The impact of herbal treatment is subtle yet evident, and there are many facets to consider when deciding whether to start, or continue taking CHM. For example, we must use the material medica consciously to limit the environmental impact of farming, and ensure the potency of constituents. And there are considerations of safety, as we balance treatment with your current orthodox biomedical care. Your herbalist will help you to decide if it’s necessary to take CHM for your condition.

Chinese herbal medicine in York

The system of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) has been evolving over three millennia, across the cultures of East Asia, the Middle East, and European countries.

About your treatment

During your first session, your herbalist will run through your case history and current major health concerns, and provide you with a treatment direction to discuss. You’ll be guided through any herbal treatment, supported with the methods of intake and potential adjustments. Your herbalist will also discuss a suitable diet for the duration of your herb intake. Patients who suffer from chronic conditions may need regular visits, every three to eight weeks, for adjustment of the prescription.

Chinese herbal medicine practitioners

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No, we do not use animal related material or any endangered species.

The current supply of herbal material is partially organic, so your prescription will not be fully organic. Some materials have to go through traditional pharmaceutical treatment, which may involve the use of honey.

Do you use animal related material or endangered species in Chinese herbal medicine?

You’ll prepare your herbs at home, and the result will be a liquid form, like hot tea. The dispensed herbs may require simmering and straining, or may come in concentrated granules, which you’ll dissolve in warm water. Some suppliers can compress the granules into tablet form, if you find herb drinking too difficult. Dosage and instructions will be given before you use your herbal medicine.

How do I take the herbal mixture?

We only use RCHM approved suppliers in the UK to carry out the dispensing, which ensures the source and quality of the herbal materials. You can request an additional prescription list for your own knowledge.

Where do I get the dispensed prescription from?

There are two aspects of safety. One is the source and manufacturing process. For quality control, we only use RCHM supplier scheme approved providers who import materials with GMP standard.

The other aspect of safety is the clinical application. Herbal medicine has to be prescribed by a fully qualified practitioner, who is registered with a regulatory body. The training and CPD ensures the practitioner's skills in managing contraindications, and understanding the interaction of the herbs with any Western medications.

Is Chinese herbal medicine safe?