Chinese herbal medicine is a wonderful and natural way to heal and rejuvenate the body, calm and empower the spirit and ground and focus the mind. Chinese herbal medicine has roots over 1,000 years old, with endless case histories and reported therapeutic results in situations ranging from clinical hospital settings to the bedside doctor.
There are hundreds of herbal remedies based on the "bible of herbal medicine," the Materia Medica, that have been proven over time to improve -- and in some cases cure -- most imbalances in the modern world. Conditions such as migraines, back pain, menopause, depression, dysmenorrhea, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome and fatigue are just some examples of numerous disorders that can be alleviated with herbs.
What I believe makes Chinese herbal medicine stand out in terms of its healing abilities are the subtle complexities of each herb or formula that can determine whether a patient makes a partial or a complete recovery. For example, there are many possible herbs or formulas one could recommend to treat a symptom. With proper knowledge and accurate Oriental diagnosis the herbalist can uniquely refine what is the most appropriate medicine for you based on function, taste, temperature and organ system that the herb or formula specifically addresses. Often taste, temperature and organ can greatly change the conditions in which someone will prescribe the herbs. For example, below are two commonly used herbs used to treat early stage common cold. Note their differences:
1. Sheng jiang - (ginger) acrid, warm; lung, spleen, stomach
2. Bo he (mint) - acrid, aromatic, cooling; lungs, liver
Chinese Herbs and Acupuncture
Each healing system can stand alone as a complete modality to restore health. However, because they are essentially born out of the same Oriental medical theory or school of thought, they are excellent to use in conjunction to accelerate healing of any condition and maintain a healthy life.
Patent herbal formulas -- Prescribed in pill or tablet form. This is the most widely used method. Its lack of preparation time and ease of use ensure optimal patient compliance.
Granular formulas -- Specially prescribed by an herbalist to suit your needs. These herbs are freeze-dried and ground down into a fine powder. The patient must boil water and stir in powder to make a tea. This method is also widely used, and the tea produced is stronger than the pills or tablets of patent formulas.
Raw herbs -- The strongest formula preparation, specifically designed by an herbalist. With this method, the raw leaf, stem, root, seed, and other parts of the plant are selected and put in brown paper bags for the patient to cook at home. Some people prefer this method because they feel they are being more interactive with their healing process. However, it is more time consuming; it takes 20 to 40 minutes to prepare one cup of tea.
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