Herbal Medicine is a major component of Traditional Oriental Medicine (TOM). Herbs have a balancing or regulating effect on the body and are usually gentler than pharmaceutical drugs. While side-effects are possible from herbal medicine, they are usually minor. Herbal medicine can effectively address a wide variety of conditions and has a long clinical history. A wide variety of traditional formulae are available for practitioners to use, as well as customized formulae to match the individual patient’s needs and constitution.
Herbs affect the Qi and promote healing in one or more systems of the body. Usually herbs are combined into formulae that address the main health problem and support the mind-body system.
How Are Herbs Administered?
Chinese herbal medicine encompasses a pharmacopoeia composed of over 10,000 plant, mineral and animal substances. From this, most herbalists work with 200 to 300 herbs.
Traditionally formulas were raw herbs, taken home by patients and cooked. Today there are many options available to practitioners and patients, including prepared pills, capsules and powders. Also used are externally applied plasters and liniments.