Hospitals around the country have been offering acupuncture for years, but have shied away from Chinese herbal medicines. The fears were that Chinese herbal medicine could not meet institutional requirements and not enough evidence supported their use. Lead acupuncturist at the Tanya I. Edwards MD Center for Integrative Medicine, Jamie Starkey, and her late mentor Tanya Edwards, M.D. openly addressed all the controversial issues and, created a way to bring Chinese herbal medicine to the Cleveland Clinic.
Doctors at Cleveland Clinic refer patients to state-licensed Oriental Medicine practitioners, within the hospital, who prescribe Chinese herbal medicines, customized to patient constitution and symptoms. The addition of Chinese herbal medicine in an upper level institution changes the cultural view of this medicine. The move shows that trust in the principles and the manufacturing of these medicines has reached a new level. It illustrates that doctors trained at the best medical schools in the country are beginning to value, understand and trust Chinese herbal therapy.
Program designer, Dr. Tanya Edwards, was insistent that Chinese herbal medicines meet the rigorous criteria of hospital standards. Bill Egloff of Crane Herb Co., who Chairs the Chinese Herb Product Committee of American Herbal Products Association, was employed to answer questions concerning identity, quality and testing of herbal medicines. Together they were able to navigate the messy world of Chinese herbal products and find products that meet the strict clinic standards to allow their use in the Cleveland Clinic.