This TV series of Alternative Medicine - Herbs produced by the BBC tells the story of a remarkable journey taken by scientist Kathy Sykes to look at the ancient practice of herbalism - and discovers that some herbs do indeed have powerful healing properties. Indeed, some may even offer answers to medical conditions that baffle modern science.
Together with acupuncture, herbal medicine is a major pillar of Chinese medicine. The Chinese pharmacopoeia lists over 6,000 different medicinal substances in terms of their properties and the disharmonies that they were helpful with. There are about 600 different herbs in common use today.
Characteristic of Herbs
Herbs are classified in two major dimensions. The first dimension refers to the temperature characteristics of the herb, namely hot (re), warm (wen), cold (han), neutral (ping), and aromatic. The
second dimension refers to the taste property of the herb, namely sour (suan), bitter (ku), sweet (gan), spicy (xin), and salty (xian).
These temperature and taste are important properties used in Chinese medicine. The practioner has to match up the proper herb or food with the proper diagnosis of the patient.
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