Alina Sepeda L.Ac., Dipl. O.M., M.S.

Herbal Medicine

Chinese herbs

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete medical system that has existed for more than 3000 years, however, Westerners have only become aware of this powerful medicine since Richard Nixon’s visit to China in 1972. Chinese herbs are an integral part of TCM and work by addressing the underlying illness or weakness thereby alleviating symptoms. Therefore, once the illness has been addressed or the body has been strengthened, the herbs can be stopped. This is different from our Western way of thinking in which people remain on pharmaceuticals for years since they generally address symptoms and not the underlying illness. Nevertheless, Chinese herbs should never replace a pharmaceutical medication unless instructed to do so by a physician.

There are thousands of herbs in the Chinese herbal pharmacopeia but typically 300-400 different herbs are routinely used. An herbal formula typically has 3-15 herbs in it. These herbs are mostly of plant origin, such as flowers, leaves, roots, bark, and seeds, but some minerals and animal parts can be used as well. However, no herb would ever be used at Alina Sepeda Herbal Medicine that would contribute to the endangerment of any species. As well, we only use the highest quality herbs that haven subjected to extensive testing at Good Manufacturing Practices certified facilities.
In ancient times, Chinese herbs had to be cooked from their raw form and while this is still a method used today, other more readily used forms also now exist. At Alina Sepeda Herbal Medicine, we understand our clients’ busy lives and this is why we offer teapills. These are the easiest form of Chinese herbs to take as well as the most transportable. And while teapills are so easy to take, it cannot be stressed enough that they will not work if not taken as prescribed. For example, most of our formulas should be taken three times per day. Results will not be seen if the herbal formula is taken intermittently. This is another difference from pharmaceutical medications in that Chinese herbs work more slowly and must be taken diligently. They do not function like the “magic bullet” in relieving symptoms that we have come to expect from pharmaceutical medications. But also unlike pharmaceutical medications, we do not find the dangerous side effects. In the short term and the long term, Chinese herbs are safer for the body as long as they have undergone extensive testing, which all of our herbs have.