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Herbs FAQ

Call Paul Wan on 01483 502083 to discuss your needs or for an appointment.


Chinese Herbal Medicine is commonly used for the following conditions?


- Skin diseases, including eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea.


- Tiredness, Chronic fatigue syndromes.


- Respiratory conditions, including asthma, bronchitis, and chronic coughs; allergic and perennial rhinitis and sinusitis.


- Digestive complaints, including irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, ulcerative collitis.


- Gynaecological problems, including pre-menstrual syndrome, painful periods, menopausal syndromes, endometriosis, some forms of infertility.


- Urinary conditions.


- Headaches and migraines.


- Anxiety and depression.


- Some metabolic disorders, including diabetes and thyroid conditions, may benefit from supportive treatment.


How Long Will Treatment Last?


The length of treatment will vary depending on the condition. Anything between one and six months would be common, though in certain cases treatment outside this range maybe suggested.



Are Chinese Herbs Safe?


Chinese Herbal Medicine has a very good safety record. However, this does not in itself mean that no side effects are possible. Serious adverse effects from Chinese Herbal Medicine are very rare. All medicines, whether pharmaceutical or herbal, must be treated with respect. Chinese herbal medicine is safe when practised in a competent and ethical way. If members of the public are in any doubt, they are urged to contact the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM), which has high standards of entry and applies a strict ethical code.

Chinese medicine formulas are built on the idea of balance, in which the one-sided effects of some ingredients can be counteracted by the addition of others with contrasting qualities.



Could Chinese Herbal Medicine Lead To Kidney Damage?


The reported cases of kidney damage involving Chinese medicine concern the use of plant species that belong to the genus Aristolochia, which contain aristolochic acids that are potentially toxic for the kidneys. These species are banned in the UK, and this ban also includes some non-aristolochic species which although not problematic in themselves, might from their appearance be confused with aristolochia RCHM members are strictly bound to comply with this regime, and as a member, the species listed in the legislation are on no account included in any of my herbal treatment.



Could Chinese Medicines Lead To Liver Damage?


In very rare instances patients may experience an 'idiosyncratic' adverse liver reaction to a herbal substance, as they may to a pharmaceutical drug. The term idiosyncratic means that the adverse reaction is not predictable from the known toxicity of the substance (individual hypersensitiveness). The possibility of such a reaction is rare and is always taken into account by careful monitoring.  



Is It Safe To Take Pharmaceutical Drugs Together With Chinese Medicine? 


In general herbal and drug treatment can be used at the same time, and in most cases this does not appear to cause any difficulties. However, in recent times, attention has been drawn to possible problem interactions between some herbal ingredients and some pharmaceutical drugs. This has extended the range of safety concerns and is now a basic part of training in Chinese Herbal Medicine. All medication taken by the patient will be recorded by the practitioner and taken into account in treatment, and as a matter of caution patients are advised to take herbal remedies and pharmaceutical drugs at least one hour apart.



What About The Quality Of The Herbs?  


RCHM members are expected to obtain their herbs (loose dried herbs, powder extracts, granules or pills) from suppliers registered with the RCHM 'approved suppliers' scheme. Herbal companies on this scheme are vetted at regular intervals. Paul Wan will only prescribe herbal products from RCHM approved suppliers.



Might Chinese Herbs Contain Steroids, Or Other Pharmaceutical Drugs?


All RCHM practitioners have been fully alerted to the possibility of contamination of Chinese herbal products with pharmaceutical agents and are strictly bound not to use this kind of product. When supplying prepared Chinese medicines such as pills and creams I am bound to ensure that such products are clearly labeled in English with all ingredients clearly identified.



Are Animal Products Or Endangered Species Used?  


No animal products are used. The RCHM has always condemned the illegal trade in endangered plant and animal species. Strict rules are in force that prohibit RCHM members using material of this description.