Chinese Herbs


What are Chinese Herbs?

Galapagos Acupuncture uses herbal medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments. Herbal medicine is an integral part of Chinese medicine that has been used for thousands of years in the successful treatment of health conditions.

There are approximately 13,000 herbs that are used in China and well over 100,000 recipes recorded in their ancient literature. Various plants comprise the various recipes and treat a variety of medical conditions. Of these 13,000, approximately 1800 of them have been studied in depth and there are 500 of them that are in common use.

History Of Chinese Herbal Medicine

With ancient roots, Chinese Herbal medicine dates back to 5000 years and the earliest records recorded. The herbology has the longest and oldest continuous written history of any of the medical systems found on Earth.

Part skill, part science and art, there are a variety of ways that Chinese herbal medicine is used today. It can be used as a tea, a pill, a tincture, granules, plasters and more.

The Difference Between Treating A Health Issue With Herbs In Chinese Medicine Vs Using Drugs In Western Medicine

The main difference between treating health issues with herbs in Chinese medicine vs drugs in Western Medicine are as follows:

If a patient walked into a regular doctor's office and had stomach pain, the doctor may do some tests to find out what is going on. They may require an X-ray to see if the person's gastrointestinal tract is working properly or they may even do an endoscopy.

This would be the Western Medicine way that a patient would be examined and diagnosed. They might find a peptic ulcer in the above scenario.

In Chinese medicine, they may ask the patient a serious of questions. They may attempt to discover what is going on and uncover a physiological reason for the situation that is causing the person to have stomach pain. Does the stomach pain respond differently to hot and cold? Is it relieved by eating or does that make it worse? Is there a greasy yellow coating on the patient's tongue? Or no coating at all?

The Chinese physician would take all of this into consideration to ensure the health of the patient. the patient would be treated as a unique individual and not just one of many.

In Western medicine, a disease is separated from the patient. In Chinese medicine, it's viewed as a condition that the patient has. From the Chinese perspective, the patient has an imbalance. Understanding this will help a person to differentiate between modern Western medicine and Chinese medicine. In Chinese medicine, the patient will be treated for their imbalance and they will use Chinese herbs. In Western medicine, they will use pharmaceuticals.

Benefits Of Chinese Herbs

Chinese herbs work to restore balance to the person's body. They are an all-natural remedy that will have few side effects. However, it's important to note that many herbal remedies interact in a negative fashion with pharmaceuticals.

Safety Of Chinese Herbs/Side Effects And Risks

One of the most important side effects to be aware of are that there is a risk of pharmaceuticals interacting with herbal remedies. This can be a potentially dangerous interaction. Always let your regular family doctor know if you're taking any herbal remedies.

A good example is women who use Dong Quai for menopausal symptoms like hot flashes. Dong Quai can also reduce blood pressure and if the woman is already on blood pressure medication, this could lower the blood pressure beyond the desired range. There are also such concerns as using aspirin for heart benefits and pain relief, some herbs will interact and thin the blood even more and cause internal bleeding.

Interactions Between Herbs And Western Medicines

If you're unsure, never take an herbal remedy without first checking with your pharmacist or your doctor who prescribed your medications. Side effects aren't always publicized so this is crucial to your safety. Combining some of the herbal remedies with pharmaceutical medicines can also cause kidney issues and heart failure.

There is also the risk of allergic reactions. If you have allergies to any type of plants, be sure to check with your doctor prior to taking any herbal medications.


Galapagos Acupuncture
928 Broadway #1207
New York, NY 10010
Phone: (646) 362-5552
Mail: info [at]
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