Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine has a long history of thousands of years. ‘The Compendium of Meteria Medica’ is an ancient pharmaceutical text written by Li Shizhen (1518-1593AD) During the Ming Dynasty. The ‘Shan Han Lun’ a famous and pivotal text of herbal medicine that was collated by Zhongjing between (196-220CE). This work was the first to group sets of symptoms and prescriptions. It denoted particular formulas, specific weight ratios of herbal constituents, and grouped herbs that work synergetically with each other to resolve illness.
Registered Chinese Medicine practitioners undergo a 5 years university course in Medical Science. Botany, Toxicology Pharmacology, Chemistry, physiology and pathology, just to mention a few. Constant updates of professional material, mentoring programs and seminars ensure ongoing development. Chinese Herbal Medicine continues through the ages to be refined, and developed, keeping this tremendously complex, rich & powerful medical system current and very much alive. With recognition world-wide by the World Health Organization, and more recently, with a full Australian nationwide registration.
Purity of Herbs?
The herbal granules used in this clinic are of the highest quality purchasable in Australia. All herbal products sold within Australia are T.G.A. approved and are scrutinized through periodic testing. Herbs are tested for heavy metals, pesticides and other impurities. Individual herbs are tested for the levels of active ingredient to ensure that a gram of the herb delivers its desired effect.
What’s behind the Veil?
Chinese Medicinal herbs are classified in several ways. Their nature may be cool, warm, hot or cold. Their flavour, can be bitter, salty, sour, sweet, pungent, bland, or a mixture of these. Each herb has an affiliation to particular organs, body regions, meridians and/or particular essences within the body. To yin, yang, Qi, blood, fluids, bone or muscle.
A herbal decoction may be made up of a single herb, or have as many as fifteen or more separate herbs that work synergetically. Each herb in the decoction is chosen to serve as a ‘chief’, ‘assistant’, or as a ‘guiding’ herb. In this way, the most relevant herbs in the formula are considered as chief. The guiding herb ensure that the formula affects the desired site within the body, and the assistant herb synergetically supports the chief herb in its function, or helps with the digestion and integration of the formula within the body.
Over thousands of years, the effect of herbal formulas have been observed, written and rewritten. Prescriptions have been tried, tested, modified and enhanced. No other medicine in the world has been scrutinized and revised through the ages in this way, or for the length of time as in the case of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine. From the bamboo etching found in ancient Chinese tombs, to the very current scientific tests conducted on Chinese herbs, used to understand their function, Herbal interactions with modern medicine is constantly being recorded and updated, to ensures the safe practice of Herbal Medicine in conjunction with drugs in a Western context.
Bringing It All together.
A Chinese Medicine practitioner uses a vast number of theories to understand the relationships that naturally maintain homeostasis in the body. A thorough investigation of the presenting signs and symptoms, examination of the pulse and observation of the tongue, enables the practitioner to identify possible etiologies, understand imbalances, and come up with a Chinese medical diagnosis to explains the presenting complaint. Once a Chinese Medical Diagnosis is realized, a herbal treatment can be devised to address the underlined condition, and symptoms. Headache, stomach ache, menstrual condition, fatigue, etc.. are manifestations caused by an imbalance. Chinese herbs deal with the entire condition. Once the body re-attains balance, the symptoms should subside by themselves.
A Chinese Medicine Practitioner is able to select from numerous established traditional formulas, or personalizing an existing formula by adding or omitting particular herbs from it. A herbal formula can also be devised from scratch to suit the individual, drawing on established herbal synergies and principles. This is possible when a practitioner is sufficiently trained and is able to discern the herbal constituents for their synergetic relationships with each other, and can account for the patients constitution, and presenting complaint at the time of prescribing. The formula must be balanced in all of its aspects, both digestible and effective, and must not overwhelm any of the body’s systems.