Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Chinese Fundamental Herbs

Chinese Herbology (simplified Chinese: 中药学; traditional Chinese: 中藥學; pinyin: Zhōngyào xué), is the common name for the subject of Chinese materia medica. It includes the basic theory of Chinese materia medica, "crude medicine," "prepared drug in pieces" (simplified Chinese: 饮片; traditional Chinese: 飲片; pinyin: yǐnpiàn) and traditional Chinese patent medicines and simple preparations' source, collection and preparation, performance, efficacy, and clinical applications.

Chinese materia medica (simplified Chinese: 中药; traditional Chinese: 中藥; pinyin: Zhōngyào), is also the medicine based on traditional Chinese medicine theory. it includes Chinese crude medicine, prepared drug in pieces of Chinese materia medica, traditional Chinese patent medicines and simple preparations, etc.

Herbology is the Chinese art of combining medicinal herbs.

Herbology is traditionally one of the more important modalities utilized in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Each herbal medicine prescription is a cocktail of many herbs tailored to the individual patient. One batch of herbs is typically decocted twice over the course of one hour. The practitioner usually designs a remedy using one or two main ingredients that target the illness. Then the practitioner adds many other ingredients to adjust the formula to the patient's yin/yang conditions. Sometimes, ingredients are needed to cancel out toxicity or side-effects of the main ingredients. Some herbs require the use of other ingredients as catalyst or else the brew is ineffective. The latter steps require great experience and knowledge, and make the difference between a good Chinese herbal doctor and an amateur. Unlike western medications, the balance and interaction of all the ingredients are considered more important than the effect of individual ingredients. A key to success in TCM is the treatment of each patient as an individual.

Chinese herbology often incorporates ingredients from all parts of plants, the leaf, stem, flower, root, and also ingredients from animals and minerals. The use of parts of endangered species (such as seahorses, rhinoceros horns, and tiger bones) has created controversy and resulted in a black market of poachers who hunt restricted animals. Many herbal manufacturers have discontinued the use of any parts from endangered animals.

In Chinese herbology, there are 50 "fundamental herbs." These include:

1. Agastache rugosa - huò xiāng (藿香)
2. Alangium chinense - bā jiǎo fēng (八角枫)
3. Anemone chinensis (syn. Pulsatilla chinensis)- bái tóu weng (白头翁)
4. Anisodus tanguticus - shān làng dàng (山莨菪)
5. Ardisia japonica - zǐ jīn niú (紫金牛)
6. Aster tataricus - zǐ wǎn (紫菀)
7. Astragalus propinquus (syn. Astragalus membranaceus) - huáng qí (黄芪)or běi qí (北芪)
8. Camellia sinensis - chá shù (茶树) or chá yè (茶叶)
9. Cannabis sativa - dà má (大麻)
10. Carthamus tinctorius - hóng huā (红花)
11. Cinnamomum cassia - ròu gùi (肉桂)
12. Cissampelos pareira - xí shēng téng (锡生藤) or (亞乎奴)
13. Coptis chinensis - duǎn è huáng lián (短萼黄连)
14. Corydalis ambigua - yán hú suǒ (延胡索)
15. Croton tiglium - bā dòu (巴豆)
16. Daphne genkwa - yuán huā (芫花)
17. Datura metel - yáng jīn huā (洋金花)
18. Datura stramonium (syn. Datura tatula)- zǐ huā màn tuó luó (紫花曼陀萝)
19. Dendrobium nobile - shí hú (石斛) or shí hú lán (石斛兰)
20. Dichroa febrifuga - cháng shān (常山)
21. Ephedra sinica - cǎo má huáng (草麻黄)
22. Eucommia ulmoides - dù zhòng (杜仲)
23. Euphorbia pekinensis - dà jǐ (大戟)
24. Flueggea suffruticosa (formerly Securinega suffruticosa) - yī yè qiū (一叶秋)
25. Forsythia suspensa - liánqiào (连翘)
26. Gentiana loureiroi - dì dīng (地丁)
27. Gleditsia sinensis - zào jiá (皂荚)
28. Glycyrrhiza uralensis - gān cǎo (甘草)
29. Hydnocarpus anthelminticus (syn. H. anthelminthica) - dà fēng zǐ (大风子)
30. Ilex purpurea - dōngqīng (冬青)
31. Leonurus japonicus - yì mǔ cǎo (益母草)
32. Ligusticum wallichii - chuān xiōng (川芎)
33. Lobelia chinensis - bàn biān lián (半边莲)
34. Phellodendron amurense - huáng bǎi (黄柏)
35. Platycladus orientalis (formerly Thuja orientalis) - cèbǎi (侧柏)
36. Pseudolarix amabilis - jīn qián sōng (金钱松)
37. Psilopeganum sinense - shān má huáng (山麻黄)
38. Pueraria lobata - gé gēn (葛根)
39. Rauwolfia serpentina - shégēnmù (蛇根木), cóng shégēnmù (從蛇根木), or yìndù shé mù (印度蛇木)
40. Rehmannia glutinosa - dìhuáng (地黄) or gān dìhuáng (干地黄)
41. Rheum officinale - yào yòng dà huáng (药用大黄)
42. Rhododendron tsinghaiense - Qīng hǎi dù juān (青海杜鹃)
43. Saussurea costus - yún mù xiāng (云木香)
44. Schisandra chinensis - wǔ wèi zi (五味子)
45. Scutellaria baicalensis - huáng qín (黄芩)
46. Stemona tuberosa - bǎi bù (百部)
47. Stephania tetrandra - fáng jǐ (防己)
48. Styphnolobium japonicum (formerly Sophora japonica) - huái (槐), huái shù (槐树), or huái huā (槐花)
49. Trichosanthes kirilowii - guā lóu (栝楼)
50. Wikstroemia indica - liǎo gē wáng (了哥王)

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