Chinese herbal medicine is part of an integrated system of primary health care, known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has an uninterrupted history of development dating back thousands of years in China and other parts of East Asia.
The origins of Chinese herbal medicine can be traced back at least 5,000 years. Chinese herbal medicine takes a natural and holistic approach to healthcare and is trusted by people from a wide range of cultural and social backgrounds.
Chinese herbal medicine takes a holistic approach to disease and prophylactic care and focuses as much on the prevention of illness as the treatment of it.
Most diseases or illnesses present with a core set of recognisable signs and symptoms, but the actual presentation of a particular disease or illness may vary from person to person. For this reason, people with similar health conditions may be provided with quite different Chinese herbal medicine prescriptions.
A qualified practitioner will prescribe a Chinese herbal formula specifically formulated for your own condition. The formula is also adjusted and modified during the recovery period until the desired health outcome is achieved.
There are more than 450 substances commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine – most are of plant origin though some animal and mineral substances may also be used. You may find some in your kitchen, such as ginger, garlic and cinnamon, while others such as chrysanthemum and peony flowers, are more likely to be found in your garden.
Some substances that were used traditionally are no longer part of modern professional Chinese herbal medicine practice. For example, traditional remedies with extracts of endangered species have been replaced by other substances with similar actions. AACMA supports and adheres to the CITES list of endangered species.
Chinese herbal medicines are prescribed either in pure form or combined in formulae. A well-constructed formula targets the condition, while counteracting and minimising the unwanted effects of an individual herb.