Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese Herbal Medicine is one of the more important treatments in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Most herbal medicine preparations are a cocktail of many herbs tailored to the meet the requirements of a specific diagnosis and treat the specific condition and/or symptoms revealed by the diagnosis.

One batch of herbs is typically decocted twice over the course of one hour.

The practitioner usually designs a herbal medicine preparation using just one or two main ingredients that target the specific condition and/or symptoms revealed by the diagnosis. However, the practitioner may add several or even many other herbs and other ingredients in order to adjust the formula to the patient’s current Yin-Yang levels.

Side Effects

Sometimes, other ingredients may be added to the herbal medicine preparation are required to cancel out various side-effects or toxicity of the main ingredients. For other herbal medicine preparations, special ingredients are required to increase its effectiveness.

Many hundreds of ingredients are available for use in Chinese Herbal Medicine, and Chinese Herbal Doctors require a great deal of experience and knowledge in order to be able to provide the best preparations for their patients.

The preparations and ingredients themselves are complex enough, but there are also a number of issues which Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioners must deal with.


Unlike Western medications, the balance and interaction between the ingredients in a herbal medicine preparation are considered more important than the effect of individual ingredients.

Chinese Herbal Medicine utilizes ingredients from all parts of the plant, including leaf, stem, flower, and root. In addition, Chinese Herbal Medicine also includes ingredients from animals, as well as minerals and other compounds.

The use of parts of endangered species (such as seahorses, rhinoceros horns, and the bones and penis of tigers) in Chinese Herbal Medicine has created a great deal of controversy.