Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Have you ever self medicated, read up on the latest social media miracle cure or health fad and followed it? This is becoming very common practice and herbs and illegal pharmaceuticals are being bought online in a desperate attempt to find relief without the advice of a professional. This year the Australian government has disallowed insurance rebates for many natural therapies which will make it even more difficult for patients to find affordable help. However Chinese herbal medicine is still covered under some insurance extra covers as is acupuncture with most of them, due to their registration with AHPRA. Check your extras cover for more information if you have private health insurance.
So why use a herbalist?
Not all herbs are safe and the quantities and purity are very important; some can cause side effects when used in conjunction with Western drugs or other herbs; some are toxic in large amounts or if used for too long. In Australia, the purity of herbs is determined by the TGA and a GMP stamp and number is given on the packaging. These products are only sold by professional herbalists and there is minimal chance of impurities such as heavy metals or pesticides in them. A Chinese herbalist has many years of training and continued education, which includes the knowledge of possible drug interactions, correct quantities and labeling. They may also pick up symptoms that require further investigation by a GP or specialist.
The earliest evidence of Chinese medicine dates back to the Eastern (Later) Han dynasty (25-220 CE) with archaeological findings such as the Mawangdui medical manuscripts. By the 3rd century, major classics were written or compiled such as the Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic (Huang di nei jing), Essentials from the Golden Cabinet (Jin gui yao lue), Discussion of Cold damage (Shang han lun) and Divine Husbandman’s Classic of Materia Medica (Shen nong ben cao jing).
Granules and pills are the preferred choice in this clinic as they are an easy and effective way of taking the medication. This clinic does not use endangered species in their formulas and herbs can be made-up to suit vegetarians and vegans if required. By using pure high grade granulated herbs (which you just add hot a little hot water to and drink as a tea or take as capsules), it is possible to tailor ancient and modern formulas to your individual symptoms.
There is a lot of research going on around the world on the efficacy of various herbs so it is an exciting time for Chinese Medicine. There is a large body of research evidence on the efficacy, pharmacology and actions of many herbs. In Sydney, a university is researching a traditional herbal formula used for dementia. This trial is now expanding to other states.