HERBAL FORMULAS (PRESCRIPTIONS):
Chinese Herbs are prescribed corresponding to every patients individual condition. A formula combines four to twenty or more herbs to a formula. In their loose form they have to be cooked into an herbal decoction according to specific cooking instruction. The decoction is usually taken twice a day, warm and on an empty stomach. Formulas can also be made up in granular form, with the convenience of not having to cook them.
It is slightly slower in action.
A Chinese herbal formula is generally structured comparable to reflect the hierarchy of the Chinese empire of old times.
- Emperor (chief)
- Minister (deputy)
- Messenger (envoy, courier)
- The emperor is the principle substance which is generating the main therapeutic thrust of the formula, for example to tonify blood or to release the exterior.
- The ministers are used to enhance the therapeutic actions of the emperor.
- The assistants provide treatment for:
- a) accompanying symptoms,
- b) counteract harsh or toxic herbs,
- c) assist the emperor and ministers and
- d) they also can provide a warming or cooling effect.
- The messengers either guides the formula to certain meridians, organs or body areas, and/or they harmonize the prescription.
For example: GUI ZHI TANG
- Gui Zhi (Cinnamon twig) 9 gram-Emperor
- Bai Shao (Paeonia) 9 gram -Minister
- Da Zao (Chinese Date) 12 pieces-Assistant
- Sheng Jiang (fresh Ginger) 9 gram-Assistant
- Zhi Gan Cao (honeyfried Licorice) 6 gram-Messenger
CINNAMON TWIG DECOCTION
Releases pathogenic influences from the muscle layer and regulates the nutritive and protective Qi.
For symptoms such as fever and chills unrelieved by sweating, aversion to wind, stiff neck, nasal congestion, dry heaves, no particular thirst, a thin white and a floating pulse that is either moderate or frail.
Here Gui Zhi the emperor releases the externally contracted wind-cold from the muscle layer, which is the main therapeutic action of this classic formula. The minister indirectly helps the emperor in that the cold is not being relieved by sweating is an indication of a weak nutritive Qi not contained by blood and yin. Bai Shao the minister tonifies blood, preserving the yin and nutritive Qi. Da Zao the first assistant helps the minister to tonify nutritive Qi and Sheng Jiang the second assistant helps the emperor to release the exterior, while also warming the center. Both assistants together have also the ability to harmonize nutritive and defensive Qi. Zhi Gan Cao the messenger harmonizes the actions of the other herbs.
This should give you an idea of how complicated Chinese herbal medicine can be. This is why we would never want you to use this information on your own.
Please respect this.
Chinese Patent Herbal Medicines
are classic formulas in pill form and are a method of delivering a certain amount of the formula per day, usually for an extended period of time. These are prescribed for long term treatment, travel and for children. The effect is slower and does not allow the herbalist to be as specific as with loose herbs. The end therapeutic results are still very good. Chinese herbal medicine prescribed by a certified herbalist is safe for everybody including pregnant women and children.