Chinese Herbal Medicine
The System of Chinese Herbal Medicine Works
Chinese herbal medicine can heal and save lives when other medical approaches have been exhausted. It’s relevant and will meet your specific, modern-day needs. We use the highest quality ingredients that are thoughtfully sourced, produced, and formulated to maximize your benefits.
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To relieve the suffering of one’s time, there is no greater path than medicine. Within it, nothing is more effective than the prescription of herbs.
— Pharmaceutical prescriptions of the Bureau of Public Welfare during the Taiping Era,
Taiping Huimin Heji Jufang, 1107 ACE
Chinese Herbal Medicine
We are committed to purity, quality, and potency. The herbal remedies we use are free of pharmaceuticals, preservatives, dyes, yeasts, and sugars. All ingredients are independently tested in a US laboratory for heavy metals, pesticides, and microbes. Consistent quality and care go into each step of the process — growing, cultivation and processing, to formulation, manufacturing, testing and distribution. All formula and single herb extracts are encapsulated in the United States using state-of-the-art machines that ensure accuracy and consistency. We are dedicated to providing you with the best Chinese herbal medicine that’s available.
Chinese Herbal Formulas that Meet Modern Demands
This elegant system of classical remedies and modernized formulas combined with high-quality, potent herbs contribute to the high level of success that my patients experience. Each fine-tuned formula has the ability to help you when you need it.
If you’re wondering if Chinese herbs can help you, then the answer is yes! There’s an encyclopedic list of conditions that Chinese herbal remedies effectively treat.
For instance, Lyme disease is problematic in our area. Chinese herbal remedies are excellent at addressing symptoms of Lyme disease. If you’re experiencing chronic fatigue, joint and muscle pain, headaches, and brain fog, and are thinking, “I just want my life back” Chinese herbal medicine can help you.
External and Internal Applications
Chinese herbal remedies are broken down into internal and external applications. We not only use internal formulas, but we also provide external remedies in the form of essential oils, topicals, and salves.
How so? If you experience allergies and nasal congestion, we use a high-quality essential oil blend that opens up the nasal cavity so that you can breathe again!
Facing a Health Challenge? Consider Chinese Herbal Medicine
These are simply two examples of what Chinese herbal medicine can address. Whatever your primary concern is, Chinese herbal medicine can greatly improve the quality and longevity of your life. Verify your insurance coverage and/or schedule your first appointment today.
Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are two complementary systems that interact with each other. They’re used independently or together. As a joint force, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine cooperatively support and increase the other’s effect. By doing so, acupuncture reduces swelling and alleviates pain, while herbs speed up your body’s natural ability to heal.
Herbal Medicine and Facial Acupuncture
Herbal medicine and facial acupuncture are two modalities that support one another. Facial acupuncture can be separated into two types:
- facial acupuncture (used for medical conditions)
- cosmetic acupuncture
Facial Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine
Facial acupuncture addresses many health conditions located on the face and elsewhere. Herbal medicine reinforces the healing benefits that acupuncture offers, shortening your recovery time.
Cosmetic Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine
Cosmetic acupuncture, also known as facial rejuvenation acupuncture, addresses beauty and skin concerns. Herbal medicine can be incorporated into your acupuncture treatment with internal and external applications. Experience the glow inside and out.
What We Treat
Chinese herbal medicine deepens and strengthens the potency of your acupuncture treatments. When combined, acute and chronic systemic issues are addressed more quickly. Our treatments focus on the following health concerns:
What to Expect
Creating the Right Treatment Plan for You
Your path to better health begins the moment you reach out to Nicole McLaughlin Acupuncture. You can expect my commitment to you and a holistic approach to your health. Welcome!
At your first visit, you’ll share your health history and define your health priorities. I’ll listen and design a treatment plan with acupuncture and other East Asian Medicine modalities. While treatment plans vary, new patients can expect 6-12 weeks of continuous care. At every follow-up visit, I always want to know what’s going well first. Then you’ll discuss your primary concern and what’s changed — whether things have improved, declined, or stayed the same.
When your primary concern has been resolved, you can reduce treatments to monthly or seasonal maintenance. Otherwise, you can bring up another health concern you’d like to address. If you’re looking for a solution to your health concerns, you’ve come to the right place.
Herbal medicine is the study and use of specific plants as medicine. Though Chinese herbal medicine is primarily plant-based, it also includes a small portion of minerals and animal products in specific formulas.
Historically, seeds are considered one of the first forms of herbal medicine, dating back (c. 1600 BC) to the Shang Dynasty.
The first herbal compendium (book) is the Shanghan Lun compiled by Zhang Zhong Jing at the end of the Han Dynasty around 220 AD. It’s one of the oldest clinical textbooks in the world.
Plants are separated into: roots, stems, leaves, flowers, seeds, and fruit.
In Chinese herbal formulas, the traditional method is to take raw roots and put them into a pot to be soaked, cooked, steeped, and strained as a tea. Otherwise, premade formulas are compounded into a powder or granule form. It can be taken with water or served in vegetable capsules or pills for the sake of convenience.
Yes, Chinese herbal medicine is safe when it’s provided by a licensed Chinese Herbalist.
A licensed Chinese Herbalist is typically an acupuncturist who has completed the graduate level training of Chinese herbology also known as Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (AOM).
Since Chinese herbs are not regulated by the FDA, it is essential that you seek professional advice so that you receive safe, ethically sourced–and–distributed high quality herbs.
There are instances where Chinese herbs aren’t safe due to the growing, processing, and distributing conditions in China, which are impacted by hazardous environmental factors. There is a movement in the US to combat this problem by growing Chinese herbs in the US.
