Native cultures all over the world have traditionally used herbs to maintain health and treat illnesses. Chinese herbal medicine developed as part of Chinese culture from tribal roots. By 200 BC, traditional Chinese medicine was firmly established, and by the first century AD, a listing of medicinal herbs and herbal formulations and their uses had been developed.
The classic Chinese book on medicinal herbs was written during the Ming Dynasty (1152-1578) by Li Shi-Zhen. It listed nearly 2,000 herbs and extracts. By 1990, the latest edition of The Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China listed more than 500 single herbs or extracts and nearly 300 complex formulations.
Chinese herbal medicine is a major aspect of traditional Chinese medicine, which focuses on restoring a balance of energy, body, and spirit to maintain health rather than treating a particular disease or medical condition. Chinese herbal medicine uses a variety of herbs such as astragalus, ginkgo, ginseng, green tea, and eleuthero (also known as “Siberian ginseng”) in different combinations to restore balance to the body. Unlike other schools of herbology that may glorify isolated constituents, Chinese herbal medicine is based on the synergistic effect of multiple ingredients, usually barks, seeds, roots & flowers, for very specific presentations ranging from insomnia to IBS to pain
from traumatic injury.