Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland

Dr Ilana Sowter is a qualified Chinese Herbalist and holds a Masters in Chinese Herbal Medicine.

What Is Chinese Medicine?

Chinese Medicine is a holistic health system. First of all, it originates from China along with its cultural heritage. It consists of Acupuncture, Tai Chi, Cupping, Tui Na Massage, Moxibustion, Herbal Medicine and more. Similarly, Chinese Medicine uses these methods to remove blockages from the body. Given blockages cause disease; removing them allows Qi to free flow through the body. Hence, when Qi flows well through the body, the body is healthy and vital. Notably, this article discusses Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland.

Chinese Herbal Medicine is a key modality of Chinese Medicine.

What Is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Chinese Herbal Medicine originates from the Chinese Materia Medica. It is a type of phytotherapy: plant therapy. Shen Nong is the Father of Chinese Medicine. Apparently, he tasted hundreds of herbs to examine their medicinal value. Shen Nong wrote Shen Nong Ben Can Jing or the Divine Husbandman’s Materia Medica. This is the earliest Chinese pharmacopoeia in history. He is also thought to have invented Acupuncture.
A Materia Medica is a book of Chinese pharmacopoeia. Thus, it lists thousands of medicinal substances. Most are plant derived, some are mineral or animal products. It uses the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, branches and seeds of the plant.  It describes hundreds of the most important medicinal substances.
Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland has a strong history. It was first brought in by Chinese Immigrants. From the 1970s, Aucklanders began seeking it out as a therapy. Many Kiwis choose Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland as their choice form of healthcare.

Benefits Of A Chinese Herbalist

Your Chinese Herbalist will tailor a formula to your precise needs. Through consultation and diagnosis, a selection of Herbs make your formula. It is a completely holistic system that addresses your constitution, pattern and symptoms. Usually, no two Herbal formulae prescribed are the same.
Above all, you can take your Chinese Herbs as granule, powder, tea, liquid extract or decoction.

Safety And Quality Of Chinese Herbs

The safety and quality of Chinese Herbs is often a concern for people who have never taken herbs before. Without reservation,  there have been reports of Chinese Herbal products containing chemicals, heavy metals or toxins. In fact, some claim they do not even contain the listed ingredients. Therefore, you need to know if your Chinese Herbalist uses high quality herbs.

Never buy herbs for yourself if you don’t understand how they work. One Chinese Herbal Medicine product for Cold & Flu will not treat all types of Cold & Flu. Hence Chinese Herbal Medicine is very specific. If you take the right formula it will work wonders. If you take the wrong formula it might help (consider the placebo effect), do nothing or do you harm. Thus, for good quality herbs in Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland; you have come to the right place.

What Are Chinese Herbs Prescribed For?

Chinese Herbs are used for acute conditions such as cold and flu, pain, stomach upset and beyond. A course of Chinese Herbal Medicine treatment can treat more chronic and deep-set issues. This may be fertility, gynaecological issues and other long-term health problems. Furthermore, you can take Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland for almost any condition.

Conditions For Chinese Herbal Medicine

  • Cold and Flu, Sore Throat, Cough, Fever & Chills
  • Poor Digestion, Bloating, Acid Reflux & Gas
  • Low Libido, Erectile Dysfunction & Poor Sperm Quailty
  • Period Pain, Endometriosis, PCOS & Uterine Polyps
  • Thickening the endometrial lining & Miscarriage Prevention
  • Constipation, Diarrhoea, Food Poisoning, Nausea & Vomiting
  • Acne, Eczema, Skin Issues, Rashes, Improve Beauty and Quality of Skin
  • Cancer Support & Autoimmune illness support
  • Energy, Hair Loss, Tooth & Gum Issues, Phlegm & Asthma
  • Menopause, Women’s Health Issues, Night Sweats & Dryness
  • All kinds of female and male factor fertility challenges

Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland can alleviate Headache

What Happens If I Choose My Own Herbal Formula

Self-prescribing your Chinese Herbs? Without delay, think again. For taking them isn’t as simple as you think! Imagine you come down with a cold. You have a runny nose, scratchy throat, can’t stop sneezing and feel exhausted. This pattern is wind-cold syndrome in Chinese Medicine.

You decide to try some Chinese Herbs because your friend told you how much they helped her. You go to the Health Food Shop and find a formula called, “Cold & Flu”. The Chinese Herb Formula of “Cold & Flu” is Yin Qiao San. In contrast, it alleviates wind-heat syndrome, not wind-cold! You take this formula, yet it is the wrong formula to take. Consequently, this formula worsens your condition.

