Herbal medicine is an integral part of healing in Chinese medicine. Practitioners in traditional Chinese medicine work to match the therapeutic characteristics of herbs to formulate a prescription that will meet the individual needs of patients.
Because of its richness and variety, herbal medicine can be used for many kinds of illnesses, including treating immediate problems such as killing bacteria or viruses, helping the body to recover after an illness and strengthening the immune system to prevent disease. Herbs are seldom used singly, but most often they are used in combinations of ten to fifteen. An eczema patient would be prescribed cool-natured herbs to expel excessive internal heat, anti-fungus herbs to relax itching and moisturising herbs to soften and smooth the affected skin.
Chinese herbal medicines are traditionally taken in the form of a decoction, in which the liquid after boiling is taken as a cup of tea. Because liquid can be absorbed into the system quickly, this is still the most commonly recommended method today.
More and more western people are turning to traditional Chinese medicine because it has been proved to be unique and effective.