Classical Chinese Herbalism

Many of us are drawn to herbs because relying on something growing out of the ground, rather than synthesized in the laboratory allows us a connection to nature and natural processes. Herbal medicine is likely the oldest medical system known to humankind. Animals instinctively eat plants that support their health.

Chinese herbs have been in the media recently, and are becoming well knows. Classical Chinese Herbalism is differentiated from much of Chinese Herbalism in that rather than just managing a symptom the herbalist takes the whole person into consideration and supports the individual’s vitality so their body can heal.

Chinese Herbalism is considered a science that is based on 3000 years of clinical experience. One of the oldest herbal texts is called the Shang Han Lun- in this text Zhong Zhang Jing outlines not only herbal combinations that can treat both epidemic diseases, but the theory and herbal combinations can be applied to modern chronic illnesses that limit our vitality and happiness.

Chinese Medicine has its own language related to health. Chinese talk about things like damp, or wind rather than western terms like Gastroenteritis or Parkinson’s. Utilizing this poetic and ancient view of the world Chinese Medicine and herbalism has a flexibility to treat illness in ways standard western medical systems struggle to help.

Herbs are not used in isolation. Herbal combinations work synergistically enhancing certain effects, decreasing certain side effects, and overall bringing balance creating a “Herbal Formula” that creates lasting changes to the body.

In prescribing herbs the practitioner will take symptoms into consideration, but will ultimately rely on the diagnostic skills of the radial pulse qualities, abdominal palpation findings, complexion of the skin, and the tongue appearance to determine how we can best help a patient find health.

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Classical Chinese Herbalism

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