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FAQ Chinese Herbal Medicine
How is a chinese herbal medicine prescription constructed by a practitioner?
Based on the overall symptoms a patient has, which includes the state of illness, the patient's gender, age, and constitution, the physician begins, within established traditional guidelines, to form a basic precription and then adjusts the mixture to the patients needs by adding or deleting various herbs, or manipulating the dosages of the compounds to fit the precise disharmony.  Such a prescription usually contains 5-15 substances and the dosages average 3-15 grams per herb.
Is there any type of prepared Chinese medicine available?
Yes.  There are many types of prepared Chinese herbal medicine available in the form of decoction, tablet, ointment, powders, etc.  An alternative to raw herbs, in which you need to make tea-like drinks to take, is concentrated herb powders which you can also take without having to make up a drink.
Who can take Chinese Medicine?
Chinese Herbs can be taken by all age groups from young babies to the eldery, though you must notify your practitioner if you are also taking any other medicines, suffer from allergies, other conditions or are pregnant as this may effect your treatment and prescription.
What is it used to treat?
Most conditions can be treated using herbal medicine, apart from those requiring immediate western medicine intervention and serious degenerative disease although it can be used to subsidise and complement Western treatment, enhancing the patient's quality of life.  Acupuncture clinics tend to treat chronic ailments for which there is no conventional cure, PMS and menopausal issues and other gynaecological problems, joint pain, allergies, IBS, but the therapy along with herbal medicine can also be used to treat acute conditions such as flu and colds and otehr viral or bacterial infections.
How long and in what form will I take herbal medicine?
Traditionally, Chinese Herbs are made up into teas or decoctions.  This involves boiling the herbs in water for half an hour or more.  The patient will then receive detailed instructions on the method of preparation.  Capsules of raw herbal powder, concentrated extracts and pills are also prescribed.  A typical course of treatment would involve taking a herbal formula daily for several months, depending on the nature of the case and the strength of the patient.  The patient will be monitored regularly to ensure that the formula is effective and modified as improvements occur.
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