What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?
By: Dr. Richard Zeng
Chinese Herbal Medicine
An Ancient tradition
Chinese herbal medicine is a safe, effective and drug-free way to become well and stay healthy, naturally!
Individual herbs are combined in order to enhance their actions and effects upon the body. When combined, a unique, synergistic formula is created. This combination increases the benefits of particular formula, and minimizes any harmful side effects.
In order to create the most effective formula, the herbs are used in different quantities and for different purposes. This allows the herbalist to create a formula aimed at addressing individual needs. Within each formula exists a specific hierarchy of herbs:
- Chief herb – this herb has the greatest effect upon the principle problem and is the most important ingredient. It is the energetic and therapeutic focus of the entire formula.
- Deputy herb – these herbs support the Chief herb in the treatment of the principle problems. Deputy herbs usually address secondary signs and symptoms.
- Assistant herbs – The role of assistant herbs is to support, and reinforce the effects of other herbs. They also help moderate or eliminate any harsh properties of herbs within the formula.
- Envoy herbs – Envoy herbs harmonize, guide, and focus the action of the entire formula on certain meridians or areas of the body.
Chinese herbal formulas combined this way offer specific synergistic actions and effects upon body and mind.
The art and skill of creating a formula lies within choosing the precise and most effective herbs that target an individual’s disharmony. It is important to work with a qualified herbalist who can prescribe the correct formula, monitor progress and adjust it as needed.
Formulas can be prescribed in a number of ways: raw herbs that are boiled into a tea, liquid extracts, pills or powders.
Chinese herbal medicine can be used to expedite the healing process, and strengthen, support or tonify the body. These formulas have the capacity to address the underlying root cause of various medical conditions, whether acute or chronic. When prescribed and used correctly, Chinese herbal formulas rarely cause unwarranted side-effects.
raw herbs, granules extracts, tablets/capsules, tinctures, lotions/ creams, salves or poultices.