At Jing Shen Healing Arts we offer our herbal products in varying forms, including capsules, powders (granules), and tinctures. However, as Doctors of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, we have a passion for remaining rooted in maintaining the traditions of these medicinals; we love the herbs in raw form!
Patients and Colleagues: What do you mean by raw herbs?
Jing Shen Answer: Raw essentially means seeing them in their natural state; to most people, they look like a bunch of sticks, twigs, leaves, seeds, and berries.
Over the years, we’ve had many fun conversations with our patients about how their prescribed formula looks like we went out into nature and simply scooped up some yard debris and threw it in a bag for them! We do not recommend doing that!
Patients and Colleagues: Are using raw herbs the easiest path
Jing Shen Answer: No. It’s the most potent path.
We love our herbal pharmacy for many reasons, none more than the fact that the herbs in their raw form are the most potent approach to Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine. Like anything else, once we start processing things, something gets lost. When the integrity of the plant is maintained, the herb is the herb and is in its purest form. One reason we like to maintain our own pharmacy is to control the integrity of the ingredients we use.
Maintaining our own pharmacy also allows for endless possibilities with customization for our patients. Raw herbs are also most easily customizable; we can get very detailed to meet our patient’s needs. We can adapt the formula regularly as health improves and balance is restored. We can also customize powders, granules, and even our tinctures, although the amount of freedom of customization changes depending on the herb form.
Patients and Colleagues: If they are working, why changes the herbs I am taking?
Jing Shen Answer: We LOVE this question! This is where we recognize flaws in how the supplement industry and healthcare providers not thoroughly trained in the intricacies of herbalism fall short in their approach to herbs today.
As health is restored, your needs change and adapt. If your herbal formula does not adjust with the changes, then there is potential for harm. The health professional you are working with should monitor and recognize the changes in your needs and modify your herbal prescription based on your current state of health. Herbs are not intended to be supplemental! If used as a healthcare intervention, your provider should know that herbs are not as straightforward as matching symptoms to herbs when addressing health concerns. These are not pharmaceuticals and should not be prescribed with the same mindset.
EXAMPLE: the most straightforward example we use to describe this process is in terms of internal temperatures in the body. Suppose a patient comes in, and we recognize signs of “heat” in their system. In that case, one thing we need to do with the prescription is to diagnose why the heat is occurring and make selections aimed at “cooling them down.” As we create their custom formula, we would choose herbs considered “cold” in nature to reduce the heat. Once we have effectively reduced the excess heat in their system, we must remove the herbs used to cool them down. If these adjustments are not made, we risk cooling them too much and creating different issues.
Patients and Colleagues: Are Raw herbs the only option? What if I don’t like the process of cooking them? What if I am traveling?
Jing Shen Answer: Absolutely! If raw does not work for you, we can adapt and find what will fit for you! While there is something to be said about recognizing the responsibility and effort a patient needs to put into their own healing process, that’s writing for another day. There is also something to be said about the idea that “the best herbs you can give a patient are the ones they will actually take!”