Frequently Asked Questions for Herbs and Diet


What forms of herbs are used at Striving for Health?

Traditionally, herbs are cooked into concentrated teas, known as decoctions.  Medicinal herbs do not always make the best tasting teas but are a wonderful way to get the therapeutic benefits of the herbs quickly into the system.  We offer many medicinal tea options that can be prepared at home.  

Herbs can also be made into powders and then placed or formed into pills to be taken with water.   Today, there is a wide variety of herbal tablets, tea pills and capsules to choose from for a multitude of symptoms.   At Striving for Health, we use many different pills for our patients, depending on the best fit.  Tea pills are extremely easy to take and are more convenient for today’s busy lifestyle.  We have a large selection in the clinic. 

What are tea pills?

They are pills that have already been formulated with different herbal formulas and made into very small pills. They are usually the size of small peas and are very easy for everyone to swallow.  The tea pills are usually based on the classical traditional Chinese Medicine formulas but single herbs and more modern combinations are also available.

Where do you get the Tea Pills?

Most of the tea pills we use are Plum Flower Brand from Mayway.   Mayway has an excellent reputation for a wide range of classical formulas available at very reasonable prices.   Mayway has been an industry leader by bringing the first Chinese herbal products from GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certified factories to the Western markets; developing methods of processing herbs without the use of sulfur or other preservatives; and voluntarily testing every batch of finished product for heavy metals and other contaminants.  They have rigorous control standards for all of their products. For more information about Mayway, please visit their website at 


How do you prepare an herbal decoction?

Herbal teas are steeped in hot water for about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of herb being used. Roots have to steep longer. One tablespoon of the herbal formula is used per 8 ounces of water.  The frequency that the tea would need to be consumed would depend on the formula and the symptoms being treated.  We make the teas ourselves and ONLY use Certified Organic herbs in all of our formulas. 


When do I need to take Herbal therapy?

Herbal therapy can be used at any time.  For an acute condition with symptoms such as a cold or infection, for a chronic condition where the symptoms have been there for a while or taken as a daily tonic to help support a variety of systems in the body to prevent common issues.  


How soon will I see results?

Typically, herbs and dietary changes take a few weeks before changes are seen or felt with more chronic conditions. However, each case is different and result time can vary.  For acute symptoms, relief is usually within 1 to 3 days. 


Do you take health insurance for the consultations?

No.  We do not take health insurance.  But, most Health Saving and/or Flex Spending accounts will cover the appointment. 


How much are the herbs?

The herb prices will vary depending on the formula selected.  However, they typically run between $15 and $25 for 200 pills.  A few formulas will run less and a few will run more. 


Do you use any other supplements other than herbs?

We do use some products from Integrative Therapeutics, which is another company that offers really clean products. We use them for some of our anti-inflammatory, detoxification and adrenal support supplements. 



Dietary therapy is the foundation for health.  If acupuncture and herbal treatments are being given for excess phlegm, as an example, but the client is eating high levels of phlegm producing foods or foods that are difficult to digest for the spleen, then the acupuncture and herbal therapies will not be successful as the diet is working against the other therapies. 



Energetic classifications are assigned to foods primarily in four areas: thermal nature, flavor, organ network, and direction of movement.  These are the same paradigms that are rooted in the foundations of TCM.

Four basic criteria:

Thermal nature: hot, warm, neutral, cool, and cold
Flavor: Sweet, acrid, sour, bitter, and salty
Organ networks: Spleen, stomach, lung, large intestines, kidney, bladder, liver, gallbladder, heart, and small intestines
Direction of movement: up bearing, floating, down bearing and falling



The goal is to have people be compliant with any diet changes so improvements can be seen.  However, the changes are always as small as possible to ensure that they will be followed while still supporting the condition that is being treated.  However, some people may need more changes than others depending on the symptoms being treated and their current diet.   There are many ways to make simple changes that can easily be incorporated into any lifestyle.  It doesn’t matter if the best diet in the world is recommended; if it doesn’t fit into a client’s lifestyle they simply won’t follow it.   We start by adding in a few additional foods and reducing a few others and go from there.  As improvements are seen, clients are motivated to initiate more dietary changes that they may have been resistant to in the beginning.  



We can help with that as well.  



Absolutely not, the therapy is easily done with food that is readily available in your current pantry or at your local grocery store or farmers market. 


How much is an herbal or dietary consultation?

An herbal or dietary consultation is $75 for a session, if done alone.  Most often the consultation is combined with an acupuncture treatment.  


Can I download the forms ahead of time for my appointment?

Yes, the forms can be found by clicking on the BOOKINGS button at the top of the website. 


How do I make an appointment?

You can make an appointment online by going to the BOOKINGS button at the top of the website or by calling the clinic directly at 703.707.7777. You do not need a doctor's referral.