What if I am taking pharmaceuticals?
This is a very important question. While acupuncture usually has little chance of interfering and creating side-effects with drugs, Chinese herbs do have this potential. This potential can be used to our advantage, for example, to reduce unwanted side-effects from drugs (i.e. chemo-therapy). Secondly, with a M.D.’s approval, if one wants to stop taking a given medication, Chinese herbs can not only reduce the side-effects of going off of less potent meds, but in many cases can be used to prevent ‘rebound-flare-ups’ and withdrawal. An example of this would be steroid therapy. Potential herb-drug interactions must be respected, and it is best to leave a two-hour gap between taking herbs and pharmaceutical drugs. While many Chinese herbs are common foods (i.e. wheat berries), we treat them as medicine, and it is important to tell your practitioner about any drugs you are taking so that we can err on the side of caution.