Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a broad range of medicine practices, used in China for over 5000 years. It is a comprehensive medical system with it’s own methods and therapies which include various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage (Tui na), exercise (qigong), and dietary therapy. TCM holds a central belief that health in all parts of the body is due to the relative balance of Yin and Yang.
TCM does not give much emphasis to anatomical structures of the body, rather it is more concerned with identifying functional entities that regulate ageing, breathing and digestion etc. A healthy person is seen as having a harmonious interaction of these same entities and the world at large, whilst illness is seen as a disharmony in this interaction.
A Traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis looks at identifying symptoms to patterns of any underlying disharmony.
Traditionally, Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) involves the use of natural plants, minerals and sometimes small amounts of animal products.
However, TCM practitioners in the UK are not allowed to use minerals or any animals products from endangered species.
In the UK only herbal products are used in clinical practice. Each herb has its own specific characteristics and medical use in treating different diseases.
OK we know that it can often seem like Chinese herbal medicine is made of some very odd looking ingredients but in reality many of the ingredients are in fact quite common world-wide.
There are over three hundred herbs that are commonly being used today. Some of the most commonly used herbs are Ginseng (人参, 人參, rénshēn), wolfberry (枸杞子), Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis, 当归, 當歸, dāngguī), astragalus (黄耆, 黃耆, huángqí), atractylodes (白术, 白朮, báizhú), bupleurum (柴胡, cháihú), cinnamon (cinnamon twigs (桂枝, guìzhī) and cinnamon bark (肉桂, ròuguì)), coptis (黄莲, 黃蓮, huánglián), ginger (姜, 薑, jiāng), hoelen (茯苓, fúlíng), licorice (甘草, gāncǎo), ephedra sinica (麻黄, 麻黃, máhuáng), peony (white: 白芍, báisháo and reddish: 赤芍, chìsháo), rehmannia (地黄, 地黃, dìhuáng), rhubarb (大黄, 大黃, dàhuáng), and salvia (丹参, 丹參, dānshēn).
Chinese herbal therapy involves the use of natural plants and minerals.
Usually, one batch of medicinals is prepared as a decoction of about 7 to 16 substances. They are specially formulated in China and include flowers, leaf stalks, seeds and roots.Some of these are considered as main herbs, some as ancillary herbs; within the ancillary herbs. Each has it’s own healing properties which are used for specific purposes and perform a particular medical function, to treat disease and rectify the balance of Yin and Yang. some also help dispel pathogenic factors.
Your doctor will prescribe a combination especially suited to treat you and your condition. These herbs work together to address different root causes and symptoms.
Chinese herbal medicine must be prescribed by a fully qualified TCM doctor. All our herbs come from licensed herbal companies in the UK. These companies follow very strict safety standards set by the Medical Control Agency.
We hope this overview of what we do has been helpful, but please remember it is just an overview, for more information please feel free to contact us our fully qualified doctors are always happy to help.
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