The Yin and Yang of Herbs
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The previous two articles in this series (‘The First Materia Medica: Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing’ and ‘Returning Our Focus to the Flavour and Nature of Herbs’, issues 104 and 105 respectively) focused on classical herbal perspectives. This article discusses the yin and yang of herbs in order to better understand the clinical applicaton of the concepts of flavour (味, wei), nature (氣, qi - often translated as temperature), thinness (薄, bo), thickness (厚, hou), lightness (輕, qing) and heaviness (重, zhong). Although essential for clinical effectiveness, the modern transmission of Chinese herbal medicine has neglected this understanding of herbal medicine.
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