The Chinese have made it a point to blend nature’s garden into the world of medicine more than any other culture in history and they still advocate the importance of herbs today.
Many cultures have traditionally used herbs in their remedies, but since around 5000 BC China has alleviated ailments using herbs. This power knowledge has been accumulated for thousands of years, which is how the Chinese have mastered the art of cultivating herbs for medicinal purposes. Even today other cultures from around the world look to them for insight into how a diagnosis can be treated with herbs.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
The world relies heavily on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) — everyone from consumers to specialists in every field of medicine. The Chinese developed their system of medicine and herbal medicine to cater to the yin and yang principle, where the body is in perfect balance. Herbs deliver that harmony.
Instead of treating one symptom, as is commonly done in the Western world, Chinese herbal remedies seek to get the body back to a natural state of balance allowing healing to take place and eliminate imbalances. Along with herbal remedies, the Chinese also incorporate acupuncture, massage, and a healthy diet into the concept of harmony and healing.
Herbal Medicine History
One Chinese Emperor is credited with the launch of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Emperor Shen Nong (2697 BC) began personally tasting and testing various plants and their parts to see how it would affect his body and could help others with ailments such as circulation improvements and urinary infections.
Later in history, Emperor Huang Ti developed what is now the world’s oldest medical textbook, called Nei Ching, which translates into Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine. Many doctors on a global scale still refer to this text today for herbal insight.
Although Western medicine has had an influence over Chinese medicine in the modern world, Traditional Chinese Medicine retains its strong influence as a powerful way to combine herbal treatment and technology.
Mind and Body
The Chinese strongly believe that your mind and body must be in sync to avoid illness, which is why they have mental health tied into herbal remedies. Western medicine separates the two into different categories, treating the mind separate from the body. However, Chinese herbal remedies are now being used to treat mental disorders, such as depression in the Western World as well.