The NJ Natural Family Health Guide to Herbal Medicine
When discussing ways to address health issues and maintain health, herbal medicine is often a component of a fully integrated health plan. At NJ Natural Family Health, we have an in-office herbal apothecary that contains numerous formulas to address a variety of health concerns.
What is herbal medicine?
Herbal medicine is derived from plants. It is made by combining different parts of plants, such as leaves, flowers or roots. Each part has different medicinal purposes, with many types of chemical components that can be extracted in a variety of ways. A typical herbal formula will have a variety of different herbs that work together to assist the body in treating a multitude of conditions. Depending on the herb, the plant matter can be fresh or dried.
Where does it come from?
The herbal medicines we use are sourced from reputable manufacturers, with consistent quality standards. Quality is of the utmost importance. Products should be traceable right back to the original batch of herbs and come with a certificate of authenticity. It is crucial that they are sustainable.
How is it prepared?
Herbal medicine is practically a culinary art in the variety of ways it can be prepared:
Water-based preparations are methods involving boiling water. Infusions are dried or fresh herbs steeped in water. Decoctions involve harder plant material, which must be left boiling longer.
Compressions are simply soft cloths wrung out of either of these and applied to an affected area. Some herbs are incorporated into a thick, sweet liquid, like syrup. Moistened herbs kept in place by a cloth for localized healing are called poultices. There are also lotions, which are infusions or decoctions delivered in a smooth liquid form.
Alcohol-based preparations are known as Tinctures. Non-alcoholic alternatives include glycerites or vinegars.
Oil-based preparations are infused oils and ointments that are applied externally.
Other preparations include powders, which come in loose form or in capsules, and can be taken internally or applied externally. Skin conditions are usually treated with creams. There are steam inhalations, baths and skin washes, gargles and mouthwashes, pessaries and suppositories, etc.
Before deciding on the particular formula and method of preparation, we will formulate a treatment plan that will often include not only the use of herbal formulas, but other modalities of integrative medicine that work in conjunction with the herbal formula. Because integrative modalities work together, this approach will allow the body to heal faster.
New Jersey Natural Family Health offers unique natural healthcare strategies that will address both recent health issues and chronic disease. Dr. Shannon DiCarlo RN LAc DAOM utilizes her nursing background with her extensive experience in Chinese Medicine to develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient. Through acupuncture, Chinese Medicine therapies, and an on-site herbal dispensary, Dr.DiCarlo can restore true health to the body, mind, and spirit. Please call (973) 650-8053 or visit in-person at 366 Passaic Ave, Nutley or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.