Traditional Chinese Medicine

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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complex medical system that has been in use for at least twenty-three centuries. TCM incorporates acupuncture, diet and exercise as well as herbal medicine, based on unique principles of diagnosis and treatment. While TCM can remedy symptoms, it is also known to enhance recuperative power, the immune system, as well as increasing energy and well-being.

Ideally we receive all the nutrients we need from a healthy and well-balanced diet. However, the reality is that the use of supplements and tonics are known worldwide. Dr. Long’ss Herbs are formulated for the individual under stress, because we can’t always eat right, sleep enough, and have time to regenerate our energy.

Chinese herbs are becoming increasingly familiar to Americans–almost all of us have heard of ginseng and ginkgo. What is less well-known is that the Chinese system combines many herbs into a single formula. Unlike Western herbs and drugs, Chinese herbs are rarely used individually. They are prepared in combinations that are balanced for the entire system. Different herbs are known to work together synergistically for an overall improvement in health. The goal of Chinese herbal therapy is to balance and harmonize the energy, or chi. TCM is the original holistic medicine, concerned with the person on every level–body, mind, and spirit. While Western drugs often eliminate symptoms, they do not change the underlying condition. For instance, antibiotics kill bacteria but do not improve a person’s resistance to infection. Chinese herbal formulas balance and fortify the constitution as well as prevent or remedy specific ailments.

The Chinese herbal pharmacopeia, or materia medica, is a group of natural substances and their formulations that are used according to the principles of TCM. Some traditional Chinese formulas are based on animal and mineral ingredients such as mother-of-pearl and amber, but plants are by far the most commonly used, including the roots, leaves, stems, seeds, flowers, fruits and barks.

With an estimated 30,000 types of flowering plants, China possesses the most diversified flora in the temperate zones. (North America claims about 18,000 native flowering plants.) Well over 500 plant species serve as medicinals in TCM, with many of them known to us as ornamental flowers such as daylilies, peonies, and chrysanthemums. Others are familiar shrubs that include forsythia, rhododendron, and honeysuckle. Well-known herbs, for instance garlic, ginger, and licorice, are also used medicinally. Ginger, first mentioned in Shen Nung’s herbal book, is used in many formulas. Modern research proves ginger to have a broad range of therapeutic actions including antibacterial, analgesic (pain-relieving) and antitumor effects.