Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese herbal medicine is the oldest documented medical science and is widely used in Asia. There have been more clinical trials done on herbs than any other complementary medicine. 

Chinese Herbal Medicine Background

Chinese herbal medicine is the world’s oldest documented science. Its principles were set down around 2,500 years ago and it has continued to evolve as a scholarly clinical tradition ever since. Today it still forms the background of public health care in China as well as for millions of oriental people throughout the world. Its importance as a low cost but clinically proven medical system is recognised by the World Health Organisation.


Chinese herbal medicine is based on a conceptual framework that is different to Western medicine. The foundation is a detailed examination of signs and symptoms with particular attention to the pulse and tongue.  The Chinese Herbalist diagnoses a pattern of imbalance rather than a specific disease, as understood in the Western sense. Patients showing the same “disease” are likely to be diagnosed with different patterns depending on the specific clinical manifestations shown by each individual. The primary therapeutic aim is to strengthen the patient’s natural healing responses by improving digestion, elimination, circulation, metabolism and immune response. Chinese herbal medicine therefore goes to great lengths to avoid methods which are potentially weakening or have strong or dangerous side effects.  Particular attention is paid to diet, exercise and stress management.


Over the last 50 years a vast amount of laboratory and clinical research have been undertaken and can be read in specialist journals.  Areas where Chinese herbal medicine is effective include migraine, asthma, skin issues, digestive problems, gynaecological problems, menopausal syndrome, hypertension, insomnia and depression.

Professional Standards

Chinese Herbalists trained in the UK will have studied to the equivalent of degree level.  They will be registered either with the Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners or the Register of Traditional Chinese Herbalists.

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