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Ancient Wisdom Treats Modern Diseases

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese Herbal Medicine: A Brief Introduction

All traditional cultures have used some form of herbal medicine to treat illness and maintain health. The medicine we need to heal ourselves often grows all around us. For instance, aspirin was created from research on white willow bark, a substance that has traditionally been used as a form of herbal medicine in some Native American cultures. Chinese Herbal Medicine is the most sophisticated herbal system in the world, with an unbroken tradition going possibly as far back to the 3rd century BC.

Modern medicine is now studying many of the Chinese herbs that have been used for thousands of years. In fact, Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) possibly predates acupuncture, having been firmly established by 200BC (at the latest).

Jing Fang 經 方 means classical formulas and is the name given to a set of herbal prescriptions that were composed, mostly from pivotal works like Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (神農本草經) and Shang Han Za Bing Lun (傷寒雜病論), this was the medicine of imperial China from around the time of the Han dynasty, the Golden Age of Chinese Medicine.

The Shāng Hán Zá Bìng Lùn (傷寒雜病論) Treatise on Cold Damage Diseases, was written by Zhāng Zhòng Jǐng (張仲景)  from 210-219 CE. During the Song Dynasty around 1100CE, it was reconstructed and compiled into two other books: Shang han lun (傷寒論) and Jin gui yao lue fang lun (金匱要略方論).

Diagnosis

The theoretical and clinical concepts of Jing Fang are the oldest and most authoritative formulation of Chinese medicine, and have been proven highly effective in the clinical practice of internal medicine for nearly two millennia.    But it takes a tremendous amount of study which I do on average 4 hours per week.

Since its inception, Chinese Herbal Medicine has established how to differentiate between various dis-eased physiological states and matching an effective herb prescription to correct physiological function.  It is not a medicine where “you take this herb for this symptom”.  The concept of  “one disease many formulas, one formula many diseases” is what underlies this medicine as it is about restoring your physiological function.

After a thorough intake asking questions, looking at the tongue, feeling the pulse, and abdominal palpation a patient’s underlying physiological imbalances can be better understood.  It is from there that a formula is written.

Herb Quality

The herbs that I use are not the ones sensationalized in the news- they are all tested and follow strict manufacturing standards and many of the herbs are certified organic. The supply companies used in the pharmacy are: KPC, Spring Wind, Legendary, and Sun Ten.   In fact, the herbs are built into the medical system in Taiwan and Japan and are thoroughly tested for pesticides, metals, and potency of the phytonutrients.   The Taiwanese government maintains a website that contains the testing from the companies I purchase from as all medications that are part of the health insurance system need to be documented.

Contrary to what is incorrectly stated by many,  Chinese Herbal Medicines ARE regulated by the FDA and held to cGMP regulation under Title 21 CFR 111.

Herb Administration

Herbs can be either raw whole, ground raw, powdered concentrate, or patent. The raw form is one that you cook yourself. If you love to cook and love the smell of herbs, then this is an excellent choice, especially as it is often the best method of treatment. All raw herbs used by George are either certified organic or guaranteed to have been grown without pesticides or herbicides.

George’s Stow office pharmacy is stocked with over 200 5:1 concentrate herbs and formulas as these are easier to take than the raw form.   You will receive a bottle with a few days to a couple of weeks worth of herbs and simply put a few spoons in a cup and add hot water to get it to dissolve.   The herb cost is from $12-22 dollars per week.

Chinese Herbal Medicine is a rich and complete medical system that is used to treat a variety of ailments throughout the world.  It is the understanding of how to diagnose and properly write a formula that makes it so powerful.  We have two thousand years of doctor’s case studies to learn from which makes this plant medicine just as effective today as it was a millennium ago.

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