What are Chinese herbs?
Herbs, more like foods than drugs, can supplement our diet and fortify our constitution as well as prevent or remedy illness. Chinese herbs have been used for thousands of years in China and it is currently used extensively in China, Japan, Europe, and Israel. (As a matter of fact, Israel and Japan are the two largest importers of Chinese herbs in the world. In Japan, 70% of the western-trained physicians also write prescriptions for herbs). Chinese herbal medicine controls symptoms as well as treats the root causes as defined by traditional diagnosis. Proper usage of Chinese herbs rarely causes unwanted side effects.
Herbs assist the organ networks in the performance of their functions. Particular herbs enter specific channels and enhance the capacity of the pertaining organ.
Herbs are usually combined in formulas to enhance their individual properties and actions. Symptoms and signs are matched with therapeutic effects, reflecting the particular conditions and needs of each patient. The formulas are available in a variety of forms. In our office, we usually use concentrate powders, which are easily dissolved like coffee powders. In addition, formulary herbs which are directly manufactured by manufacturers in fixed formula (patent herbal pills) are also available.
What are the treatment principles of Chinese herbs?
There are eitht traditional methods which serve as the foundation for current herbal strategies:
- Sweating (Han): Induce sweating by stimulating and disseminating the Lung Qi, regulating and facilitating the interaction between the Nutritive and Protective Qi so that the pores open and the exterior pathogenic influences in the superficial level of the body can be released with the sweat. It’s used often in treating common cold.
- Vomiting (Tu): Stimulate the stomach to make objects stuck in the throat, esophagus , chect or stomach expelled through the mouth. It’s used for phlegm stuck in the throat or accumulated in the chest, ingestion of poisons, or stagnant food in the stomach.
- Draining Downward (Xia): Induce defecation to cleanse the bowels and expel substantive pathogenic influences through the rectum. It’s commonly used for Interior-Excess conditions such as constipation.
- Harmonizing (He): Harmonize the functions of different organs or levels. It’s commonly used for the half-Interior and half-Exterior conditions such as Shao Yang (Lesser Yang) conditions. It’s also used to regulate the Stomach and Intestines for digestion disorders.
- Reducing (Xiao): Reduce or eliminate the clumping or accumulation caused by stagnant food, retention of fluid or other causes. It’s used to eliminate food stagnation, reduce accumulation, and transform phlegm.
- Clearing (Qing): Clear Heat and drain Fire to eliminate their associated toxicity from the body. It uses cold herbs to clear the heat from Qi level, Blood level and organs.
- Warming (Wen): Warm the interior and unblock the meridians to dispel cold and restore the functions of Yang Qi.
- Tonifying (Bu): Fortify and replenish those aspects of the body that are weak or deficient in order to restore the normal function of the body. The herb well known in this category is Ginseng.