One of the therapeutic pillars in Traditional Chinese Medicine is Chinese Herbal Therapy. For thousands of years in China, herbs have been used to treat many acute and chronic conditions. Certified and licensed herbalists in our Chinese Herbal Therapy Clinic utilize formulations from the “Compendium Materia Medica,” which is a classical Chinese medicine text that lists thousands of herbs, minerals, and other extracts and their intended medical uses.
Herbal formulas may contain 4 or more different ingredients. Herbal formulas are taken in the form of teas, powders, pills, tinctures, or syrups. Ingredients are primarily of plant origin, and may include roots, bark, seeds, flowers, and leaves. Each ingredient has unique characteristics, that when combined, offers a therapeutic effect.
There is a growing body of evidence supporting Chinese herbal therapy for many acute and chronic conditions.
Interested in Learning More About Chinese Herbal Therapy?
Download our Chinese Herbal Therapy fact sheet.Download Fact Sheet
What Can I Expect?
What happens during a Chinese herbal therapy consult?
The certified and licensed herbalists at the Center for Integrative & Lifestyle Medicine may prescribe herbs as a primary single therapy, or the prescription may be a supportive and strengthening measure alongside of acupuncture therapies. An herbalist will take a detailed health history (including notes about symptoms, illnesses, conditions, medications, and diet) and may also perform several diagnostic measures. Once you have been fully assessed, the herbalist will provide a prescription for a custom compounded herbal formula relevant to your therapeutic needs.
Is Chinese herbal therapy a replacement for conventional Western treatment?
No. Chinese herbal therapy is not a substitute for conventional medical diagnosis or treatment. However, it can complement or even enhance your conventional treatment plan. Your herbalist will work closely with your physician to manage your care and, as needed, monitor your course of treatment with regular blood work while on the Chinese herbal therapy. We do advise patients to consult with their primary care doctor or other healthcare professional before taking a Chinese herbal prescription.
Will Chinese herbal therapy interfere with my medications?
Our clinic’s herbalists are academically and clinically trained to know the interactions and contraindications between Chinese herbs and prescription medications. They are also supervised by physicians as an added oversight measure. The herbalists will inquire about your history of taking natural supplements, as well as ask questions of your diet in order to have a more comprehensive analysis of the safety and efficacy of any Chinese herbs they may recommend.
Is Chinese herbal therapy covered by insurance?
No. At this time, Chinese herbal therapy is not covered by insurance.
Do I need a physician's referral?
No. A physician’s referral is not required for a Chinese herbal therapy consult but it is recommended that you consult with your doctor before taking a Chinese herbal prescription.
How long will I have to be on Chinese herbal therapy?
The duration of your herbal therapy prescription will depend on a few variables. Generally speaking, acute conditions correlate to shorter duration on herbal therapy, while chronic conditions would necessitate a longer period of time.
Your herbalist will thoroughly explain your treatment plan, including anticipated duration of herbal prescription, during your individual visit.
What We Treat
What conditions are best treated with Chinese herbal therapy?
As in the case of acupuncture, Chinese herbs can help with re-establishing the body’s physiologic and energetic patterns of health, known as homeostasis. Therefore, Chinese herbs may help in the treatment of:
- Cold or flu symptoms.
- Breathing issues.
- Digestive disorders.
- Sleep issues.
- Mental-emotional state (stress, anxiety, depression).
- Autoimmune disorders.
- Menopausal symptoms.
- Menstrual issues.
- Infertility (male and female).
Chinese herbal therapy can also be a valuable adjunct to cancer treatment in aiding the body’s recovery from the after-effects of chemotherapy or radiation. Chinese herbs are also useful in the rehabilitation of other chronic diseases.
Your herbalist may recommend Chinese herbal therapy when:
- You have a complex constellation of symptoms.
- You have exhausted conventional medical options, or everything you have tried seems not to have helped.
- You need to counteract side effects of prescribed medications.
- You are interested in preventive or integrative medicine.
Thuy Nguyen, DAOM, LAc
Yanming Huang, LAc
Song Luo, MPH, LAc
Appointments & Locations
Chinese herbal therapy consults are offered at our Lyndhurst location, please call 216.448.4325 to schedule.
Cleveland Clinic Lyndhurst Campus
1950 Richmond Road
Lyndhurst, OH 44124