Chinese Herbal Medicine is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and it has been so for thousands of years. To give you a better picture, think of those movies scenes where the Chinese Emperor drinks some kind of herbal decoction, prepared by his own doctor, to make him feel better. In these scenes you sometimes see the place where these herbs are selected and prepared by the experienced Chinese doctors and their staff. This is not fiction, and today herbs still play a vital role in Eastern Medicine. Herbs are the prescription drugs of Western Medicine.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine there are roughly 13,000 medicinal descriptions. It is important to note that herbal doesn’t always mean plants, but also minerals, animals and even human parts. When we need to select an herbal remedy, we can mix about 9 to 18 substances (herbs) that are beneficial to treat a particular symptom.
The biggest difference between Western pharmacology and Chinese herbal formulas is that the Chinese formula is made specifically for an individual and the components can be often adjusted for the benefit of the patient. In the past, an herbal formula was only available in decoction form. Now a day we can obtain these formulas in powder and pill form as well.