Chinese herbal medicine
Cost: £21 (plus herbs)/ £14 for concessions*
Duration: 1 hour
Days: Tuesdays and Wednesdays
What is Chinese herbal medicine?
Chinese herbal medicine is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM aims to understand and treat the many ways in which the fundamental balance and harmony of a person’s qi or vitality may be depleted or blocked. Prescriptions of herbs are used to correct patterns of disharmony within the body. Most prescriptions consist of between six and 12 herbs, which are selected for each patient upon their specific diagnosis in TCM terms.
Herbs are rarely used on their own.
During your consultation your student practitioner will ask you detailed questions about your current state of health and your previous medical history, as well as your bodily functions and lifestyle. They will examine your tongue and will take your pulses on both wrists.
With this information the student practitioner, under the direction of the clinic supervisor, will select the combination of herbs most appropriate for you. Do let your student practitioner know if you are vegetarian or vegan so that they can make up your prescription accordingly. There will be other students in the room observing the process.
Your herbs may be either raw or powdered. Powdered herbs are easily swallowed with a glass of water. If you are prescribed raw herbs, your student practitioner will give you detailed instructions on how to boil them up into a tea, which you drink several times a day. Preparing your own herbal tea from raw herbs does take time and the taste may take getting used to. Herbs prepared in this way, however, are most easily absorbed by your body and therefore have a strong effect.
Is it safe?
Being a university teaching clinic, we are committed to ensuring the highest standards of clinical governance in all of our processes and procedures to ensure safety at all times.
The University of Westminster follows the Codes of Ethics and Good Practice of the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM), and all herbs are sourced from suppliers on the RCHM Approved Suppliers List. Chinese herbs are very safe when reliably sourced and prescribed correctly by a properly trained practitioner. Over the centuries doctors have compiled detailed information about the pharmacopoeia and placed great emphasis on the protection of the patient. However adverse reactions can occur with any form of medicine. In the case of Chinese herbal medicine these are rare. Animal and mineral products are not used in the Polyclinic and care is taken to avoid any endangered species or any herbs restricted by law.
*We give concessions for students, the unemployed and pensioners. Herbs costs vary, but a rough guide is £2 per day. Ask the practitioner if you’d prefer a more specific costing.