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Chinese Herbal Medicine


Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) are used in the practice of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) either in conjunction with acupuncture, or as a primary therapy.  Although most associate TCVM with acupuncture, the majority of cases in TCVM clinics in China are treated with herbs, either with acupuncture or alone, rather than with just acupuncture. TCVM encompasses several other methods designed to help patients achieve and maintain health. Along with acupuncture and CHM, it incorporates adjunctive techniques such as acupressure and moxibustion; manipulative and massage techniques such as tuina and gua sha; diet and lifestyle changes; meditation; and exercise.


In CHM practice, an examination and detail background of the animal is performed. Using information about the animal, the TCVM examination results, and medical information from your regular veterinarian, a TCVM diagnosis is made. Using this TCVM diagnosis, herbs are chosen to correct imbalance underlying disease patterns and to promote the body's ability to heal itself.  Each herb has a different effect on the body and can fall under a number of classifications such as warming, cooling, sour, or bitter and can affect a variety of organs, including the liver, lungs, or heart. TCVM utilizes herbal formulas that are a combination of single-herb ingredients to treat a specific pattern of disease. Acupuncture may be recommended in addition to CHM at this time to increase the efficacy, speed up the rate of healing, or to help the animal feel more comfortable until the CHM begins to work.


The increasing popularity of CHM lies in the fact that it is an all-natural treatment option that is generally safe and effective when prescribed correctly. CHM is tailored to the individual animal, able to enhace their recuperative power, immunity and state of well-being. Herbs can supplement the animal's diet and strengthen the constitution. In addition, they can be used in conjunction with Western pharmaceuticals to treat various illnesses and injuries. 

Chinese herbals have nutritional as well as balancing properties. While pharmaceutical drugs can tax an animals' kidney and liver, Chiense herbals may actually strengthen these organs as part of the therapy. 

An extensive body of clinical research have shown CHM to be extremely effective in  treating chronic veterinary medical issues in the fields of: gastroenterology, cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, reproduction, oncology, and behavior.  CHM is also commonly used to treat respiratory issues and sports injuries.  In addition, CHM increases the quality of life for geriatric patients, especially those diagnosed with terminal cancer, since it assists the body's ability to reduce tumor size when chemotherapy is not an option.  CHM can be combined with acupuncture and/or Western Medicine to enhance clinical results.


The herbal tradition of China is valued scientifically, as well as being a fascinating and popular tradition. Scientists working in China and Japan during the past four decades have demonstrated that the herb materials contain active components that can explain many of their claimed actions. Modern drugs have been developed from the herbs, such as treatments for asthma and hay fever from Chinese ephedra, hepatitis remedies from schizandra fruits and licorice roots, and a number of anticancer agents from trees and shrubs.   

Information above courtesy of the Chi Institute

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