For internal use, herbs can be prescribed in several different formats. The preferred form is raw, dried herbs that are cooked by the patient into a decoction or “soup”. This method gives the herbalist the greatest flexibility in choosing the most beneficial herbs for a patient’s condition, and this is the strongest method of herbal therapy.
Another popular format is formulas made from herbs that have been cooked and dried. These are called granular extract formulas. They may also be tailored for each patient, however the number of herbal substances available in granular form is more limited. Granular extracts are also less powerful than raw herbs, so the herbalist may compensate by prescribing a larger dose. This format may be preferable if the patient is not able to cook the herbs; all that is required is adding hot water to reconstitute the formula.
A third alternative is ready made classical formulas in pill and tablet form. The practitioner has no flexibility to create custom formulas with this method. Cost and convenience are usually the main consideration choosing pills and tablets.
For some conditions, including pain and traumatic injury and dermatological conditions, herbs may also be prescribed for external use as soaks, washes, ointments, liniments, poultices or salves.
At Quan Yin Healing Arts, we use only reputable distributors of Chinese herbs. The raw herbal formula prescriptions are filled by Kamwo Herbal Pharmacy in NY, NY, and shipped directly to the patient. Granular extract formulas are manufactured by Kaiser Pharmaceuticals and filled and dispensed by Crane Herb Company in Massachusetts. They are also shipped directly to the patient. We use Golden Flower brand of ready-made tablet formulas and carry a complete line in the office. Please refer to the company websites on the links page for further information about herbal safety procedures.