Chinese medicine involves the prescription of standardized herbal formulas that have proved effective in the treatment of specific conditions over the course of many years (in some cases centuries) or customized prescriptions tailored to a patient’s individual needs.
A formula can consist of anything from two to twenty different individual herbs in differing quantities and I do not use any animal products or endangered species in my formulas. I usually prescribe tablets or powders for my patients which have to be taken twice a day with water.
My approach is always first to address issues relating to diet and poor digestion before a patient begins to take any herbal prescriptions. I then consider whether herbal medicine would be beneficial, taking into account any potential interactions and contra-indications, and which form of herbal medicine, tablets or powder, is most suited to the patient. In my professional experience, combining good dietary practices and acupuncture with herbal medicine produces the best results, particularly with the most difficult cases that I have encountered.
I do not prescribe herbal medicine when a patient is undergoing IVF, simply because not enough research has been done on the potential interactions between Chinese herbal medicine and the medications that are taken during an IVF cycle. However, I do prescribe herbal medicine before an IVF cycle begins, where appropriate, as I believe that thorough preparation for IVF treatment greatly increases the chances of a positive outcome.