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The Cleveland Clinic has opened a Chinese herbal therapy clinic , one of the first hospital-based herbal clinics in the U.S., to round out its integrative medicine services and provide supplementary options for patients seeking a holistic natural approach to care.

“Today’s patients are looking for a medical model that addresses both prevention and treatment of chronic disease using natural approaches in combination with Western medicine,” said Melissa Young, M.D., internist and integrative medicine specialist at the Tanya Edwards, M.D., Center for Integrative Medicine at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute.

Changes to Ohio laws in 2012 opened the door for licensed Chinese herbal therapists to legally prescribe custom herb blends and traditional formulas within a clinical practice. The clinical expertise of the herbalist coupled with attentive vigilance from a practicing physician decreases the risk of drug-herb interactions, similar to drug-drug interactions patients experience while taking multiple prescription drugs.

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