An Introduction to Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine

Herbal remedy tailored to your specific needs.

Usage of herbal and nutritional supplements is widespread and is gaining popularity.

There is a GNC store in just about every shopping mall and many of us get advice from friends, relatives, magazines and people who work in health food and herbal stores. Many questions remain unanswered: duration of usage, optimal dosage or dose range, potential interaction with other herbs and prescription drugs, response or success rate, etc. After all according to FDA regulations, herbs and nutritional supplements are not used to diagnose, treat or cure diseases.

Herbal Therapy

I would like to share with you a special form of herbal therapy which is tailored to each individual depending on his or her special energy deficiency or disharmony pattern. It has been practiced for thousands of years in China. Physicians well trained in traditional Chinese medicine take a history from patients first and then examine the patient with particular attention given to the tongue and the pulse examination before prescribing herbal remedy. An herbal prescription usually consists of multiple herbal ingredients, put together to address multiple issues at the same time. This kind of practice has been likened to a foot ball game rather then a single tennis match. There is usually one main herb (sometimes several), just like the quarterback, depending on the purpose of treatment, be that infectious / inflammatory conditions, or lack of energy, etc. Multiple other herbs are also present in the prescription to assist the quarterback in working synergistically to enhance the effects and also to decrease side effects. The herbal prescription will be changed in a few days or in several weeks upon return visit depending on new developments in ones energy status and response to the first prescription. Herbs are put in different classes depending on their main properties, some to clear up heat/inflammation to improve digestion ., others to boost the energy level or to balance the yin and yang imbalance, etc. The purpose is to restore balance and harmony. Once the goals are met, herbs are discontinued.

Herbal usage is supervised and directed by experienced physicians. Herbal remedy, generally speaking, has been very safe in China, this old country with several thousand years of history.

Herbs may do good and herbs may do harm, just like aspirin or any other prescription drugs. Incidences of herbal induced morbidity and mortality in the United States are largely due to unsupervised and improper use of certain herbal ingredients over an extended period of time.

I saw a gentleman with an advanced hepatoma (primary liver cancer) recently, he was started on a mixture of herbs according to the principles I just outlined. This gentleman had disease that no one could help in Western conventional therapy. However, in three weeks, he felt much better with improved energy level and appetite and decreased abdominal bloating. He was happily surprised that his quality of life has improved so much so quickly.

In Western conventional therapy, we have established the so called standard of care and clinical pathway for may disorders. We are also beginning to understand that there is no such thing as one size fits all.


Dr. Peter Sheng
Cincinnati Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Therapy, Integrative Medicine & Holistic Health Care