Chinese herbs have been used therapeutically for over 3,000 years and have a long history of empirical observation and clinical trial and error. In the 2nd century A.D. the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing was created detailing 365 different herbs.
Chinese herbs include botanical leaves, branches, stems, fruits, seeds, bark, and twigs as well as animals, fish, shellfish, insects, and minerals.
Chinese herbs have therapeutic functions describing their energetic effects on the physical, emotional and energetic body. These include: dispersing, astringing, tonifying, sedating, warming, cooling, moistening, drying, eliminating toxins, and moving.
Growing and harvesting Chinese herbs is a science and the geographic climate and time of harvest is important.
Once herbs are harvested they can undergo various preparations and processes to alter their therapeutic effect such as charring to ash, dry frying, and pulverizing.
Each herb has a specific taste attributed to it: acrid, sweet, sour, bitter, salty, bland, or astringent.
Although Chinese herbs can be prescribed as single herbs they are most often combined herbal formulations which is naturally more complicated and there are specific rules and guidelines that must be followed.
There is a national board that certifies Chinese medicine practitioners in Chinese herbology. A lot of practitioners do not pass these boards their first time.
Chinese herbs can be very effective and used safely during pregnancy and breast feeding when prescribed by a properly educated practitioner.
ilumina has a large Chinese herbal pharmacy which contains more than 350 single Chinese herbs that have gone through rigorous testing for authenticity, purity, and safety.