CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE at Health In The Bay.
What is Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbal medicine is a form of therapy that has evolved over at least 2000 years. It is one branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and although it can be used alone, Toby generally uses it in conjunction with Acupuncture for greatest effect. Chinese herbal medicine is particularly useful when the health issue is longstanding. Several herbs are combined into a formula (prescription) that is selected to address your specific health issues. Traditionally, patients used to boil the herbs up themselves in the kitchen, but with today’s busy lifestyles, this is often not practical. When a formula needs to be individualised (ingredients modified, added, or removed from a standard formula), Toby uses powdered (granulated) herbal formulas – the herbs have already been decocted. What you receive is a powder that is easily dissolved in hot water, to make a drink. In other instances when a standard formula is appropriate, either powder or pills may be given.
What sort of substances are given?
Most Chinese herbs are derived from plants. Chinese herbal medicine is very specific about the exact part of the plant used and the method of processing, with one plant sometimes yielding several Chinese herbs (e.g., the roots have distinct properties from the stems and leaves, and the flowers may have a different action again). Occasionally, minerals are used.
Although animal products were also used in traditional practice, most practitioners are moving away from using these. Toby does not prescribe animal products, preferring to use plant- or mineral-based substitutes. There are also strict conventions in place to stop any endangered species (plant or animal) being used.
Toby only uses suppliers that are GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) licensed as certified by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration).
Are there side-effects?
It is uncommon, but occasionally there can be side-effects from Chinese herbal medicine. This might be because the formula is too strong for your particular constitution, and this is usually rectified by changing the formula. Please report any adverse effects to Toby.
Can the herbs be taken with Western medicines?
It depends. Although interactions are rare, they do occur for some combinations of drugs and herbs, and Toby has had training in this area. Please discuss with Toby any medicines (prescribed, over-the-counter, or even herbs from a naturopath or Western herbalist) you are taking during the consultation.