Herbs are powerful. They have the power to heal or destroy the body. The history of Chinese herbal medicine is as rich and colorful as the system itself. The use of herbs and other natural substances has been used for thousands of years to heal. Most of the time when people this of herbal medicine they think mostly of plants. In Chinese medicine almost nothing was disregarded and all of nature can or should be used if found to be beneficial.
For example, scorpions (quan xie) are an “herb” that is used, mostly combined with other herbs, that can have very specific affects on the body. It has pungent properties and is normally associated with the liver meridian. It is used to stop spams and to dispel toxins and wind. Some practitioners even suggest using scorpion for such things as headaches and joint pain. It is generally considered to be quite toxins and it is normally ground into a powder so the end product looks nothing like the actual starting product.
The earliest known books on herbology in China generally are attributed to two people. First, there was a gentleman that Shen Nong, who was called the divine farmer and is considered to the be father of Chinese herbal medicine. It is said that he consumed over 70 different toxic substances to determine the effect on the body in order to be able to rid the body of disease. He wrote a book which is considered to be the oldest on the subject. Much of it has been reported lost over time, but some has been preserved. Herbs tend to be classified in three major ways.
- Superi0r Herbs – the best possible herbs for dealing with disease, nourishing life and restoring balance to the body.
- Middle Herbs – These correct ones constitution and comprise of tonics and boosters, and should not be consumed for long periods of time.
- Lower or Inferior Herbs – minimal action on the body which are used for very minor health issues.