Medicinal Herbs

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Medicinal Herbs

Post by Centralforce666 »

On Medicinal Herbs...

Herbal medicine gets a bad rap because results are inconsistent.

This is because herbs cannot be applied to western medical diagnoses.

They have to be applied according to the system they are used in and often this is not included in research or on the retail packaging depending on the herb.

The two most effective and complete systems are Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine. My background is the latter so I will start there.

Herbal medicinal plants are classified according to thermal nature, direction of action, organ or channel of effect and flavour.

Generally herbs are hot, cold, cool, warm or neutral.

They can either consolidate inwards, push outwards or release the exterior, circulate or go up or down (in the body).

The organs they enter correspond to the Chinese Medicine organ concepts which are more useful as functional descriptions of various body systems than just the organ. The channels correspond to these also.

The flavour of a herb is either sour, bitter, sweet, pungent or salty or a combination of these things.

Putting all these pieces together provides enough information to use the herbs to treat illness.

For example, ginger when fresh is warm, has an outward direction to release the exterior, is sweet and pungent and enters the stomach and lung channels.

Therefore it can be applied when there is an exterior disorder (think respiratory viral) that is cool to cold particularly when there is loss of appetite in conjunction.

The herb will always oppose the syndrome..

More on both to come..
Si vis pacem, para bellum

If you want a peaceful life, prepare for war
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Re: Medicinal Herbs

Post by Aquarius »

Thank you:D
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Edward Lonsa
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Re: Medicinal Herbs

Post by Edward Lonsa »

In Russian forum I made a topic dedicated to TCM qualities of herbs that are usual to our own region, because people usually ask "where do I get all this". Not everywhere there are TCM shops present. While TCM science provide much knowledge of our own herbs that we should use.

So, while collecting information I paid attention, that some usual European herbs which definitely help with the conditions they are for, are interpreted in TCM exactly as those for the actual TCM causes of these conditions.

For example, Senna, traditionally most powerful anti-constipation herb which is used in Europe, Russia and general Western world for centuries is exactly for heat / Yang accumulation in the intestines which is usually the nearest cause in chain (even if not the root one).


Chamomile, the usual herb for stomach aches due to pour digestion, is also known in TCM for it's strengthening of Stomach Qi.

Mints that are known to smooth headaches and cramps are considered in some TCM (and even old European) sources to treat Liver Qi stagnation (in Medieval Europe they have this term still pop out here and there in their books) and clear wind-heat.

Peony root is known everywhere over the globe for smoothing menstrual cramps and uterine fibroids, while in TCM it is known to treat blood stagnation that causes this.

And many other examples.

So I found a lot of such coincidences with Medieval and Renaissance Europe's texts (from which we usually take our Western world knowledge to treat symptoms) and TCM.

If anyone is interested in European Medieval herbbooks I recommend Adam in the Eden by William Cole, 1657. It is where I noticed some remains of TCM-like logic.
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