Chinese Herbal Extract FAQs

How do you explain the growing popularity of Chinese herbal extracts?

People these days are drawn to natural cures. Herbal medicine recommends the use of herbs to complement modern medicine and address health and wellness concerns.

Is this form of alternative medicine fairly recent?

Not at all. The use of traditional Chinese herbal medicine can be traced back to around 206 to 220 BC (Han Dynasty). Since its introduction, the use of herbal remedies has been recognized as one of the greatest medicinal/therapeutic systems in the world.

What conditions can you treat with herbal medicines?

Herbal extracts can be used to treat a wide range of medical conditions. Chinese herbal extracts are herbal decoctions that have been condensed into a granular or powdered form. Herbal extracts, similar to patent medicines, are easier and more convenient for patients to take. The industry extraction standard is 5:1, meaning for every five pounds of raw materials, one pound of herbal extract is derived.

Herbal medicine can be used to address the common cold, flu, and other viral or bacterial diseases, as well as a great variety of chronic illnesses, autoimmune diseases, allergies, gynecological disorders, and age-associated degenerative diseases.

There are Chinese herbs for fertility, Chinese herbs for weight loss, and Chinese herbs for anxiety. There are also ayurvedic herbs that can help you achieve balance in body, spirit, and mind and promote health and wellness.

What is the difference between pharmaceutical drugs and healing herbs?

A lot of pharmaceutical drugs are derivatives of herbal medicine. Drugs generally use singular molecular compounds, most of which use isolated extracts from the active ingredients of a particular plant. Chinese herbal extracts typically use the whole plant.

Chinese herbs are also usually recommended to be combined with other herbs for increased efficacy.
Why do practitioners in Chinese medicine prescribe the use of Chinese herbs in formula form?
Herbs are typically used in combination with other natural herbs. Using multiple herb formulas enhances the effectiveness of the herbs. It enables you to address several health conditions at the same time. It also helps to reduce potential side effects.

In what forms are Chinese herbal extracts usually taken?

These extracts are usually taken in the form of decoctions which have been reduced into powdered or granular forms. Patients, in general, find it easier and more convenient to take medication in this form.
The industry standard for extraction is 5:1. This simply means that you derive 1 pound of herbal extract from every 5 pounds of raw herbal material. Aside from decoctions, patients can opt to use herbal tea or herbal tinctures.

Why does Chinese herbal tea taste a bit bitter?

The most potent medicinal ingredients can be found in the barks and roots of plants. Chinese herbal teas are mostly made from these parts and thus may taste slightly bitter. Research shows, however, that after taking tea for some time, an individual grows to like its taste, indicating that the body knows exactly what it needs to be healthy.

Are decoctions easier to prescribe?

Yes. An herbal medicine practitioner enjoys greater flexibility in prescribing extracts that come in the form of decoctions. When he prepares a prescription, he can write the precise amount that the patient needs to take. He can even change the formula on a daily basis according to what he thinks the patient’s current medical situation requires.

Can children take herbal supplements?

In China, many pediatricians use herbal medicine as a complementary or alternative form of medication or therapy for children. The dosage can be modified to take into account the child’s weight and age.

Can I take prescription drugs in combination with acupuncture treatments or herbal products?

Many people have put their trust on acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine for treating illnesses, especially when they have noticed that their prescription drugs do not seem to work anymore. In other cases, the side effects that some prescription drugs have have become too severe for the patient to continue using. Though, in general, prescription drugs CAN be used together with acupuncture treatments and herbal products, it is better for you to ask first your trained medical TCM professional before making any changes. Always seek professional guidance.

Will I experience side effects if I take Chinese herbal extracts?

Chinese herbs are natural medications. They have no harmful chemicals. They are generally safe to use and have no negative effects on health. However, make sure that you consult a qualified TCM (Tradition Chinese Medicine) practitioner lest you misuse or abuse the herbal extracts.

How long do I have to wait before I see the effects of the Chinese herbs I am taking?

The duration will depend on the medical condition you are trying to address. Like other Western medicines, some herbs take effect right away. Others take a bit longer.

If you are taking herbs for a cold, you will see positive results after several hours. If you are trying to address chronic health problems, to control cholesterol or glucose, or to bring your weight down, you may have to wait for months to see the results you want.

Is it all right for me to take the herbs even if I am pregnant?

Most herbal formulations are safe to take even if you are pregnant. However, it is best to consult a TCM practitioner so he can take a look at the specific formula you are taking and give you proper advice.
Where can I order Chinese herbal extracts?

You can purchase the herbs from pharmacies. You can also order the herbs online.