“The complex of symptoms and signs in a patient’s presentation may often be contradictory (making it very difficult to identify the root problems of the symptoms). The tongue body and coating colors are relatively unaffected by short-term events or recent changes… making it one of the most useful gauge for monitoring the improvements or decline of the patient’s condition.” – Giovanni Maciocia, Acupuncturist & Prolific Author.
- Chinese herbs are comprised of roots, barks, twigs, leaves, flowers, spices, peels, etc. and sometimes of mineral and shells.
- Herbs are classified in broad categories: release exterior pathogens, warm the interior, sedate excesses, cool down excess heat, astringe, tonify, move Qi-blood-yin-or-yang, calm the mind, transform dampness-or-phlegm, relieve coughing & wheezing, move and expel food stagnation, etc.
- Each herb is known for its very specific medicinal effects and functions, target organ(s), temperature, taste, etc.
- A formula is a combination of 2 to 20 different herbs. Their joint functions will create the synergy needed to rectify the imbalances at the root cause of the symptoms.
- Herbal formulas are tailored to match each individual patient at any point in time during a treatment protocol. As the symptoms change, as the body heals, formulas are adapted accordingly.
- Chinese herbal formulas can be used in conjunction with Western medications. Sometimes to curtail the side effects of Western drugs, sometimes to address the underlying roots of the dysfunctions.
- Herbal formulas can be administered in different ways. Decoctions made of raw herbs that are boiled together into a tea is the most potent form of herbal treatment. While very powerful, decoctions are also, for most Westerners, a very difficult way to follow a treatment protocol because of the time constraint of boiling the herbs (once or twice a day) and of the smells involved when the decoction is made. Other, easier and more friendly forms of herbal treatments, consist of taking the formulas in powder, capsules or pills form; making it easier to adhere to a treatment protocol.
- I choose to use, in most cases, the pill forms when prescribing herbal medicines; they are easier to take and the dosage can be adjusted as needed.