Chinese Herbal MedicineBy Nigel Chua
What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?
Each of us has a unique body constitution, which is influenced by hereditary traits, environmental factors and lifestyle habits.
TCM’s approach to treating diseases takes into account your body constitution and targets the root cause to address your symptoms. It aims to help you regain internal balance and strengthen your body’s resistance to diseases.
This can be done through herbal prescriptions, which can consist of sachets of purified concentrated herbal granules, or come in pill or capsule form.
Our herbal medicine is mainly herbal granules because it's the most convenient for our clients and patients, and this is the #1 key to health improvements and outcomes. Consumption is convenient - just dissolve the herbal granules in hot water and consume the resulting brew.
Our physicians prescribe herbal medications to treat various health issues including:
- Skin conditions
- Respiratory diseases
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Endocrine diseases
- Neurological conditions
- Stroke rehabilitation
WHAT IS CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE?
Chinese medicines, including herbs, processed herbal materials and patent prescriptions, are medications prescribed under the guidance of TCM theory. Prior to Qing Dynasty, Chinese medicine was referred to as materia medica or raw medicine.
The majority of Chinese medicines are plant-based, which is why they are also called Chinese herbal medicines. That being said, there are also animal products and minerals included.
WHAT IS DECOCTION (BREWING HERBS)?
In Chinese medicine, decoction is a means of herb preparation involving first soaking, then boiling in a ceramic pot, and lastly straining.
To maximize the efficacy of the herbs when brewing,
- some are added early, some later
- some are bagged
- some need to be melted first
- some are to be dissolved in water and taken directly without boiling
Generally speaking, minerals and crustaceans, such as fossil fragment (LongGu) and ostrea (MuLi), need to be boiled first; aromatic herbs with volatile properties, such as peppermint (BoHe), Herba Schizonepetae (JingHuiJie), Agastache Rugosus (HuoXiang), need to be boiled later to prevent loss of medicinal efficacy; a few other ingredients, such as pearl powder (ZhenZhuFen) or “raw powder”, can be ground down to powder for oral intake or added to the concoction.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DECOCTION AND SCIENTIFIC CHINESE MEDICINE?
There is no hierarchy among decoction, pill, and powder. They are various forms of medicine administered to patients according to their conditions.
Currently, the manufacturing procedure for scientific Chinese medicine is the same as decoction. It also undergoes a boiling process to extract active ingredients from the herbs, which are then concentrated to form scientific Chinese medicine. It is safe, effective, portable and convenient, thus widely accepted by the general public. In most cases, scientific Chinese medicine alone is sufficient for treatment.
For critical or complex cases, decoction may be more appropriate.
The physician will prescribe a suitable formula based on the patient’s constitution and illness. When it comes to decoction, there is a wide selection of herbs with excellent potency, efficacy and bioavailability.
The physician can also adjust the formula anytime to coincide with changes in the progression of illness and patient constitution, allowing maximal efficacy of the herbs.
HOW TO BREW AND ADMINISTER THE MEDICINE
Our herbal medicine is mainly herbal granules because it is the most convenient for our clients and patients, and this is the #1 key to health improvements and outcomes.
Consumption is convenient - just dissolve the herbal granules in hot water and consume the resulting brew. Do NOT boil - just add to one cup of hot or warm water, stir to ensure all is dissolved and drink directly.
Follow your physician’s instructions; typically take the medicine up to 3 times a day— pre-prandial, post-prandial and at bedtime.
As a general rule of thumb,
- regular medicine should be taken an hour after a meal
- nourishing medicine should be taken before a meal
- stomach aggravating medicine should be taken after a meal
- narcotics should be taken at bedtime.
FOODS TO AVOID
While taking the medicine, avoid
- raw food
- cold food
- greasy food
- spicy food
as these types of food may affect the absorption of medicine.
Other medications should be taken at least 30 minutes apart.
If you are not feeling well, you may stop the medicine and contact your physician to report adverse responses for appropriate formula adjustments.
HOW DO I GO ABOUT BUYING HERBAL DECOCTION?
Please follow the prescription from our certified TCM physician.
Do NOT self medicate.
There are thousands of different Chinese herbs.
It is difficult for one to fully master the knowledge of all herbs. Please be advised that it is best to purchase herbs from reputable and trustworthy Chinese medicine shops. The safety of Chinese herbal medicine can only be ensured through appropriate processing, free of chemical additives, and utilization of authentic ingredients.
CAN I ORDER CHINESE HERBS FROM PHOENIX REHAB?
Phoenix Rehab provides door-to-door herbal medicine delivery services.
Our certified and licensed TCM physician will assess, diagnose and prescribe the required herbal medicine for you. Once you've made payment, it will be delivered to your doorstep within 1-2 working days.
Make an appointment with our TCM physician today.