Answering your questions regarding Chinese Herbal Medicine


What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Herbal medicine has a very long tradition in China. It developed over thousands of years and is one of the most fascinating fields of medicine and the most widely used and spread therapy of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in China. Within TCM, the treatment with Chinese herbs is regarded as internal medicine. It has been refined and developed over thousands of years by TCM therapists and doctors.

Chinese herbal medicine can account for the use of thousands of medicinal plants and substances, but nowadays only a few hundred are in daily use. In China today, almost 90% of all patients in TCM are treated with medicinal herbs in combination with other therapies. Chinese Herbal Medicine allows a more direct influence on the inner substances of the body than other fields of TCM such as acupuncture. The special thing about these herbs is not only the variety but rather the composition of these natural remedies. Chinese herbs are pharmacologically highly effective substances that show very good results in acute, chronic and even severe internal diseases and skin problems.

What is the difference between Western medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?

In contrast to Western medicine, Chinese medicine is based on more than 5000-year-old observations of natural processes. In China, both methods are used in parallel, as TCM has developed and also needs the conventional medical diagnosis for the treatment of a patient.

In TCM, internal imbalances lead to diseases, they are called disturbance patterns. To restore balance, each of these internal disharmonies is specially treated, e.g. heat is cooled and cold is warmed. Stomach pain as a symptom of a swelling of the stomach membrane can be caused by dietary mistakes with too many cold drinks and salads, which cause a “cold in the stomach”. A “warming of the stomach” can also lead to these symptoms and is often caused by alcohol and grilled, heavily seasoned meat. If, for example, a herniated disc brings the energy out of balance, pain is the result. Chinese medicine intervenes in this case in the energetic control of the body to restore balance.

How does Chinese Herbal Medicine work?

Every Chinese herb has unique characteristics such as taste, healing power on a certain meridian or organ and temperature behaviour. Usually, several herbs are used at the same time and the combined drugs complement and support each other in their effect.

The composition of formulae with Chinese herbs follows very specific rules and is based on a traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis, the constitution and the condition of the patient. The formulae treat certain syndromes of Chinese medicine with their typical symptoms. For the syndrome “Stomach Heat” with the symptom hiccups, a formulation is used which cools the stomach, thereby lowering the stomach Qi (to calm the hiccups) and also treats the cause of the stomach heat, e.g. emotional stress.

What is so special about Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Chinese herbal medicine treats not only the symptoms but primarily the causes of the disease. For example, Western medicine treats only the skin in the case of a skin disease, which leads to a temporary improvement in the skin’s appearance. However, the weakness of the spleen, the main cause according to Chinese medicine, remains. In this case, TCM treats the root of the problem, the weakness of the spleen, to make the problem disappear permanently and to ensure that patients remain healthy in a holistic way.

Naturally, this might take a while and not work as fast as Western medicine, but the success is more long-term lasting and without the many side effects that many drugs have. Especially in cases of chronic or serious diseases, long-term herbal therapy is sensible and necessary.

Do you offer professional advice?

It is important to make a pattern diagnosis before selecting the appropriate herbal formula. There is no one-to-one matching of remedy to disease in TCM as there often is in Western medicine. In Chinese medicine, one disease may have many patterns and the starting point is to apply the remedy to the pattern.

We value our customer feedback but unfortunately, we are unable to analyse personal disease conditions or suggest any products or herbs that diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Please consult your Chinese medicine practitioner for advice.

Which diseases or complaints can be treated with TCM?

The WHO (World Health Organization) recognises Traditional Chinese Medicine as a medical discipline in its own right with a holistic treatment methodology. The therapeutic approach in Chinese medicine is at least suitable for the supportive treatment of all diseases. Please check our products to find the suitable product for your need.

Who can be treated with Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Chinese herbs can be taken at any age and for almost any disease for healing or relief. The dosage of the formulation is adjusted to the age, body weight and lifestyle of the patient. Chinaherb has developed a range of granulated powders especially for children and babies for easier consumption.

