Chinese Herbs Formulas – a story of a legacy that became history: by Dr Damiana Corca

Chinese Medicine is still relatively new for some people in US and sometimes I come up against the skeptic’s question: does Chinese Medicine work? I don’t quite understand those energy pathways and then those Chinese Herbs, and how would I know that this kind of medicine is trustworthy. My husband always says that he loves skeptical people, just because he can see how people’s reticent attitude is revolutionized after sampling the benefits of Chinese medicine – there is no need for explanation, as the results speak for themselves. However, before getting to the treatment proper, I like to tell a story to the patients that pose such questions.

The story goes like this: Born in a wealthy family some 2000 years ago, Zhang Ji knew nothing of the common worries up to the point where many of his 200 family members died during an epidemic. At that time towards the end of the Han Dynasty, China was greatly affected by disease, civil war, and poverty. Who would have thought that such a burden on thousands of people was to be the seed of a great doctor who left behind a tremendous legacy? The pain and loss that Zhang Ji has witnessed all around him lead him to fully dedicate his life to medicine.

His books are still required as textbooks in Chinese Medicine schools and many of his herbal formulas are being commonly prescribed nowadays. How could anybody ever top that? We live in a society where scientific studies are the way of demonstrating that something really works and there is a whole science behind all these studies, and debates, as nothing can really be tested in a few years of trials. This is were I need to emphasize that 2000 years of continuous trials of herbal formulas leave no place for error provided that such formulas are properly prescribed. Time is the only judge and you must agree that nothing can survive for 2000 years if there is nothing to it.

Zhang Ji left us the inspiration and the wonder about how one single person can truly and deeply change the world. People have been remembering him as the “Sage of Medicine” for the indelible mark he has left on Chinese Medicine.

To be honest, Zhang Ji has also made me gasp with surprise. While studying herbal medicine in college it seemed like his name was everywhere. So, one evening I just took a book of over 1000 pages on herbal medicine and searched for formulas made by him that are still in use today. To my surprise, I have found 28 herbal formulas, of which over 10 are very commonly used today.

The formulas made by him could be used for many diseases but this is not the point – many of the names that we call a “disease” today did not even exist 2000 years ago. What stays the same are our discomforts and pains as human beings. And this is why herbal formulas successfully used two millennia ago are as good as they have ever been.

I am sure you would even better understand the beautiful power of plants if I were to take an herbal formula and explain to you how it works, but I don’t want to bore you with a lengthy article. Enjoy this starter and I promise there is more to come!

More on my blog:

Damiana Corca, DOM, AP, Dipl. O.M., Dipl. C.H.

Doctor of Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture Physician

Board Certified in Oriental Medicine

Board Certified in Chinese Herbology

Western Family and Consultant Herbalist

Candidate, Board Certified Classical Homeopath

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