The real power behind TCM lies in the herbal prescriptions. These are customized for each patient using from one to as many as 18 natural herbs that typically are derived from plants. Herbs can be taken in several forms. The most potent form of herbal medicine is the decoction, which is prepared by simmering selected herbs. Concentrated powders, which are dissolved into warm water to make a tea, and herbal pills, can also be prescribed. Many people prefer the powders or pills for convenience.
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.