Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese Herbal Medicine from Cochise Acupuncture

By: Cochise Acupuncture  04/14/2015
Keywords: Traditional Chinese Medicine, Oriental Medicine, Chinese Herbs

What is Chinese herbal medicine? Chinese herbal medicine is part of an integrated system of primary health care, known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has an uninterrupted history of development dating back thousands of years in China and other parts of East Asia. The Chinese Materia Medica (a pharmacological reference book used by TCM practitioners) describes thousands of medicinal substances—primarily plants, but also some minerals and animal products. Different parts of plants, such as the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds, are used. In TCM, herbs are often combined in formulas and given as teas, capsules, liquid extracts, granules, or powders. Chinese herbal medicine takes an 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. What substances are used in Chinese herbal medicine? Today, there are more than 450 substances commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine - most are of plant origin though some animal and mineral substances may also be used. You may find some in your kitchen, such as ginger, garlic and cinnamon, while others such as chrysanthemum and peony flowers, are more likely to be found in your garden! Many of the substances used will be unfamiliar to you and have names like chai hu (bupleurum), di huang (rehmannia), and huang qi (astragalus). Some substances that were used traditionally are no longer part of modern professional Chinese herbal medicine practice. For example, traditional remedies that are derived from endangered species have been replaced by other substances with similar actions. How is Chinese herbal medicine prescribed? Chinese herbal medicines are prescribed either singly or made into formula which take into account the individual therapeutic action of each herb and well as the effects when combined together. A well constructed formula maximizes the effectiveness for treating a particular condition, while counteracting and minimizing the unwanted effects of an individual herb.

Keywords: Acupuncture And Chinese, Acupuncture And Chinese Herbal Medicine, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Chinese Herbs, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine

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“The strength of Chinese medicine comes from three thousand years of treating illness and promoting health. The core of its wisdom is sophisticated in theory and philosophy, which provided Chinese Medicine with its characteristic of gentleness, its holistic approach to illness and health and its strong emphases on quality of life and prevention.” Henry Han