Herbal Medicine and Diet
"Chinese Herbal Medicine embraces all of the domains of nature - earth and sea, season and weather, plants and animals - and all the elements that constitute the universe." -Reid's Chinese Herbal Medicine
Herbal Medicine has been mastered and refined over millenia in Asia. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbs are artfully combined into formulas. The power of the herbal formula is always greater than the sum of its components. Unlike prescription drugs that only target one receptor or enzyme in the body, herbal formulas are designed to bring balance and healing to the whole body.
Chinese Herbal Medicine is prescribed for three distinct phases of the healing process:
• Symptomatic Care
◦ The first herbal approach is to treat the initial complaint, that in itself is a manifestation of an underlying imbalance in the body. This approach is referred to as healing the "Tree Branches."
• Corrective Care
◦ The next herbal approach treats the "Roots," the underlying condition that caused the initial complaint discussed above. This underlying condition is usually built up over time and requires more time to restore the original health. It is not unusual to take herbs in this phase over months.
• Preventative Care
◦ The final approach to herbal medicine maintains the health of the "Soil" so the Tree can thrive. Preventative Care consists of mild herbal tonics and dietetic regimens which continues the nourishment of body, mind, and spirit.
Diet is an often over-looked but incredibly important factor in holistic medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches us that what we nourish our bodies and minds with has a direct impact on how well we function.
Diet in Traditional Chinese Medicine pertains to much more than just whether or not we clean our plates or eat our veggies. There are four important factors when considering diet:
• What you eat
◦ Where does your food come from? (Organic vs. Industrial, Local&Seasonal vs. Imported)
◦ How is it prepared? (Home Cooking vs. Eating Out)
◦ How much sugar and salt do you consume?
• How you eat
◦ Do you allow enough time to enjoy each meal?
◦ Do you chew enough? (30 times for each bite is recommended)
◦ Do you eat sitting down?
• When you eat
◦ Do you have a regular schedule for meals?
◦ Do you skip meals?
◦ Do you eat late at night?
• With whom do you share your meals
◦ Is eating meals a social and fulfilling experience?
◦ Do you notice that food tastes better when in the company of others?