April 12, 2019
What is an Herbal Dispensary?
An herbal pharmacy is a place where practitioners have access to herbal formulas based off of traditional recipes that date back thousands of years. The typical Chinese herbal pharmacy contains fresh herbs like fresh ginger and red dates, raw herbs in dried form like mint and ginseng, as well as granules, tea pills, and salves from manufacturers of the highest standard. All the products in our pharmacy are purchased from growers and manufacturers that provide the highest quality herbs thoroughly tested for heavy metals, spores, and pesticide residues to provide patients with the finest medicine.
At AIMC, our Clinic Intern Practitioners are able to prescribe, make, and dispense raw herbs for medicinal teas, herbal powders, and tea pills to their patients. This hands-on experience in the herbal pharmacy is essential knowledge for our students to take with them into their careers.
What is the History of Herbal Dispensaries?
Herbal medicine is rooted in TCM. Practiced long before acupuncture and other medicinal practices were invented (around 1500 BCE), herbal medicine provided early peoples with the tools they needed to fight and cure disease. In a time before pharmaceuticals were invented, herbs became the difference between life and death. As the practice progressed and developed a greater variety of plants were discovered and formulas were created, many of the original herbs recorded in the first formulas are still used today.
While herbal medicine was overshadowed by pharmaceuticals for a time, they are steadily on the rise again as people are recognizing and seeking out natural healing. When the right herbal formula for a patient’s individualized condition is prescribed, an overall synergy is created within the patient. This synergy contributes greatly to the patient’s healing and overall well being.
Why Does AIMC Train Students in Herbal Medicine?
In the state of California acupuncturists are legally allowed to prescribe herbal remedies in addition to their normal practice. Many schools in other states do not teach acupuncture and Chinese herbalism in conjunction with each other. This can put both the patient and practitioner at a disadvantage when seeking well-rounded treatments.
At AIMC we know that these two practices truly to work in tandem with each other. Because we strive to help our students reach well-rounded professional and personal goals, we aim to set them up with the tools needed to do so. One of those tools is having a solid foundation in Chinese herbalism and herbal prescription. This foundation includes knowing the indications and actions of the individual herbs that make up the formulas prescribed. Knowledge in herbalism also includes knowing what formulas to prescribe for a specific diagnosis, understanding the cautions and contraindications of each formula as well as how these herbs may interact with pharmaceuticals.
AIMC includes the study of herbalism in our TCM and acupuncture program because we believe that studying each of these modalities together creates a more well-rounded practitioner. Because of this, our students are equipped to work in both an herbal pharmacy and acupuncture office upon graduation.
What Does the Curriculum Consist Of?
During the portion of herbal foundations at AIMC, professors cover single herbs, herbal formulas, toxicology of herbs, safety requirements, how to prescribe herbs, how to create and fill those prescriptions, and more. Our Masters program consists of 2,000 classroom hours with an additional 1,000 hours of clinical experience. To learn more about our programs and what you can expect as a future student, please contact us at the school. We’d love to answer your questions and help you get started!
Benefits of Our On-Site Herbal Pharmacy
Having the knowledge of herbs and the ways they work in sync with the body is extremely important for future acupuncturists to know. At AIMC we have made it easy for you to learn and gain real-life experience in our on-site herbal pharmacy. As one of our students you can prescribe and create herbal formulas for patients under the supervision of a Licensed Acupuncturist and an Herbal Pharmacist. There’s no better way to learn than by getting hands-on training and experience. Learn more about our on-site herbal dispensary here.