Chinese herbs undoubtably have been used for thousands of years to treat diseases. The use of herb Artemisia Annua (pictured left) for alternating fever and cold syndrome in TCM was well documented. Dr Youyou Tu won Nobel Prize in medicine in 2015 for her work on extracting its active ingredient artemisinin against malaria after researched volumes of ancient Chinese herb books.
Penn Integrative Pediatrics is committed to provide integrative approach using TCM as an adjunct to conventional medical management. We believe TCM acupuncture has its role in management of many medical conditions. Although it’s difficult to study in modern scientific method, herbal medicine is often effective in treating certain conditions.
To facilitate communication with our patients, at Penn Integrative Pediatrics, we categorize Chinese herbal medicines into 3 main categories.
First tier is considered in the food category. Herbs such as licorice, dates, pears, lotus seeds, turmeric and gingers are in this category.
Second tier is for herbs with known medicinal effects but the side effects are considered low if used according to the guidelines. Mulberry twigs, honeysuckles, gardenia buds and peony barks are in this category.
Third tier is for herbs with known medicinal effects and known toxicity. Herbs in this category should be used carefully, for short period of time and routine labs may need to be done to monitor potential toxicities. Prepared aconite, he-shou-wu (polygonum) and lei-gong-teng (Tripterygium) are herbs in this category.
We choose our herbal formula carefully, paying attention to each ingredient and we normally use tier 1 and 2 herbs only. Based on the pharmacological and/or side-effect profile of the herb, we may recommend follow-up blood test accordingly.
Please check back with us for the herbal-medicine interaction update information