Although most people associate Oriental medicine with acupuncture, in Asia the primary therapy of Oriental medicine is Chinese herbal medicine (CHM). CHM is a complex science where anywhere from six to several dozen herbs are combined to treat a patient's unique condition. This type of individualized "formula" approach to CHM is the gold standard of care in Asia and practitioners who primarily use pre-made tablets usually are not fully trained in Oriental medicine. The practice of CHM requires considerably more time and study than acupuncture alone and patients should only take Chinese herbs under the supervision of a provider nationally certified in Chinese herbology or fully certified in Oriental medicine (both of our providers are fully certified in Oriental medicine).
Safety of Chinese Herbal Medicines
Chinese herbal medicine has been used as a safe therapeutic intervention for countless generations. However, there are two key aspects to ensuring Chinese herbs are safe – finding a competent herbalist and having a good source of herbs. In order to be sure your herbalist is competent and trained they should maintain current certification though the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). These providers are licensed health care professionals who have passed rigorous standardized examinations and have graduated from schools with accreditation recognized by U.S. Department of Education. Only professionals with NCCAOM certification in Chinese Herbology or Oriental Medicine can be considered competent Chinese herbalists.
The second concern is the source of herbs. All our custom herbal formulas are supplied by Kamwo Herb and Tea of Manhattan, NY. Kamwo is run by a NY State licensed pharmacist and its raw herbs are tested by CMA Testing, an independent, internationally accredited (HOKLAS certified) laboratory, for any heavy metal, pesticide or other chemical contaminants. In addition to meeting international standards, HOKLAS certification is recognized by 34 international accrediting bodies, including the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation. Granular herbs we use are produced by Tian Jing Pharmaceuticals, one of only six GMP certified herb manufacturers in China. Herbs supplied by Kamwo are also laboratory tested with thin layer chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography to ensure herbs are properly identified and potent.