Herbal Medicine

Structure of a Herbal Formula

Chinese herbal formulas are carefully balanced and put together. Some of the classical formulas are so elegant in their structure, that to the trained eye, they evoke a beauty akin to poetry. The ingredients of Chinese herbal formulas are generally organized into the following categories:

These ingredient(s) performs the primary action of the formula. Often they are found in the largest dosage, and many formulas are named after their chief ingredients. They are the stars of the show.

These ingredients directly support the monarch, either by performing a similar function or treating a concurrent pattern of disharmony. These would be the co-stars.

Assistants often balance and moderate the natures of the other ingredients of the formula. Assistants are often added or removed from formulas to address secondary patterns or symptoms. These are the supporting cast or the extras of a formula.

The envoy will have two roles in a formula. They often guide or direct the action of formula to a particular area of the body, or they serve to ‘harmonize’ the formula. Herbs that have the ability to ‘harmonize’ create a synergy between the ingredients; they help the entire cast work together as one. These substances are typically prescribed in the smallest doses.

 

FAQ:

How do I take herbs?

A: Most of the product we dispense are for internal use, and are in the form of pills, tablets, or concentrated granules, which are drunk like tea. We do carry various washes, linaments and the like for treating aches, pains and skin conditions.

What about undisclosed ingredients and endangered species?

A: There has been much concern about the safety of products imported from China, as well as the use of endangered plant and animal species in Chinese medicine. In our practice we use carefully sourced, professsional-grade products. We use no endangered plant or animal species.

Herb Jars Herbal medicine is the other cornerstone of Chinese medicine.  The practice of Chinese herbal medicine is considerably different than the European and North American traditions.  Herbs are rarely prescribed singly, rather they are grouped into formulas containing between 5 and 15 ingredients.  Some of these formulas have been in use for more than two thousand years – talk about long-term clinical trials!  The advantage of this approach is that the constituents of the formula create a balance that moderates any harsh properties of individual herbs, and enables the treatment of the constellation of symptoms that a person presents with.  Because herbal formulas can be tailored to the individual, they should be virtually free from side effects.

Structure of Herbal Formulas:IMG_0254

Chinese herbal formulas are carefully balanced and put together.  Some of the classical formulas are so elegant in their structure, that to the trained eye, they evoke a beauty akin to poetry.  The ingredients of Chinese herbal formulas are generally organized into the following categories:


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