Chinese herbal medicine is based on many of the same principles as acupuncture in the sense that it is a means to treat disharmonies or imbalances in the body, and to restore the movement of Qi along its proper pathways. Many of the compounds in Chinese herbs have been extracted to create modern Western medications — however we believe that using the whole herb helps to modulate its action and prevent unwanted side effects. Chinese herbs are most often prescribed in formulas, or combinations (commonly 4-13 herbs, but possibly more) — this allows the herbalist to tailor each formula to the patient specifically, and to balance out the effects of the various herbs.
Chinese herbs are generally available in 3 forms: bulk, granule, and patent (see details below). We offer all three of these options at The Clearing, and we will work with you to decide which form is best suited to your needs. In all cases you will receive specific instructions about dose, frequency, and preparation. Most herbs work best on an empty stomach — unless instructed otherwise by your practitioner, take your herbs about an hour before a meal. However, if you develop stomach upset when taking them before eating, it is fine to take your herbs with food instead.
Bulk Herbs: These whole, dried herbs are boiled at home to make a tea, or decoction. You will receive specific cooking instructions based on the herbs in your formula. This is the strongest form of herb.
Granules: This is the most common way that we prescribe herbs at The Clearing. Granules are made from boiled bulk herbs, which are then dried and bound to a powder. This is an excellent form of herbal medicine for most patients because it offers potency nearly as great as bulk herbs, but in a much more convenient form. Granules are easy to travel with or take along to work, and can be eaten straight, dissolved in hot water, or placed in gelcaps and swallowed.
Our granules are exclusively from Evergreen Herbs, highly respected throughout the Chinese medical community as being of the highest quality, purity, and potency.
Our pharmacy currently stocks more than 140 different herbs. Our full-service dispensary has the versatility to treat nearly every ailment, from the common cold to Crohn’s disease to a sprained ankle.
Patents or Teapills: These are made by boiling a combination of bulk herbs and then drying and compacting them into small pills. Unlike granules, which we combine by hand to make your custom formula, each patent is a pre-made formula in itself. Although less potent than granules or bulk herbs, these can be very useful to have on hand for common ailments such as cold, flu, allergies, menstrual health problems, and digestive complaints.