Another concern regarding Chinese herbs relates to drug-herb interactions, which is why you should consult a Chinese herbalist.
Chinese herbal medicine works by treating not only signs and symptoms, but getting to the root cause of your primary health concern.
During treatment, there are classical principles applied in Chinese herbalism that relate to understanding organ network physiology and the yin-yang relationship when designing a formula specific to your health needs.
In order for Chinese herbs to be effective, you need to commit to taking them for the prescribed regimen. For acute conditions, it’d be a matter of 5-7 days up to 6 weeks, and for chronic conditions at least 6 weeks to 6 months or more. Chinese herbal medicine is a fantastic addition to your acupuncture treatment.
Chinese herbal medicine treats a myriad of acute and chronic health conditions. Below is a category list of issues that Chinese herbs treat:
- Women’s Health: Fertility & Reproductive, Menopause
Chinese medicine is best known for treating acute conditions such as a sore throat or diarrhea to chronic conditions such as insomnia and Lyme disease. However, it can treat so many more symptoms associated with the list provided above.
If you’re re-evaluating your health plan, consider adding Chinese herbal medicine to your acupuncture treatment plan. It’s a safe, natural, and an effective approach to your health.
Herbal medicine is very effective at resolving symptoms and there are several approaches. In order to get results, you need to follow guidelines and complete a prescribed course of action. Below is an example list of possible approaches to treat acute and chronic conditions with herbal medicine.
For Acute Conditions
One method is to use two formulas (remedies) with the same principle action. For example, Stop a sore throat and a cough:
- The first remedy action is to stop the cough and moisten the lungs
- The second remedy is to strengthen and reinforce the first formula’s actions
A second method for the same scenario would be to use two formulas with two different actions:
- One to stop the cough and sore throat
- The other to address a person’s constitution or provide a second remedy such as stop diarrhea or calm anxiety
For Chronic Conditions
For chronically ill patients who need herbs for a long period of time, they will require a rotation of similar formulas in order to increase the remedies’ safety and effectiveness.
This involves using the same constitutional remedy with minor changes in order to change the potencies of herbs during a long span of time. Alternating similar remedies is necessary when chronic inflammation agents and pathogens such as spirochetes (spai-row-keets) — a nasty bacteria — tend to adapt and weaken the effectiveness of a one-method approach.
For long-term herbal therapy, a general rule is that the higher prescribed dose, the sooner the formula needs to be modified. For example:
- Higher Prescribed Dosage would be 6 capsules 2x/day may need to change to a “sister remedy” in 4-6 weeks
- Lower Prescribed Dosage would be 3 capsules 2x/day may safely be taken for 3 months
When your herbalist chooses an alternate suitable “sister” remedy for long-term chronic conditions, your practitioner takes into account:
- Similar family of ingredients
- Cooling vs warming effects
- Tonic vs Removing excess effects
- Similar action principles: calming, descending, astringing, nourishing
Do not try to complete this course of action unless you consult a Chinese herbal practitioner.
Generally speaking, herbal remedies are safe, but some have side effects depending on the following:
- Quality control: where they’re grown, manufactured, and distributed
- Efficacy of self-prescribed herbs vs. a licensed practitioner
- Drug-herb interactions
In reference to drug-herb interactions, consult your doctor if you’re currently:
- Taking blood pressure medication such as blood thinners or aspirin
- About to have a surgical procedure to avoid bleeding complications
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
There are a lot of beneficial Chinese herbal formulas that you can safely take while you’re on prescribed medications. Many Chinese herbal formulas are food-grade quality herbs that may be taken to prevent miscarriages, and to support pregnancy and postpartum recovery.
How long herbal medicine takes to work really depends on if it is an acute or chronic condition.
For example, if you’re applying an herbal topical to stop a skin or baby rash it may take 5-7 days to heal with visual gradual improvements every 2-3 days.
For other conditions, it can take a couple of weeks or a couple of months or even a couple of years depending on the severity of the condition and where you are in the healing process.
If you are wondering if herbal medicine can help you, make an appointment for a consultation today.
Herbal remedies differ from over-the-counter (OTC) medicines in the following ways:
- Herbal remedies fall under the category of dietary supplements while OTC drugs fall under the category of Drugs (Schedule II-V) based on the danger of addiction
- OTC drugs are more strictly regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Herbs are natural, food-grade supplements while most OTC drugs are synthetic
Chinese herbal remedies are natural ways to treat side effects associated with chemotherapy/radiation, antibiotic therapy, and prednisone therapy such as:
- Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
- Cancer pain
- Cancer-related fatigue
- Headache (tension and chronic)
- Physical pain
If you’re experiencing any of these side effects, and are looking for natural remedies to address these symptoms then consider an acupuncture and herbal medicine treatment plan. Make an appointment today.
Meet Nicole McLaughlin
Since 2015, I've been a licensed acupuncturist in Washington, DC. I have advanced training in five element acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. My specialties are helping people overcome neuromuscular pain naturally, improve sleep, and support women with fertility, prenatal, postpartum, and menopausal care. I am dedicated to partnering with you on your path to better health. Learn more about Nicole.
Get to the Root of Your Health Concerns With Chinese Herbal Medicine
Do you feel like you’re at a dead-end and have exhausted all other resources? We can help you. Chinese herbal medicine is a sophisticated system that addresses complex, acute and chronic health conditions. It complements all the East Asian modalities we offer. We’ll make a plan to get you back on track naturally with real results.
We’re in-network with Aetna and BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS)/CareFirst. You can also use your FSA or HSA card. Ready to take the next step? Check your insurance benefits and then go to our online scheduling page to make your first appointment.
Looking forward to seeing you!
Nicole McLaughlin Acupuncture