is it true that i have to take all herbs raw or cook them for hours before I can take them?

There are many forms of herbal prescriptions available.  At Waleli Wellness, we use mostly tinctures, granules, pills and tablets (taken internally), as well as salves and ointments for external applications.  For the busy patient, these forms are convenient, as well as effective.  We also can prescribe raw herbs, if needed.  

can I just use one the ones I find on the internet or health food Ren Shen for energy, for example?

TCM practitioners have been trained to utilize herbs and herbal formulas that have been used for over 2,000 years.  Rarely are they ever used as single herbs, but are used in a formulation (or a formula).  Each herb ads to the function of the overall formula, which is why it is extremely rare to ever find a TCM practitioners giving just one herb to a patient.  Taking just one herb found over-the-counter at the health food store or on the internet can sometimes cause more harm than good, since a trained herbalist or TCM physician is not there to assign the correct dosages, evaluate you for signs and symptoms and monitor your progress.  Herbs might be "natural," but even "natural" can cause harm if you do not know what you are doing.  

is it proven that herbs are as effective or even more effective than pharmaceutical drugs?

Herbs are just as effective for today's ailments, diseases and symptoms as they were when the Great Wall of China was in its infancy.  Today, science is able to break down herbal constituents to explain some of the mechanisms that make herbal formulas so effective.  Modern medicine and ancient wisdom found in TCM can now share the same platform confidently.  

i don't believe in eating meat or animal products.  Can I still take a Chinese formula?

Herbal formulas, unlike pharmaceutical drugs, have built in buffers that prevent side effects that are common in commercial or pharmaceutical options.  Most formulas can also be curtailed to the patient's individual needs, deficiencies, excesses or constitution.  They can also be easily modified to suit a patient's belief system (i.e. - no animal products for vegetarians) or allergy sensitivities (i.e. - no wheat or gluten for a gluten-intolerant patient).  

The versatility in herbal formulas are endless.  We encourage the use of herbs.