The process of drinking herbal tea can be like a daily meditation in which one is conscientiously making an effort to heal and be well.

Chinese Herbal Therapy

Chinese herbal therapy is a well-organized system of prescribing herbs according to Chinese medicine patterns. Rather than a single herb or medication, herbal formulas usually contain anywhere from 8-15 different herbs, which complement each other for the best therapeutic effect. Although the official materia medica of China lists many thousands of medicinals, about 300 are most commonly used, and can be combined in many different ways to treat a variety of conditions.

Each herb has different properties such as temperature, flavor, and direction. These qualities generally determine its therapeutic effect. For instance, Ren Shen (人参, ginseng) is warm, sweet and slightly bitter, making it a powerful qi tonic. Bo He (薄荷, mint) is cool, acrid and dispersing, which makes it very useful for certain kinds of colds and flu.

A custom herbal prescription allows the practitioner to alter the ingredients and dosages according to the patient’s needs. By combining individual herbs into comprehensive formulas, multiple symptoms and aspects of one’s physiology can be addressed holistically.

Are herbs safe?

Yes. When prescribed by a trained practitioner, herbs are extremely safe. In my practice I use herbs from Fat Turtle Herb Company, which sources the highest quality pesticide-free and preservative-free herbs.

How do I take herbs?

There are many different ways of taking Chinese herbs. The strongest and most traditional way of taking herbs is to cook them fresh each day on your stovetop. You can also take herbs as a powder mixed with hot water (similar to instant coffee), in capsules, pills, or as pre-cooked and pre-measured liquid vacuum packs.

Herbal soaks, plasters, creams, or masks may also be prescribed for external use when necessary.