Chinese Herbal Medicine can be traced back almost 5,000 years, although as most herbs are food, herbs have been used since humans were hunters and gatherers.
History of Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine can be traced back almost 5,000 years, although as most herbs are food, herbs have been used since humans were hunters and gatherers. Nowadays, Chinese Herbal Medicine brings together ancient folk remedies and the prized health secrets of the various dynasties over the centuries together with the enormous benefits of modern science and research.
There is an arising awareness of the benefits of Chinese herbal medicine in the west.
What are Chinese Herbs?
Chinese herbs can be all parts of plants, eg. Seeds, stems, leaves, flowers, roots, bark, etc. as well as various fungi, bones, rocks (minerals) and animal parts, although animal parts are rarely used in the western world.
Originally all the herbs in a formula would be boiled and taken as a bowl of soup. Now with modern technology most famous herbal formulae and individual herbs can be purchased in pill, tablet, capsule or powdered form which is much more convenient and palatable.
As with acupuncture, your practitioner will take a case history, discuss signs and symptoms as well as feeling your pulse and examining your tongue. Once the diagnosis is achieved the same principles of Qi and Yin and Yang are used to prescribe a herbal formula to suit the individual.
As opposed to western medicine where a drug is used to treat a disease, in Chinese herbal medicine, a combination of herbs is used to treat the person.
Most Chinese have an innate understanding of foods and herbs to eat for their natural health due to the generations of information handed down. Herbs are an integral part of the Chinese diet and even today most children know not to eat cold foods on a cold day and similarly with hot food in hot conditions, or when spicy foods or salty foods are required to improve health.