[for a detailed description of a sample formula please see: Astragalus 10+]
ITM developed the Seven Forests brand of herb formulas in 1986 for use in its clinical facilities and also for prescription by practitioners who follow similar treatment protocols. The formulas are available only to licensed health care providers who are already educated in the field of traditional Chinese medicine. We provide a partial list of practitioners who prescribe Chinese herbs. The practitioner is responsible for determining which formula is most suitable to use, the dosage to be used, the duration of use, the appropriate point to change formulas, and the contraindications for using the formulas in various situations. The practitioner is also responsible for explaining to the patient, as appropriate, the formula's ingredients, their actions, expected effects, potential for adverse effects, and the diagnostic indicators that led to selection of the formula. The practitioner, based on training and experience, will respond to any other concerns that the patient may raise while using the formulas.
Depending upon the specific formulation and the nature of the individual herb ingredients, the Seven Forests herb tablets are prepared from powdered herbs or dried hot-water extracts, or a combination of the two. The herb materials, obtained from China, are compressed into tablets of 700, 750, or 800 mg each (this is mg of herbs; there are also small amounts of gum resin, cellulose, and stearate used to make the tablets). The tablets are bottled in units of 100 tablets; additionally, some formulas are available in bottles with 250 tablets and a few formulas with bottles of 420 tablets; the larger size bottles are provided for convenience and costs savings.
ITM publishes a book, A Bag of Pearls, that provides important background information related to the Seven Forests formulas (and certain other formulas). All practitioners who prescribe Seven Forests formulas should possess and refer to the most recent version of this book. Currently, the 2004 edition is available. Non-practitioners may obtain this book for their personal reference, but are cautioned that the information is couched in terms usually learned only during formal training in traditional Chinese medicine.