Chinese medicines since ancient times are made on the basis of natural components of medicinal plants, minerals, extracts of animal origin.
Chinese medicines for human action
Traditional medicine gives its own explanation of the effects of drugs on the human body. Without having, of course, scientific criteria for determining the indications and contraindications to the use of this or that remedy and the interpretation of the mechanism of its action, the Chinese physicians of antiquity brought to their observations and conclusions the philosophical views of their time, such as, for example, the doctrine of the five primary elements. That is why they attached such importance to color, taste and other, purely external, properties of medicines.
On these properties, a conclusion was often made about the conformity of a given remedy to a primary element and a certain organ. So, according to the views of that time:
- Green and acidic medicines corresponded to the element “tree”, on this basis a conclusion was drawn about their beneficial effect on the liver.
- Red and bitter responded to “fire” and were meant for the treatment of heart disease.
- Yellow and sweet corresponded to “earth” and were used for stomach diseases.
- In diseases of the kidneys, dark and saline medicines were used, since they corresponded to “water”.
- Its color and taste, and, therefore, its element of application (organ) also had a primary element “wind”.
- Chinese medicines for the human body
- Stems and, in general, the middle part of plants were used to treat stomach diseases.
- The roots were intended to heal diseases of the lower body with the predominant female “yin”.
- Branches of plants (trees and shrubs) were used for diseases of the extremities,
- Corn – with diseases of muscles and skin,
- core – with diseases of internal organs.
The relationship with the male “yan”, and therefore the indications for use in diseases of the upper body had medicines, cold or hot, warming or cooling, in general strong. Conversely, acidic, bitter, as well as weak, corresponded to the female “yin” and was used to treat the lower parts of the body.
The division of medicines according to modern medicine
In addition to this complicated, even burdened by all possible from the speculative theories, the ongoing principles of the classification of Chinese pharmacology, the latter has practically, by experience, already distributed its means of action to major groups, a division adopted in modern medical science.
It can be said that narcotics, hypnotics, painkillers, diuretics, choleretic, tonic, antidiabetics, anthelmintic, restorative, haemostatic and other remedies were allocated:
- Tonic includes tea, tobacco, tortoise shell, tiger bones, cassia, cinamon, asbestos, and also ginseng.
- Of the binding agents, Chinese authors call ink nuts, lotus seeds, nutmeg, opium, date seeds, sour plums, iron powder, quince.
- They refer to the permissive mimosa, musk, ginger, dried and rubbed body of scorpion, camphor, (in ancient times it was already imported from the island of Borneo);
- Similar, but less powerful, action is, in their opinion, chamomile, orange peel, dried silkworm.
- Soapstone, sage, amber, red beans, rhubarb, sulphate soda, snow water is considered laxatives.
- White chiefer, seeds and root of turnip, sulfate copper oxide – vomit.
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