Tapping The Healing Power Of Herbs

tcm-herbsThere are so many herbs out there.  Is there a way to tap the healing power of herbs?  The answer is yes!  However, there is no short cut to this skill, but it is a skill that can be learnt and applied.  It is a worthwhile effort as this skill will allow you to take control of your health.

Firstly, we need to understand the healing principles of herbs.  We can’t just plunge into it and use them blindly.  Once you understand these principles, you will be able to tap into the healing power of herbs.  It may seem hard at the beginning, but I encourage you to invest some time in exploring this.  When you get the hang of it, you will reap tremendous benefits in your ability to heal yourself and others.

Herbs have great healing effects on the body and mind if used correctly.  We all know that.  But what are underlining forces that make them so powerful?  Like everything else in nature, herbs have their own behavior.  You may like to call them actions and tendencies, and they include the followings:

  • All herbs have certain primary and secondary functions, e.g. some herbs have the effect of reducing hot phlegm.
  • When you ingest herbs, they will exert a certain thermal impact on the body, e.g.  heat and cold, or sometimes neutral.
  • It has a taste, e.g. bitter, sour and sweet taste.
  • Herbs have their particular qualities to incline towards certain energy (meridian) channels in our body.

Let us use bitter taste as an example. Bitterness usually has the effect of clearing heat. They are basically cold herbs.  A principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine states that the way to balance cold is through heat (use of heaty herbs to balance cold), and the way to balance heat is through cold.  Once you understand this, things become quite simple.  If a person has a heat imbalance, then you must use cold herbs to balance him.  If he is cold, then use heaty herbs instead.

This principle will help us avoid the mistake of applying bitter cold herbs on a person who has internal cold.  If you do this, then contraindication can be expected. However, when there is internal heat in the body, then the use of cold herbs will help to correct the disharmony.

Restore Balance With Herbs

People always ask me what is the most important thing to remember as a herbalist.  There is one thing we must hammer into our consciousness, that is our objective as herbalists is to strive to balance the disharmony in the body and mind.  If we work towards this, the intelligence within us will heal itself. Have total faith in this invisible hand within.

Therefore, our job is to design a herbal formula in such a way that it will have a balancing effect on the body and mind.  This involves two important steps:

  • We need to have an in-depth understanding of the herbs.  What are their functions, thermal nature, taste, and qualities?  This will help us pick the right herbs to counteract our imbalances; and
  • Symptoms and patterns carry certain messages to the herbalist.  We need to develop the skill in understanding these syndromes and their messages so that we can easily nail down the imbalances.

This is the key to success in using herbs. Implementing this properly will help us harness the healing power of herbs in combating any health challenges.  There is no short cut in the process.  If we ignore this principle, our results as a herbalist will not be good. In fact, in some cases, it may even be dangerous.