Frequently Asked Questions...
Following is a series of the most commonly asked questions in our clinic regarding Chinese Herbal Medicine. We hope the answers provided will give the information necessary for you to make a well-informed decision about considering Chinese Herbal Medicine. It is our goal to help you move forward on your path to a better quality of life with health and healing. If you have questions that are not answered here, or elsewhere on the website, please contact us. We will also keep updating this page as new questions arise.
What is Chinese Herbal Medicine and What Can It Do for Me?
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic medicine that is based on the balance of the complementary opposites of Yin and Yang. Chinese Herbal Medicine has a history of more than 4,000 years and is at the core of Traditional Chinese Medicine, right alongside Acupuncture. Fifty original Chinese herbal formulas were written in the ancient Chinese medical texts and are still used today due to their efficacy. Chinese Herbal Medicine uses nature’s harvest of natural substances – primarily plants and minerals – to promote natural healing and good health. Chinese Herbal Medicine is a very powerful system of healing that has been continuously researched in Chinese medical literature. Chinese herbs can offer not only symptomatic relief in acute cases, but can also strengthen the body systems of many patients who cope with chronic conditions.
Why Should I Consider your Herbal Dispensary?
We use the most exacting methods of quality control. We use high-quality herbs that are rigorously tested and controlled for purity. Most of the herbs used in our prescriptions are imported from China, and all are as close to organically grown as is possible to obtain at the time.
Are Chinese Herbs Safe?
All of the Chinese herbal products prescribed in the clinic are manufactured by companies meeting FDA Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards. We investigate each distributor thoroughly, which means our herbs are of consistently high quality to ensure we are offering the safest product available.
In What Form are My Herbs Prescribed?
Dosing the formula for the patient is an art and skill. Because dosing is based on the age, sex, size and chronicity of the main complaint, it stands to reason that following the dosage as written on the bottle may not be effective enough and therefore one should only get the herbal prescriptions from a licensed practitioner and never on-line...
Liquid Extracts/Tinctures. The most popular choice of taking an herbal prescription. The formula is in a small bottle with an eye dropper which allows the patient to take them directly without water if none is readily available. This formula is the strongest in form and requires less over time. Generally, the patient will take one eye dropper two times daily 1/2 hour before meals.
Powdered herbs. You will receive these in a bottle containing powdered granules. The dosage of your prescription will be written on the bottle and a gram measure spoon will be provided. Generally, you would take 4-5 level scoops with the gram spoon twice daily. This is taken dissolved into one cup of lukewarm water. This is the second strongest way to take an herbal prescription (not as powerful as the tinctures).
Tea pills. These are taken as recommended/prescribed by your acupuncturist/herbalist. These are not as strong as tinctures or powders, yet still popular as they are easy to carry.
How are Chinese Herbs Taken?
Your practitioner will decide the best method to administer your herbs for you. Generally herbal prescriptions are taken twice daily either ½ hour before or two hours after eating. You should continue taking all of your herbs until they are completely gone unless specific instructions are given to you by your practitioner. Some herbs are somewhat hard to digest, therefore please avoid raw, cold, greasy or hard-to-digest foods while taking them. Please feel free to discuss any general dietary or lifestyle issues with your practitioner, or whether herbs will have an effect on any present medications you are taking.
When Can I Pick Up My Prescription or Can I Have it Shipped to Me?
You may pick up your prescription in person. Most prescriptions are ready within two days, but please always call to confirm that it is ready before coming. A wide variety of tinctures are stored in the clinic and therefore are available immediately. Prescriptions need to be picked up within two weeks of preparation. Prescriptions not picked up during this time period will be charged to your account. You may choose to have your prescriptions shipped to you if you are unable to pick them up. To register for this service, you must complete a credit card authorization form. A minimum shipping fee of $7.50 will be added to your total cost. Shipping fees are based on weight of package, location and preferred delivery schedule.
How Much do the Herbs Cost?
Because each prescription is formulated specifically for you, the cost of your prescription will depend on the cost of the ingredients. In general the cost is about $30-$45 for powdered formulas, which includes the $15 consultation fee. Actual costs will vary depending on the ingredients and the preparation. Large prescriptions, prescriptions with expensive herbs will increase the price. Patent medicines (tinctures and tea pills) are generally less expensive, and again, price depends on the formula and its herbs.
What if I Can’t Stand the Taste... Can I Get a Refund if I Don’t like the Herbs?
Many Chinese herbal formulas are quite bitter to some palates. Some people find the taste strong at first, but then become used to it. You may mix the tea or decoction with honey. We recommend tasting the formula before you sweeten it, as the honey may change the flavor. Because each prescription is especially formulated and custom-made for you, there are no refunds, credits or reimbursements for either Chinese herbal prescriptions or patent medicines. Under no circumstance can unused herbs or patents be returned. If you are unsure about taking herbs, your practitioner may give you a small quantity of herbs the first time so you can try them out.
How Do I Refill a Prescription?
At the discretion of the practitioner, you may be allowed to refill your prescription a number of times or for a certain period. Many practitioners feel they need to see or talk to you in order to adjust herbs and dosages. If refills are permitted, please call and request a refill, specifying preferred pickup time or shipping method.
How Can I Find Out What Exactly is in My Prescription?
If you have another visit planned, you may ask your practitioner to write you out a copy at your next visit. The complete formula for the tinctures and teapills is already stated on the bottles.
What if I have Side Effects or I Feel Sick?
If you have any adverse symptoms, STOP TAKING THE HERBAL PRESCRIPTION and contact your licensed practitioner immediately.