Chinese herbal medicine is one of the most highly developed, time-proven systems of herbalism in the world. It is a method that can be used alone or in combination with other Chinese medicine techniques such as acupuncture and Chinese dietary therapy to both prevent and treat pain as well as to alleviate many other conditions. Chinese herbs are normally used in combination with other herbs and used to treat specific energetic imbalances and physical symptoms.
Thousands of classical herbal formulations have been created and used for centuries to promote health and healing. Throughout these years, these formulations have been tested and perfected accordingly through application within the clinical setting. These are combinations of individual herbs, put together according to how they interact with each other for desired results. A Chinese herbalist can choose one of these ancient formulas or create a custom formula – both chosen according to the specific needs, physical symptoms and signs, combined with the prevailing energetic constitution of the person.
These formulations are available for internal use in the form of a decoctions, tablets, capsules, syrup, tinctures, extract powders, or granules. Externally they are applied as a poultice, liniment, oil, salve, or added to water to be used as a soak or a bath. A decoction is a strong tea made from boiling the herbs for several hours. This is the traditional way of taking Chinese herbs, however in the West people usually opt for the convenience of other methods time-wise. Decoctions are not only time-consuming to prepare, but they smell up the house and are not always so tasty. Although some people still prefer decoction method because they get to see the actual herbs and enjoy the ancient ritual of tea preparation. There are even special brewing pots found in Chinese markets, specifically created for cooking Chinese herbs.
Preparing a Chinese Herbal Formulation
Chinese herbal medicine is growing as a specialty within the United States, just as its acupuncture counterpart has already flourished for years. This is evident in that the Cleveland Clinic has established a Chinese medicine department for its patients. As more and more research is conducted on the efficacy of Chinese herbs and the help that they can provide – Chinese herbal medicine will reach its desired status within the mainstream, it is simply just a matter of time.
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Please note: Always seek advice from your physician prior to using any of these herbs.