In summary, this Yin Qiao San formula targets a sore, dry and inflamed throat. It clears heat and wind from the body but you have a cold and wind pattern. In truth, by taking this cooling formula you will place more cold in your body. As a result, it makes you more sick.

Need Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland? Contact Dr. Ilana Sowter for more. For more info on Chinese Medicine and health, go to her blog.


Chinese Herbal Formula Table of Yin Qiao San

INGREDIENTS OF YIN QIAO SAN                                                                                  (Honeysuckle & Forsythia Powder)

Chinese Pinyin Herb Name                  (English Name)

Herb Properties

Herb Function & Actions

Jin Yin Hua (Honeysuckle Flower)

Sweet, cold.

Clears heat and fire toxicity. Vents and disperses external wind-heat. Clears damp-heat from the lower jiao. Cools the blood (stops bleeding when charred). Caution with those who are cold.

Lian Qiao                        (Forsythia Fruit)

Bitter, slightly acrid & cold. 

Clears heat in the Upper Jiao, relieves toxicity. Reduces abscess. Clears Blood heat and promotes urination.

Jie Geng                  (Balloon Flower Root)

Bitter, acrid & neutral.

Opens and spreads the Lung Qi. Expels phlegm and benefits the throat. Directs herbs to the Upper Jiao (part) of the body.

Niu Bang Zi                    (Burdock Seed)

Acrid, bitter & cold.

Disperses wind-heat and benefits the throat. Relieves toxicity and vents rashes. Moistens the Intestines.

Bo He                              (Mint Leaf)

Acrid, aromatic & cool.

Disperses wind-heat. Cools and clears the head, eyes and throat. Vents rashes. Smooths stagnant Liver Qi.

Dan Dou Chi                    (Prepared Soybean)

Sweet, acrid & cold.

Releases the exterior. Calms the Shen, soothes irritability. Harmonises the Middle Jiao and alleviates stuffy sensation in the chest.

Dan Zhu Ye                    (Bamboo Stem & Leaf)

Sweet, bland & cold.

Clears heat and calms irritability. Promotes urination. Clears damp-heat.

Jing Jie                            (Schizonepata Bud/ Stem)

Acrid, aromatic & warm.

Release the exterior, expel wind. Vent rashes and stop itching. Stop bleeding. Relaxes muscular spasm.

Lu Gen                          (Reed Rhizome)

Sweet & cold.

Clears heat from the Lung & Stomach. Generates Fluids. Regulates Stomach Qi, quenches thirst. Stops vomiting. Promotes urination. Vents rashes. Alleviates food poisoning.

Gan Cao                          (Liquorice Root)

Sweet & neutral.

Tonifies Spleen & Qi. Moistens the Lung, resolves phlegm. Stops cough. Relaxes spasm and reduces pain. Clears heat and fire toxicity. Used as antidote in Chinese Herbal Formulae. Moderates the harsh properties of other strong herbs. Guides herbs to all the 12 meridians.

As shown above, you now can see how experienced you need to be when prescribing Chinese Herbs.

Herbs may be natural, but this doesn’t mean that all are good for you!
Only take Chinese Herbs from a qualified and experienced Chinese Herbalist. Essentially, this way you will know be taking Herbs that is safe and specific for your needs.

Chinese Herb Interactions

Some Chinese Herbs can interact with drugs and have side effects. For that reason, some Chinese Herbs are unsafe for certain medical conditions. This is why you should always consult a qualified and experienced Chinese Herbalist. There are many benefits in seeing a Chinese Herbalist.
A Chinese Herbalist will;
  • prescribe a formula to your needs.
  • ensure that the Herbs do not interact with your medications.
  • choose herbs tailored to your condition.
  • tailor herbs which help you feel better.
  • prescribe herbs that are safe during pregnancy
  • communicate the herbal prescription to your doctor
  • avoid herbs which are not suited to you.

Best Chinese Herbal Brand & Why

Dr. Ilana Sowter uses Koda Herbs from Taiwan. Koda is distributed by Materia Medica in Auckland. Materia Medica only supply Chinese Herbs to qualified and experienced Chinese Medicine Practitioners. These Herbs undergo the highest quality testing and assessment in Taiwan. Likewise, the quality is excellent and the colour and taste of each herb is authentic. Koda Herbs test rigorously for toxins, heavy metals and chemicals. It is a trusted, renowned and global brand for Chinese Herbs. Hence, you can take and enjoy the benefits of your Chinese Herbs with confidence. For best Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland, look for the Koda brand.

