By Muscle Media
The practice of Chinese Medicine dated as far back as 300BCE. The point of reference of Chinese herbal remedies was the Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic Medicine which was compiled at around the same time between 200BCE and 100ACE. After that, a pharmaceutical system was established in 600AD.
Chinese herbal remedies came about around 3494 BC during the era of Emperor Shen Nong. But records on the herbal discoveries were only put into writing some 2,000 years later. And Chinese herbal remedies became widespread practice 5,000 years ago. As a result, it is considered as the oldest practiced medicine. So Emperor Shen Nong was credited for having discovered Chinese herbal remedies. For example, he was the one who started agriculture in their place and later learned the various medicinal properties in plants. After that, the discoveries were handed from generation to generation through word of mouth. Until, it was finally put into writing thousands of years later. The Chinese herbal remedies are still being practiced today. Furthermore, some were proven by modern science as effective.
Chinese herbal remedies are an integral part of Chinese philosophy and spiritualism. Furthermore, the core of its Chinese philosophy is an attempt to define the meaning of life. It is a marriage of two basic ideas- health of body and health of soul. Shen Nong discovered the Nature’s opposing principles. Two opposing yet complementary forces, the “yin” and “yang”, govern nature and all matter. Chinese doctors correlate yin and yang with the five ‘elements’ (wood, fire, earth, metal and water), ten major internal organs of the body and meridians which refer to the invisible three-dimensional pathways that circulate qi and blood throughout the body.
The Chinese believed that the natural world and life are determined by energy that are dependent and interact with each other. Chinese herbal remedies are based on a holistic philosophy of life. So, the purpose of Chinese herbal remedies is to restore health through correcting imbalances within the patient’s body or between the larger social community and natural order.
Chinese herbal remedies undergo four phases:
Visual examination. The doctor notes the patient’s appearance particularly the tongue for color, shape and coating.
Listening/smelling. The doctor listens to breathing and smells unusual body odors.
Verbal questions. History-taking.
Palpation. Doctor feels the ten organs through the abdomen, qi points along meridians and the pulse. Doctor feels three different pulse points on each wrist and thirty different pulses at each point.
The most popular Chinese herbal remedies used in the United States include the following:
Astragalus. It builds immune system and counters effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Don Quai. It aids in production of red blood cells and bone marrow.
Ginseng. It increases stamina and is a tonic.
Reishi mushroom. It eliminates toxins.
Schisandra. It prevents fluid loss.