Chinese herbs are an integral aspect of Chinese medicine (CM). Chinese medicine is the description that encompasses acupuncture, herbs, dietary regulations and energy work (qi-gong, tai-chi, etc.) To many, herbs inspire the idea of delicious cooking or strange witches brews. In reality, herbs are a necessary component of healing.
The “building blocks” of herbal formulas are individual herbs. Herbs are categorized by their taste, temperature and channel affected. They are then grouped into categories that describe their actions (for example, supporting qi, moving blood, etc.) Formulas are carefully constructed using a combination of herbs and are designed to offset negative side effects. Many of the formulas we use today are based on formulas that were written thousands (and thousands) of years ago. To say these formulas are tried and tested is a gross understatement! Traditionally, Chinese herbal formulas are decocted at home by boiling the herbs in water twice and drinking the resulting tea. Today, there are many different methods of delivery. Herbal tinctures are a favorite in our office. Tinctures are formulas that have been decocted and then extracted into an alcohol base for preservation. Granules are another easy method, which is a concentrated powdered form of raw herbs that can be mixed with boiling water. For those people who have difficulty with the taste of herbs, many formulas are now available in pill form. Whatever your pleasure, there is an easy way to make herbs a part of your daily routine.