Herbs

What about herbal therapies?
Many patients today are turning towards herbs because of fewer side effects. Herbs are concentrated foods taken from nature and compounded in such a way to help the body heal itself. Chinese herbology is unique and unequaled by any other herbal practice, having evolved over thousands of years as a healing art in China. Today, more than three hundred herbs are commonly used out of nearly 6,000 herbs that have been classified for food and medicinal use. Today’s herbalist adjusts traditional formulas based on new knowledge, taking the best from both worlds.

Mother Nature’s Acupuncture is certified in Chinese herbology, applying therapeutic herbs as a major part of its practice. To start, we take a thorough health history, ask questions regarding all body functions, feel the wrist pulse and look at the tongue. The various findings from these diagnostics indicate which body systems are not working properly, as based on Chinese medical theory. A combination of acupuncture, herbs or other therapeutic modalities may be prescribed, but it’s worth noting that herbs can provide nourishing support following the “rebalancing” efforts of acupuncture.

The first major text to appear on the subject Chinese herbal medicine was the Shen Nung Herbal Classic. Although it was compiled some 1,800 years ago, it is thought that Shen Nung lived some 5,000 years ago. He is considered the patron of Chinese herbal medicine and also was responsible for advancing agriculture (vegetables and grains) in China. In the Herbal Classic, herbs are categorized as either “food herbs”, used to support the body, keep it healthy and to prevent disease; and “medicinal herbs”, dispensed as a formula with a specific therapeutic goal in mind.

Chinese herbal medicine has a complete system of classification of medicinal substances describing their therapeutic qualities. They are classified and described according to their flavor, temperature and other therapeutic properties. This system of Chinese herbs is unique and unequaled by any other herbal practice in other cultures, having evolved over thousands of years as a healing art in China. Today, more than three hundred herbs are commonly used out of nearly 6,000 herbs classified for food and medicinal use. Most preparations are gathered in the wild or are cultivated — usually in China, some in India, the Middle East, and elsewhere.

Herbs are combined using different methods to promote therapeutic effectiveness as well as reduce side-effects from the other herbs. The herbs are combined in various ways. For example, in the xiang xu method, two or more herbs with similar functions are combined to reach a certain therapeutic goal, whereas in xiang shi, two or more herbs with different functions are combined to achieve therapeutic goals. There are even more types of combinations to achieve very specific therapeutic goals.

Chinese herbs are mostly delivered in a pill or tea format. Less traditionally, herbs can also come in capsules. A pill formula can have up to as many as 15 herbs in it. One set of herbs has the primary role of addressing the specific pathology or illness. A second set of herbs helps enhance the effect of the first set of herbs. A third set of herbs can help with the symptoms of a disease. And finally, a fourth set of herbs can be used to improve the taste or modulate the properties of the other herbs.

 

 



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