Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) represents a vast body of knowledge gathered over several thousand years to offer a detailed repertoire of medicinal substances that are combined in countless ways create “formulas” of medicine. While the animal, mineral and plant kingdoms are all used in China, it is only the plant and mineral kingdoms of this repertoire that are used accordance with European regulations at The Natural Medicine Clinic.
While pharmaceutical medicine often extracts isolated compounds or active ingredients from natural medicinals or synthetically recreates them to produce marketable products, a formula of CHM will contain a complex synergy of natural medicinals that together in concert form a multi-tasking medicine.
In this way, complex conditions can be treated with a medicine that orchestrates a powerful range of treatment strategies to address the many facets of person’s pathology in an intelligent and balanced way.
Medicinal Formulas: While CHM offers literally thousands of tried and tested set formulas drawn both from ancient practice and modern research, these formulae generally form the starting point for a patient’s medicine. Given unchanged, in their original composition, they are referred to as Patent Formulas and they offer a more economic, broad brushstroke treatment strategy.
Medicinal Prescriptions: However, the strength and art of Chinese Herbal Medicine is in its capacity to created highly individualised medicine that is tailored to meet a patient’s own unique complexity of needs and their specific constellation of signs and symptoms. As such, traditional formulas are modified and changed in composition and dosage to reflect the patient’s current needs and which can then be regularly modified to map their treatment progress and to reflect their changing presentation of signs and symptoms. These are referred to as prescriptions and must be dispensed individually according to the practitioner’s instructions.
Raw herb prescriptions: This is the most medicinally potent way to take CHM. A prescription of raw loose herbs will be given as a small bag of medicinals in their natural state that are to be cooked according to instruction at home by the patient with the resulting liquid drunk like a tea. Some people enjoy the process of preparing their medicine at home and like feeling connected to their treatment strategy in this way. While one bag will generally prepare 1-3 days’ worth of medicine, a weeks’ worth can be cooked in one go and kept in the fridge to make the preparation time involved more manageable.
Granule prescriptions: Given the pace of modern life and the need for convenience, prescriptions can be given in granule form. Here, the medicinals have been through an extraction process and are in a condensed soluble form that represents approx. 1:5 ratio of the granules: raw herb potency. These prescriptions are dispensed by a dispensary service according to the script ordered by the practitioner and come in dose-sized convenient sachets. The granular contents of the sachet are dissolved in hot water and flavoured as needed.