About Chinese Herbal Medicine


Though it has received much less attention in the popular media, the use of Chinese herbs goes hand in hand with acupuncture and is an essential part of Oriental Medicine. Chinese herbal formulas treat a wide variety of conditions by stimulating the body's natural healing process, and have shown excellent

results in hospital studies with patients who failed to respond to conventional pharmaceuticals. Unlike most single-ingredient herbal supplements administered by Naturopathic Doctors or those sold in health-food stores, Chinese herbs are taken in formulas which combine two to eighteen different herbs. Most herbal formulas used by Oriental Medicine practitioners have been in use for over 2,000 years, and the herbs in these formulas have been found to work synergistically together to increase their healing power while simultaneously reducing the potential side effects of the various herbs involved. Traditionally, Chinese herbal formulas were taken by boiling dry herbs and drinking the "tea" that resulted. At the Center for Preventive Medicine, we understand that most patients in the United States lead busy lives and may not have the time to boil herbs for hours each day. Therefore, our herbal formulas are in convenient pill, tincture or powder form. Our herbs are PDA-approved, of high potency, and sold exclusively through the offices of Oriental Medical practitioners.More on alternate and herbal remedies can be found on bhia.org

How it Works 

In Oriental Medicine, all phenomena (including all aspects of the body and health) can be described as either yin or yang. Yin describes that which is cool or cold, more interior, calm, slow, and chronic. Yang describes that which is warm or hot, more superficial, active, fast, and: acute. Health, in Oriental Medicine, is a result of balancing the yin and the yang. In using Chinese herbs, therefore, an Oriental Medicine practitioner will use yin herbs to "cool" conditions which show an excess of yang, and so forth. Moreover, any medicine which is too yin or yang will be unbalanced, and therefore cause side-effects. Chinese formulas, therefore, have been perfected over thousands of years so that those herbs in the formula which are too yang i are "cooled" by other herbs in the formula, and vice-versa, reducing side-effects and maximizing effectiveness.

During a treatment at a Acupunture or Oriental Clinic, one may experience other forms of treatment besides acupuncture and herbal medicine. Moxibustion is a procedure wherein a small amount of the herb mugwort is laid over the skin or on the head of a needle and the ignited, causing heat to stimulate acupoints in the immediate area; heat lamps may also be used for this purpose. Cupping is a technique that uses suction to improve circulation and stimulate tissues. Gua sha has a similar effect to cupping, but it is accomplished through a vigorous rubbing with a ceramic spoon. Tui na is a Chinese massage technique. Patients may experience one or more of these techniques during any given treatment.


Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are safe. efficacious medical procedures with few side-effects when administered by a licensed practitioner. In Rhode Island, licensed practitioners receive the title D.Ac. (Doctor of Acupuncture), are required to have 2500 hours of training, and must pass the rigorous three day NCCAOM national exam in acupuncture and oriental medicine.Power Of QI

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