Specialization Course


Advanced Herbalism in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Specialization for licensed acupuncturist, students of oriental medicine and other medical professionals.

“With Silkie Herbs Ann has cracked the code. The modular aspect of her treatment system allows easy and quick adjustments for the patient’s ever-changing condition through a simple call or message to the herbalist.” Dr. Mickey Nguyen, Herbalist and Acupuncturist, DC L.Ac

“After 20 years of study, I felt I was still in the process of grasping the essence of TCM. Until I met Ann, how she approaches patients and understands the human body and the inter-relationships with Nature and Food enlightens my whole system of deciphering how Chinese herbs work wonder.” Dr. Hui Hwang, L.Ac, DAOM, Dipl. OM

Our courses are designed to teach an in-depth knowledge of herbal formulas in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It equips students with a clear method for prescribing herbal remedies, from the standard formulas to the silkie traditional honey pills. Upon successful completion of the course students are also qualified to use the silkie system of formulas.

In addition to the application of herbs the classes emphasize diagnosis, client interaction, and best practices for the consultation. With real-life examples and role play sessions, students have many opportunities to practice and deepen their newfound knowledge and gain the confidence to treat patients after completion of the course.

A former student of Ann’s and co-teacher of the course, Patricia Nguyen, had described her training like this: “For the first time herbs were feeling alive to me. Acupuncture had always felt natural and alive to me. Herbs were more elusive.”

During the course students will do non-traditional homework assignments to apply and assimilate the information they have learned into daily clinical practice.

The courses are grouped by health topics. Course 1, with a focus on the basics of diagnosis and consultation, lays the groundwork for any of the subsequent courses. Courses are taught in person in Westminster, CA or online through a video platform.

Course 1 - Advanced Diagnostics, Sleep and Digestion/Elimination
8 weeks, 3hrs a week, 7pm – 10pm PST, $480

Diagnostics: Observe the patient, reading the body’s language, interpreting the tongue, eyes and the other signs through which the body expresses possible health concerns.
Read and interpret the health assessment form for a precise diagnosis.

Consultation: How to structure a consultation – The 4-step process
Learn the Patient Orientated Explanation that allows you to better connect with your patient and foster their understanding and participation in the treatment.

Health Topics:

Sleep – Insomnia, Hard time falling asleep, Waking up too early, Waking up frequently, Restless Leg Syndrome, Dreams, Snore, Light/Noise sensitivity, Ideal Sleep, Time clock of sleeping, Quality of sleep and what dreams can tell you about the state of organs
Digestion – Acid Reflux, Indigestion, Bloating, Vomiting, Stomach pain, Belly Cramps, Ulcer
Elimination – Constipation, Gas, Diarrhea, IBS, Leaky Gut

Syllabus:

  • Class 1: Diagnostics, Health Assessment form
  • Class 2: Consultation Method, Digestion
  • Class 3: Digestion
  • Class 4: Elimination
  • Class 5: Elimination
  • Class 6: Insomnia
  • Class 7: Insomnia
  • Class 8: Combined case study


Other courses in this series:

  • Circulatory and Male/Female Disorders
  • Pediatrics and Skin Diseases
  • Brain and Mental Health


The classes are taught by active practitioners with extensive real-life experience treating patients with TCM herbals.


Ann Tam
Ann is the fifth generation of herbalists in her family. Historically Chinese Medicine was practiced largely within a family-based lineage system and passed down from generation to generation along with specific techniques and “secret” knowledge. Ann’s Great-Great-Grandfather Tam Ri Cai was the first doctor in the family in 1786 and passed the tradition of herbal supplements through four generations down to her.

Today Ann runs a herbal store in Westminster where she has treated thousands of patients over the years, as well as the website silkieherbs.com. Her clients live in places as far as Europe and Asia and include professional athletes and members of royal families.
She was born in Vietnam, grew up in her Dad’s herbal shop, and studied the health benefits of natural plants at the university for Traditional Chinese Medicine in Hong Kong. She believes strongly in explaining to her clients how the body works according to TCM and how proper lifestyle along with herbs can restore the necessary balance and heal many ailments.

Patricia Jade Nguyen 
Patricia believes that the body has an amazing capacity to heal. Her work as an acupuncturist and herbalist is to ignite and fortify that capacity. In 2013 she received the Golden Flower Award for excellence in herbal medicine. Diagnosis is her strength and she welcomes complex cases in which conventional western medicine has no satisfactory therapy. She studied Asian Languages and Civilizations at Amherst College before completing the Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine and the Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine degree from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. She is currently in private practice.

Testimonials
As a practicing acupuncturist and herbalist I often see a level of disconnect when using herbal medicine to treat modern day patients. The world is moving at a fast pace and a growing number of patients are not only looking for effective treatments but less time consuming and efficient treatments that are readily accessible to them at all times. With Silkie Herbs Ann has cracked the code. The modular aspect of her treatment system allows easy and quick adjustments for the patient’s ever-changing condition through a simple call or message to the herbalist. Giving the patient the ability to adapt their prescription on the fly not only gives them a sense of control over their own condition but the direct line of communication often gives them a connection to the practitioner that is often lacking in modern medicine. Training under Ann the past year has been an enlightening experience. Her vast experience is unparalleled and she encourages you to pick her brain with open arms. She not only guided me through the learning process but constantly pushes me to think outside the box. I have not only significantly improved by diagnostic and herbal medicine knowledge but my ability to communicate and educate patients has been greatly strengthened. Every day I am still learning new subtleties in cases ranging from the ordinary to the unfamiliar. I could not ask for a better mentor and friend.
Dr. Mickey Nguyen, Herbalist and Acupuncturist, DC L.Ac


Some herbal instructors recite Bensky’s textbook when teaching herbs and make students wonder why they paid for the class when they could read the book themselves. That is never the case when Ann Tam teaches because she is a true master of Chinese Herbs. She teaches from extensive clinical experience and emphasizes the importance of explaining the breakdown in physiology that causes all the presenting symptoms in a patient before prescribing any herbal formulas. Beyond the vast amount of medical knowledge that Ann possesses, she has an uncanny ability to empathize with patients, explain their condition in easy to understand terms, and empower patients to make necessary lifestyle changes to be healthy. Ann’s herbal skills, her love for Chinese medicine, and kindness for humanity are an inspiration to all aspiring herbalists.
Patricia J. Nguyen, Herbalist and Acupuncturist, Dipl. OM


Growing up in China, trained in both Western and Chinese concepts of medicine, I practiced as a MD back in China for years until I moved to the States that I started focusing on treating patients solely on TCM philosophies. After 20 years of study, I feel I am still in the process of grasping the essence of TCM. Until I met Ann, how she approaches patients and understands the human body and the inter-relationships with Nature and Food enlightens my whole system of deciphering how Chinese herbs work wonder. Her way of teaching is to use plain and simple language, daily life analogies to educate patients about their lifestyles, habits, food choices, to help them understand how their body works, and to address the issues through herbal formulas simultaneously balancing functions of upper, middle, and lower sections of crucial internal organs to achieve the optimal health, which each and every one deserves. I see the art and beauty of practicing TCM in this very traditional way, passed on 5th generations of wisdom, and after taking her training I am honored and grateful that I am part of the Loshi team to pass this gem to my students and patients.
Dr. Hui Hwang, L.Ac, DAOM, Dipl. OM