Herbal Medicine
As a Board Certified Chinese Herbalist (NCCAOM), I know herbal medicine can be a powerful adjunct to your acupuncture treatment.  So let's talk a bit about herbs and how we use them in Oriental Medicine. 

We view each herb as having properties that must be considered when prescribing an herbal formulation.  They have a temperature, a taste and a specific area of the body they most affect.  The Oriental pharmacopia has over 1500 herbs we study in order to design the best treatment for each patient.

So let's say you have condition X and you've read on the internet that herb Y is good for that condition.  Well, maybe or maybe not.  Let's use  
the herbal property of temperature as an example.  Perhaps you are a person who tends to be hot.  You like having the air conditioning very cold in the summer and perhaps you have a red complexion.  Suppose that herb Y is also hot.  Taking this herb is just going to make you feel hotter.  Not something you probably want to do.

And of course, the same holds true for a cold-natured person taking a cold-natured herb.  It's just going to make them colder. And there are other properties to take into consideration as well when deciding which herb is the best for your condition.

This is why I never suggest people self-prescribe herbs.  You really do have to understand the entire picture of your constitution and the herb's properties, not just "chase symptoms." 

In Oriental medicine, we rarely use a single herb for a treatment.  We combine them synergistically into formulas that are individually designed for each patient.  That way we get the best result with the fewest side effects.

Herbs can be taken in many forms.
          1. Raw -- While we call them "raw," these are really dried herbs which the patient takes home and boils.  The "tea" is then ingested over the course of a few days.   Upside: Potency is strong and can be totally customized for your needs.  Downside: the time to cook them and the unusual taste.

          2. Tincture --  These are alcohol-based liquids where the herbs have been soaked in grain alcohol and their active ingredients are "tinctured" into the alcohol.  These come in small dropper bottles and several drops are added to a small amount of water before drinking. Upside: Strong potency, easily absorbed, easy to use and easy to transport. Can be somewhat customized. Downside: One swallow of strong tasting liquid.  For people sensitive to alcohol, they must put the drops in boiling water or use another form of herbs.

          3. Pills, capsules, tablets -- Classical formulas (formulas based on common conditions) made into pills, capsules or tablets.  Upside: Ease of use.  Downside: Not customizable.  May need to take more than one formula to address the issues being treated.  Less potency with need to take many pills at one time to get a therapeutic dose.

I order only from herbal companies with strong standards for testing for potency and contaminants.