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Herbal Therapy


With an ultimate goal of assisting the body in its innate ability to overcome disease and illness, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) takes a holistic view and focuses on restoring balance rather than treating particular diseases or conditions. Chinese herbal medicine excels in treating conditions which are resistant to Western therapies or unrecognized as illnesses. TCM is safe and effective when prescribed by a qualified herbalist and can be used by children and the elderly.

We benefit from thousands of years of a scholarly tradition of Chinese medical diagnosis. The writing of traditional Chinese herbal “scripts” (prescriptions), require extensive training and is the most revered & challenging branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is also one of the most individualized treatment strategies in the history of medicine.


Effective prescriptions for complex cases requires a detailed differential diagnosis that combines an understanding of the patient’s condition, their constitution (health tendencies), and a sincere understanding of the individual’s case history. Then, the practitioner must understand the details about hundreds of single herbs, many formulas, and how to combine them for the individual unique needs.

Dr. Kandel and his colleague, Dr. Aiken, have studied with renowned veteran doctors & scholars of Chinese Medicine and have extensive experience in writing tailored herbal scripts.  They focus on both short term acute conditions & long term chronic conditions and enjoy collaborating together to diagnose & prescribe personalized formulas that work for you.

I was honored to study with some of the most revered doctors in China as the first American at the central research hospital in Beijing in 1985, and now feel lucky to collaborate with the amazing Cathryn Aiken.

- Dr. Kandel
  • Common Conditions Treated By Acupuncture

    Abdominal Pain & Bloating, Allergies, Anxiety, Asthma, Back Pain, Bronchitis, Chemotherapy/Radiation Side Effects, Chronic Fatigue and immune problems, Colds and Flus, Colitis, Constipation, Constipation, Depression, Dermatological Disorders, Diarrhea, Dizziness, Earache, Fibromyalgia, Food Allergies, Gastritis, Hay Fever, Headaches and Migraines, Hemorrhoids, Indigestion, Insomnia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Musculoskeletal Problems, Neck Pain, Post-Operative Recovery, Sciatica, Skin Problems, Shingles, Sinusitis, Sore Throat, Spastic colon, TMJ, Weight Control

    Book a session by calling 805.922.4490

Dr. Kandel consults with Cathryn Aiken regarding a customized herbal formula

Key Benefits of Herbal Therapy

  • Increase energy, Immunity and digestion

    Chinese Traditional Herbal Medicine has the unique ability to upregulate function bringing vitality to the body system.

  • Regulate Menstrual Cycle and treat Menopause

    Herbs gently regulate the function of organs and Increase the capacity to self-regulate hormonal imbalances.
  • Treat Colds & Flus, Anxiety and Insomnia

    Herbal medicine helps you prevent and treat common infections with specific and highly effective formula and also has excellent results for sleep disorders and anxiety.

What are Patient Herbal Formulas?

Patient Herbal Formulas are tried & true combinations of herbs, many originated hundreds years ago, and are prescribed for acute or chronic conditions. Many are modern adaptations of older formulas and are available in pill form.


What is the difference between Western herbology and Chinese Herbology?

The main difference is that Chinese Medicine prescribing starts with the individual’s signs and symptoms and is tailored to the patient. Western herbology usually treats according to the symptoms or disease categories. It is important to note that two people with the same disease or symptoms may need respond differently and require individual assessment and treatment. Chinese Herbal Medicine offers a more systematic method of individualising treatment.


In what forms does herbal therapy come?

In TCM herbs are usually ingested as teas, but can also be taken as pills, tinctures and liniments. Although there are many thousands of formulas for every possible condition, a formula is typically modified to accommodate the subtleties of each individual and their ailment.


How do we know the herbs are pure?

We keep up with current relevant research and closely scrutinize our suppliers and commit to work only with companies that regularly test their products and sources that avoid any contamination. We use suppliers that do not use herbicides and pesticides and choose products grown sustainably whenever possible. Both our national and state professional acupuncture associations boycott the use of any products or companies that exploit endangered species and are working diligently as a professionals to end this abusive practice around the world.


Do we know how herbs work?

Detailed studies have been conducted on individual Chinese Herbs, their mechanism of action, potential toxicity within the human body. Many generations of clinical observation, case histories and written texts contribute to this knowledge.


Are Herbs compatible with the use of Western Medicine?

In some cases, herbs can replace the need for a pharmaceutical medicine, in other cases herbs reduce the dose of a necessary drug, or in other cases, the herb can mitigate the side effects of a drug. For example using herbs to support the body during Chemotherapy is standard practice in China There are also contraindications of the use of some herbs and some western drugs. We provide a researched, experienced and educated approach to prescription of herbal medicine. We believe that collaboration with our colleagues in Western medicine represents the very best in patient care and we seek to do so whenever possible.


Can I prescribe them to myself or use them in combination with other medicines?

Herbs can act on the body as powerfully as any pharmaceutical and should be treated with restraint and respect. Licensed Acupuncturists have the most extensive training in Chinese Herbal Medicine and should be consulted determine what formulas work best for you. Because some herbs used in TCM may cause dangerous interactions with other medications, your herbalist/acupuncturist should always be informed if other treatments or drugs are currently being taken.


What is the difference between Chinese therapy and vitamin supplements?

While vitamin supplements are good for your overall health, they function in a more linear fashion. Herbal therapy is infinitely adjustable to your needs and takes a high level of training.


What is the average cost of Chinese Herbal Medicines?

Over the counter herbs that patent medicines available at the office or in some health food stores cost $20-$30. One bottle is sufficient for an acute condition, and depending on dosage if used ongoing they last 2-4 weeks. Individually tailored formula require a consultation or may be included as part of an acupuncture treatment. Granules are concentrated herb extracts and are most often used for a tailored herbal prescription. These cost about $40-$50  and last about one month.


225 E. Mill St.
Santa Maria, CA 93454

805.922.4490 office
805.928.7194 fax

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Please call our office at 805.922.4490 to schedule your appointment today!

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