Think of herbs as super concentrated food medicine. The whole herb as opposed to extraction of particular constituents is beneficial becasue there is a wisdom to how the herbs occur naturally. Science is increasing learning of the side-effects to recent medicines that have been further removed from their origins.
Chinese Herbal medicine is a sophisticated wonder with a deep history. Like other traditions, herbs were recognized for their particular healing properties. Whats more is that combinations of herbs were studied for their synergy, accentuation, or negation properties. For this reason, formulas are more commonly prescribed than single herbs to direct the medicine to a diagnosed ROOT disorder that may address several symptoms. In other words, your headaches, sleep problems, IBS, and neck tension may be treated using one formula.
Conservative in my prescription methods, I aim to be especially careful in dispensing herbs that may interfere with medicines you are already on. I accept there is a time and a place for every medicine. The advancements of modern medicine are enormous...but so are the consequences of their use in many circumstances. I always hope to honor the commitment my teacher Dr. Mehrbani emphasized: DO NO HARM.