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The successful prescribing of Chinese herbs is dependent on many factors, of which knowledge of the herb’s function is just one. Herbs may synergise one another within a formula and therefore the way they are combined can significantly alter their action. At the same time, different doses of a herb may either modify its effect or even render it ineffective if the wrong dose is used. Preparation methods, for example whether fresh or cooked, with or without additional substances, can also dramatically affect the way a herb works within a formula. Finally, how and when a herbal medicine is cooked and taken may make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful treatment.
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