Chinese Herbal Medicine is a comprehensive medical system that is used to both prevent and treat a wide variety of ailments. Depending on the condition, a Chinese medical practitioner will commonly employ a combination of both herbal medicine and acupuncture in a treatment strategy.
In terms of the complexity of diagnosis and treatment, Chinese Herbal Medicine resembles the practice of Western internal medicine. Each prescription is a unique blend of herbs tailored to the individual patient. The practitioner usually designs a remedy using one or two main ingredients that target the illness, adding other ingredients to adjust the formula to the patient's particular condition. A key to success in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the treatment of each patient as an individual.
With the exception of conditions that require surgery, herbs can be used to treat almost any condition. TCM practitioners believe that the healing benefits of herbs result from the synergistic interactions of all the components of the plant. The same herb can be used for many different disorders. Likewise, the same disorder in different people will be treated with different herbs, depending on the practitioner's assessment of the individual.
Herbs are used in the following ways: antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer. Herbs are also used to treat pain, aid digestion, lower cholesterol, treat colds and flu, increase resistance to disease, enhance immune function, improve circulation, regulate menstruation, promote fertility, and increase energy.