I am pregnant, can I take Chinese herbs?

Chinaherb pays special attention to herbs used for pregnant mothers. There are several Chinese Herbs that are either cautioned or contraindicated for use during pregnancy. All formulations used during pregnancy should also be carefully evaluated by a practitioner. Registered Chinese Medicine professionals will know which herbs to use and will avoid those contraindicated when treating pregnant women.

Does Chinese Herbal Medicine also prevent diseases?

Chinese herbal medicine does not only treat diseases, it can also prevent many diseases and ailments. Chinese herbs and the right diet maintain the energetic balance of body, mind and soul. The harmonious flow of the life energy Qi is maintained and the risk of illness is reduced.

How fast can I see results?

Chinese herbal therapy is used for both acute and chronic diseases, so the therapy can last from a few days and weeks to several months and even years. How quickly Chinese herbs bring a noticeable improvement or healing for the individual patient depends on the type, severity and duration of the illness and the type of herbs used.

Does Chinese Herbal Medicine have any side effects?

The use and ingestion of Chinese herbs are considered very safe. Among Chinese herbs, there are highly effective and sometimes toxic substances, but unpleasant side effects are very rare. Chinese medicine does not work with initial aggravations or side effects. If they do occur, they are generally mild and easy to control.

However, if you develop gastro-intestinal problems, headaches or other symptoms while taking them, you should consult your therapist. The dosage or formulation will likely need to be slightly changed in its composition. A prescription from TCM practitioner and our controlled quality Chinaherb formulae will ensure safe use.

Some of the ingredients of the Acne Formula

I have allergies, can I take Chinese Herbs?

The health of our customers is our priority. We are well aware of consumer concerns about the use of potential allergens in our products.

Although there are no poisonous herbs in Chinaherb formulae, if patients have a history of allergies, they should begin with a low dose for a few days (we recommend taking 1 tablet a day for 3 days). If there is no negative reaction, the dosage can be increased to the appropriate level.

Almost all of our Chinaherb formulas are free of grains.

Relieve Stomach Stagnation, Children’s Stomach Formula and Children’s Gastroenteric Formula include the grain-based herbal ingredient Shen Qu, a fermented block of wheat or malt combined with various herbs, used to promote digestion.

Our Children’s Teething Formula and Children’s Stomach Formula contain the ingredient Mai Ya, Barley Sprout, which strengthens Spleen and Stomach, calms the Shen and harmonizes the Liver-Qi.

Therefore, all of our other products can be used by customers who suffer from grain allergies, celiac sprue and gluten intolerance.

The used ingredients for binding and thickening of the tablets do not contain traces of gluten, we use corn starch instead.

Untoward reaction
Cold and heat, deficiency and excess, Yin and Yang are opposite patterns. In individual cases, physical reactions may occur after taking a formulation. Sometimes the discharge via stool or urine is in the interest of the therapy and might not be a cause for concern, thus therapy may result in increased urination or bowel movements. At the beginning of the treatment, nausea, increased bowel sounds, and flatulence may occasionally occur. Other side effects such as vomiting and diarrhoea could be an indication that formulation is not suitable for your individual needs and needs to be adjusted. Please always inform your treating therapist of any side effects, as it could mean the nature of the formulation might not be suitable for your specific needs and a re-evaluation is necessary.

Can I take Chinese herbs together with other medicine or alcohol?

In general, Chinese herbs are compatible with other medicines, but both should not be taken together. Alcohol should be avoided during treatment with Chinese herbs.

Are Chinese herbs safe?

All of our herbal supplements are manufactured in strict compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in China and South Africa. The facilities of our Chinese partners are also GMP-certified for pharmaceutical products.

All our products are checked for potentially dangerous ingredients like toxins, pesticides, heavy metals, impurities, etc. to offer our patients high-quality products.

We can ensure that our products are handled safely and hygienically by following those standards, starting from herb procurement, processing it in the facility, shipping, etc. to the finished product.

Please check our Quality Page for more information.