Chinese Herbs Vernon - Since the beginning of time, Mankind has been utilizing herbs as medication. From the earliest days of human development, the knowledge and experience obtained by using several herbal remedies was recorded as reference meant for future generations. People consider this transition from being gatherers in the wilds to pharmacology students as the dawn of herbal medicine or medical herbalism.
All the various cultures that utilize herbal remedies know there is a wider view of herbal medication which goes well beyond the cause and effect from sipping teas and chewing leafs. Among the oldest systems of medication is Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM. It embraces utilizing traditional Chinese herbs as a balancing component of a holistic body and mind approach to wellness and health.
The Huang Dei Nei Jing is amongst the first medical documents to describe the doctrines of TCM, dating back to about 475 B.C. This record was the guide for many of the basic diagnostic methods central to Traditional Chinese Medicine such as the duality concept of masculine and feminine or yin and yang, and the five element theory. Various herbs in the Chinese material medica provided an awareness of how Chinese herbs correspond to these theories and herbology was then introduced. Herbology means the science of creating herbal formulas in accordance with the individual's yin and yang status.
The Shennong Benaco Jing is among the oldest known records particular to Chinese herbs. It dates back to the Han dynasty. Shennong Benaco Jing is also credited as being the very first herbalist in Chinese medicine. According to legend, Shennong tried lots of Chinese herbs himself so as to study their properties, lots of which were extremely toxic. This work is reputed to describe approximately 365 medicinal formulations with over 250 being detailed as Chinese herbs.
Usually, all components of the Chinese herbs are normally used rather than only the leaf or the root as often is the case in Western botanical medicine. Chinese herbal medicine is further distinguished by the truth that it usually integrates non-botanical ingredients into the formulas like for instance animal fur, bones and organs, even though this practice has been mostly discontinued because acquiring some of these ingredients poses a threat to certain endangered species.
Chinese herbs are usually classified using certain criteria: the four natures, the meridians and the five tastes. The 5 tastes that are pungent, sweet, sour, salty and bitter indicate the medicinal merit of the plant based on the taste it yields. The four natures mean the orientation and degree of yin and yang aspects which vary from extremely hot or extreme yang to really cold or extreme yin. Lastly, the way the herb corresponds to the meridians or energy channels of the body is determined by the biological activity the herb exerts on the body systems and the organs.
Several Chinese herbs are not very familiar in Western cultures, while other herbs are usually known and utilized by go by different names. For instance, garlic is a popular item that is known as a medicinal herb in Western medicine and in Chinese medicine it is called dasuan. Aloe vera is one more popular house and garden plant which generates a healing, burn-soothing gel and is known as luhui in China.
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