By Maddy Robinson (shortlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize)
What are Chinese herbs?
Chinese herbs have been used for over 2,000 years to treat a myriad of health conditions and their usage has continued well into the 21st century. Traditionally, herbs were bought in an herbal shop in a bark format and wrapped in paper. Customers would boil the bark at home to extract the essence of the herbs, a process called decoction, leaving their house smelling very pungent.
Are Chinese herbs still used today?
While many people have heard of Chinese herbs, they are often unaware of modern impact herbs have had. In 2015, Tu Youyou won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discovering artemisinin, a substance credited with saving millions of lives from malaria. Tu Youyou had a background in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and extracted artemisinin from wormwood, which is used in TCM to treat fevers. Because of her discovery and knowledge of herbs, millions of lives have been saved and positively impacted.
What kind of herbs will benefit my health?
Today, herbs can be bought in easier-to-use formats, but many patients are overwhelmed with where to start. While patients often want to read a list of herbs they can take, their best option is to consult with an acupuncturist about which herbs would be best for them, as specific concoctions are always prescribed for each individual patient. Unlike Western Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine does not only focus on a specific symptom or illness, but instead treats the imbalances in the entire body as a whole; therefore, every blend is different.
Acupuncturists and Doctors of TCM will often prescribe herbs in a powdered form that a patient can mix with water and take on a regular basis; this granular form of herbs is already decocted and therefore easy to use and mix with other herbs. Sometimes, practitioners will also prescribe tinctures, a liquid extract, or tablets, a pill format, depending on the patient’s lifestyle and needs.
Are Herbs Safe to use for Fertility and Pregnancy?
Herbs are safe to use for fertility or pregnancy! We order quality herbs from a provider our Acupuncturists trust.
How do I start with Chinese Herbs?
If you are interested in using Chinese Herbs to benefit your overall health and fertility, talk to your Acupuncturist about getting started and they will set up a system for you. If you would like to set up an appointment, you can always give us a call!
For more facts about Youyou: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2015/tu/facts/