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CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE - ANCIENT BUT POTENT HEALING FORCES

Chinese Herbal Medicine was conceived around an obvious fact that early humans were hunter-gatherers and their survival depended on knowledge of their surrounding environment. To them plants were not only nutrition - the vast range of plant types represented a magnificent spectrum of possible usefulness for humans - from food, to poison, to cure.

Chinese Herbal Medicine - probably the oldest modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is not only a fascinating and popular tradition but it also a scientifically valued natural treatment for various ailments. It is widely known that certain herbs contain active components which are commonly used in modern drugs. Approximately three hundred herbs that are commonly used today have a history of use that goes back at least 2,000 years. With time and experience the clinical applications of those herbs have been perfected and, as a result, Chinese clinical studies proudly admit that many of these herbs greatly increase the effectiveness of modern drug treatments, have the ability to reduce their side-effects, and sometimes herbal therapies can replace the modern drug treatment altogether.

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CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE - NO SUGARCOATING


There are two most common and widely used methods of applying herbal therapies. One includes making a decoction - a very potent and frankly speaking, unpleasant tasting tea, that must be simmered for about an hour or more. The other method is to make large honey-bound pills. The former, apart from being bad in taste is also time-consuming in preparation. The latter - difficult to chew, sticky and also not the most satisfying when it comes to its flavour!


Other ways of preparing and administering herbal based treatments include:

• Syrups - a very convenient way of administering herbal formulation to children and especially effective in treating cough and sore throat

• Herbal powders which, after being mixed with hot water are less pungent than the decoctions

• Herbal formulations in a form of pills and tablets called Chinese Patent Formulas

• Compresses and plasters - used for external application to achieve strong detoxifying results.


There are a great number of herbal formulas (perhaps reaching thousands) designed to treat almost any condition imaginable. The combination of the herbs used is determined by a careful medical diagnosis. Following the diagnosis, the TCM practitioner prepares each and every formula individually - to suit the subtle nuances of the condition and constitution of each patient. This approach reflects the holistic nature of the diagnosis and treatment exercised by TCM medical philosophy.


Importantly, the herbal formulations carefully prepared by your doctor are not permanent - they will change as your health improves and the nature of the energetical imbalance in your body changes. The TCM practitioner will remove some herbs from the formula when they are no longer needed and replace them with different, more suitable, and effective at treating the given stage of your condition. 

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CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE - THE APPLICATION


Chinese Herbal Therapy has been found effective both in the treatment and prevention of diseases as well as in the optimisation of health. Quoting The Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Association (www.acupuncture.org.au), the list of conditions typically treated with Chinese Herbal Medicine includes:

• Loss of appetite and common digestive disorders

• Insomnia and fatigue

• Constipation and diarrhoea

• Irritable bowel syndrome

• Common cold and influenza

• Chronic headaches

• Skin disorders

• Fluid retention

• Anxiety, depression and stress

• Allergies

• Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis

• Premenstrual syndrome and painful menstruation

• Excessive menstruation

• Infertility

• Impotence and prostate disorders

• Disorders associated with menopause

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According to another source, the University of Minnesota, there are 5,767 medicinal substances currently in use, including plant, animal, and mineral substances. The materia medica (book on TCM medicinal substances) includes information on the traditional uses, dosages, and contraindications for each substance, as well as any available information on drug interactions, and any conventional medical research that has been published. More relevant information can be found on their website www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu


Chinese Herbal Therapy has been successfully used in the US for many years and it has been proven effective at treating a wide range of health conditions and ailments, such as chronic pain, addiction and withdrawal symptoms, stress, anxiety, and heart problems, among many others. As every medical treatment this therapy also must be preceded by a thorough medical check up.

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