Herbal medicine, also referred to as botanical medicine or phytomedicine, utilizes herbs for their medicinal and therapeutic properties.
More than 37 percent of U.S. households now use alternative medicine for therapeutic or preventative health care, according to a Thomson Medstat consumer healthcare survey of 23,000 adults. Alternative medicine practices include herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage therapy, homeopathy, naturopathy, and chiropractic.
Herbal medicine can effectively treat a variety of conditions. Herbs used in formulas include: Astragalus for colds, Chinese angelica for anemia, Chinese yam for chronic cough and wheezing, eucommia bark for back and knee ache, ginger for circulation, ginseng for immune system, and licorice for allergies. Herbal medicine is also effective for health maintenance and disease prevention.
Chinese herbal medicine uses hundreds of different herbs prescribed in different combinations to treat specific diseases. Formulas are primarily composed of herbs of plant origin.
Herbal medicine formulas consisting of 4-20 herbs are tailored to treat the main pathology as well as related secondary aspects of the specific condition. Herbs have four properties: Temperature, taste, affinity, and primary action.
Temperature characteristics are described as cooling or heating. Taste properties include: Sour, bitter, sweet, bland, spicy, and salty. Affinity refers to an herb’s relation to a particular organ system. Primary action is the effect of a specific herb. Combinations of these four properties result in herb formulas customized to treat different conditions and yin/yang energy imbalances.
After administering acupuncture treatments, a TCM practitioner often prescribes an herbal formula that enhances the energetic rebalancing efforts of acupuncture.
Acupuncture & Massage College’s Oriental Medicine program includes master level classes in Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture as well as advanced clinical training in medical herbalism.
For information about Acupuncture & Massage College’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs call Joe Calareso, Admissions Director, at (305) 595-9500. .