200 BC, The Divine Husbandman’s Classic of the Materia Medica
written. This book is known to be the first reference book of Chinese
herbal medicine. It included 365 herbs, many
of which are still commonly prescribed today. Since then,
Chinese herbal medicine has continued to be rigorously tested
has been greatly advanced, and around 1550 AD another famous herb text was
published with 1,892 herbs and 11,000 formulas.
Many western drugs we use today were developed from herbs. Current
science and technology still comes far short of fully understanding the
therapeutic effects of herbs, but that does not
the fact that Chinese herbal medicine is a time-tested and effective
health solution. Research has shown that herbs can strengthen the
immune system, kill viruses and bacteria, reduce inflammation, lower
blood sugar and blood pressure, and suppress cancer growth.
The application of herbs is guided by the TCM diagnostic process, which
goes to great length to recogonize the subtle differences between
individuals, as well as how their health conditions change with age,
season, and time of day. Herbs are
prescribed in the form of formulas which often cotains 8 to 12 herbs.
These formulas are composed in such ways as
to match the individual's paticular condition, to enhance the potency
of individual herbs, and reduce side-effects. Herbs
are usually available as raw herbs, powder, or pills.