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 one of the great herbal systems of 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).
A majority of the current Chinese Herbal Formulas and physiological concept used today has it roots in theShānghán Zábìng Lùn 傷寒雜病論 written by Zhang Zhongjing 張仲景 from 210-219CE. Chinese Herbology is a subject that can be studied for many lifetimes as it is a powerful, deep and rich medicine. George puts many hours per week into studying Classical Herbal Medicine with Sharon Weizenbaum and other brilliant teachers over the past decade.
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 patients underlying physiological imbalances can be better understood. It is from there that a formula is written.
The herbs that George Mandler uses are not the ones you read about 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.
Contrary to what is written the fact is that Chinese Herbal Medicines ARE regulated by the FDA and held to cGMP regulation under Title 21 CFR 111.
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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