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Home > Newsletters > November 2009 > History of Herbology - Reveals Roots of Herbs

History of Herbology - Reveals Roots of Herbs

History of HerbologyIf you are a patient of Traditional Chinese Medicine, you probably take home a paper bag containing dried Chinese herbs after your treatments. In your formula you discover plant elements—leaf, stem, flower, root or seed—and perhaps minerals or other natural ingredients. Have you ever wondered where the knowledge came from that your doctor uses to create your formula?
 
The art of combining medicinal herbs began thousands of years before the Christian era. Shennong, whose name means “the Divine Farmer,” lived around 5,000 years ago and was renowned for teaching China the practice of agriculture. He taught people how to cultivate grains as food and is said to have tasted hundreds of herbs to test their medicinal properties. The Divine Farmer’s Herb-Root Classic, first compiled around 206 B.C., lists various medical herbs, such as the reishi mushroom. Considered the earliest Chinese pharmacopoeia, this work contained 365 medicines.
 
From 206 B.C. to the late 16th century, new herbal medicines were added to what has become the book of Chinese herbal medicines, Materia Medica, bringing the total to 1,892 distinct herbs and 10,000 formulas. Over the years, many Chinese physicians have made new discoveries, theories and classifications, often writing or compiling books that have become classics of Chinese medical literature that are still referenced today. New data is continually being added.
 
In 2009, traditional Chinese medical students learn about herbology from a Materia Medica that is 8.5 inches wide, 11 inches long, 2 1/2 inches thick and weighs 8 pounds. Because of a 5,000-year history, your acupuncturist can make an herbal prescription that can help you feel better! Now consider that the United States is officially 233 years old!

This Month's Articles

November 2009
Volume 7, Number 11

7 Natural Ways to Avoid the Flu

History of Herbology - Reveals Roots of Herbs  

Diet Helps Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis

Recent Research

Ask The Doctor

 

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