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Chinese Herbal Medicine Melbourne

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 Melbourne.

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 Melbourne has a strong history. In 2004 there were 1500 Primary TCM Practitioners. It was estimated that there were 2.8 million consultations per year generating a turnover of AUD$84 million (Tiqua, 2004).

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 whether your Chinese Herbalist uses high quality herbs or not.

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 Melbourne; you have come to the right place.

What Are Chinese Herbs Prescribed For?

Chinese Herbs can be used for acute conditions such as cold and flu, pain, stomach upset and beyond. A course of Chinese Herbal Medicine treatment can support more chronic and deep-set issues. This may be signs and symptoms relating to women’s health, menstrual issues and other long-term health problems. Furthermore, you can take Chinese Herbal Medicine Melbourne for a variety of reasons.

Conditions Chinese Herbal Medicine May Support:

  • 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
  • Improving Periods
  • Constipation, Diarrhoea, Food Poisoning, Nausea & Vomiting
  • Acne, Eczema, Skin Issues, & Rashes
  • Energy, Hair Loss, Tooth & Gum Issues, Phlegm & Asthma
  • Menopause, Women’s Health Issues, Night Sweats & Dryness

Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland can alleviate Headache

What Happens If I Choose My Own Herbal Formula

Self-prescribing your Chinese Herbs? Bad IDEA! 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 Melbourne? 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 suitable 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 Yes China Herb in Sydney. Yes China herb 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 Melbourne, look for the Koda brand. Did you know that they are medical grade and a prescribed in Taiwanese hospitals?

Studying Chinese Herbal Medicine

SSNT offer a Bachelor of Health Science (Chinese Medicine) in Melbourne. Ilana studied a postgraduate Masters Degree of Applied Science in Chinese Herbal Medicine in Bundoora, Melbourne. 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. This is why you must see someone you can trust.

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. Ilana stocks a variety of herbs in different pao zhi forms for her patients.

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 have been used for thousands of year in China for infertility. Fertility can be challenging to support. We need to support 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 supporting women with Fertility.

Chinese Herbal Medicine Auckland Fertility and Pregnancy

How Do Chinese Herbs Improve Fertility?

Chinese Herbal Medicine may improve the function of the ovaries and uterus. Chinese Herbs also balance FSH, progesterone, LH and oestrogen to improve fertility (Lee, 2016). Having balanced hormones optimises the chance of conceiving (McGrice & Porter, 2017). Chinese Herbs cannot improve egg quality. They can support how the dominant follicle grows and egg matures (Ding & Lian, 2015). This indirectly helps the quality of the egg. Chinese Herbs move blood stagnation in the uterus and thicken the endometrial lining (Ding & Lian, 2015). Acupuncture may improve blood flow and circulation to the uterus and ovaries. Preliminary studies in research have found this and are yet to understand the functional mechanisms (Cochrane et al., 2014). If you need Chinese Herbal Medicine Melbourne for fertility, Dr. Ilana Sowter is qualified and highly experienced.

Are Chinese Herbs Safe In Pregnancy

Dr. Ilana uses the best quality herbs available which are tested for toxins and heavy metals. They are medical-grade quality. 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 personally sees her patients who continue them in pregnancy have very healthy babies. Not to mention, this is important for older couples, women undergoing  IVF and people with weak constitutions. Without reservation, you have come to the right place for Chinese Herbal Medicine Melbourne. To clarify, there are more Chinese Medicine FAQs here.

Ilana’s Top 5 Chinese Women’s Herbs

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

Gui Zhi (Cinnamon Twig)

Excellent for women 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 stasis. Women’s fertility issues are often associated with the blood stasis in Chinese Medicine.
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, is traditionally indicated to be taken with green tea for headache.
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 Melbourne

Dr. Ilana Sowter (Chinese Medicine) has completed a Masters of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RMIT).
Over 12 years of experience & numerous qualifications.
Extensive clinical experience in Chinese Herbs for Women. 
She practices in Fairfield, Melbourne.
Online consultations are available for overseas clients.


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. 

(2014) Acupuncture and women’s health: an overview of the role of acupuncture and its clinical management in women’s reproductive health. Int J Womens Health. 6: 313-325. Published online Mar 17. doi: 10.2147/IJWH.S38969

Ding, Z. & Lian, F (2014). Traditional Chinese medical herbs staged therapy in infertile women with endometriosis: a clinical study. . 2015; 8(8): 14085–14089.

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