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There are an infinite number of possible Chinese Herbal combinations and as your Chinese Medicine Patterns change, the formulation may also change…or not. It is not always necessary to change the formula. When catering to an individuals needs throughout the healing process, adding or removing even one single herb or possibly changing the weight dosage by a small degree can make all the difference in the world.
Let us look at a person with a short-term [hours to a couple days], acute cold such as a wind heat invasion. Some of the disharmonies may present as:
- Scratchy throat
- Slight sweating
- Red eyes
- Dry, clogged sinuses
- Increased allergies
- Green or yellow phlegm [not always present]
- Feeling lousy
They may require the immediate use of a clearing and cooling type formula to drive out the pathogen from the surface.
This is likened to an intruder who just made it to first level of defense, and can easily be driven back. This type of Chinese Herbal Formula is extremely effective at the beginning of an acute illness. It will mostly consist of Chinese Herbs that clear heat and toxins and relieve cough.
Now, let’s say the wind-heat cold has gone deeper into the Lungs Organ System and with time [over about a week] has really worn down a person’s immune [Wei Chi].
Is it appropriate to consider adding immune enhancing Chinese Herbs to the original drive out the pathogen formula?
Does this person already have a chronic low immune level allowing the pathogen to easily break through their defenses or has the pathogen created a low immune situation?
These are important and somewhat complex questions to consider when creating a hybrid-type Chinese Herbal Formula, and with this lies the beauty, brilliance and elegance of Chinese Herbal Medicine.
Continuing a bit further on this same case…what if this heat/cold has turned into a severe level of infection and has dried the vital, internal fluids to critically low levels?
Again, an augmentation of the formula, or possibly a combination of different formulas may be appropriate. This knowledge is not meant to confuse you, but to reinforce the vast possibilities and changes that can occur on many levels.
When a Chinese Herbal Formula is created, there always is a regal-in-manner structure that coincides with the specific Chinese Medicine Patterns that it has been created for. This can apply to both smaller [four to six herbs] and more complex, larger formulas.
It is common to use a format that is based on the monarchical form of government. The first Chinese Herb at the very top of the list is the known as the Emperor. It is the strongest and more importantly, really denotes the overall idea of what the Chinese Herbal Formula is all about. For instance with the famous Six Flavor Formula, the Emperor is Shu Di Huang - one of the most important Kidney Organ System Chinese Herbs.
Next is his Minister. It assists the Emperor with the main Chinese Medicine Pattern and secondary patterns. Next are the Assistants. They may assist with digestion, circulation, removing heat and so on… They may also control or temper certain effects of other Chinese Herbs.
The last is the Guide which is a special assistant, guiding the formula to its proper destination, organ system or meridian. For instance the Chinese Herb, Jie Geng guides the Chinese Herbal Formula to your Heart Organ System region. The Guide is usually used to circulate a strong [heavy and rich] tonic-type Chinese Herbal Formula. Many times Sheng Jiang, Gan Cao or Da Zao [big dates] are used for this purpose.
In summary, understanding the intrinsic nature of hundreds of single Chinese Herbs, having the ability to discern numerous and complex Chinese Medicine Patterns and finally creating or administering proper Chinese Herbal Formula treatment programs is a very specialized and rare ability. A Chinese Herbalist must be flexible of mind and dedicated to the helping of all life. They must also use the logical and scientifically advanced Chinese Herbal Methodology template, created thousands of years ago, to help today’s intricate health issues that affects life on a physical, emotional and spiritual level.