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Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chinese herbal medicine aims to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases. It mainly consists of natural medicines and processed ones, namely medicines made from herbal, animal, mineral, and some chemical and biological substances. Although the invention and application of Chinese medicine has a history of thousand of years, the word "Chinese medicine" appeared only after Western medicine was introduced into China, to make a difference between the two.


Natural Resources for Chinese Herbal Medicine

China enjoys a large territory, various geographical features, and different types of climate. These factors have given rise to different ecological environments, which enable it to grow a great variety of herbal plants. At present, China has cultivated more than 8,000 kinds of herbal medicines, 600 of which are commonly used. This makes China the country with the most number of herbal medicines in the world. These medicines not only meet the demands of domestic people but also are exported to 80 countries and regions where they enjoy great fame.

Application of Chinese Medicine

Most of the ingredients of Chinese medicine come from natural resources, which have little or side effects. The multiple ingredients inside the medicines enable them to treat various diseases.

Another feature of Chinese herbal medicines is that they are mostly compounds. By being made with an appropriate proportion of different ingredients, the medicine can treat complicated diseases while maintaining the lowest possible side effects.

Application of Chinese medicine is based on its theory and focuses on the impact the
medicine has on the human body. The nature of the herbal plant determines the effectiveness of the medicine.

In order to use the medicine in a safe and effective way, doctors have to know such things like what ingredients are needed, the contraindication (effect), the dosage, the way to take it, and the way to make up a prescription. Sometimes doctors need to select different ingredients in light of the patients' different situation. As for contraindication, doctors have to consider the effects of ingredients, pregnancies, food, and diseases.

Regarding the dosage, doctors will have to consider how much volume patients should take per day and what the appropriate proportion for every ingredient should be in order to make up a compound medicine.

Future Trend of Chinese Medicine

In the future, China will carry on the current way of producing herbal medicine while giving more focus on cultivating better varieties of plants by adopting such methods like isotope and biological engineering. Meanwhile, China will expand the production of those greatly needed herbs, such as licorice root, the roots of large-flowered skullcaps and Chinese thorowax, and those imported from abroad, which amounts to 20 kinds. At the same time, China will do more researches to prevent the degeneration of seeds and cultivate more new resources.

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