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Medicine from Ancient China - The Use of Herbs for Healing

Jul 18, 2008
The use of herbs for healing refers to as the use of herbs for medicinal purposes by medical professionals. What this means is that instead of using prescription drugs to cure an illness or other medical condition, people are now turning to more natural, healthy ways to make themselves feel better. The use of herbs as a way of healing dates back to the Ancient Chinese. The use of herbs at this time has been referred to as herbology. The Chinese have used the native herbs in their country to cure many types of medical problems. In most cases the herbal medicines consisted of a mixture of different herbs that some people would call a cocktail for herbs. The herbs were put together to suit the individual patient. In each "cocktail" there are one or two herbs that have specifically designed to treat the patient's illness.

Herbs that are used for healing are based upon the categories of Chinese herbs. In Ancient times physicians used a method for classifying their herbs. The methods of classifying herbs are known as the Four Natures, the Five Tastes, and the Meridians. The four natures pertain to the degree of the yin and yang, ranging from cool to cold and from neutral to hot. When a physician decides on which herbs to use he/she also takes the patients yin and yang into consideration as well. For example, if a person is suffering from a cold the physician selects herbs that have a hot yang.

The Five Tastes are pungent, sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Their taste influences what they will be used for. For example, the pungent herbs are used to generate sweat. Sweating herbs are often used to harmonize the body. Salty herbs are used to soften hard masses and are sometimes used as a laxative when needed. The Meridians are herbs that refer to the organ in which they act upon. For example, menthol is pungent and cool and typically is used to affect the lungs and the liver. Even today when people are suffering from colds they use menthol as a way of clearing up the chest and a stuffed up nose.

There are some Chinese herbal medicines that have been standardized. This means that formulas have been created so that a set of proportions and types of herbs are used to create specific type of medicine. The herbs are dried ground so that they form a powder. The powder is then formed into a pill that can be taken orally by a patient as needed. While this is similar to what we do today, however, all Chinese herbal pills have one common thing that is used to bind the powder together and that is honey. The pills characteristically take on the same shape; they are normally little round black pills.

While these pills are easy and convenient, it is not an easy task to prepare them according to the patients' needs. The pills that are made are more general pills, when herbs are used according to individual patients; pills are not often the answer. Even today, the Chinese still rely on their herbal medicines; they believe that nature can help to keep people healthy.
About the Author
For more information on the best healing herbs,the use of herbs for healing and other healing herbs related topics visit http://www.FavoriteHealingHerbs.com
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