History of Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese traditional herbal medicine has been considered a mysterious yet interesting science to westerners. Most people know its existence, but are unsure about its safety and efficiency, let alone trying it.

Chinese traditional medicine is an alternative system of treatment arising from a holistic approach to life. It emphasizes on the interconnection of the mental, emotional, and physical components within the body. It also emphasizes on the importance of harmony between individuals and their social groups, as well as between humanity as a whole.

The human body is believed to consist of not only flesh and bone, but also invisible Qi, which could be considered as a flow of energy passing throughout the body. There are invisible three-dimensional pathways, or so-called meridians that allow the circulation of qi and blood throughout the body. The meridians regulate the yin/yang balance in the body, provide connections between the individual human being and cosmic forces or influences, and protect the body against external sources of disease. There are certain points along the meridians where qi is thought to collect or concentrate.

When a person is living an unhealthy lifestyle, such as overwork, lack of sleep; or in negative mood for a prolonged period of time, the yin/yang balance in the body is altered, causing blockage or incorrect flow of qi. From an external eye, you can easily notice someone who has an unbalanced qi: the person does not look fit, showing signs of excessive weight, dry hair, nose bleed, abscesses, pocks, bruises and so on.

Sometimes the seasons also influence the yin/yang balance. If the imbalance continues, there would be physical illness, such as cold, fever, body aches. For therapy, acupuncture, massage, and the use of suction cups, called Moxibustion, are external treatments that are often used in Chinese medicine in conjunction with internal herbal therapy. The doctors of traditional herbal medicine firstly diagnose by what cause, the body is ill, which points in the body are blocked. Then use Acupuncture or Moxibustion to revive these points, and prescribe a package of herbs. Different herbs have different natures, and are believed to have different effects on body, for instance, taraxacum is good for detumescence, honeysuckle is useful to cure inflammation. These herbs could help the body retrieve yin/yang balance, and strengthen the flow of qi.

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