OK, so What is Herbal Medicine?

By: alizalevine
It can mean anything from Grandma's Honey Thyme Cough syrup, to complex Ayurvedic Paste Preparations,or Classic Chinese Medicine Formulas being prescribed today, in Hospitals and clinics by Dr.s in China.

Herbal medicine can include plants,animal by-products and even minerals(Like Calcium). That means that roots, barks, seeds, leaves, twigs,of the individual plants are processed for use as a remedy.
Herbs have been used for thousands of years and have been researched a lot. The way herbs are used will follow an Herbal System.It could be a complex science like TCM or generations of folk knowledge.

Folk Herbal Systems have contributed greatly to scientific data. Many traditional Herbs that worked for generations have proven to be effective in scientific studies.
Most folk traditions have individual herbs that have been used by people for generations with sure-fire reliable results. They work. Take Shepherd's Purse(Capsella Bursa Pastoris), for example, a lowly weed ,yet known to stop bleeding.

Now, lets say a woman has a heavy period and wants to cut down the bleeding. Well to do that she could take Shepherds Purse Tea,Tincture, or Capsules at least 3-6X day. The results can be dramatic. DO NOT TAKE Shepherd's Purse during Pregnancy. As a Midwife,I've seen Hemmorhages stopped in their tracks with Shepherd's Purse. That's an example of using one herb to do a specific job. You could take that herb in teas, like 3-6 cups a day of Shepherd's Purse Tea a day as long as bleeding is continuing. Good to apply (externally too)to a bloody nose or cut. (This is to learn the uses of herbs and is not claiming to diagnose or treat any condition).

Designing Formulas,the combinations of Individual herbs, is a complex and highly technical Art. Classic Chinese and Ayurvedic formulas have been around for hundreds even thousands of years...and are still being used with good results.
The formula will be designed according to Principles in an Herbal Medicine System..Like TCM, European, Indian etc. Herbal Systems have a unique way of understanding the body and its Balance.Whether it's TCM, Ayurveda,European or Tibetan or others, the goal is to see what is the imbalance and what to do about it. What is the problem ?... and How will the Herbs address the problem? This can be individually based formulas, or prescribing Classic formulas, used with success for generations.

Herbal Tonics
Most Herbs that are taken for ongoing conditions (like building bone density, Longetivity, stopping hot flashes)are taken as tinctures, powders,capsules or pills 3-4 times a day, every day. That would be called a Tonic.
3 X day or 3-4 X day.
In a lot of Eastern Cultures everybody over 40 takes Beauty and Longetivity Tonics as part of their culture. Or at least they know about it.
Acute Herb Use If Herbs are taken for an acute situation they are taken more often.To take a fever down you could give a tea of Honeysuckle flowers, every hour or so.

Thats right, common and fragrant Honeysuckle, Lonicera is a Potent AntiBacterial and AntiViral agent. Used for hundreds of years+ in China to fight infection. JinYinHua, as its called in Chinese Herbal Medicine,is used to combat infection. Forsythia is another flower with similiar antibiotic properties. LianQian as it's known in China is often paired with honeysuckle to combat infections. Echinacea also would be helpful, but effectiveness means giving it often. 3X day might not be aggressive enough to see dramatic results. Acute sitations need herbs more often for a day or so. Tonics are taken day in and day out.
Alternative Medicine
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