A Short Primer on Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine

May 11, 2017

Chinese Medicine Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an ancient form of healing involving herbal medicine, nutrition, moxibustion (a form of heat therapy), massage, acupuncture, and other alternative medicine modalities. For 2,500 years, practitioners in the East and West have used the principle of balance and harmony—based on the Taoist principle of yin and yang—to treat conditions and illnesses of every kind.

Rather than treating the isolated affliction, doctors of Chinese medicine consider the body as an interrelated system, sometimes even connecting the human body to the environment, seasons, weather, and other naturally occurring phenomena that can affect its health. Doctors of Chinese medicine treat the person instead of the disease.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

When the body is imbalanced, there is either an excess or a deficiency of yin or yang. Yin, associated in medicine, is cold and dampness, whereas Yang is heat and dryness. Yin and yang also relate to certain aspects of the human body. For instance, yin represents the liver, spleen, and kidneys, whereas yang represents the gall bladder, stomach, and bladder. Diagnosis in traditional Chinese medicine works to either tonify or disperse excess of yin or yang.

Chinese herbal medicine originated in 2800 BC by Shen Nong (The Divine Farmer). The oldest known text on the subject, The Pharmacopoeia Classic of the Divine Farmer, classified 365 species of roots, woods, animals, stones, and other natural materials for their healing properties. Nowadays, many doctors of Chinese herbal medicine often opt out of using animals or animal by-products for ethical reasons and instead use plant elements to cure afflictions of all types.

 

Chinese Herbal Medicine

We infuse Chinese medicinal herbs into the oils in our skincare to heal conditions ranging from diaper rash to eczema, as well as nourishing the skin. If you would like to learn more about the Chinese medicinal herbs we use in our products, check out our Herbology 101 posts.




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