Studying Chinese Herbal Medicine

NZASTCM offer a Diploma of Chinese Herbal Medicine in Wellington and Auckland. NZCM also offers a complete Bachelor of Health Science (Chinese Medicine) in Auckland. Although anyone can study Chinese Herbal Medicine; the courses take three to four years to complete. It is challenging to learn this enormous subject in such a short period of time. Much of the genuine Chinese Herbal Medicine is not taught in courses. Consequently, a Chinese Herbalist must extend their learnings and research beyond. The Discussions of Cold Damage (Shang Han Lun) & Essentials from the Golden Cabinet (Jin Gui Yao Lue) are two of many. Professor Huang Huang of Nanjing University of TCM is a Classics pioneer. He wrote Ten Key Formula Families in Chinese Medicine. It has been translated and sold world-wide.

Chinese Herbal Processing: Pao Zhi

Chinese Herbal Medicine processing alters the properties of the Herbs. The aim is to change the property of the herb to suit the patient and more. Since a patient has a cold pathogen, we will want to make a herb more warming. Pao Zhi (processing) also removes toxins from crude herbs. Ban Xia (Pinellia) when prepared is Zhi Ban Xia. Thus if Ban Xia is taken unprocessed, it is especially poisonous.

Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland for Pao Zhi


Types of Pao Zhi In English (Pin Yin)

  • Raw (Sheng)
  • Cooked (Shu)
  • Soaking (Shui Zhi)
  • Washed & Pulverised (Shui Fei)
  • Dry Frying (Chao)
  • Steaming (Chu)
  • Calcining (Duan)
  • Roasting (Wei)
  • Scorching (Jiao)
  • Charring (Tan)
  • Stir-frying/roasting/baking & blast frying (Huo Zhi)
The altering methods change the effects the Herbs have on the body. Changes can be extreme, where the processed Herb behaves nothing like the original. Therefore, Pao Zhi is usually administered on raw herbs. Likewise, granulated herbs can be processed too.

What To Expect in Chinese Herbal Medicine Consultation

Expect to discuss your health history and how the main complaint began. Your Chinese Herbalist will ask you questions related to your symptoms. She will feel your pulse, look at your tongue and potentially palpate your body. More FAQs here.

What Do The Herbs Taste Like?

They usually have a strong and herbally taste! Most people can take them as you can add cold water to them and drink them quickly. However, if the taste is too bad, you can add some honey or fruit juice to make it more palatable.

What Style of Chinese Herbal Medicine Is Best?

Dr. Ilana Sowter prefers Classical Chinese Herbal Medicine. It honours and restores the great historical origins of the discipline. The Discussions of Cold Damage (Shang Han Lun) is a renowned text. Zhang Zhong Jing wrote this before 220AD. It is a Chinese medical treatise revered globally. As a matter of fact, it is one of the oldest complete clinical textbooks in the world.
Zhang Zhong Jing also wrote Essentials from the Golden Cabinet (Jin Gui Yao Lue). Undeniably, he is one of the most brilliant minds China produced. Zhang Zhong Jing combined theoretical aetiologies with detailed diagnostics and specific treatments. Subsequently, this form of Classical Chinese Herbal Medicine has survived over 2000 years.
It is an effective and functional Chinese Herbal Medicine.

Chinese Herbs For Fertility

Without a doubt, Chinese Herbs are excellent for infertility. Fertility can be challenging to treat. We need to make both the woman and man’s reproductive organs functioning at their best. Usually there is weakness and age in the body preventing conception. The combination of Chinese Herbs and Acupuncture provide two powerful treatment factors. This can increase the couples chances of conception naturally or support IVF.
Chinese Herbs have a long history in supporting fertility and preventing miscarriage. Dating back to 200AD; the Shang Han Lun mentions this. Dr. Ilana administers Chinese Herbs in a holistic and tailored formula for you. She has years of experience in Natural Fertility.

Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland Fertility and Pregnancy

How Do Chinese Herbs Improve Fertility?

