Chinese Medicine Division

Pamphlet

Points to note when purchasing Chinese Medicines

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Points to note when purchasing Chinese Medicines

Chinese medicines are widely used and people often purchase Chinese herbal medicines for decoction or proprietary Chinese medicines for use at home and during travel. Before purchasing Chinese medicines, one should consult a Chinese medicine practitioner. One should not recklessly purchase Chinese medicines or prepare a formulation for any illness. If the illness continues or become more serious, one should seek medical advice as soon as possible. Please note the following points when purchasing Chinese medicines.

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Understanding one's own body constitution

•People with different body constitutions have different requirements for Chinese medicines. For example, people with cold constitution may have aversion to cold, loose stool and pale complexion. They may have discomfort after eating cold and raw food. In such a case, Chinese medicines of cold nature should be used with caution.

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Understanding one's own illness and the cause

•Different disease causations should be treated with different Chinese medicines. For example, there are many causes for flu-like illness. Flu-like illness caused by wind and cold should be treated with medicines for wind-cold type, while that caused by wind and heat should be treated with medicines for the wind-heat type.

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Read carefully the instruction or labeling on all prescriptions of Chinese medicines

•Including ingredients, claims, indications, method of administration, dosage, method of preparation, precautions and contra-indications, etc.

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Under certain circumstances Chinese medicines should be taken under the instruction of a Chinese medicine practitioner

•Pregnant or lactating women should consult a Chinese medicine practitioner before taking any Chinese medicines, since certain Chinese medicines will cause miscarriage and reduce lactation.

•One should inform his Chinese medicine practitioner if he is taking other medicines while taking Chinese medicines. The co-administration of different kinds of medicines may enhance or weaken the effectiveness of Chinese herbs, or produce undesirable side effect.

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Proper storage of Chinese Medicines

•Chinese medicines should be stored in cool and dry places so as to avoid damage by pest and mould.

•One should pay attention to the expiry dates of proprietary Chinese medicines. Mildewed, spoiled or expired Chinese medicines should not be taken.

•Chinese medicines should be stored properly to prevent accidental ingestion by children.

Chinese Medicine Division of the Department of Health Enquiry Hotline: 25749999

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