Needham Newton Wellesley Clinic
1410 Highland Ave, Needham, MA 02492
Tel: (781) 492-2899     (Next to Townhall)
Boston Cambridge Brookline Clinic
7 Whittier Place, Boston, MA 02114 (Next to MGH)
Tel: (617) 642-4088      email:

  Convenience Parking/Next to T     Medical Building     Evening & Weekend Available

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Boston Chinese Acupuncture Center

Needham Office

1410 Highland Ave. Suite 102

Needham, MA 02492

Tel: 781 492 2899

Fax: 781 444 9889



Boston Office

7 Whittier Place

Boston, MA 02114

Tel: 617 642 4088

Fax: 617 227 9889


A Comprehensive Chinese Medicine Provider           

Chinese Herbal Medicine
  1. Chinese herbal medicine has been used in China for over 5000 years. It is widely used in China for almost all kinds of health conditions nowadays. Herbal medicines are an essential part of TCM and are prescribed according to an individual diagnosis. The classic way of ingesting Chinese herbs is to make a decoction from raw dried materials. This means that the herbs are cooked at a low boil for a long time and then drunk as a tea. This is a very time-consuming method and people often object to the strong taste. Zhang's clinic only use scientific herbal powder prepared by Chinese pharmaceutical company approved by FDA. They are high concentrated and easy to use. What you need to do is just put the powder in a cup and mixed them with hot water, and drink like coffee or tea. Each individual herb has its single bottle, Zhang prepare herbal mix each time specially for each individual visit to meet the special need of each individual condition. Zhang's clinic has over 300 different herbs to meet most health conditions-each prescription will be matched exactly to your condition and needs!

    An increasing number of Americans are using herbal medicines as one of their healthcare choices. Herbal medicine is humankind first medicine, there are 750,000 flower/seed plants worldwide. WHO estimate 20,000 medicinal plants, 80% of world population depend on plant medications, 25% pharmaceuticals derived from plants.

    Herbal medicine, is the use of herbs for their therapeutic or medicinal value. Herbs had been used by all cultures throughout history. An herb is a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, aromatic or savory qualities. Herb plants produce and contain a variety of chemical substances that act upon the body.

    Many drugs commonly used today are of herbal origin. Indeed, about 25 percent of the prescription drugs dispensed in the United States contain at least one active ingredient derived from plant material.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4 billion people, 80 percent of the world population, presently use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care. WHO notes that of 119 plant-derived pharmaceutical medicines, about 74 percent are used in modern medicine in ways that correlated directly with their traditional uses as plant medicines by native cultures. Major pharmaceutical companies are currently conducting extensive research on plant materials gathered from the rain forests and other places for their potential medicinal value.

    Chinese medicine sees a disease condition as the result (or manifestation) of "imbalances" within the body, or between the body and various environmental factors. The aim of Chinese medicine is not to prescribe an herbal agent to treat a particular manifestation, but to help the patient's stressed organ systems operate in a more natural, balanced state.

    In Chinese herbal medicine not everyone with the same disease is given the same herbs. This is because each individual's unique constitution and relationship to the environment is evaluated before an herbal prescription is devised. If you suffer from chronic cough, for example, your ailment would be evaluated in the context of your individual pattern of lung qi (the life force the courses through the body along pathways called meridians). The relationship of your lungs to pathologic influences (such as viruses and air pollution) would also be taken into account, as well as the way your lungs are nourished by the body's blood, fluids, and energy metabolism.

    A TCM practitioner seldom prescribes single herbs, but instead offers individualized combinations based on time-tested formulas. If you consult with a specially trained herbalist, you will likely receive an individual formula that may be changed or modified as you recover.

Herbal Medicine FAQs

What are Chinese herbs?
Chinese people have been using natural herbs to treat a wide variety of diseases and conditions. These herbs are called Chinese herbal medicine, which are composed of roots, bark, flowers, seeds, fruits, leaves, and branches of plants. Chinese herb medicine is one of most important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine which also includes acupuncture, acupressure, cupping, qigong and Taichi. There are over 6000 different herbs that can be used for medical purposes, around 200 to 300 of them are commonly used.

The term "herbal" medicine is actually not quite correct. Although about 90 % of the medicinal substances used are of plant origin, another 10 % are derived from minerals. Chinese "Materia Medica" lists a total of 5,767 substances.

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Where do Chinese herbs come from and how are they grown?
Chinese herbs coming to the US are grown primarily in China or other Asian countries. The Chinese have developed refined methods of cultivation for large yields of high quality herbs. Some raw materials are grown outside of China, imported for processing and may be exported again.

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How are Chinese herbs being taken?
The classic way of ingesting Chinese herbs is to make a decoction from raw dried materials. This means that the herbs are cooked at a low boil for a long time and then drunk as a tea. It is very inconvenient and most Americans object it. Since 1990's, Chinese scientists have developed a very nice form of herbal medicine called scientific herbal. The active ingredients of herbal are insolated and concentrated as powder. Each single herb is insolated individually and packed in single bottle. They are prepared by Chinese pharmaceutical companies and have better effects than the raw herb. All you need to do is just put the powder in a cup, mix with hot water and drink like a tea.

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Are Chinese herbs taste bitter?
The active ingredients of Chinese herbs are frequently roots and barks. They need to be cooked for a long time to extract the active ingredients which make them bitter. How ever, since the use of scientific herbal powder, the herbal tastes less bitter and easier to take.

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How are the right herbs selected?
Chinese herbal medicine is prescripted according to TCM diagnosis. The practitioner will take a thorough health history, ask questions regarding all body functions, feel the wrist pulse, look at the tongue and palpate certain body areas to make a clear diagnosis. The herbal powder will be selected according to the diagnosis and Chinese medicine theory.

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Are Chinese herbs toxic and do they have side effects?
Most of the components of Chinese herbal medicine have a very low toxicity compared to OTC Western drugs. When they are prescribed according to a correct TCM pattern diagnosis, they should have few, if any, side effects, only beneficial healing results.

Toxic parts of plants are removed or processed to eliminate toxicity. Herbs with potential side effects are combined appropriately and given in small doses only. The most common side effect may be some bloating because of the cloying nature of tonic herbs. This can easily be corrected by adding digestive herbs into the prescription.

If you experience any discomfort while taking Chinese herbal medicine, tell your practitioner ASAP.

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