Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine and herbal therapy have their origin in ancient Taoist philosophy which views a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, each influencing and balancing the other.

Unlike conventional medicine which attempts to isolate and separate a disease from a person, Chinese Medicine emphasizes a holistic approach that treats the whole person.

Many people have found Traditional Chinese Medicine and its healing modalities to be excellent tools for maintaining optimum health and preventing illness. It is effective for physical, psychological and emotional problems.

Herbal Consultation
40 Minutes
Chinese Herbs - Acupuncture with Kim

History Of Chinese MedicineShennong, whose name means “the divine farmer,” lived around 6,000 years ago and was credited for teaching China the practice of agriculture. He taught people how to cultivate grains as food and is said to have tasted hundreds of herbs to carefully test and record their therapeutic properties. The Divine Farmer’s Materia Medica,or Shennong Ben Cao, first compiled around 206 B.C., considered the earliest Chinese pharmacopoeia, contained 365 herbs. In this classic, herbs are categorized into three groups. The first group is called food herbs which are eaten as part of one’s diet for health maintenance, longevity and illness prevention. The other two groups are called medicinal herbs that are dispensed to each patient as an individual formula based on one’s unique constitution, environment, and medical condition.

From 206 B.C. to the late 16th century, many more herbs were added to what became known as the Chinese Materia Medica, the book of Chinese herbal medicines. This increased the total to 1,892 distinct herbs and more than 10,000 formulas. Over several millennia many Chinese physicians made new discoveries, theories, and classifications, often writing or compiling books that have become classics of Chinese medical literature and are still referenced today. New entries are continuously being added and the current edition of Chinese Materia Medica contains over 10,000 herbs and natural substances.

Students of Traditional Chinese medicine learn Chinese herbal therapy from a Materia Medica that is 8.5 inches wide, 11 inches long, 2 1/2 inches thick, and weighs 8 pounds. Because of a 5,000-year history, your acupuncturist can make an herbal prescription that addresses most any known disease to help you restore your health and wellbeing. An herbal formula contains plant elements—leaf, stem, flower, root or seed—and perhaps minerals or other natural ingredients. Chinese herbal medicine works in tandem with acupuncture by providing the nourishing support for the energetic reprogramming efforts of acupuncture. The herbal labs at the Tao of Wellness clinics contain some 500 varieties of high quality individual raw, concentrated powder and liquid extract herbs as well as prepared herbal formulas in capsules and tablets.

Chinese Herbal MedicineEach herb has been meticulously studied and recorded for its flavor, therapeutic property, and organ system in which it is active. Flavors include sour, bitter, acrid, salty, and sweet. Therapeutic properties span cold, cool, neutral, warm, and hot. The organ systems cover the various systems that make up our entire anatomy. These attributes synergistically offer the Chinese medical viewpoint on an herb’s therapeutic actions. Each herb is then categorized according to its primary therapeutic action. These include diaphoretics (cleansing through sweat), anti-inflammatories, diuretics (cleansing through urine), digestives, internal warmers, relaxants, tonics and many other categories. Given all this, herbs are then combined into formulas to accomplish several tasks simultaneously and these herbal formulas are categorized in the same manner as the singular herbs.

After evaluating a patient’s chief health concerns, an herbalist will construct a formula specific for her and her condition at hand. Every person that is evaluated will likely receive a different formula, even if the conditions are the same. Since each body is different, the reason for a disorder’s existence will be unique as well. And each unique person requires different tools for healing. Taking knee pain as an example, one patient may need more help circulating blood to alleviate pain and regenerate injured tissue, while another patient may need their immune system strengthened as their knee pain may only surface when they’re sick or when the weather changes.

Each herb has a multitude of active chemical compounds that are responsible for how an herb accomplishes its various tasks. Studies abound on Chinese herbs and how they affect the body, subdue pathogens and infections, enhance circulation, and even slow aging. In an herbal formula, a veritable soup of hundreds, if not thousands of active ingredients stimulate the body to respond in desired ways, depending on the design of the herbal formula.

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Carrboro, NC