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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has effectively used the power of Herbal Formulations for thousands of years. Herbal supplementation seeks to gently activate the pathways of energy (meridians) in the body so the body may return to homeostasis, thereby facilitating healing and balance.

At Vista Wellness (Richmond, BC) our acupuncture and herbology practitioners are educated and well versed in the application and use of herbal medicine prescriptions. We are able to offer an individually tailored herbal treatment plan to suit each patient's individual constitution and address underlying health concerns.

What is herbal medicine?

Herbology is one of the components of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and refers to the use of herbs in the treatment of patient illness and its underlying causes. Herbs may originate from plants, minerals or animals, and are prescribed by a trained and licensed Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (TCM.P) or Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (D.TCM). Herbs may be prescribed preventatively or therapeutically as single herbs or herbal combinations (formulae) to treat and/or prevent a wide variety of ailments.

In our treatments we tend to use mostly herbs that originate from plants. Dried flowers, stems, bark, berries, roots and seeds are all used for their incredible ability to treat the root cause of a disease, and simultaneously offer relief of symptoms.

What is the origin of herbal medicine?

The healing properties of plants and herbs have been used for centuries by countless civilizations and cultures. Records show that Indigenous cultures religiously used plants and herbal preparations in their ceremonies and treatment of the ill. Numerous references to the use of Herbal treatments for medicinal purposes exist in Asian history. Ayurvedic medicine is also well known for their use of herbal preparations in patient treatment protocols.

With the advent of chemical analysis of compounds, plants were examined and their active ingredients isolated, leading to a decrease in the utilization of plant medicine, with plants being replaced by chemical versions.


Recently, however, the WHO (World Health Organization) estimated that 80% of people worldwide are currently relying on herbal formulations for at least part of their primary health care. In the last two decades, public dissatisfaction with the rising cost of prescription medicine, combined with an interest in returning to natural remedies, has led to a significant increase in the use of herbal preparations.

How do herbs treat illness?

Single, whole herbs consist of numerous active ingredients. These active ingredients work with one another to produce a desired beneficial effect. Single herbs are often combined since the combination of specific herbs in predetermined ratios may in fact be more effective. The old adage that maintains the whole being greater than the sum of its parts is indeed true when referring to herbal formulae.

At Vista Wellness (Richmond, BC) our qualified acupuncture and herbology practitioners will take all your symptoms and treatment goals into account, and then design an herbal formula specifically tailored to address your individual health concerns. In TCM it is thus likely that each patient will receive a completely different herbal formulation, even when patients present with very similar symptoms.

What conditions can be treated with Herbs?

Herbal medicine may be used to effectively treat a vast number of conditions, including (but not limited to):

In British Columbia, TCM practitioners prescribing herbal medicine have completed at least 4 years of related post secondary education to ensure that your herbs are not only safe, but also effective in treating your most pressing health concerns.

  • Anxiety

  • Asthma

  • Colitis

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Eczema

  • Fatigue

  • Gingivitis

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • Menopause

  • Migraine

  • Nausea

  • Pain

  • Pneumonia

  • Rhinitis

  • Sinusitis

  • Sleep disturbance

  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTI's)

  • Arthritis

  • Bronchitis

  • Common Cold

  • Depression

  • Digestive issues

  • Emotional problems

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Incontinence

  • Lower back pain

  • Menstrual Irregularities

  • Morning sickness

  • Osteoarthritis

  • PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)

  • Reproductive problems/Fertility

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

  • Skin problems

  • Stress

  • Vomiting


How safe are herbs?

When herbs are used in a correct and appropriate manner, they are a safe and highly effective way to treat numerous conditions. Side effects associated with the use of herbal formulations tend to be very rare when taken under the guidance of a trained professional. Your herbal practitioner will examine you, take a thorough health history (including any medications you may presently be taking), and take these factors into account when designing an herbal treatment plan.

Rarely, individuals report mild allergic reactions. Should any adverse side effects be suspected, please contact your herbal therapist, and discontinue the use of your herbs.

Should I use herbal medicine?

Herbal formulations nourish the body in a unique manner. Herbs work to nourish the body at its deepest level to balance the body while simultaneously addressing the root cause of an illness or disease.

In addition, Herbal Supplementation tends to be very effective in treating chronic and stubborn ailments often resistant to traditional treatment and medication, while being safer with fewer side effects, if any.

An ever increasing number of health practitioners recognize and prescribe herbs in the treatment of their patients' illness and ailments. This in itself is further evidence of the safety and efficacy of herbal supplementation.

Our bodies have their own unique ability to heal. Herbs simply assist the body to return to a balanced state so it may heal itself effectively.

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