Herbs and Oriental Medicine
Herbs are a central part of Oriental Medicine and a complement to acupuncture, so are often prescribed together. Acupuncture helps to promote the body’s natural tendency to heal or operate optimally, whereas herbs represent substantial factors more potent than food that are thought to balance metabolism.
In oriental medicine, whether using acupuncture or herbs, each patient is diagnosed at two levels. On the surface is the patient’s main complaint (like neck pain, infertility, or insomnia for instance) — it is considered to be caused by an underlying constitutional imbalance. Herbs are traditionally used in combination to treat different components of a patient’s problem both the main complaint and his/her underlying constitutional imbalance– to act synergistically as a group.
Herbs are generally recognized as safe
Like foods for sale in the market, herbs available in Canada are considered to have “GRAS” status, or “Generally Recognized As Safe”. Chinese herbs are time-tested, and the few that are known to be toxic are not permitted for sale in Canada. Like with foods, there can be interactions between herbs and drugs, because a herb may change the rate that a drug is metabolized, thereby decreasing its efficacy. These problems are uncommon and are usually documented.
Many effective herbs have found their way into modern pharmacology (aspirin from willow bark and digoxin from Foxglove, as two of many examples) where they can be purified, concentrated, controlled and dosed properly. However, many herbs that have a clinically proven effect are not good drug candidates because either the active compounds are not yet identified, or the purified compounds do not work as well as compared to a preparation of the intact plant itself (echinacea or ginseng are examples). Also, since natural products cannot be patented, drug companies will not spend the many millions of dollars of research required to bring a herb-based drug to market.
We use certified Chinese herbs from 'Dasherbs'
We obtain all our herbs from a Dasherb, a German-owned company established in China. Dasherb was founded in 1992 and has devoted itself to uniting the culture of traditional Chinese herbal medicine with advanced medicinal technology, for the purpose of providing safe and effective natural raw materials to people around the world.
Dasherb has implemented a quality control system to guarantee the authenticity, safety, and quality of herb granule products. Herbs are grown, harvested, identified, processed and decocted (the process of making a concentrated herb tea extract), and dried all based on strict and controlled protocols to ensure maximum potency and safety. The end granule product is analyzed for heavy metals and pesticide residues according to Eu Pharm (5th Edition) by an independent German laboratory.
How much do herbs cost, and how do I get them?
A registered acupuncturist trained in the principles of oriental medicine needs to diagnoses your constitutional pattern of imbalance. Based on an extensive questionnaire and an interview, your therapist applies holistic principles work with you from there.
Herbs vary in cost – typically a 3 week course of herbs is about $50 to 60. (Note: the herb price may vary depending on herb selection).