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Making Your Own Chinese Herbal Formulas

Apr 15, 2008
"Sciatica and low back pain are the most prevalent conditions I treat," reported Colleen Blacklock, an acupuncturist and expert on Chinese herbal formulas. At her acupuncture clinic, she inserts needles into acupuncture points in the arms and legs to provide instant relief for chronic sciatica sufferers.

To aid recovery and healing, she prescribes a Chinese herbal formula that naturally increases blood circulation and address the pain, rather than masking the pain with traditional medications like painkillers. "They can give a false sense of relief and create more problems," she said, emphasizing why a more natural approach is necessary.

Are you thinking of creating a Chinese herbal formula at home? It is really very cost efficient and easy to do once you have the basics down! Trade in those expensive cold medicines for a home brewed echinacea elixir! Before you begin concocting a herbal formula on your own, a visit to a herbalist is always a good idea to determine your individual needs.

The best container for making your Chinese herbal formula is preferably ceramic (but glass is ok too). You should avoid cast iron or metals because some herbs create chemical reactions with those materials. Your teapot should also have a lid, which you should never lift while cooking, as it can allow the vital healing properties to escape. In ancient times, the preferred water used came from a spring, although today you can fill your pot with whatever you prefer.

Cook times for your Chinese herbal formulas will vary depending on what's in the pot. The average cook time is 20-30 minutes, and aromatics like peppermint or lemon balm should only be steeped 5 minutes. Herbs like burdock or echinacea should be cooked no longer than 15 minutes. Chinese tonic herbs like licorice, ginger or ginseng may require up to 50 minutes of simmering.

After you finish cooking, strain the tea and try some. Some people find the initial brewing of their Chinese herbal formulas unpalatable, in which case they should try adding more water (or a drop of honey if absolutely necessary) before nixing the whole brew. While the taste may be shocking at first, you'll find that the body will warm up to it over time.

Some of their medicine books recommend putting your tea in for a second steeping. The first steeping will affect energy/Qi levels, while the second steeping offers effects on the blood level. You can even split the batch in half, putting one half in for a second steeping to combine both effects.

You may feel like a mad scientist at first, just throwing all these things together. But isn't that what cooking and culinary sciences are all about?

At the end of the day, you'll be ingesting less toxins, less free radicals and improving the body's natural processes through natural medicines. You'll feel more invigorated, more relaxed and more balanced. This is what Chinese herbal formulas are all about!
About the Author
A whole world of information about chinese herbal formulas eagerly awaits you from Mike Selvon portal. We appreciate your feedback at our oriental medicine blog.
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