Herbal Medicine - Please contact me for specific answers about how Chinese Herbal Medicine may help you.
Chinese Herbal Medicine, or "herbs" as I will refer to them, is an ancient art and science of how various plants, minerals, and animal material affects the human body in a state of disease.
Western Herbal Medicine is similar, but much "newer", in that sense that is doesn't date as far back in it's documented use as Chinese herbal medicine, and is fairly basic in comparison in that it treats ailments in a very linear, or allopathic oriented way. The treatment strategy is usually based on using a simple decoction of a single herb for a single problem. It may combine European and Native American herbs for treatment, many of which can be found in the TCM pharmacopia.
Don't get me wrong, I started with Western Herbal Medicine back in 2000, and I have a lot of respect for it. This is not in any way to say that it is ineffective, just more crude when compared to the more than 5,000+ years of unbroken, documented, and scientific use of TCM herbal therapy - not only in simple, single herbal uses, but much, much more typically used in a complex formulation that is specific to the patient's "pattern" / disharmony, their constitution, and spirit (shen). A skilled herbalist is able to pinpoint the root cause of multiple symptoms, and create a single individual formula for their patient that addresses their particular pattern disharmony, or disease. This is far more complex than single herb use for single problem focused ailments, and will treat the majority of signs and symptoms for which the herbs are mixed together to make a formual.
There is, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), such a thing as a "patent remedy", which is a commonly used formula that can be the basis for a personally designed formula. This is what people are buying at the store when they purchase tablets or teapills. Many of these formulas are 200, to as much as 2000 year old formulations that have stood the test of time for what they are designed to treat. There are about 400 single herbs, and 200 or so commonly used formulas we are trained in recognizing through the training I received. To make an individual formula, I would need either herbal powders, or raw herbal ingredients to make them. I currently do not use either since they are both more expensive than tablets and teapills, and require upkeep and space to store them. A beginning herbal pharmacy may cost upwards of $5,000-$10,000. That will happen in the future. For now, if your needs seem to exceed the scope of my practice, and someone is interested in an individually tailored formula using powders or raw herbs, I can refer you to either my school (NWHSU), or several colleagues that have made an investment in an herbal pharmacy.
The benefit of using powders and raw herbs is that they are far more potent, and can be mixed to fit the specific patient, rather than using an herbal formula that is pre-mixed at a laboratory for a similar condition, although patent formulas generally work amazingly well for most people when their condition is properly diagnosed, the correct formula is given, and the patient complies with the prescription.