A herbal medicine FAQ with answers to frequent questions acupuncture. Click on each question to see the answer, or use the search box below to find the information you are looking for.
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Herbal Medicine - Chinese
Chinese herbal medicine has a role to play in the treatment of the following conditions:
Skin disease, including eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, urticaria
- Gastro-intestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, ulcerative colitis
- Gynaecological conditions, including pre-menstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhoea, endometriosis, infertility
- Hepatitis and HIV: some promising results have been obtained for treatment of Hepatitis C, and supportive treatment may be beneficial in the case of HIV
- Chronic fatigue syndromes, whether with a background of viral infection or in other situations
- Respiratory conditions, including asthma, bronchitis, and chronic coughs, allergic and perennial rhinitis and sinusitis
- Rheumatological conditions (e.g. osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
- Urinary conditions including chronic cystitis
- Psychological problems (e.g. depression, anxiety)
Chinese medicine can be used by people of any age or constitution. Your practitioner will take any previous or current illness or medication into account before prescribing herbs to you.. With suitable adjustments for dosage and with some provisos which will be determined by your practitioner, children and pregnant women can very well be treated by Chinese medicine.
Herbs are now available in a number of formats, both traditional and modern. The traditional method is to boil a mixture of dried herbs to make a tea or to use pills. The herbs are also now commonly prescribed as freeze dried powders or tinctures. The herbs will at first taste unusual and often bitter to anyone who has not tried them before, but the vast majority of people get used to the taste very quickly.
There are no standard prices for consultations or for herbs. This will depend on the individual practitioner and the part of the country you are in. You should enquire about charges when making your appointment. Many private health insurance companies are now covering acupuncture and a few will also pay for herbal treatment. You should contact your insurance company to check.
Chinese herbs are very safe when prescribed correctly by a properly trained practitioner. Over the centuries, doctors have compiled detailed information about the pharmacopoiea and placed great emphasis on the protection of the patient. Adverse reactions can occur with any form of medicine. In the case of Chinese herbal medicine, these are rare. RCHM members give guidance on this to all patients. The RCHM also works with the Bristol Chinese Herb Garden and with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in building botanical knowledge of high quality herbal medicines.