Written by Nicolette Truscott (Chinese Medicine/ Acupuncture)
If you have been wandering around the halls of the In-Symmetry Clinic recently, you may have noticed gradual changes surrounding our shelving storage which has fully transformed and is now overflowing with mysterious tubs with cryptic labels and earthy contents…. a mystery no longer….
We are excited to now be able to offer Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs in their raw form! With over 150 different herbs in our dispensary, this opens up a whole new range of possibilities for our clients on their path to better health.
Raw herbs have been used in Chinese culture for thousands of years to assist with health and wellbeing and is still the preferential way to administer most herbal formulas in Chinese hospitals today. A prescribed herbal formula generally consists of between 3-20 herbs and are tailored to the individual after detailed consultation. The raw medicinal herbs are usually boiled together and drunk as a tea. In certain circumstances and conditions, this herbal tea can also be utilised as an external wash, inhalant or soak.
The majority of herbs used are plant based, with some minerals and shells also incorporated. There are very few animal products used in herbal medicine anymore, particularly in Australia, as we have many plant and mineral based substances that can achieve similar results in a more ethical and sustainable way.
How to prepare your raw herbs in typical situations:
First the herbs are soaked in a clay or stainless-steel pot in enough water to cover them.
These are brought to a boil, then simmered for approximately 30-40 mins until the liquid reduces to 1 cup.
The liquid is strained from the herbs and set aside, whilst retaining the herbs in the pot.
This process is repeated twice until you end up with 3 cups of liquid. The herbs are then dosed at ½ cup in the morning and ½ cup in the evenings.
Whilst the taste may not always be described as ‘delicious’, using raw herbs is generally regarded as the most effective for the majority of conditions.
If boiling up your own raw herbs is not an option for you, the Chinese Medicine Practitioners at In Symmetry have several other options available to them to ensure that everyone can benefit from what nature has provided.
Granules and powdered extracts:
These herbs have been processed from their raw state into a concentrated and powdered form primarily for ease of use in the modern fast paced, chronically ‘short on time’ world. We can also put these granules into capsules for those with an aversion to tea.
Using herbs in this form is very similar to like instant coffee- just add warm water and drink! But, just like instant coffee, this form is a pale comparison of the real deal.
Pills and capsules:
A large number of famous and common herbal formulas are available processed into pills or pre-made capsules. These possess relatively less strength and their ingredients cannot be modified, but can be great as support for many conditions, are easy to take and relatively taste free!
Ask your Chinese Medicine practitioner if herbal medicine is right for you.
If you would like to book an appointment with Nicollette you can call the clinic on
(03) 5429 3610 or book online by clicking the link below.