What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Chinese Herbal Medicine has retained a strong presence in health provision in China today, where it is practised alongside western medicine in state hospitals throughout the country in the treatment of a wide range of conditions. Recently Chinese Herbal Medicine has increased its popularity in the UK since the 1980s.

Treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine involves the use of combinations of herbs which are designed to correct the particular disharmony of the individual. The ingredients such as roots, stems, barks, berries, flowers, leaves and some no-plant materials are made into formulas. The principle is that a balance of ingredients with certain properties is matched to the individual patient's pattern. Each formula can be adapted to suit the changing needs of the patient. Chinese Herbal Medicine may be prescribed either as a tea, to be made up from raw herbs or from concentrated powders/granules, or as a ready-made formula in tablet form.

Chinese Herbal Medicine is based on the principle that good health depends on achieving optimum vitality and balance - a balance described in the terms of the polarity of Yin and Yang. Chinese Herbal Medicine treatment can be done in conjunction with Acupuncture treatment in order to maximize the effectiveness of treatment. Most of the herbs commonly used here have been scientifically researched and are perfectly safe. In our clinic, individually formulated Chinese Herbal prescriptions are made from concentrated powder or granules from RCHM approved suppliers, which can be taken as a instant tea.

The length of treatment will vary greatly depending on the condition. Anything between one and six months would be common, though in certain cases treatment outside this range may be suggested.


Chinese Herbal Medicine. japaneseherb

Are Chinese Herbs safe?

Serious adverse effects from Chinese Herbal Medicine are very rare, and it has a very good safety record. However, 'natural' does not in itself mean that no side-effects are possible. It is therefore essential that you are treated by a practitioner who is trained to a high standard, who complies with a professional code of practice, who monitors each case carefully to ensure that the patient has no unusual reactions to treatment, and uses suppliers that are committed to quality.

It is also important that your practitioner takes note of any drug treatment that you may be receiving, in order to assess if there is any incompatibility between such treatment and particular ingredients in the Chinese Herbal Medicine prescription.

The RCHM demands high standards for admission, imposes stringent rules on its memebers, and is actively engaged in initiatives to assure the quality of herbs and herbal products. The public is therefore well-advised to seek help from RCHM members.

For further information, please visit The Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM)


What does the RCHM believe that Chinese Medicine can treat?

The new Advertising Standards Association rules for media and websites no longer allow us to list which conditions we treat. Please contact me about your condition by phone on 07914 251190 and I will be happy to help.

However the RCHM lists the conditions on its website:

Preliminary evidence suggests that Chinese Herbal Medicine may have a role to play in the treatment of the following conditions but further studies are needed to substantiate these findings.

  • Skin disease, including eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, urticaria

  • Gastro-intestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic constipation, ulcerative colitis

  • Gynaecological conditions, including pre-menstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhoea, endometriosis, infertility

  • Chronic fatigue syndromes, whether with a background of viral infection or in other situations

  • Respiratory conditions, including asthma, bronchitis, and chronic coughs, allergic and perennial rhinitis and sinusitis

  • Urinary conditions including chronic cystitis

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


  • Many of these conditions, especially in their chronic forms, create great difficulty for conventional medicine, whilst Chinese Herbal Medicine has a great deal to offer. The results that can be expected and how long a patient will have to take the herbs for will depend on the severity of the condition, its duration, and the general health of the patient.

    For more information about Chinese herbal medicine, please visit RCHM.


    Chinese Herbal Medicine. Library Image: Leaf and Water


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