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Acupuncture and Eastern Medicine Blog

Mount Vernon Washington, Skagit Valley

  • Writer's pictureAnna Palucci Young, L.Ac., AEMP

The Power of Eastern Herbal Therapy aka Chinese Herbal Formulas

As an Eastern medicine practitioner, I have observed in clinical practice that while acupuncture is incredibly effective on its own, the combination of this modality with the addition of Chinese herbal formulas can significantly decrease healing time. That is partly because herbal formulas are taken daily and they continue to promote healing between your acupuncture treatments.

I have been using Herbal formulas in my practice for the last fifteen years to treat chronic pain as well as internal issues such as asthma, IBS and hot flashes.

Chinese herbal formulas are prepared from crude plants, which comprise a complex mixture of different phytochemical constituents. Important aspects of Eastern herbal therapy include:

  1. Efficacy. According to the NIH, Chinese herbal formulas are effective in treating a host of problems ranging from constipation to post-partum depression. There are many articles that cover studies proving the efficacy of Chinese Herbs for a host of issues.

  2. Safety. Eastern medicine has been used for thousands of years to treat myriad illnesses and while it is not without the possibility of side effects, in the hands of a trained clinician, the side effects, if any, are generally very minimal and are often digestive in nature.

  3. Sophistication. There are thousands of herbs in the Chinese materia medica and about three hundred that are most commonly used. Its sophisticated evolution and the scientific scrutiny it has undergone throughout its history has proven it to be an important body of knowledge leading to the development of life saving pharmaceuticals. In fact, Youyou Tu, a Chinese pharmaceutical scientist, discovered a very effective drug called Qinghaosu (aka artemisinin) from the plant Qinghao (aka artemisia). She received the Nobel Prize in medicine in 2015, for her incredible work which has saved many lives from the ravages of malaria.

  4. Specificity. Eastern medicine does not evaluate an illness purely based on symptomatic complaints, but rather, uses those symptoms to identify complex patterns of disharmony in the body. Chinese herbal formulas, along with acupuncture and lifestyle recommendations are used to address those complex patterns allowing for a very specific customization for each patient and their individual needs. See Pattern Identification in Eastern Herbal Therapy

If you are interested in truly healing your body and bringing it back into balance, please contact me at 360-926-0859 and let’s set up an appointment to discuss your health goals and how we might proceed together.


Lin, Yi-Wei (2009) Efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine for the management of constipation: a systematic review.

Hsu, Elisabeth (2002) Reflections on the ‘discovery’ of the antimalarial qinghao.

Han, Xiaomeng (2020) Youyou Tu — An Exceptional Nobel Laureate



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