Herbal Therapy

What is Herbal Therapy

Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture are complementary therapeutic modalities often used in the treatment for variety of medical conditions.  Herbal information was gathered, tested, formulated down from generation.

According to Chinese medical history, there are more than 3000 plants and animal products being utilized.  The term “Chinese Herb” is very broad, including: roots, grains, seeds, tree bark, stems, flowers, leaves, even minerals such as gypsum and clay.  In order to achieve the best results, different parts of the herbs are harvested at a particular time.

Even though a wide variety is present, herbs are characterized whether they are: hot, warm, cool, or cold.  Additionally, they can be grouped based on how they relate to the following palates: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, spicy and astringent.  It should be noted that the aforementioned flavors, may not always correspond to the herb’s actual taste, but rather to their effect on the body.  Spicy herbs affect mainly the metabolism of the body as well as the circulation of Qi and blood.  Sweet herbs influence the digestive, respiratory and immune systems, used in case of deficiency.  Sour herbs on the other hand, have effect on hypo-metabolism.  Bitter herbs control the heart, body mass and improve appetite.  Salty herbs open the bowels and are successful in removing inflammatory masses from the body.  They are herbs consisting of more than a single taste.

The forms in which the herbs can be administered vary.  As a tea – an infusion of dry herbs in boiling water; powders – grounded herbs that can be dissolved in warm water; in capsules or applied as a cream to the problem area; congees – soups of herbs and rice; tinctures – herbs soaked in alcohol, usually red wine.  There are also tablets made from herbs, which dissolve slowly in the body, which have proven their beneficial effect over time and continue to grow and develop.

In addition, herbs are also classified according to their energetic qualities’ functions.  Individual herbs are often combined to enhance their effect upon the body, thus creating unique, synergetic formulas.  Each formula consists of:

Chief herb: the most important ingredient with the greatest effect upon the main problem
Deputy herb: it supports the chief herb in the treatment, typically addressing secondary symptoms
Assistant herb: it supports and reinforces other herbs, also moderating or eliminates the harsh properties of other herbs in the formula
Envoy herb: harmonize, guide and focus the action of the formula on certain area/meridian in the body