Questions & Answers About Chinese Herbal Medicine
A Patients Primer

Dr. Mudrak is a diplomate in Chinese Herbology as certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).

Herbal medicine is the main modality or treatment method within Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. TCM is the world’s oldest, continually practiced, professional medicine. Its written history stretches back not less than 2,500 years and its practice is undoubtedly much older than that. Although acupuncture was the first Chinese modality to gain wide acceptance in the West, Chinese herbal medicine is quickly establishing itself as one of the most popular and effective alternative therapies in the West.


Q: What’s the difference between Western folk herbalism and Chinese herbal medicine?
A: Western folk herbalism primarily treats diseases or symptoms, such as headaches, runny nose, menstrual pain, etc. Chinese herbal medicine, when practiced as part of TCM, is based on an individualized pattern diagnosis as well as a disease diagnosis.

This means the TCM patient receives a custom written herbal prescription designed to treat both the symptom or disease and also their individual pattern. Such a TCM pattern is made up of a person’s signs and symptoms as well as their emotional temperament and bodily constitution.

Q: Are there any other differences?
A: Western folk herbalism primarily uses single herbs or groups of herbs which treat the symptom or disease. TCM formulas include from 6-18 herbs. They are carefully crafted to include herbs addressing a person’s main symptoms as well as their entire pattern.