The Politics of Chinese Herbs: by Dr Damiana Corca

Would one be correct in thinking that designing an herbal formula is simply a matter of blending a few herbs together? Not quite correct. With your permission, I will endeavor to enlighten you on this point. Devising an herbal formula is a complex process which requires much more than thinking symptomatically and merely blending herbs together. It’s sort of like cooking. A meal is not just ingredients put together; it rather involves a touch of art and skill. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Chinese Herbs in a Nutshell by Dr Damiana Corca

If you know a few things about Chinese herbs, then the title might give you a giggle as you well know that not even the tip of the iceberg can be touched in a few hundred words article. Well, I’m fully aware of that! So, let’s think of this as an intro to the magic kingdom of Chinese herbs. They have changed my life with their wisdom and healing powers, and I think I owe it to them, myself and you to share some facts that might surprise you more than you’ve ever thought.

First of all, did you know that the phrase Chinese herbs does not necessarily imply that those herbs originate from China, but rather that they are applied through Chinese Medicine concepts? So, here we have our old friend Dandelion – if we call it Pu Gong Ying, it becomes a Chinese herb. True, many of the herbs used in Chinese Medicine today are coming from China and other Oriental countries, but in reality, over the past thousands of years, plants have migrated from a continent to another by different means. Take, for instance, licorice – Gan Cao in Chinese – which is one of the most commonly used herbs for over 2000 years. Does that make it Chinese? Not really, since the Greeks and the Romans have also used licorice since ancient times.

Chinese Herbal Medicine has about 2500 years of written history. However, increased herbal usage dates back at least 5000 years. You might say so what? What has this got to do with me? Maybe people have used herbs since the beginning of humankind. What if I tell you that Chinese Medicine has between 30.000 and 40.000 books written before the turn of the century with thousands additional articles and books written only in the past few years. Of course, Chinese Medicine is more than Chinese Herbs; it also incorporates Acupuncture, tuina (Chinese massage), qi gong, tai chi and nutrition. Continue reading