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© JCE 2010

Traditional Chinese herbal medicine is at least 2000 years old. Over time, Chinese physicians have systematically observed and classified more than 5000 plant, animal and mineral substances according the medicinal effect. Herbal formulas are traditional combinations of herbs designed to treat specific conditions and are often used as an important adjunct to acupuncture treatment. Acupuncturists often modify these formulas to meet the specific needs of each client. They are usually dispensed in pills, capsules, tinctures, or in raw form, which requires boiling as a tea. Herbal formulas are gentle yet potent and, unlike pharmaceutical drugs, produce very few side effects.