I graduated from Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. I came to America in the 1980s, soon obtained my California acupuncture license, and opened my own clinic in San Francisco to practice traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). I also teach in the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences (ACCHS) since 1988 and currently supervise candidates in its master and doctor programs in TCM.
After years of study and clinical practice, I come to further appreciate the ancient Chinese maxim of “a good doctor is someone who is good at both acupuncture and medicine”. At present, TCM doctors are officially recognized as acupuncturists in America, but anyone who has knowledge about TCM can tell that a TCM doctor can hardly accomplish the goal of “curing sickness and saving life” without using Chinese medicine. Thus, an authentic TCM doctor shall not only be skilled in applying acupuncture, but also be good at applying Chinese medicines.
Being good at applying Chinese medicines means, first, to diagnose dialectically and make the right prescription, and second, to choose the Chinese medicines that have supreme quality and efficacy, neither of them are dispensable.
I was born in a family of TCM doctors and have been imperceptibly influenced by what I saw and heard since my childhood, so I understand how important it is to make the right prescription and use good quality Chinese herbs in practicing TCM. “Good medicine is bitter to the mouth but good for health “, as an old Chinese saying goes.
Traditionally Chinese medicines are mostly made in the form of decoction. Today, people hardly drink decoction that takes time and effort to prepare, they rather prefer to take the convenient patent Chinese medicines.
After a TCM doctor gives the right prescription, the key for a successful treatment then lies on whether the right Chinese medicine brand is chosen that has consistent and supreme quality and remarkable efficacy. After a careful review, I decided to use Guang Ci Tang brand patent Chinese medicines for several reasons.
- They are produced by one of the leading TCM manufacturers in China with a solid reputation;
- They are supreme in raw materials, perfect in workmanship and reliable in quality;
- They are made of pure natural herbal ingredients. They do not contain Western medicines and other impurities. They have passed all kinds of tests, and thus are safe and reliable;
- They are highly concentrated, have shown satisfactory results;
- Their innovative tablets are more easily absorbed and can achieve even better results;
- They have a great variety and reasonable prices.
Over the years of my career in teaching and practicing Chinese medicine, Guang Ci Tang patent Chinese medicines are proven indeed excellent and have become an important companion to me. In my practice, they serve an extraordinary role that demonstrates “good Chinese medicines are good to health”.
To fully illustrate the importance of skillful application of Chinese medicine, here I would like to briefly share some of my personal experiences.
Respiratory diseases. Patients who have a cold, the most common respiratory disease, normally do not see doctors at the beginning. They often come to seek a treatment one week later when, according to theories of TCM, the cold of most patients has already entered into their inner body, turned into heat, which then causes mild pneumonia or bronchitis. For patients having yellowish purulent sputum, I will give them Qing Qi Hua Tan Pian at high doses to clear the lung heat, resist bacteria, and stabilize the condition.
If the patient has symptoms such as chronic cough, dry cough with little phlegm, uncomfortable throat, or chronic bronchitis, it indicates that the patient has a lung Qi and Yin deficiency, which can be treated with Bai He Gu Jin Pian. For example, for a patient who had been suffering from dry cough with little phlegm for three months, I prescribed him Bai He Gu Jin Wan. Three months later, his symptom was noticeably relieved.
Liver diseases. The normal solution to treat liver diseases in Western medicine uses antiviral drugs and does not employ any other special treatment. But theories of TCM believe that it is very important to clear up the damp heat, since virus will be very hard eliminated in the existence of damp heat. Therefore, when treating patients with liver diseases, even if the lab test indicates for a normal liver function, as long as there is damp heat in the liver and gall, I will give patients Long Dan Xie Gan Wan (Pian) to help clear the virus quickly and thoroughly.
For chronic patients, right prescription should be based on the different symptoms of Qi deficiency or Yin deficiency. For those with Qi deficiency, Gan Bing Zhi Ben Wan can adjust the gastrointestinal system and stabilize the condition; for those with Yin deficiency, Tian Wang Bu Xin Wan (Pian) can reduce the impacts on the nervous system posed by liver diseases, of which the most common symptoms include irritability, insomnia, etc. Tian Wang Bu Xin Wan is not only good at treating liver Yin deficiency, but also excellent in treating insomnia caused by heart Yin deficiency. As a result, Guang Ci Tang’s Tian Wang Bu Xin Pian is so far the most commonly used Chinese medicine in my clinic.
I have to emphasize that, when treating such kind of diseases, a dialectical diagnosis and a right prescription are extremely important. Once I had a patient who was over 70. At that time, he was writing a book day and night, which then hurt his liver and caused insomnia. Being very painful, he bought several kinds of Chinese medicines to treat his insomnia, but none of them worked. From my diagnosis, he had yellow and greasy tongue coating and bad breath and was irritable, so I prescribed him Guang Ci Tang’s Long Dan Xie Gan Pian to eliminate the damp heat. His insomnia was gone soon after.
A year later, I received a call from the same patient, who said that he got insomnia again, but this time Long Dan Xie Gan Pian didn’t work for him. My diagnosis indicated the insomnia was caused by Yin deficiency this time, so I instead prescribed him Tian Wang Bu Xin Pian. He was recovered very shortly. This case is just a demonstration of the dialectical theory in TCM – “treating the same disease with different methods or treating different diseases with the same therapy”.
Cancers. Chinese medicine shows good results in helping Western medicine treat cancer patients. After a chemotherapy or radiation therapy, many cancer patients display symptoms of Yin deficiency. That is because the side effects of Western medicines have greatly consumed the Yin energy of the body. The most common types of Yin in clinical practice are “heart Yin” and “kidney Yin”. We can use Tian Wang Bu Xin Wan to nourish heart Yin and Zhi Bai Di Huang Pian to tonify kidney Yin, both of which give rather satisfactory results. Some patients have been taking Tian Wang Bu Xin Wan (Pian) for several years, and their immune function and other functions are all rather ideal. As long as an impairment of Yin is indicated by red tongue, the Chinese medicine may be used continuously. It is safe and reliable, and has a positive effect on the recovery of patients. You can reach me at 415-253-3418.
(Translated from the original in Chinese)