Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Rarely does Chinese herbal medicine use only one herb to restore health. Usually, the herbs are combined into formulas or prescriptions that are composed of several herbs. A typical formula may have an average of ten different herbs. The process of combining herbs allows the herbalist to customize a formula that is specific to your particular needs. This ability to tailor a formula to meet the needs of a particular client is one of the unique benefits of Chinese herbal medicine. Herbal prescriptions can come in various forms – pills, capsules, powders, tinctures and raw herbs that you boil at home. At Whole Health, we use capsules and powders that you add to water and drink. These methods of administrating herbs ensure convenience as well as effectiveness.
Chinese Medicine’s pharmacopoeia contains thousands of substances derived from plants, animals and minerals. A typical Chinese Herbal pharmacy in the United States will have about two to three hundred different herbs that are used to combine into formulas. The vast majority of the herbs are derived from the various parts of plants (roots, leaves, stem, bark, etc.). Some are derived from animals such as oyster shells and others are minerals found in nature such as talcum. Many of the herbs are common in a typical home kitchen. For instance, cinnamon, ginger, scallions, cloves, orange peels and licorice are all commonly used herbs in Chinese formulas.