Chinese Herbal Medicine

 Chinese Herbal Medicine


Chinese Herbal medicine is by itself a powerful method of healing. Western drugs are usually used to control symptoms but do not alter the disease process. For example: antibiotics kill bacteria but do not improve a person’s resistance to infection; diuretics drain excess fluid from the body but do not improve the kidney function. Chinese herbs can also rid the body of disease but they also nourish and balance the body in very specific ways, thereby improving organ function and building up a person’s constitution and immune system.


How are Chinese Herbs Used?


In Chinese medicine, herbs are used to help restore balance to the body and promote healing. They are often combined in formulas and prescribed based on the individual’s specific needs and condition. Herbs are used to tonify deficiencies, expel excesses, and promote the proper functioning of the organ systems. They can also be used to help relieve specific symptoms such as pain, inflammation, and fever. Chinese herbs are often taken in the form of decoctions, pills, powders, or tinctures. Practitioners of Chinese medicine may also use herbal compresses, plasters, and poultices for localized treatment.

Chinese herbs are traditionally given as a very strong tea/decoction. The acupuncturist will give the patient several bags of herbs. Each bag contains a formula of about 12 or so raw herbs that has been prepared specifically for the patient and his or her condition. The patient then prepares the herbs at home by boiling them in water for about a half an hour. The benefit of this method is that the formula can be customized to the patient’s particular condition. The acupuncturist may prescribe herbal pills, powders or tinctures instead because these are more convenient. However, the raw herbs are usually stronger and always more adaptable. If you wish to take your herbs in decoction form but are unable to commit to preparing them, we can have them cooked and placed in liquid filled pouches for you.

Chinese food therapy ingredients

Chinese herbs are often used in conjunction with other therapies such as acupuncture, dietary therapy, and exercise (such as qigong or tai chi) to provide a holistic approach to healing. The use of herbs in Chinese medicine is based on a system of correspondences, where different herbs are believed to have specific effects on different organ systems and energies in the body. For example, ginseng is believed to tonify the Qi (vital energy) of the body and is often used to help boost energy levels and improve overall health. Similarly, ginger is believed to help regulate the flow of Qi in the body and is often used to help relieve symptoms of colds and flu. Traditionally, the taste/flavor and temperature of the herb is used as a guiding principle to determine the herb’s function and appropriate use. Herbs are cool, cold, neutral, warm and hot. Their flavors are sweet, sour, bitter, salty, acrid/pungent, and bland.


Pattern Differentation


One of the main principles of Chinese herbal medicine is the concept of “pattern differentiation,” which is the process of identifying the unique patterns of disharmony present in each individual and then selecting the appropriate herbal formulas to address those patterns. This approach is based on the understanding that no two individuals will present with the exact same symptoms, even if they have the same diagnosis. Chinese herbal medicine is a complex and nuanced system that requires a deep understanding of the human body and the interactions between different herbs to be used effectively.

It is important to note that Chinese herbal medicine should only be practiced by trained and licensed practitioners, as some herbs can have potentially harmful interactions with other medications or may not be appropriate for certain individuals.

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