There is a rich and vast evidenced history of Chinese herbal prescriptions, dating back thousands of years. The Chinese materia medica, the pharmacological reference still used by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners today, contains hundreds of medicinal substances – primarily plants, but also some minerals and animal products. All substances are typically referred to as “herbs.” In traditional Chinese medicine, herbs are combined in formulas and given as decoctions (teas), capsules or “teapills,” granulated powders, or tinctures.
For some conditions, Chinese herbs are the most important and effective treatment modality and allow the benefits of the healing process to continue between acupuncture visits. Chinese herbs are highly specific in their actions, temperature, flavor, and direction, and are carefully combined to form balanced prescriptions aimed at treating your Chinese medicine diagnosis. Herbal formulas may be prescribed to strengthen and support the body, regulate the function of internal organs, or clear the body of excess conditions like a cold, fever, or pain.
In many cases, I prescribe granulated herbal powders, tablets, or teapills. Granulated herbal powders are highly effective and economical, but most importantly a patent formula may be easily modified to meet a patient’s specific needs. The prescribed amount of herbs can be measured into a small cup and mixed with warm water to drink. Granulated herbs can also be encapsulated for ease of use (though in this form, they tend to be more expensive).
Teapills (tiny pills) are preferred by many patients as they are very convenient and inexpensive, however formulas administered in this form are generally less potent and can not be modified from their patent formulation. Nonetheless, teapills are excellent to stock at home for minor/acute needs such as the common cold, seasonal allergies, menstrual cramps, insomnia, or digestive aids.
If you are interested in herbal decoctions (bulk raw herbs which you will cook into a “tea” at home), I can order a prescription for you to pick up at a local bulk raw herb dispensary in Oakland or Berkeley. I will also provide you with detailed instructions on its preparation.
Be assured that all of the Chinese herbs that I prescribe come from reputable sources with clean and safe manufacturing practices. Here are links to the quality assurance reports of the companies that I most often source: