A General introduction to Herbs
The four energies (natures) of herbs:
The six tastes of herbs:
- Sour (Yin) - Absorbs and controls.
- Bitter (Yin) - Reduces and dries.
- Sweet (Yang) - Tonifies, harmonizes and moderates
- Pungent (Yang) - Disperses and promotes the circulation of Qi and Blood.
- Salty (Yin) - Softens hardness and purges stool.
- Bland (Yang) - Transforms dampness and promotes urination.
The four functional tendencies of herbs:
Combination of herbs:
- Mutual accentuation – Reinforcing, two herbs that are similar that enhance each others affect.
- Mutual Enhancement- Two herbs with different functions that can enhance each others actions.
- Mutual counteraction- Reduction of toxicity of one herb by the addition of another.
- Mutual suppression- The properties of one herb weakens action of another.
- Mutual antagonism- minimises/neutralises each others positive effects.
- Mutual incapability- create side affects they would’nt have on their own.
- Single affect- herbs should not be used on their own. Except gin seng.
Cautions and Contraindications:
- The 18 incompatibles (18 herbs that are incompatible)
- The 19 antagonisms (19 herbs that neutralise each others positive effects)
- Heating herbs for people with hypertension (High blood pressure).
pregnancy do not give damp heat clearing herbs and take care with purgatives and Qi moving herbs.
- Don’t give strong herbs to a weak person
- Don’t give hot herbs to hot people
- Medications and their herbal interatctions
- Avoid spicy raw, cold greasy foods
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