Introduction to Chinese herbs and tonics

Chinese herbal medicine is a vital part of one of the oldest medicinal systems in the world, traditional Chinese medicine or TCM. One of the early holistic systems, TCM has the aim of restoring and maintaining equilibrium and harmony within the whole person. Chinese doctors believe that, like everything in the universe, humans too are governed by the laws of yin and yang - the 'Great Principle'. There are two complementary forms of chi or energy: 'yin' reflects the feminine, receptive, dark, cool, soft and moist; and 'Yang' the masculine, creative, bright, warm, hard and dry. We need a healthy balance of yin and yang energy to maintain general good health and well-being.
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe that clearing and stimulating the channels of energy within the body helps restore balance, thereby restoring health. They consider illness to be the result of the loss of balance between yin and yang, or that the circulation of chi through the body is blocked.
Chinese herbs have been used for their medicinal value and tonic properties for many millennia. Mixtures of herbs are created that can cleanse, cool or warm the blood, strengthen the immune system, and balance and regulate all the systems of the body to enhance mental - as well as physical - well-being. In their herbal formulas, the Chinese include the roots, seeds, stems, twigs and sap along with the berries, flowers and leaves.
Please note that traditional Chinese medicine experts take the ingestion of herbs and tonics very seriously and advise you seek the advice of a qualified practitioner and have a formula created for your unique needs and requirements. Even ginseng and ginger may be too much of a stimulant for a certain type and could be dangerous for people with high blood pressure.