by Lauren Swanger, holistic health enthusiast and research journalist
Herbology uses plants, animals, and minerals to help the body restore its state of balance.
The twelve meridians are directional pathways in the energy flow of qi through the body. The meridians are named according to their corresponding organs, limb positions, and yin and yang properties. There are three arm yin meridians and three arm yang meridians which include the lung, heart, large and small intestines. The three leg yin and three leg yang meridians include the stomach, bladder, spleen and kidney. The goal of herbal therapy is to open the energy flow in the 12 meridians, releasing stagnancy and improving health.
Herbs treat disorders or diseases through internal or external absorption. Their application may be in powder, pills, teas, or topical form. Because Chinese herbs have different properties, natures, and functions, and because they enter various channels, they affect the flow of qi (chi) as well as the body’s natural balance. Herbology is a precise science that uses a number of classifications in order to ascertain which herbs are appropriate for use in treating a particular condition. Each herb, plant, or spice corresponds to a meridian within the body. Astragalus Root is used for immune deficiencies and allergies and effects the lung and spleen meridians. Hare’s Ear Root, believed to treat liver diseases, arthritis, and mental disorders effects the gallbladder and liver meridians. But simply knowing which herbs may treat which diseases is not enough. Chinese herbal medicine has been used and perfected over many centuries. Herbology is a highly refined and individualized practice, dependent upon a client’s needs and current health condition.