Utah Acupuncture & Wellness Clinic - Acupuncture - Homeopathy - Chinese Herbal Therapy
Traditional Chinese Medicine has a history of over 3,000 years, and herbal medicine is one of the most important parts of it. People in China have been using thousands of natural herbs to treat a wide variety of diseases and conditions throughout this time. However, only 300 to 500 of these herbs are commonly used. These natural herbs, collectively referred to as herbal medicine or herbal supplements, are composed of roots, barks, flowers, seeds, fruits, leaves, branches, and other plant parts. Herbs are prescribed to treat disease or as a dietary supplement to build and strengthen various bodily functions. At our acupuncture and wellness clinic, we use herbs that are prepared as pills, capsules, tinctures, powders, or pellets.

Chinese Herbal Medicine FAQ

What is a Chinese herbal formula?
Chinese herbal medicines (supplements) are very seldom formulated from a single herb. Herbal formulations are commonly made from a combination of 8 to 15 different herbs. 
There are three major reasons for combining herbs:
  1. To create a stronger effect through a combination of herbs with similar functions and indications together;
  2. To create a stronger effect as one herb enhances the power of another;
  3. To eliminate or reduce the side effects of the main herb in the formula.

What are the benefits to me of using Chinese herbal supplements?
In general, Chinese herbs can treat many different conditions and diseases. In comparison with chemical medicine, Chinese herbal medicines are much gentler and safer since they are made from natural herbs. Only some of the Chinese herbs may cause mild side effects. Those side effects can be easily eliminated or reduced with a combination of another herb. 

There are three main functions of Chinese medicines or supplements:
  1. To treat acute diseases and conditions caused by viruses and bacteria or to treat injuries;
  2. To heal chronic illnesses such as gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory disorders, allergies, immune system deficiencies by strengthening the body and helping its natural systems to recover;
  3. To maintain daily life health by keeping the body balanced and preventing future problems.

When do I take the herbal supplements?
The herbal tablets and pellets we use can be taken with or without food; it simply depends on what your body prefers. Most patients are fine taking the herbs on an empty stomach; however, if you notice a mildly upset stomach when you take your herbs on an empty stomach then take them with food next time. Your practitioner may give you more specific instructions. If you experience any discomfort while taking Chinese medicines, please contact our office.

How long do I take Chinese medicines?
It is different from case to case. For acute illnesses you may take the supplements for only a short time. For a chronic illness, you may be required to take the herbal supplements for a longer period of time. Your practitioner will determine the length of time by examining your body.

Are there any counter-indications for taking Chinese herbal medicines?
Although most Chinese herbal medicines do not cause adverse reactions, some patients might experience an allergic reaction. Tiffany Garofalo, our Practitioner, always muscle tests for allergies before prescribing any Chinese formulas or other supplements for our patients. If you experience any signs or symptoms, such as bloating, gas, stool change, or skin or throat itchiness, please call our office. It's important to note that if a formula is designed to "purge" an ailment from the body, you may experience some of the above symptoms while this purging takes place.

Taking Chinese herbal medicines on your own is not recommended. For instance, some herbs are too strong for pregnant women and may cause miscarriage. Also, some foods or prescription drugs might interact adversely with Chinese herbal medicines. In order to avoid problems, check with your Practitioner before buying any over-the-counter herbal formulas. Also, take your prescription drugs at least 1 to 1 1/2 hours before or after your Chinese herbal formulas. Some prescription drugs should not be taken with herbs (including herbal teas).

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