What is an herbal pharmacy?
An herbal pharmacy is a place where traditional medicine practitioners create herbal formulas based on traditional recipes that date back thousands of years. Often stocked with raw fresh or dried herbs, spices, seeds and roots.
Herbal medicine is rooted in ancient Chinese medicines used and practiced before other alternative medicines like acupuncture or cupping. Before the invention of pharmaceuticals, herbal formulas and remedies were used to treat ailments of their time.
While in modern times pharmaceuticals have surpassed the use of herbal remedies, they are steadily on the rise now that people are recognizing and searching for alternative and natural forms of healing.
There is a large range of traditional and modern formulas as well as combinations of herbs that may be used to establish a baseline and produce individualised formulas. These can be adjusted according to changes in your body. The formula can be changed or modified to parallel these changes.
There are many ways in which herbal remedies can be applied. The most common of which is a liquid form, consumed in the form of an herbal tea or tincture. Another form is topical applications in the form of essential oils.
At SOHMA we have our own herbal pharmacy. This allows our patients to make the best choice for them while they are searching for alternative methods to improve their physical condition.
Herbal Teas and Tinctures
Possibly the most common way to consume herbal remedies is by drinking it in the form of a tea. Some teas can be used to help unwind, boost the immune system and even reduce pain and soreness. Many of the same herbs used in teas are used in their oil forms, for the same benefits as well.
To help unwind after a hard day of school or work, have some chamomile or peppermint tea, chamomile is a favorite to help calm and soothe the mind, helping you relax and even aid in falling asleep. Peppermint contains menthol which is a natural occurring muscle relaxant.
To Boost your immune system consider dandelion, ginseng or cayenne tea. Dandelions are most commonly associated as a garden weed, it is not only edible but used in herbal teas as it contains high levels of antioxidants that help eliminate toxins and assist the immune system against infections.
Ginseng tea is used in Asia to increase overall health producing more white blood cells and even shortening the common cold.
Commonly used to spice up food dishes in the kitchen, cayenne tea is surprisingly a good choice for sore throats. The capsaicin in the pepper helps thin out the mucus irritating your throat.
Turmeric tea can be used to help reduce swelling as it is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can soothe some pain from arthritis, migraines as well as muscle pain from a workout.
Some people may not be familiar with what tinctures are. But tinctures have been around for thousands of years as well. Usually a tincture is a concentrated extract from herbs, spices, seeds or barks. Unlike teas, tinctures use alcohol or vinegar instead of water. The alcohol or vinegar pulls the active ingredient from the plant parts making it much stronger than tea. Inexpensive and easy to make, tinctures can be prepared at home.
Aromatherapy works through skin absorption, and the sense of smell using:
- Bath salts
- Lotions for Massages
These can be used alone or in any combination and can help reduce pains, improve sleep quality, reduce stress, soothe joints and boost immunity among other benefits. Fortunately there are many different oils in the market.
Essential Oil Massages and Baths
Combining essential oils during a massage is also very common. Your body can absorb the oils through the skin to gain their relaxing and healing properties. Many of the essential oils derived from herbal teas can also be used here as well with the same benefits. You can do the massages yourself just pick your favorite oil and warm it in your hands before you begin massaging the affected area.
Consider using essential oils in the bath. Not only will the warm water relax your body, the smell of the oils can aid with relaxing the mind. The body can also absorb the oils infused in the water to help ease tension or soreness depending on the oil used.
Take the Next Step In Improving Your Health by Contacting SOHMA Integrative Medicine
Our goal is to help you improve your health. You can reach out to us and ask us if we are right for you. Located in Long Beach and Lakewood, CA we help individuals from the surrounding cities.
We look forward to helping you take the next step in your journey to better health.