Chinese Medical Herbology Page


Michael Gandy, L.Ac., mixing Chinese powdered concentrate herb extracts together to make a formula to treat a medical condition. The herbs shown are from KPC, a premier supplier to professionals of carefully selected and processed herbs.

The East West Healing Arts Center, located in Oakland, California, and in Talent, Oregon (between Medford and Ashland) is the originator of MindMapping® and BioImaging®. Michael Gandy, L.Ac. designed and wrote Chinese Herbal Medicine: The Formulary for WIndows, an herbal computer program for professionals and researchers. He has synthesized a method combining traditional approaches with new innovators to extend the effectiveness of Chinese herbalogy. We provide excellent natural medical care and nutrition counseling & coaching. Contact us by phone to find out more at 541-535-4325 or email us.

Herbology Page Table of Contents

1) Chinese Herbal Medicine Intro

2) Developed Our Own Herbal Software

3) Time Tested Empirical Herbal Medicine & Academic Medicine

4) BioImaging® Energetic Testing of Herbs Integrated With Tradition

5) Herbology in Practice

6) Chinese Medical Diagnostic Metaphors: The Body Weather Report

7) Herbs, Drugs, Adverse Effects and Interactions

8) Forms of Herbs You Might Be Taking

Please contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.


Chinese Medical Herbology

Herbology is one of the two centers of modern Chinese Medicine. Medicinal Herbs are on a continuum with Spices and Foods, all of which are integral to health. Michael Gandy, L.Ac. has studied herbology in China and the U.S. with masterful practitioners. Acupuncture (including moxibustion) is the other and unique center of Chinese Medicine. The East West Healing Arts Center clinic, located in Oakland, CA, and in Talent, OR (between Medford and Ashland, OR) provides you with excellent Chinese herbal medicine customized for your particular needs. These herbs, along with other natural medical care and nutrition counseling & coaching, can help you heal from and prevent many diseases.

The systemic understanding of the energetic qualities of herbs and the symptoms they heal has accumulated through millennia of empirical research. Herbs, in the Chinese context, includes more than 5000 ingredients derived from plants, animals, mushrooms and minerals. Today, most herbalist use from 250-500 ingredients. At the East West Healing Arts Center we stock about 500 herbs that can be combined together in formulas of 2 to 25 herbs for an almost infinite number of formulas.

To find the herbs right for you, contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.


Developed Our Own Herbal Software

The science and art of how to combine herbs to help an you heal is quite complex. Michael designed the gold standard program, the most powerful professional level software program Chinese Herbal Medicine: The Formulary for Windows for practitioners. This program is being used internationally.

This herbal program, which Michael may use on your case, combined with thirty years of clinical experience, will provide you with herbs to help you heal. Selection of the right formula and herbal modifications is based on the long and complex herbal tradition of the Orient. Please contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.


Time Tested Empirical Herbal Medicine & Academic Medicine

Clinical pearls from experience in medical practice together with deep philosophical and mathematical insights into complex processes in the natural world were passed down through the generations. Knowledge was passed either through family lineages or were written down and circulated as part of the academic medical tradition.

The academic herbology tradition, in comparison to family lineages, was more theoretical and its practitioners were more general practitioners particularly serving the upper classes. Hsieu Yang Chai, one of my teachers in China, was a doctor from Beijing schooled in this academic tradition. He believed in his students memorizing long passages of text in Chinese in preparation of his demonstration and commentary.

In contrast, the family lineage was imminently practical, empirical, and often highly specialized for just a single medical condition such as hemorrhoids, asthma, or eczema. These family specialists were usually very secretive and competitive. Rapid results were expected by the general public they served. Secrets about unusually effective techniques for a particular problem were traditionally tightly held within the family.

Over time, single herbs were combined together to create larger synergistic formulas. Slowly the secret lineage formulas have been revealed and join the formulas from the academic masters. Chinese Medicine is the most sophisticated yet empirical and practical herbology in the world today. Please contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.


Energetic Testing of Herbs Integrated With Tradition

Our discoveries of how to find herbs right for your specific issues by adding energetic testing to traditional diagnostics allows us to blend the best of modern electroacupuncture diagnostics with traditional herbalism to create a new more powerful BioImaging® healing paradigm.

Great herbs can come from anywhere. Every culture has successfully used nature's pharmacopoeia to some extent. Historically the Chinese would periodically scoured the world to find and understand uses of herbs. For example, strong evidence now supports that the Chinese circumnavigated the globe in 1421 in through several massive convoys consisting of of thousands of ships, the Treasure Ship fleets, carrying seeds, animals and concubines. These sailors, doctors and explorers mapped the world and collected local specimens and herbs from every continent long before their European counterparts who had the benefit of the maps the Chinese made.

Herbs were historically bought and sold through trade routes that encompassed the known ancient world. Today in our practice at East West Healing Arts Center we emphasize Chinese formulas for correcting the medical condition. But we also incorporate some of the great tonic, adaptogenic and hormone enhancing herbs from all over the globe to enhance hormonal balance and longevity or address a particular symptom. We use herbs from around the world to create alignment in mind, body and spirit for abundant health, vitality, longevity, and prevention of illness. Well documented cures based on the use of herbs are legion.

Herbs are on a continuum that starts with food and then proceeds to the culinary herbs. Culinary herbs and spices then overlap somewhat with the medicinal herbs. The energetic properties of food, as well as herbs, have been refined, recorded and used for three thousand years in China. Traditionally, the Chinese doctor would recommend both foods and herbs whose energy would heal as well as those foods and herbs to avoid. Please contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.


