What are Superior Herbs?

Herbs are non-toxic and can be taken in large amounts for extended periods. They are known as tonics.

What are Medium Herbs ?

Herbs are non-toxic or only toxic at large doses. They can not be taken in large amounts for extended periods.

What are Inferior Herbs ?

Herbs are toxic and should not be used for extended periods.

What is Yin-Yang in human body?

yin-yang    The concept of yin and yang comes from the Chinese philosophy which describes two opposing yet complementary aspects of all dynamic forces. It initiates all growths and transformation, and maintans the balance and harmony of the vital energies on which human health and longevity depend.

    In human body, Yin is a cold or cool and calm nutrition, moving inward and downward and affecting internal organs and body fluids. Yang is hot and active forces of substance, moving upward and outward, toward the surface of the body. For example, if Yin is oil of car, then Yang is activity of the engine.

    When Yin and Yang is balance in human body , there is optimum health. When Yin and Yang is out of balance, there is per-sickness or sickness. People can practice the Yin and Yang concept to achieve wellness. With Yang high/hot body type, people should be cooled down by taking herbs and food with cool properties. With Yin high /cold body type, people should be warmed up through taking herbs and food with hot properties.

Yin & Yang in Chinese Medicine

In Chinese medicine, health is represented as a balance of yin and yang. These two forces represent the bipolar manifestation of all things in nature, and because of this, one must be present to allow the other to exist. Hence, where there is above there is below, whatever has a front also has a back, night is followed by day, etc.. On an emotional level, one would not know joy had they never experienced pain.

It is important to note that the balance of yin and yang is not always exact, even when the body is healthy. Under normal circumstances the balance is in a state of constant change, based on both the external and internal environment.

For example, during times of anger, a person's mood is more fiery, or yang, and yet once the anger has subsided, and a quiet peaceful state is achieved, yin may dominate.

This shift in the balance of yin and yang is very natural. It is when the balance is consistently altered, and one (be it yin or yang) regularly dominates the other, that health is compromised, resulting in illness and disease.

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners attempt to determine the exact nature of the imbalance, and then correct it through the use of acupuncture, herbal remedies, exercise, diet and lifestyle. As balance is restored in the body, so is health.

Causes of Disharmony

Traditional Chinese Medicine views the cause of disease in three main areas: external causes, internal causes, and a group of miscellaneous causes which primarily involve lifestyle. These are outlined below:

The Six External Causes

The six external causes of disease, also known as the six evils, are causes of disharmony that relate to climatic conditions. Just as extremes of wind, cold, heat, dampness, dryness, and summer heat can have devastating effects on the world in which we live, they can also seriously alter the balance within the body by diminishing, or blocking the flow of qi in the organs.

Wind is the most prevalent of the six external factors, and refers to the ability of an illness to spread within the body. Symptoms commonly linked with wind include chills, fever, colds, flu, nasal congestion, headaches, allergies, arthritic and rheumatic conditions, as well as dizziness and vertigo.

Cold related imbalances manifest as conditions that diminish the body's immune system, such as colds, cough, upper respiratory allergies, as well as poor circulation, anemia, and weak digestion.

Heat conditions are described as hot and inflammatory, exacerbated by hot weather and exposure to direct heat. They represent an over-active metabolic process, which can result in hypertension, hyperthyroid, ulcers, colitis, inflammed arthritic joints, as well as flu and skin rashes.

Dampness symptoms are created through the intake of oily and fluidic foods, as well as wet weather. These symptoms may include swelling, obesity, the formation of cysts, tumors, and lumps, and an increased production of phlegm. This phlegm production can affect the sinuses and upper respiratory passages, including the lungs and bronchioles.

Dryness can damage vegitation, and creates similar imbalances within the body, causing disorders of the lungs, sinuses, large intestine, skin, digestion, and reproductive organs.

Summer Heat, or an overexposure to sunlight and hot weather, can yield conditions such as heat stroke, dizziness, nausea, extreme thirst, and exhaustion.

The Seven Internal Causes

The seven internal causes, otherwise known as the Seven Emotions, are illnesses brought about by intense, prolonged, or surpressed feelings, and are defined as follows:

Sadness decreases the flow of qi in the lungs and heart, and is associated with depression, fatigue, amenorrhea, shortness of breath, asthma, allergies, cold and flu.

Grief is similar to sadness, and injures the lungs, decreases immunity to colds and flu, as well as chronic upper respiratory diseases such as emphysema, allergies, and asthma.

Pensiveness , or over-engaging the mind in activities such as worry, thought, or study can deplete spleen qi, and may result in edema, digestive disorders, low appetite, and fatigue.

Fear , or paranoia causes qi to descend, resulting in potential harm to the kidneys, lower back, or joints when this emotion is ever present.

Fright , or shock is unlike fear in the sense that the onset is very sudden, causing one's qi to diverge. The rapid change in flow first affects the heart in symptoms such as breathlessness and palpitations, then moves to the lower body in a similar fashion to fear, damaging the kidneys, lower back, and joints.

Anger encompasses all the negative emotions of rage, irritability, frustration, and resentment, and causes the qi to rise inappropriately. Anger is associated with headaches, mental confusion, dizziness, and hypertension.

Joy in Chinese Medicine refers to excess, or overabundance, and relates to illness relative to overindulgence. Damage to the heart may result, and the conditions of hysteria, muddled thought, and insomnia may arise.

References: www.aworldofchinesemedicine.com

Four Natures of Chinese Herbs

Four properties of Chinese medicinal herbs are Cold, Hot, Warm and Cool. They are also called four natures in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Cold and Cool belong to Yin, and Hot and Warm belong to Yang. Cold and Cool herbs can clear away heat, purge fire and eliminate toxic material. Hot and Warm herbs can expel cold and restore Yang, which are mainly used for cold syndromes.

In addition there are some herbs known as Neutral, which are neither cold nor hot and have a milder action compared to the other four natures.

For example, if a patient takes herbs with a Cold nature like "Huang Lian" and "Shi Gao", symptoms such as high fever, dysphoria, thirst and profuse sweating can be eliminated.

If a patient takes herbs with a Hot nature like "Fu Zi" and "Gan Jiang", symptoms like aversion to cold and cold limbs, a cold painful sensation in gastric region and diarrhea can be relieved.


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