what are herbal formulas?
There are hundreds of different formulas and over 400 single herbs within the spectrum of Chinese medicine. Most formulas have 4-12 unique herbs that make up the concoction. Not only are there a vast amount of herbs and formulas but there are also several ways that you can ingest them:
The first and most powerful method is raw. This is where you take the herb in original form be it a twig, mushroom, root, leaf or flying squirrel’s feces! Raw formulas are cooked at home and then you take three shots daily. Usually the taste is terrible but very effective.
The next type of herbal formula to ingest would be powder form. This is where the herb is ground up into very fine powder. This form is much easier because you just add to hot water then drink. This form is almost as powerful as the raw formula and usually does not taste as bad. Still, very effective.
Pressed Powder Tablets
The next type which seems to suite most people in the United States is the pressed powder tablets. They are very convenient and have the strength of the powder form with no taste. The one downfall to this method is not being able to modify the formula if needed. That is why powder is my favorite option due to the ability to tweak the formula specific to the underlying issues of each patient.
The last form is regular pill form. These are the size of bee bees and are a dark color. These are the cheapest and least effective. Usually, there is sugar added for a more pleasant taste and these too cannot be modified.
benefits combined with acupuncture
Is acupuncture enough? Acupuncture is fantastic and can help with so much when dealing with pain and emotional issues. The problem is when there is an internal condition such as dealing with infertility or an autoimmune disease. Most of the time you will need to take a formula along with acupuncture to get optimum results.
The other issue also comes down to how many times a person gets acupuncture. Much more can be accomplished if people were to come in at least 2 times a week. Most will only do 1 time a week and this is where the herbal formula will help treat the issue while not getting acupuncture.
What can herbal formulas help with?
Most people that I see and recommend herbal formulas to are having fertility issues, gastrointestinal problems (acid reflux, GERD, chrohn’s, gas, bloating, constipation), high stress, colds, flu and fatigue.
There are a few things to be careful while taking herbs that most people do not know about. First, each herb has a quality to it such as hot, cold, neutral, and moving. If you have an issue where your body is expressing warm qualities and then you take a warming herb this can cause serious constipation and possible headaches. Maybe worse! If you have a cold condition and then you take a cooling herb this can cause diarrhea or make your body chilled. This is very important to know because taking the wrong herbs can cause a lot of problems. There are a couple of popular herbs that are like the above that I mentioned. Red Ginseng, is very warming and a wonderful herb but if you run warm probably a poor choice and will cause an adverse reaction. This is also true for cinnamon. A little cinnamon to spice some food up is ok, just be careful. Mint is on the opposite spectrum, it has cold properties. Too much and you will start feeling cold and possibly get diarrhea and an upset stomach.
I know it is very easy to buy whatever supplement and herbal formulas on the internet but be weary. It may sound like a great formula but everyone is different. That is why you want to consult a licensed Chinese medicine doctor or herbalist to make sure your symptoms will match the formula.