Of our earliest ancestors, the Chinese have made it a point to incorporate nature’s garden into the world of medicine more than any other culture, still adhering to the mindset of the importance of herbs to this day.
Although many cultures have traditionally used seeds and plant parts in their remedies, China has alleviated ailments using herbs since around 5,000 BC. Having amassed this knowledge for thousands of years, the Chinese have mastered the art of cultivating herbs for medicinal purposes and other cultures look to them for insight into how a diagnosis can be treated through the use of herbs.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is heavily relied on throughout the world by everyone from the common consumer to specialists in every field of medicine. The Chinese developed their system of medicine and herbal remedies to cater to the yin and yang principle, where the body should be in perfect balance and herbs deliver harmony to the person taking them.
Instead of treating one symptom, as is commonly done in the Western world of modern medicine Chinese herbal remedies seek to get the body back into a natural state of balance so that healing can occur and any imbalances are eliminated. In conjunction with herbs, the Chinese also incorporate acupuncture, massage, and a healthy diet into the concept of harmony for healing purposes.
One Chinese Emperor is credited with the launch of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Emperor Shen Nong (2697 BC) began personally tasting and testing various plants and their parts to see how it would affect his body and could help others with ailments such as circulation improvements and urinary infections.
Later on in history, Emperor Huang Ti developed what is now the world’s oldest medical textbook, called Nei Ching, which translates into Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine. Many doctors on a global scale still refer to this text today for herbal insight.
Although Western medicine has had an influence over Chinese medicine in the modern world, Traditional Chinese Medicine retains its strong influence as a powerful way to combine herbal treatment and technology.
The Chinese strongly believe that your mind and body must be in sync to avoid illness, which is why they have mental health tied into herbal remedies. Western medicine separates the two into different categories, treating the mind separate from the body. However, Chinese herbal remedies are now being used to treat mental disorders, such as depression in the Western World.
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