Used in Asia for centuries, Chinese herbal medicine first came to widespread attention in the United States in the 1970s.
Chinese herbal medicine is not based on mainstream Western concepts of medical diagnosis and treatment. Rather, by using Chinese herbals (complex combinations of herbs, minerals, and plant extracts) practitioners seek to prevent and treat imbalances, such as those caused by cancer and other diseases.
Chinese herbal supplements consist of a number of different herbs and mineral and animal extracts. These can be taken in the form of teas, powders, pills, tinctures, or syrups. Typically two or more herbs are used to create a formula specific for the patient’s condition or conditions. Formulas are made of a combination of herbs. Herbs in each formula have differing actions and effects on the body and can be customized to the patients needs. Depending on the condition, a treatment plan may include both, or either, acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapies.