Chinese Herbal Medicine
Herbal medicine, as a system of medicine, sits alongside acupuncture within the Chinese medicine framework.
Herbal medicine relies on the practitioner carefully analysing presenting signs and symptoms, constructing a Chinese medicine diagnosis and building a herbal formula to address the Chinese medicine diagnosis.
Herbs are mostly plant-based, sometimes minerals and rarely animal by-products.
Herbal formulas, in Peter Kington’s Chinese herbal medicine practice, are offered to clients via two methods of delivery.
The first is an individualised herbal formula which is constructed from scratch using separate herbs, mixed together and customised to a client’s unique clinical presentation. Peter uses high grade herbs, which are pre-prepared as granules. Simply add boiling water and drink as a tea. There is no boiling of herbs and no smell wafting through the house.
The second is herbal formulas administered as capsules or pills. These are convenient and easy to take, although perhaps not always as strong as customised granule formulas.
Capsules and pill formulas are pre-made and while they don’t have the benefit of individualised formulas they are high quality and still effective in achieving improved therapeutic outcomes.
You may, sometimes, read or hear news stories about the safety of Chinese herbs. The main concern with Chinese herbs is the presence of an acid, aristolochic acid, which can be found in some herbs used in Chinese medicine. This acid can potentially cause kidney failure.
Another concern is the possible contamination of herbs with heavy metals.
Peter only uses the highest grade ‘granule’ herbs, capsules and pills. The herbs Peter uses are permitted to be used in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. These herbs, through the manufacturing process, are regularly tested for the presence of aristolochic acid and heavy metals.
Ordering herbs online, from other countries or without the advice and input from a qualified practitioner is when patients run the risk of exposing themselves to poor quality herbs.