Herbology in Practice

For example, in our practice, an octogenarian with a type of 'incurable' bronchial disease and asthma found that by using the right herbs she no longer needs medications. For the first time since childhood she is symptom free and feels years younger. Which is good because she still runs her own active business.

One overweight woman in her mid-seventies with type II diabetes complicated by neuropathy, severe back pain, and poorly healing sores has improved tremendously with herbal and nutritional changes. An unexpected benefit for her is that she is much less temperamental. She told us she now feels an inner peace: "I don't know how my husband put up with my fits all these years".

Chinese medicine relies on and extends natural metaphors from our everyday common experience. It sees the patient as a unique person with complex patterns of symptoms that are unified by an understanding of the dynamic life force that animates us. Please contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.


Chinese Medical Diagnostic Metaphors: The Body Weather Report

The natural metaphors are, in principle, simple enough. Many Chinese Medical diagnosis sound like "weather reports" from the body. For example, if you have a pathogenic 'Cold' and 'Damp' in the 'Earth' (related to digestion) domain then certain sluggish indigestion symptoms and signs may be present. You may crave warm foods, avoid cold, but have no thirst and low appetite and desire to put warming things over your abdomen especially when troubled by indigestion and bloating. Herbs that are warm and drying for the digestive system might then be prescribed. Cold herbs, even if they help indigestion, would usually be contraindicated, unless accompanied by more Warm or Hot herbs.

The beauty of a "diagnosis" in these terms is that herbs (and acupuncture treatments to a partials degree) are also categorized using the same metaphors. So with a Cold Damp Earth diagnosis the herbalist can pick herbs that Warm and Dry the Earth system. Add to that herbs that are known to work on the predominant symptoms which are not contraindicated by the diagnostic energetic pattern, and you have an internally consistent medicine. But not dogmatically so. Paradox doesn't even raise an eyebrow. Human theories are just helpful guides not ideologically fixed prescriptions.

Chinese Medicine sees disease as a chaotic energy toxic to your true best self. This toxic energy may manifest as a virus, an organ dysfunction, a toxic thought pattern or a held emotion. This chaotic energy is in a struggle with your true dynamic energy of order and renewal. The healing art requires facilitation of your own dynamic energy to remove the pathogenic influences and restore balance. To find out your personal "weather" please contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.


Herbs, Drugs, Adverse Effects and Interactions

More people in the world use various traditional herbal medicines than use biomedicine (termed Industrial Medicine in this Web site). The list of conditions that have been effectively treated with herbs is as broad as drugs and surgery. A great deal of clinical research in the Orient supports this claim. Valid criticism of some of the research, as with some drug research (witness the COX II debacle and the practice of not publishing negative drug trial results) can be made. Although drugs do have their useful place in medicine, when correctly prescribed the relative safety of herbology makes it a first line medicine.

Herbs can also be used in conjunction with Industrial medicine interventions when those are the best option. For example, as a general rule, Chinese herbs in cancer can double the amount of chemotherapy and halve the adverse side-effects.

Some doctors may have reservations about herbs because of concerns over herb-drug interactions. On the one hand this is a valid concern and fortunately the understanding of which drugs and herbs should not be mixed is growing. On the other hand, the actual real-live herb-drug problem is, overall, a tiny miniscule fraction of the damage caused by pharmaceutical polypharmacy and drug-drug interactions. Reported incidents range from 0 to several per year. When you remove the self-prescribed or weight loss clinic linked events you are left with a tiny number of problems. Problems with properly prescribed herbs by a licensed herbalist is miniscule. The weight loss industry has been the biggest problem as the doctors, not trained herbalists, throw together drug and herb cocktails based on the fad of the month--not common sense. Some patent herb manufacturers also mix herbs and drugs without labeling to protect their proprietary mix. This is intolerable and most professionals have either stopped using patent formulas or have restricted themselves to manufacturers known to not do this.

Drug-drug interactions of doctor prescribed drugs is between the 1st to 7th most common cause of death, depending on which expert you ask. Whereas herb reactions or herbs-drug interactions number from several to dozens per year, at most, worldwide, primarily related to crazy weight loss clinics, properly prescribed drugs kill hundreds of thousands of people per year in the U.S. alone. So, yes talk to your herbalist if your doctor has a concern, but realize that Industrial medical iatrogenic damage and death is in a completely different larger class of concern.

To work with a professional and avoid these concerns please contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us.


Forms of Herbs You Might Be Taking

For chronic problems or long-term therapy we typically prescribe dried concentrates, farm raised or carefully identified by botanist, made from water and/or alcohol extractions of the whole herb. These powders are powerful and avoid the rather smelly and time consuming boiling of fresh herbs. We are beginning to bring in locally wildcrafted tinctures that can be added to the powdered herbs.

Fresh herbs are great in acute conditions, if you have the time and commitment. Powders can be mixed with water or juice. The taste ranges from spicy and pleasant to rather bitter. These may want to take herbs quickly and follow up with a couple of fennel seeds to remove aftertaste. Some formulas are available in a tablet form. In the case of the worst tasting formulas it may be worth the extra cost to you to put them into capsules.

Generally, you take about a 2-4 teaspoons of herb powder twice per day. The time required for taking herbal remedies is less than five minutes per day. They play an important role in helping you Live Longer and Live Stronger.

If this subject is of interest to you and you wish to learn more, contact us by phone at 541-535-4325 or email us and we will help you find herbs right for you right now.