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14th August 2022 

What is Chinese Herbal medicine?

Chinese Herbal Medicine(CHM) is a highly effective, well researched and widely practiced form of medicine. It has 3000 years of unbroken practice to draw upon. During this time CHM has been refined and researched to match Western clinical standards.
CHM is together with acupuncture, massage and dietary advice part of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

What distinguishes CHM from Western Herbal Medicine is that rather than treating Western disease categories, CHM follow the Chinese medical tradition to correct imbalances and disharmonies of the individual.
The Chinese Materia Medica contains several hundred ingredients ranging from roots, stems, flowers, leaves and barks. Each herb has been analysed for its taste (sweet, bitter etc), action, temperature and the organ it affects. In the U.K only tightly controlled plant materials are allowed to be used.

CHM’s safety and efficacy is partly due to the balancing and synergistic effects the herbs combined, have on each other. This further contributes to limiting and reducing the possibility of side-effects. However, even though side-effects are rare, they can occur which highlights the importance of consulting a qualified practitioner. A CHM prescription is usually based on traditional formulae and then further modified to suit the individual. A prescription will most likely come in concentrated powders to be mixed with warm water. They can also come in raw form as leaves, twigs etc that requires decocting. Herbal creams for topical use can also be made.

What can Chinese Herbal Medicine help with?

The Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM) which is the main regulatory body for CHM, believes CHM has a role to play in the treatment of:

  • Skin disease

  • Gastro-intestinal disorders

  • Gynaecological conditions

  • Chronic fatigue syndromes

  • Respiratory conditions

  • Rheumatological conditions

  • Urinary conditions such as cystitis

  • Psychological problems (e.g. depression and anxiety)

    For more information:

  • Safety concerns

    There have been some reported cases of Kidney and Liver damage after taking CHM. These case are extremely rare, as a matter of fact much rarer than serious side effects from pharmaceutical drugs. The only way to obtain CHM today is by consultation with a qualified practitioner.