Chinese herbal medicine

What is it?

Chinese herbs are a key part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)

Why use it?

Herbs are given to unblock meridians, bring harmony between Yin and Yang, and restore organ function.

What to expect?

The practitioner will take a case history and may do a tongue and pulse analysis to assess how your body is out of balance. They will choose a combination of herbs and foods that will help bring your body back into balance.

Chinese herbalists select a combination of herbs to make their own formula, or they can dispense prepackaged herbal medicines. Herbs may be prescribed as tablets or as a blend of herbs that you make into a tea.

What is the evidence?

As with Western herbal medicine, many Chinese herbs have been scientifically evaluated for use in the general population, with some positive results. Research has suggested that some Chinese herbs are worth exploring further, but there is no strong evidence that they stop cancer growing, spreading or recurring.

Talk to your doctor, pharmacist and complementary medicine practitioner if you are thinking about using herbal preparations.

    − Esther (breast cancer)

This information was last reviewed in May 2015
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