Chinese herbal medicine has been used for thousands of years for the treatment of illness, disease prevention, and optimization of health. Chinese herbs consist of plant, mineral, and animal sources. Often, they are formulated for specific health goals. They are often used as food therapy (cooked with food) to highlight health aspects of food. Many Chinese herbs overlap with Western herbs, raw materials of pharmaceutical agents, and foods we recognize in the grocery store. Formulating Chinese herbs is an art and science, and should only be done by a practitioner with proper training. There are thousands of traditional herbal formulas for a variety of health complaints, yet a formula is almost always modified by a trained practitioner to match the subtle nuances of the condition and constitution of the patient, making each formula highly individualized.
Chinese herbs may be administered in the following ways case by case:
- Raw herbs: Raw herbs are generally boiled with water for 30-45 minutes. Herbs are administered as a soup or tea. Chinese herbs in this form are very potent, and can taste that way as well! This is recommended for people with more severe conditions that need more support. Raw herbs are easily customizable as one’s condition changes. The drawback of taking herbs this way is that it is time-consuming.
- Granules: Granules are powdered herbs that easily dissolve into a tea. They are prepared by boiling down raw herbs into a concentrate and adhered to a starch. Chinese herbs in this form are also potent, may also have a strong flavor, and are easily customizable as one’s condition changes. It can be more convenient than taking raw herbs.
- Patent Formulas: Patent formulas are concentrated formulas that come in pill form. Chinese herbs in this form is very convenient, and easier to tolerate. The drawbacks are that they may not be as potent, and they are not customizable.
All Chinese herbs that Dr. Wong administers either directly or through a dispensary come from companies that emphasize good quality control, organic, and sustainable sources. All companies meet the international Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards. Raw herbs are from American-based company, Spring Winds. Granules are from Hong Kong-based company, Nong herbs. Patent herbs are from Mayway and Goldenflower.