In China, people seek help from their physician for both prevention and treatment of disease. This is very different from in the United States where people typically wait until they are ill to consult their physician. There is much we can learn in the West from the Chinese people wo have incorporated health promoting practices such as Tai Chi, Qigong, acupressure, proper diet, massage and tonic herbals into their life style. The development of these ancient Chinese practices has developed primarily for promotion of health and longevity.
Chinese herbal tonics are the most developed contribution of Chinese herbal medicine. These herbs are revered because of their ability to enhance the life force and increase longevity. They are used to strengthen the body/mind connection, enhance adaptability to life, strengthen immunity, build Blood, and encourage natural harmony. The ultimate result is the generation of radiant health and wellness.
Historically, Taoist Masters have embraced tonic herbals and offered it along with other health promoting practices such as Taoist yoga meditation, Tai Chi, and acupressure. The Chinese emperors relied upon these practices to ensure long life, virility, and vitality. The women of the educated classes used them to maintain youth and beauty. The common Chinese man and woman used them to derive the most out of their burdened lives. Historically tonic herbs were thus used to strengthen the weak as well maximize life's potential.
Tonic herbs are often recommended in combination with food. Congee which is a rice porridge combined with Chinese herbs is frequently recommended for debilitating weakness or for those recovering from disease. Chinese herbs are also commonly added to a soup along with vegetables and some form of meat.
These are both ways to begin incorporating Chinese herb to enhance and build health at home. Otherwise, consultation with an acupuncturist with specialized training in Chinese herbal medicine is recommended to begin taking a formula designed to strengthen the body with tonic herbs. It is always important to inform your physician about taking Chinese herbs and to make certain that there are no drug interactions or other contraindications according to your allopathic care.