Chinese herbology is one of the oldest and most sophisticated herbal medicine systems in the world. Developed over thousands of years, through clinical experience and observation of nature, Herbology is one of the cornerstones of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). While Acupuncture regulates the body’s physiological function through the stimulation of external points, herbal medicine works internally to return the body to a state of balance.
Acupuncture and Herbology are the two main modalities of TCM and they serve to complement each other perfectly. While some patients may achieve their health goals through one or the other, most will benefit from a combination of both Acupuncture and Herbs. Some conditions, such as those that may be chronic and complex in nature, may necessitate an herb-based treatment plan for effective results. Each individual patient holds their own unique needs and the proper course of treatment will be determined by the practitioner or team that is delivering care.
The wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine lies in its holistic perspective and ability to assess the harmonious functioning of the body’s organ systems. As each patient progresses through their treatment plan, the function of the patient’s body will undergo change. As the health of the patient changes, their individualized herbal prescription will do so as well. Under such an approach to care, each patient is best served by completing their herbal regimen through to the end of the recommended treatment plan, under the guidance of their qualified herbalist.
The Clinic at Virginia University of Integrative Medicine currently offers herbal medicine in three forms:
1 – Capsules: Capsules are pre-made formulas taken in capsule form. They tend to be more convenient to take and use, and they do not have any flavor. They are not customizable however, and multiple formulas may be required to reach your health goals.
2 – Raw Herbs: Raw herbs are individualized formulations that must be processed (cooked) by the patient at home. Raw herbs tend to be more potent and customizable. Patients will brew the herbal decoction at home and drink the tea as directed.
3 – Decocted Raw Herbs: Decocted raw herbs are the same as the above raw herbs but the customized formulation will be decocted by the clinic and separated into individual serving bags. This allows for customization and potency with the convenience of not having to brew the herbs at home.
Quality control is of utmost importance when sourcing herbal medicine. The Clinic at Virginia University of Integrative Medicine only uses trusted suppliers that batch-test each herb for quality. Patients may rest assured that their herbs are safe and effective.
We encourage all of our patients to play an active role in their health and wellness by staying informed on the most current scientific research on their unique herbal formulation. As an extension of our role as practitioner-educators, our practitioners (upon request) can provide you with a list of the individual ingredients that constitute your prescribed formula so you may research the current literature on those herbs through services such as Google Scholar, Pubmed, and other leading research sources.