the healing power of nature
The origins of the high art of Chinese herbal medicine are attributed to the mythical Chinese emporer Shennong who was said to have lived around 2800 BC. According to tradition, he tested the effects of the various medicinal herbs on himself and recorded them in the book "Shennong Bencaojing".
Hundreds of generations of dcotors have added to and refined this knowledge. In doing so, they relied on the abundant natural treasures of the great Chinese empire. Around 6000 different medicines from herbs, minerals and also from substances of animal origin are described today, about 500 of which are used frequently.
The largest group is the medicinal products derived from the abundance of plant species. Depending on the plant and the recipe, all components of plants are used: roots, barks, leaves, woods, branches, flowers, fruits and seeds. Many of the remedies of Chinese medicine are known from the kitchen as spices - such as cinnamon, cardamom, yellow root, fennel seeds, galangal, ginger, mustard seeds or radish seeds, etc. In Switzerland, however, most of them are classified as medicines rather than food, so they are generally not familiar to the lay person.
Each herb has its own mode of action in the system of Chinese medicine. According to the disease pattern, various medicinal herbs are combined. The herbs used perform different functions. So-called "emporer herbs" are mainly responsible for the therapeutic effect. Numerous "ministers" support the effect, promote the absorption capacity or mitigate possible side effects. The art of Chinese medicine is to individually tailor the herbs to make an effective formula for the patient.
Various forms of administration
The original form of administratio is the "decoction", which is a freshly cooked tea made from raw herbs. Since they can be very complex and time-intensive to prepare, extracts in the form of powder, capsules or tablets have become more popular. Also methods for external application, as plaster, lotions or liniments have become common.