Chinese Herbal Medicine can improve the function of the ovaries and uterus. Chinese Herbs also balance FSH, progesterone, LH and oestrogen to improve fertility. This optimises the chance of conceiving and carrying baby to full term live birth. Chinese Herbs cannot improve egg quality. They can improve how the dominant follicle grows and egg matures. This indirectly helps the quality of the egg. Chinese Herbs move blood stagnation in the uterus and thicken the endometrial lining. Acupuncture improves blood flow and circulation to the uterus and ovaries. Chinese Medicine can reduce period pain and regulate irregular menstrual cycles. If you need Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland for fertility, Dr. Ilana Sowter is qualified and highly experienced.

Are Chinese Herbs Safe In Pregnancy

Absolutely, it is safe to take Chinese Herbs during pregnancy. Specifically knowing that your Chinese Herbalist is experienced and knowledgeable of pregnancy is important. Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture are especially recommended for high risk pregnancies. Dr. Ilana finds her patients who continue them in pregnancy have very healthy babies. Not to mention, this is important for older couples, IVF and people with weak constitutions. Without reservation, you have come to the right place for Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland. To clarify, there are more Chinese Medicine FAQs here.

Top 5 Chinese Fertility Herbs

Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland. Undeniably, it is impossible to claim what the top Chinese Fertility Herbs are, so here are 5 of Dr. Ilana’s favourites.

Gui Zhi (Cinnamon Twig)

Excellent for fertility depending on the diagnostic pattern. When combined with the right herbs.
Overall is warm, acrid and surface-releasing.
Notably, Gui Zhi releases exterior pathogens to the surface.
Further it harmonises the Ying and Wei Qi.
In addition, it tonifies Heart Yang.
Warms and frees the Yang, channels and cold too.

Dang Gui (Angelica)

Dang Gui reigns as the queen herb in China for women.
Overall is warm, sweet and spicy.
Dang Gui tonifies the blood and regulates menstruation.
It also moves blood and expels cold.
This herb can also moisten the Intestines and move constipation.
Additionally, reduces swelling of abscesses and sores.
Moreover, it generates flesh and calms pain.

Bai Shao (White Peony Root)

An amazing herb that tonifies the blood but is not too heating.
Overall is bitter and sour.
So a great fertility herb for women with heat or Yin deficiency.
It nourishes the blood and regulates the menstrual cycle.
Calms rising Liver Yang and alleviates pain.
Preserves the Yin and softens Liver Qi.
Additionally harmonises the Ying and Wei Qi.

Chuan Xiong (Szechuan Lovage Root)

A key women’s herb for moving blood stagnation. Women’s fertility issues are often associated with the quality of blood.
Overall is spicy and warm.
Chuan Xiong activates the blood and moves Qi.
Not to mention it can reduce pain.
Dispels wind and calms pain.
Furthermore, when taken with green tea and the beginning of a headache, it can stop it.

Chai Hu (Bupleurum Root)

Used by the Chinese for thousands of years, this humble Herb is gaining a lot of attention. Great for pent up and stuck energy.
It is cool, acrid and surface-releasing.
Overall is Bitter, cool and spicy.
It harmonises the exterior and exterior.
Balances the body when the Shaoyang is in disharmony.
Smooths Liver Qi and relieves constraint.
Furthermore, helps raise the Yang Qi.
Generally a classic Herb to use for rib pain.
Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland

Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland

Dr. Ilana Sowter is a trained, registered and experienced Chinese Herbalist.
Over 9 years of experience & numerous qualifications.
Extensive experience in Chinese Herbs for Fertility. 
She practices in Mairangi Bay on North Shore Auckland.
Initial Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Consultation 60 mins NZ$100
One week of Chinese Herbs costs $35 and a Herbal Consultation is $50 for 30 minutes.
Skype consultations are available for NZ & Australian patients.

Finally, for more information fees click here.


Chan, E., Tan, M., Xin, J. et al. (2010). Interactions between traditional Chinese medicines and Western therapeutics. Current Opinion in Drug Discovery & Development. 13 (1): 50–65.

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Wu, X., Wang, S., Lu, J., Jing, Y, Li, M., Cao, J., Bian, B. & Hu, C. (2018). Seeing the unseen of Chinese herbal medicine processing (Paozhi): advances in new perspectives. Chin Med. 13 (4).
Ye, F., Wiseman, N. & Mitchell, C. (2000). Shang Hun Lun (On Cold Damage), Translation & Commentaries by Zhongjing Zhang. Paradigm Press.
Contact Dr. Ilana Sowter for Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland.