Chinese Herbal Medicine2016-11-02T20:33:06+00:00
Molly is nationally licensed by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) to practice Chinese Herbal Medicine as well as Acupuncture.

LONG HISTORY OF CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE

chinese herbal medicine

Chinese herbal medicine is a very important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Along with dietary therapy, herbal medicine has a very long history, and is proven to be a safe and effective way to heal the body and spirit. The origins of herbal medicine in China can be traced back 4000 years, making it one of the oldest and most long-standing health care systems in the world. It is currently used by 1/3 of the world’s population.

Before acupuncture or the advent of modern pharmaceutical medicine, herbal remedies have traditionally been used to heal and balance the human body. Unlike most pharmaceutical and over the counter drugs which come with numerous side effects, Chinese Herbal prescriptions are individually made for each patient, in order to avoid any side effects. Chinese Herbal Medicine is a much safer alternative, especially in treating chronic medical problems. Herbs are prescribed in a formula that may consist of 4-20 herbs, with a balance of herbs that will get results without causing an imbalance in the body.

For 2000 years or more, formulas have been developed, refined, and documented in the medical literature of China. For a given patient, one formula may be used for a while, and it may then be modified or changed as the patient’s condition changes.

SAFETY

ginseng root

Chinese medicinal materials are screened to assure correct species of plant, and are tested for contamination by pesticides, heavy metals, or drugs. The Chinese Herbal manufacturing plants in the United States that source the herb products that I use in my practice, all meet GMP (good manufacturing practices) standards, just as is required by American pharmaceutical and food production companies.

HOW ARE THEY TAKEN?

ginger root
  • Chinese herbs in my practice are typically in granular form, taken at a prescribed dose, in warm or hot water. This may be in a combination formula, pre-packaged, or it could be made up specifically for a patient. The granular form is much more convenient for patients than cooking up raw herbs.
  • For convenience, often pills or tablets are given. In this case, the herbs are cooked together by the manufacturer, and then formed into tablets or pills.
  • Herbs are also given in tincture form, in liniment form, suppositories, in plaster or salves, or as an herbal compress.
  • Other methods:   Decoction: This method is to boil raw herbs in water for an hour, strain, and drink the tea one to four times daily. I do not use raw herbs used for decoction in my practice.

WARNING: A patient should never try to self-diagnose or self-prescribe Asian medicinals. Many people are now acquiring chinese herb formulas from the internet or other vendors to try to treat themselves. However, the professional assessment process is critical to the choice of the correct materials.

NATIONAL LICENSURE IN CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE

national license for acupuncture and oriental medicine

Professional oriental herbalists are trained in acupuncture programs and may take an herbal diplomate exam from the NCCAOM, the same national body which certifies acupuncturists and oriental bodywork therapists.

Generally, the NCCAOM Diplomate training and competency verification is in sharp contrast to the acupuncture and Oriental medicine training of other healthcare professionals such as chiropractors or registered nurses or even medical doctors who typically receive 100-300 hours of abbreviated training. Certified (and licensed) acupuncturists and Oriental medicine practitioners are also trained in standard medical history gathering, safety, and ethics, and recognition of when to refer patients to other healthcare professionals or consult with other medical practitioners.

It is very important that consumers are aware of the risks associated with purchasing herbs directly from vendors without seeking the advice of a qualified Chinese herbology practitioner, such as a Diplomate of Chinese Herbology. These risks can include adverse drug interaction when using herbs without consultation and the potential of receiving inferior herbs from vendors. Diplomates of Chinese Herbology and Oriental Medicine have completed extensive training that would prevent the issues addressed above from occurring. By seeking an NCCAOM Certified Diplomate of Chinese Herbology or Oriental Medicine for herbal treatment, consumers recognize the significance of NCCAOM Certification in Chinese Herbology and Oriental Medicine as an indication of competence and safety for the practice of Chinese herbology. NCCAOM certified practitioners have met the necessary educational requirements and have also passed a rigorous assessment to practice Chinese herbology safely and efficaciously.