- What are the sources of herbs?
Chinese herbal system comprises of herbs sourced from plants, animals, and minerals, with plant herbs make up the largest portion. Our clinic uses only plant herbs and some mineral herbs for all of our treatments.
- What parts of the plant are used?
Herbs can come from any parts of a plant depending on the purpose of healing. They are made from the leaves, stem, root, fruit, rind, or seeds. Many herbs are made from the entire plant. Although belonging to the same plant, different parts have different functions, properties, and actions when they enter the body.
- What are the different forms of herbs?
In the old days, herbs were used in loose form and in dried or fresh state. They require several steps of cooking and brewing, or soaking, and the final product was taken as a tea. Now with modern technology, herbs can be processed and taken in many different forms.
- Pills: most convenient, easy, but least strong in potency
- Concentrated granules: convenient and stronger in potency
- Tinctures: convenient and stronger in potency
- Loose herbs: not convenient as they require cooking the traditional way, but this form is strongest in potency.
- Where do our herbs come from?
Most of our herbs are grown and processed in China. We receive our herbs from reputable suppliers that put quality and purity of their herbs at the top of the list. Our suppliers are based in the United States.
- Is it safe to take herbs if a person is on prescription meds?
For many millennia, herbs are an important and indispensable component of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Many Chinese herbs are safe even for long term use. Our clinical experiences have shown that so far our herbs are not interfering with patients' medications and we did not receive any reports of adverse drug interactions. In prescribing herbs we take care, to the best of our ability, to consider patients' conditions and the current medications that they are taking to prevent any potential drug interaction. If any concerns arise, our acupuncturist can adjust the dosage or formula to suit patients' needs.
- Can children take herbs?
Yes, herbal therapy is very effective and safe for children and they often respond well to herbs. Our youngest patient that took herbs was only six months old.
- Do herbs have side effects?
Most herbs that we prescribe are safe and have no side effects. Some herbs may cause momentary discomfort in some people depending on the person's constitution, for example slight headache or dizziness in the initial 1-3 days of taking the herbs. Once your body adjusts to the herbs, the discomfort goes away. Most patients at our clinic have very normal experience with herbs.
The potential for toxicities to build up in the body may occur if herbs are consumed in massive quantities over an extended period of many years. This is unlikely to happen at our clinic for the reason that our acupuncturist follows a conservative practice with herbal therapy. Once our patients improved, they are either taken off the herbal therapy or given a decrease in frequency and dosage of their formulas depending on their treatment plan.
- Do patients have access to the herbal ingredients in their formulas?
Yes. We practice full disclosure of all herbs that we prescribe. All herbs that our patients receive have their names in Chinese and Latin, dosage, manufacturing source and other relevant information printed on the label.
- Are herbs suitable for vegetarians and vegans?
Yes, our clinic uses only plant herbs and some mineral herbs for all of our treatments. Vegetarians and vegans can feel safe taking our herbs.
- For how long are patients required to take herbs?
This depends on the condition being treated. Acute conditions require less time on herbs. Chronic conditions often involve constitutional deficiencies and thus require a longer period of herbal therapy, can range from 6 months to one year or more.
- Can patient opt-out of the herbal part of a treatment?
Yes. Patient may choose to refuse herbs for whatever reason and can still receive treatment at our clinic. We respect our patients' personal preferences and we do not impose our standards on anyone. We will do our best to work with all patients' needs and requests. However, our acupuncturist reserves the right to refuse treatment to patient if dealing with a condition that absolutely requires herbs in order for the treatment to work properly. The patient will be advised accordingly.