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The Daily Enlightenment

 

  Herbal Formulation
 

Principles of Herbal Formulation

Chinese herbs are selected and combined in formulas based on principles that have no relation whatsoever to bio-chemistry. The vast majority of herbal treatments use formulas containing four or more herbs. Only a few herbs are used by themselves alone. There are several reasons for this.

  • To affect related secondary aspects of the illness.
  • To prevent the formula from causing side effects or illness by balancing itís effects.
  • To strengthen the effect on the pathology.

One commonly used format or template for designing herbal formulas is based on the monarchical form of government. At the top is the king or emperor. Next are the ministers or deputies. Last are the assistants or adjutants. There is one special role assistant - that of guide or messenger herb. A memory trick to remember this template is to consider it as radio station KMAG.

Any herb can fill any of these roles. Which role depends on which herbal formula the herb is used in. They roles work together in these ways:

King Herb - The herb which is directed to and has the strongest effect on the most important imbalance/pathology

Minister Herb - This herb is directed to the main imbalance/pathology and to the secondary imbalance/pathology

Assistant Herb - there are three types:

  1. 1) Helpful Assistant - strengthens the effect of the King
  2. 2) Corrective Assistant - reduces or eliminates the harsh or toxic effects of the King and/or Minister herbs
  3. 3) Opposing Assistant - decreases the effect of the King. This role is mostly used for complex combinations of imbalances/pathologies.

Guide - Envoy - Messenger Herb - focuses actions of the other herbs on a particular organ, channel or region of the body.

 

HERB TEMPERATURE 

HOT

WARM

NEUTRAL

COOL

COLD

 

5 ELEMENT TASTE OF THE HERB

WATER

WOOD

FIRE

EARTH

METAL

SALTY

SOUR

BITTER

SWEET

SPICY

 

DIRECTION OF THE HERB

UP

DOWN

OUTWARD

INWARD

 

CHANNELS WHICH THE HERB ENTERS
When taken internally the herb's properties enter channels affecting the connected organs and regions of the body.

 


HERB ENERGETICS by Category of Effect on Qi

WESTERN MEDICINE

TCM

DIAPHORETICS

RELEASE THE EXTERIOR

ANTI-PYRETICS

CLEAR HEAT

PURGATIVES

DRAIN DOWNWARD

No Translation

HARMONIZING

MOSTURIZING

MOISTEN DRYNESS

No Translation

WARM THE INTERIOR

STRENGTHEN

TONIFYING, NOURISHING

DIGESTIVE

REGULATE QI of MIDDLE

BLOOD REGULATING

MOVE COAGULATED BLOOD

BLOOD REGULATING

STOP BLEEDING

ASTRINGENT

STABILIZE & CONTAIN

SEDATIVE

CALM the SHEN

ANTI-CONVULSANT

ELIMINATE WIND

No Translation

ELIMINATE PHLEGM

RESUCITATING

OPEN the SENSES

 

The KMAG template is presently the dominant method of designing a formula but several others have been very important and are in common use today. Chinese herbs are selected for use in a formula by any single characteristic or combination of all characteristics.

      

   
Disclaimer:

The Material presented on this Website is for information purposes only and is not designed to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. It is not recommended that laypersons practice Chinese Medicine without the guidance of a licensed professional.

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