For centuries people have been prescribed Chinese herbs to help the internal organs and the immune system. Chinese Herbs are rarely used singularly; more commonly they are used in combination to form a herbal prescription. The use of many herbs helps to achieve a balance of the herbal qualities in the prescription. Herbs are described in terms of temperature, taste, what they do in the body and whether they affect the yin, yang, qi or blood.
Chinese medicine approaches disease in a fundamentally different way from Western medicine. Chinese medicine looks at not only the disease symptoms, but also the age, habits, physical and emotional traits of an individual. To form an overall picture of the patient. Health is considered a state of harmony between physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the person.
Treatment with Chinese herbal medicine involves choosing a formula (a combination of herbs) which to helps redress the pattern of disharmony of an individual, and to modify the formula as changes occur throughout the course of treatment. The prescription is matched to the needs of the patient, rather than a complaint or illness.
Chinese herbal prescriptions usually comprise a mixture of herbs, each herb playing a specific and significant role to achieve the desired therapeutic effect. Herbs can be taken as decoctions or medicinal teas, tinctures or pills. Advice about lifestyle and diet is also given according to Chinese medicine principles.
Over many centuries, generations of Chinese herbal practitioners have understood and utilised the beneficial synergistic effect obtained by the skillful combining of medicinal herbs and many famous ancient formulae are still in regular use.
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Top photo: liquorice root is used in Chinese herbal medicine