There are now many clinical studies that have shown that Chinese Herbal Therapies can be very effective for treating a variety of medical disorders. Herbal therapy can also increase the quality of life in geriatric patients and help extend the life of cancer patients with or without the addition of chemotherapy. By understanding the properties of individual herbs and herbal formulas, the TCVM practitioner can predict their actions and prescribe the appropriate formula for a particular clinical condition.
Properties of Chinese Herbs
Herbs can be divided energetically into temperature categories such as hot, warm and cold. This allows herbs with “cold” energy to be used to treat conditions where Heat is present. Herbs are further divided into the five tastes: sour, bitter, sweet, pungent and salty. The taste of the herb relates to its clinical effect. This is because the taste is related to the blend of phytochemicals present in the herb. The Chinese Herbal Practitioner takes all of these actions into account in addition to the detailed recorded history of each herb’s clinical effect when designing herbal formulas for treating specific medical conditions.
Treating with Chinese Herbs
Chinese herbal medicine generally involves combining a number of herbs into a formula to treat a specific disease pattern. The herbs are often combined to produce a synergistic effect as well as to help reduce side effects that may occur if a single herb is administered by itself. In veterinary medicine the herbs are generally administered to the patient in the form of a pill, capsule or powder. Herbal therapies are used to strengthen the body and its natural function and to restore balance. This strengthening action is thought to assist in generating optimal health and healing within the animal.