16 Oct The benefits of Chinese Herbs
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has evolved over thousands of years. There are several elements to TCM, one of which is Chinese Herbs, which can be used for a variety of medical problems, including respiratory ailments, such as colds, flu and bronchitis, heart disease, skin issues, allergies, digestion issues, IBS, tiredness, stress, mental disorders and much more.
Throughout history, Chinese Emperors strove to preserve and increase the knowledge of previous generations, with the result being that today there are roughly 2000 years’ worth of records of how the various herb combinations work on different people.
For centuries, China and other Asian countries have used herbal therapy widely, and in recent years, Western society has begun to embrace the benefits too. The biggest difference between Chinese Medicine and traditional Western medicine is that herbs don’t treat symptoms or diseases, instead they treat the entire body, enabling it to be better equipped to fend off whatever is being thrown at it. So, in essence, Chinese Herbs are prescribed to balance the energy, or Qi, that runs through the body’s meridians.
The theory of Chinese Medicine is that every living thing is sustained by a balance of two opposing forces of energy, Ying and Yang. Together they form the basis of Qi, so when your body is out of balance, as most of us often are, this causes a blockage of Qi and in turn can create illness. Many everyday things can cause imbalance, such as poor diet, stress, pollution, emotional upsets or infection.
The TCM philosophy works on the principle that everything, including the organs of the body, is composed of the five elements: fire, earth, metal, water and wood. Herbs are similarly classified into the five tastes, sweet, salty, bitter, pungent and sour, which correspond to the five elements. For example, since the skin is a metal element Yang organ, it would be best treated with a pungent herb.
Chinese Herbs are mainly plant based but can include minerals or animal products and can be dispensed in a variety of ways, including powders, tablets or teas, depending on the type of herb. They can be prescribed as a single herb or as a combination, according to the ailment being treated.
Although Chinese Herbs are a natural remedy, they still need to be prescribed and taken in a controlled way, which is why you should always consult with a qualified and experienced practitioner before considering which ones will be right for your particular requirements.
At Touch Tuina, we’ve been prescribing and administering herbs for various ailments for many years. We’re always fully stocked with each variety and have extensive knowledge about which combinations will work best in different situations.
At the clinics, we offer tailor made herbal medicine to suit a wide variety of needs. For example, one of our most popular formulas for this time of year and a great one to keep in your medicine cabinet, is our Cough & Cold Formula – Ban Lan Gen.
The channels Ban Lan Gen influence are the lungs, large Intestine, spleen and stomach, and the main functions of this herbal formula are to clear heat-toxicity, cool the blood, drain dampness and relieve sore throats. It‘s both antibacterial and antiviral and can prevent disease before it begins. Where disease is already present, it can effectively treat it, eliminating toxins from the body, boosting the immune system, fighting bacterial and viral infections and balancing Ying and Yang.
Ban Lan Gen is considered to be one of the most popular herbal beverages in China and is usually a staple in every household. It’s a common belief among Chinese people that it can be used to treat almost anything that involves heat and damp, so at the first sign of a sore throat or common cold, many will drink and self-prescribe it as a matter of course.
If you suffer from any of the symptoms or issues highlighted above and you’d like to find out more about the benefits of Chinese Herbal Remedies, either ask us to explain more the next time you’re at one of our clinics or book a dedicated consultation with us any time. You’ll be glad you did!