Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese Herbal Medicine is part of the ancient healing art of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM has been evolving during the last 5,000 years. Chinese herbs are used to restore the "Qi" or energy of the body by bringing into balance the opposing forces of Yin and Yang. TCM believes that the imbalance of Yin and Yang creates blockage in Qi which results in illness. Through 5,000 years of research and natural selection, TCM has been able to identify combinations of herbs that are particularly effective in restoring the balance between Yin and Yang under many different conditions. The result, according to TCM, is a return of the flow of Qi throughout the body and an improvement in general physical and mental health. The herbs come from over 6,000 species and are processed in a number of ways to ensure that the active ingredients are accessible. The Chinese government in recent years has established quality control requirements over the preparation of herbs to ensure the purity and the efficacy of the herbs used for TCM treatments. In China, the most common methods of applying herb therapies are through teas and pills. The teas are strong and simmer for about one hour in order to gain potency. Tablets, capsules, and powders are other ways to dispense the herbs. Dr. Pi designs specific and customized herbal treatments for her patients. When necessary, she brews the teas herself. However, she gives instructions to her patients on how to effectively access the herbs through her teas. In her clinic, patients will find rows and shelves of herbs in many different forms. Following her consultation and diagnosis, Dr. Pi may recommend a course of treatment using those herbs alone or in conjunction with acupuncture.


The most common Chinese herbs used today are listed below with some (but not all) of their attributes:

  • Astragalus (Huang Qi)
    Stimulates the immune system, helps skin disorders, and can aid in digestion.

  • Polyporus (Zhuling)
    Acts as a diuretic to reduce water in the body and has cancer-fighting properites

  • Ginseng (Renshen)
    Improves energy and endurance, reduces fatigue and stress, enhances sexual performance, boosts immune system.

  • Jujubu (Dazao)
    Good for nourishing the blood and regulating menstruation.

  • Milettia (Ji xue teng )
    Good for promoting circulation and relieving menstrual pain.

  • Chrysanthemum Flower (Juhua)
    Good for reducing fever, calming the liver, and improving vision.

  • Salvia (Dang shen)
    Use for invigorating blood circulation, removing blood clots, and tranquilizing the disturbed mind by nourishing the blood.

  • Alisma (Ze xie)
    Used as a diuretic, lower the cholesterol treating edema, diarrhea, dysuria etc.