"Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine is actually called Chinese Drug Therapy in China because it uses a wide variety of substances and therapeutic modalities. Plant, animal, and mineral substances are all included in the Materia Medica of Chinese Drug Therapy. The earliest uses date back at least 4,000 years to the Shang dynasty. The herbal tradition of China is valued scientifically, as well as being a fascinating and popular tradition.
Scientists working in China and Japan during the past four decades have demonstrated that the herb materials contain active components that can explain many of their claimed actions. The most common methods of applying herb therapies are to make a decoction (a strong tea that must be simmered for about an hour or more), extract powders (or granules), patent medicine (tablets or capsules, which are smooth, easy-to-swallow), and large honey-bound pills. Both of these can sometimes be met with resistance in Western countries. Some find the teas too time-consuming, smelly, and awful-tasting to justify their use, and some find the honey pills (boluses) sticky, difficult to chew, and bad tasting. Thus, modern forms that are more acceptable have been developed for most applications.
In most cases, we will design a specific formulation for an individual patient, which might be changed frequently over a course of treatment. In other cases, one or more formulas already prepared for ingestion without modification are selected for use."
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