In TCM all things, especially living things, have Qi. Herbal medicinal formulations are not only created to treat specific Qi disorders, each herb and plant has its own Qi, which forms the basis of its mechanism of action. In TCM herbs are categorized by their natural makeup; their Qi. The herbs are described and organized by “Temperature” and “Taste”. Herbs are either cold, cool, hot, or neutral, and/or spicy, sweet, and bitter. Herbs are also designated by the four directions, based on quadrants of the body related to the specific areas they treat.
Western medicine tends to ridicule the efficacy of nutritional supplements and herbal medication. However over 50% of so-called modern pharmaceuticals are derived from botanical substances. There are about 600 different herbs that are most commonly prescribed by Chinese herbalists. Yet the Chinese pharmacopoeia lists over 6,000 different medicinal substances by their properties and by the Qi disturbances they can help to correct.
Unlike other forms of herbal medicine, the Chinese herbalist will rarely prescribe a single herb for the treatment of an illness. Chinese herbs are almost always used in combination. It is the herbalist’s ability to diagnose and the skills with which the practitioner creates these formulations, that gives the herbs their healing power. Each herb itself is often a mix of temperature and taste, and therefore doesn’t posses a single property. It is up to the herbalist to weave them together like the notes of symphony, to deliver a cure.
The traditional way that Chinese Herbal Medicines are administered is in an infusion, or decoction, a concentrated form of tea. However there are practitioners that will create herbal pills or capsules of herbal formulations. You may find some practitioners, who will also use tinctures and granules, but the tea is still the more common, and some would say the most effective.
Chinese Herbal Medicines are a pillar of TCM, and therefore are used to treat any and all ailments, however Chinese Herbs have proven to be very effective in treating colds, digestive disorders, arthritis and those who suffer from allergies. There has been a recent and growing interest in the anti-aging benefits of various Chinese Herbs.
For more information on Chinese herbology, please call (619) 574-6909 or visit us at www.PacificCollege.edu