Herbal Medicine

Here at our clinic, we maintain a full herbal dispensary.  Plants are powerful healing allies! When taken properly, they can alleviate health disharmonies and disease.  Whenever possible, we purchase organic, wild-crafted and sulfur-free herbs.  All Chinese herbs are of the highest quality and are extensively tested for contaminants, heavy metals and pesticides.  

What is an herb?  Herbs are plants, minerals, shells, mushrooms and animal parts that are used for medicinal purposes.  From plants, parts used are: leaf, flower, root, stems, bark, rootbark, vine, berry, seed, fruit, peels, saps and resins.  Minerals include gypsum and talc.  Examples of shells are abalone and oyster.  There are many medicinal mushrooms that serve human health and vitality: reishi, shiitake, poria and akebia are a few examples.  Animal parts include chicken gizzards, deer musk, antler, ox or bear gallbladder, turtle shell, and some insect parts such as cicada shell and earthworm.  Our clinic stocks very few animal products and opposes the use of endangered / threatened species and products that are obtained by animal cruelty practices.

Our dispensary holds bulk herbs, granular herbs, tinctured herbs, and tablets/pills.  Most of the time, a custom formula is written up and blended just for you to match your needs at the time of your visit.  

BULK HERBS

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Bulk or Raw herbs are herbs that are dried and unprocessed.  Once your custom formula is blended, you take the packets of herbs home to boil into a "tang" - the chinese word for tea or decoction.  Your herbs are generally cooked and strained twice - the two batches of tea are blended and drunk 2-3 times per day. This can be very strong medicine!  Some herbs in your formula may need to cook longer, and must boil before the rest of the formula is added (herbs such as shells, minerals) and other herbs need a shorter cook and should be added at the end of the second boiling (herbs such as catnip or peppermint).  

Our bulk herbs are all stored in glass jars and a meticulous inventory is kept up to ensure the herbs are replaced as needed.  Herbs are handled with scoopers and/or gloved hands at all times. 


GRANULES

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Granules are a recent innovation in Chinese herbal medicine - they have only been in use for the past 20 years or so.  They truly are convenient in that they do not need to be boiled for a long period of time.  The manufacturers have decocted the herbs and then removed the water content.  The herbs you receive look like a powder which you add to hot water and reconstitute into a medicinal tea. Granules are usually concentrated at a ratio of 1:5.  For more information on the brand of granules that our dispensary stocks, visit their websites:


TINCTURES

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Tinctures are liquid extracts of herbs.  The herbs have been steeped in alcohol and then extracted.  The alcohol can remove many constituents that are not soluble in water and therefore the resultant extract is more concentrated.  When taking a tincture, the dose is much lower than a cup of tea, the tincture bottle is easily portable and therefore it is easier and more convenient to take regularly.  Your tincture dose can be added to a cup of tea or some hot water to evaporate off some of the alcohol.  A typical tincture dose (1 tsp/5 ml) has the alcohol equivalent of 1/6th of a glass of wine.  


TABLETS, PILLS & CAPSULES

These are convenient, easy to take, and very effective but have less ability for customization.  All tablets, pills & capsules are from reputable companies that begin with very high quality herbs and abide by the most stringent GMP guidelines in the manufacturing process. For more info on the tablets, pills & capsules that we stock, visit the manufacturers websites:

PLUM FLOWER HERBS