Chinese Healing Herbs

Traditional Chinese Medicine describe a complex medicine system developed in China over 3,500 years ago that has spread around the world in its various forms through diverse social movements seeking for new and healthier alternatives of life based in ancestral knowledge and approaching nature to find healing of the stressful life.

This Traditional Chinese Medicine spread to America and Europe under the name of Oriental Medicine, because there are many different styles practiced in China, Japan, Korea and other Asian countries, including modalities such as acupuncture and acupressure, moxibustion, special therapeutic warming techniques, diet and nutrition, Chi Kung, Tai Chi, Tuii Naand Herbal Medicine, an advanced and effective system of herbal medicine.

Chinese herbs have been used since ancient times. According to Chinese mythology, it was in 2737 BC when the Chinese Emperor Shennong, scholar and herbalist, was sitting beneath a tree while his servant boiled drinking water and a leaf from the tree dropped into the water.

Shennong decided to try the brew discovering it was a wild tea tree. Tea herbs are mentioned in early text of 50 BD describing servants preparing the tea, although it was not until 350 A.D., when Kuo P'o noted the first detailed description of tea-drinking, found centuries later in an ancient Chinese dictionary.

It is believed that Emperor Shennong tasted hundreds of herbs and imparted his knowledge of medicinal and poisonous plants to the agricultural people. The first Chinese manual on pharmacology, lists near 365 medicines of which 252 of them are herbs. The manual written by Shennong Bencao Jing dates back from the early Han dynasty.

Succeeding generations make this medical work more complete, compiled during the Ming dynasty by Li Shizhen, which is in use today for consultation and reference. This work categorized Chinese herbs, in The Four Names, The Five Tastes and The Meredians.

The Four Natures Herbs

This category pertains to the degree of yin and yang, ranging from cold, cool, and neutral Chinese herbs considered all as yin plants, to those warm and hot considered extreme yang. Chinese Herbs seeks the patient's internal balance of yin and yang taken into account when the herbs are selected.

Medicinal herbs of "hot", yang nature are used when the person is suffering from internal cold that requires to be purged, or when the patient has a general cold constituency. Generally an additional ingredient is added to offset the extreme effect of one herb, which intake is as infusion; the tea.

The Five Tastes

These are pungent, sweet, sour, bitter and salty herbs, with different functions and characteristics. As an example, pungent herbs are used to vitalize IQ and the blood generating sweat. Sweet-tasting herbs tonify or harmonize body systems, including some that also exhibit a bland taste, helping drains dampness through diuresis. Salty taste softens hard masses as well as purges and opens the bowels. A sour taste herb is most often used as astringent or consolidates. While bitter taste dispels heat, purges the bowels and get rids of dampness by drying them out.

The Meridians

More than the herbs, Meridians refer to which organs the herb acts upon. Taking as example menthol, we find this herb is pungent, cool and linked with the liver and lungs. Because Lungs protect the body from invasion from influenza and cold, menthol can help purge coldness in the lungs.

The history of Chinese Medicine is as long and complicated as it fascinating. Practitioners are trained in several or many of the current modalities and specialize in one or several areas of expertise. The early Chinese Communist leaders destroyed lots of the old references, but at the end decided that Chinese Medicine was a valuable health method.

The principles were simplified and began to be taught in colleges. Before this, Chinese Medicine was passed down through generations of families, through apprenticeship and training that began at a young age. Now there are several well established Colleges in China that train Chinese Medicine practitioners. Westerners can study there as well. In Chinese hospitals, Chinese Medicine is practiced alongside modern Western Medicine. For example, cancer patients in China receive radiation treatment or chemotherapy, and they also receive Chinese herbal medicine to ameliorate the side effects.

Leave your comments

Health News

Surgeon Removes Eight Pound Liver Tumor

The cancerous tumor in Marcus Muhich's liver weighed 8 pounds and was nearly a foot across. Doctors at three major academic medical centers in the Midwest told Muhich his high-grade tumor was inoperable. Then he was referred to Dr... [ read article ]

NIPPV Linked To Increased Hospital Mortality Rates In Small Group Of Patients

Although increased use of noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation (NIPPV) nationwide has helped decrease mortality rates among patients hospitalized with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a small group of... [ read article ]

FDA Approves Label Update For PREZISTA® To Include 192-Week Data In HIV-1-Infected Adult Patients

Starting Treatment Janssen Therapeutics, Division of Janssen Products, LP, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a label update for PREZISTA® (darunavir) tablets to include 192-week data from the ARTEMIS study... [ read article ]

Recommended Stuff

Our Latest Blog Entries...