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Chinese herbal medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an integrated system of primary healthcare that originated in ancient China and evolved over 5000 years. It is one of the oldest and most long-standing healthcare systems in the world (1). Practitioners trained in Chinese Herbal Medicine use this medical system to diagnose, treat and prevent illness (2).
Chinese Herbal Medicine, along with the other components of Chinese medicine, is based on the concepts of Yin and Yang. It aims to understand and treat the many ways in which the fundamental balance and harmony between the two may be undermined and the ways in which a person's Qi or vitality may be depleted or blocked. Clinical strategies are based upon diagnosis of patterns of signs and symptoms that reflect an imbalance (2).
Chinese herbal medicine takes a holistic approach to disease and prophylactic care and focuses as much on the prevention of illness as the treatment of it. A qualified practitioner will prescribe a Chinese herbal formula specifically formulated for the individual (3).
There are more than 450 substances commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine – most are of plant origin though some animal and mineral substances may also be used. Chinese herbal medicines are prescribed either in pure form or combined in formulae (3).
Since 2012, practitioners of TCM, which include Acupuncture and prescribing and dispensing Chinese Herbal Medicine, have been registered under the Australian Health Practitioners Registration Agency through the Chinese Medicine Registration Board (4).
|1||Zhou X, Li CG, Chang D, Bensoussan A. Current status and major challenges to the safety and efficacy presented by Chinese herbal medicine. Medicines. 2019 Mar;6(1):14.|
|2||Australian Natural Therapists Association. Chinese Herbal Medicine [Internet]. ANTA. 2018. [cited 2021 May 3]. Available from: https://www.australiannaturaltherapistsassociation.com.au/Public/Therapies/Chinese_Herbal_Medicine/Public/ANTA_Therapies/ChineseHerbalMedicine.aspx?hkey=ae1e65cb-4f8e-4b72-91fc-a9fb594514eb|
|3||Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Association. Chinese Herbal Medicine [Internet]. AACMA. 2021. [cited 2021 May 3]. Available from: https://www.acupuncture.org.au/acupuncture-chinese-medicine/chinese-herbal-medicine|
|4||Australian Traditional Medicine Society. Chinese Herbal Medicine [Internet]. ATMS. n.d. [cited 2021 May 3]. Available from: https://www.atms.com.au/modalities/chinese-herbal-medicine/|