The Chinese practice of using herbs to cure illness is believed to date
back some 4000 years. A very old Chinese legend says that in the remote
past there lived a man named Shen Nong, or God of Husbandry, who
tasted hundred of kinds of herbs to determine their therapeutic values.
Over a long period of time, the Chinese accumulated enormous
experience and developed a unique pharmaceutical system, which has
proven to be the best natural therapy for curing all kinds of illnesses.
Chinese “herbs” include not just plants, but also parts of animals and
minerals. They are divided into five energy categories: Cold, Cool, Hot,
Warm, and Neutral. They have five taste qualities: sour/astringent, sweet,
bitter, salty, and pungent/acrid. These tastes and energetic properties
describe the therapeutic effects of the herbs. Herbs can be used
individually, but they are often used in combination, which is called a
What types of Chinese herbs can you use?
Raw herbs. The traditional way to take Chinese herbs is to drink a tea
concocted from raw herbs, according to the prescription, which is tailored
to the patient’s individual pattern of disharmony. Typically, they are
provided in a bag that contains raw, dried roots, leaves and seeds that
look like twigs. At home, the patient cooks this mixture according to the
practitioner’s instructions and then drains off the resulting brew for
Herb tincture. Sometimes a herb or a combination of herbs is soaked in
water or alcohol, and sealed for a certain period of time to extract their
effective constituents. This kind of herb is called a tincture.
Patent herbs. Many of the classic formulas that have been developed over
the centuries are considered so useful that they are manufactured in
readily available patent form, such as herbal tablets, herbal honey balls,
ointments, or patches and sprays.
Herb extract. The extracts of herb products have become widely used in th
last ten years. Through a complex series of processing steps, the herbs
are transformed into small granules that are easily measured and used. 0