Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese Herbal Medicine MeathWhile I continue to be astounded by what acupuncture can do, I noticed over the earlier years of my practice that for many people more could be done to offer a greater depth to their recovery from illness or pain and assist their well being. At times, clients would be symptom free after acupuncture treatment (and remain symptom free for some time), but I would notice that an underlying weakness, deep ingrained blockage, or another cause of illness remained in their body, leaving them open to a recurrence of their symptoms, or other symptoms developing at some time in the future.

This led me to more detailed research into the knowledge available in Chinese Medicine. This research and the experience of internships in Chinese Medicine hospitals helped me to understand that herbal medicine can be essential to complement acupuncture treatment, or as a stand alone treatment. I became aware that certain conditions were best treated with herbs. For example, herbal medicine is generally greatly superior to acupuncture in the treatment of skin diseases, heavy bleeding, fibroids, nodules and endometriosis, abscesses, toxic heat and many other syndromes. As a result, I studied Chinese Herbal Medicine over several years at Acupuncture Foundation, Dublin and then set up a herbal pharmacy to complement my acupuncture practice.

  History

Chinese Herbal Medicine Dublin Chinese Herbal Medicine Meath

Chinese Herbal Medicine is one of the most highly thought-of herbal systems in the world. It has been practiced for thousands of years, with the earliest documented evidence of its use found thus far being from 2300 years ago. The efforts of early practitioners of herbal medicine in China followed shamanistic traditions. Their work served as a basis for a movement towards documentation and structured learning of herbalism. The study and practice of Chinese Herbal Medicine has continued to evolve right up to the present day.

  How Herbs Are Used

The use of herbs is based upon taste, temperature, direction, function and organ/meridian relationship. It was found that, in general, sweet herbs nourish, harmonise and moisten the body, while sour herbs hold in/prevent leakage of blood etc, bitter herbs drain heat etc and dry excess fluids, pungent herbs promote movement and disperse blockage, bland herbs leach excess fluids and promote urination and salty herbs soften hardness and purge. Hot herbs, such as cinnamon, warm the body, while cool herbs, such as dandelion, clear heat. Light herbs tend to raise and move to the upper part of the body, with heavy herbs the opposite. It was noticed that certain herbs affect certain parts of the body in certain ways.

Chinese Herbal Medicine Ratoath Chinese Herbal Medicine SandycoveThus, the best way to use herbs is by combining of a number of herbs to achieve the desired effect. For example, if someone has bleeding because of heat (e.g. blood in the urine, ulcerative colitis, or heavy periods with thirst etc.), a combination of cooling, bitter and sour herbs may be best to clear and drain heat and prevent bleeding. Herbs that influence the particular part of the body that the bleeding is in may need to be added, while herbs that harmonise the overall combination to make them work well together may be needed.

The result of this is that a typical Chinese Herbal formula consists of about 12 herbs that are chosen based upon how they provide the desired action, how they compliment and balance each other, how they suit the body of the person being treated and how they direct the formula to the part of the body or condition to be treated.

A herbal formula is usually boiled to make a decoction that is drunk twice per day. Other methods of preparation that we use at Morning Star Acupuncture include ointments – for skin diseases and injuries, and pills – to provide a more convenient (but usually less effective) product.