what is chinese herbal medicine?
The origins of Chinese herbal medicine in China can be traced back at least five thousand years, making it one of the oldest and most long-standing health care systems in the world. Chinese herbal medicine takes a holistic approach to understanding normal function and disease processes and focuses as much on the prevention of illness as on the treatment.
Most diseases or illnesses present with a core set of recognizable signs and symptoms, but the actual presentation of a particular disease or illness will vary from person to person. For this reason, people with similar health conditions may be provided with quite different Chinese herbal medicine prescriptions.
A qualified practitioner is able to prescribe a Chinese herbal formula that specifically matches and treats your individual health problem. As your condition changes and improves with treatment, the Chinese herbal treatment is also adjusted and modified until the desired health outcome is achieved.
In addition to providing effective management for a wide range of health disorders, Chinese herbal medicine may also be used to assist with general health maintenance and disease prevention. By strengthening and enhancing normal body functions, a general sense of well-being is promoted.
How does it work?
Chinese herbs are prescribed from the perspective of energy (Qi and Blood). Each herb has a particular energy which when matched to the patient’s energy, can restore health. The formula usually contains two main ingredients to attack the illness; the additional herbs are there to balance, to cancel out side effects, or to act as a catalyst.
• Symptoms management for a wide range of illnesses
• Assist with health maintenance
• Enhances normal body functions
• Promotes a sense of wellbeing
Chinese Herbs are safe, and can be used for children and pregnant women. Chinese Herbal Medicine and food therapies are gentle yet have long lasting effects, but generally do not produce side effects if used correctly.
Herbs in your diet
“Medicinal herbs can attack diseases. Eat five grains for nourishment, eat five fruits and five vegetables as supplemental foods, and eat five domestic animals to benefit the body” Nei Jing
In TCM many plants are considered both foods and herbs.
There is a Chinese saying: “One cannot always draw the line between foods and herbs.”
Due to this dual nature of foods and herbs, food-cures have always been used side by side with herbal medicine in China. During a consultation the Chinese physician will take into consideration the patient’s personal physical constitution and diagnose his Syndrome according to his symptoms before prescribing herbal medicine as well as food cures that will be beneficial. Eating the right food is central to the Chinese approach to preventative medicine. Balancing the various tastes and characteristics of different foods helps to maintain the yin-yang balance in the body and so preserve health.