Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese Herbal Medicine, a holistic system from ancient China

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Chinese Herbal Medicine

It is hard to determine how old Chinese Herbal Medicine is as a practice as Chinese Herbal Medicine seems to be older than the oldest records that were kept. It is almost as if Chinese Herbal Medicine was already there before the Chinese culture emerged.

One of the earliest recordings of Chinese Herbal Medicine traces back to the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jiang an extensive listing of the herbal and other naturopathic remedies of Chinese Herbal Medicine written by Shen Nong almost six thousand years ago.

Another early recording of Chinese Herbal Medicine is the Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen compiled by The Yellow Emperor (Huang Di) some 5,000 years ago. The Yellow Emperor's compilation also included significant descriptions of several of the exercise and therapeutic techniques of the time.

Both, Huang Di and Shen Nong are often described as the father of Chinese Herbal Medicine. This is a dispute that is unlikely to ever be resolved, but from our point of view it is sufficient to be aware that both had a profound impact on contemporary Chinese Herbal Medicine.

Chinese Herbal Medicine uses a holistic approach of bringing the body, mind and spirit into alignment and harmony with the purpose of allowing it to heal itself. Chinese Herbal Medicine focus on manipulation of the body to achieve this balance and hardly ever address particular diseases, problems or ailments individually, everything is viewed from the holistic body, mind and spirit point of view. Chinese Herbal Medicine does not ignore symptoms but rather see these as indications of imbalance. Chinese Herbal Medicine counter their effects and so restore balance or equilibrium.

Chinese Herbal Medicine is not only herbal. Chinese Herbal Medicine incorporates animal parts (skin, bones, scales and fins) and minerals in the often complex recipes. Some of these recipes even require animal excrement.

Where Chinese Herbal Medicine vary substantially from the more accepted Herbal Remedies of the West is in the classification of ingredients. Instead of classifying by constituent Chinese Herbal Remedies describe the herb as;
Warmth: Hot, warm, cool, cold.
Taste: Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, pungent, astringent, bland.
Effect: Uplifting, lowering, floating, sinking.
Entry point/Meridian: Head, throat, heart, kidney, spleen, gall bladder, intestines, etc.

Traditionally in Chinese Herbal Medicine these remedies were administered as a concoction.

 

 

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