The herbs in Chinese medicine are of natural origin and were known in ancient times as "materia medica". The herbs are "concocted" and refined into the appropriate dosage form according to the requirements.
When the ancients were sick, they collected materials from nature and tried various treatment methods, then summarized the experience, recorded it and passed it on. The Chinese herbal medicine has been passed down to the next generation. Throughout the thousands of years of Chinese history, there have been many famous scholars who have conducted research on Chinese medicinal herbs, and under the process of eliminating the impurities, the herbs have been passed down to the present day. There are thousands of them and they can be classified into approximately the following categories.
- Plants – Plants are the most important medicinal materials, and the whole plant can be used as medicine. Different forms of herbs are classified into different types, the former having roots and stems of ephedra, and the latter having ripe and raw rehmannia.
- Animal species – animal bones, animal horns, insects, etc. can all be used in medicine. Due to the recent emphasis on animal conservation, many animal medicines have either been banned or replaced by other herbs.
- Minerals – The raw materials are naturally occurring inorganic minerals and rocks, which can be used directly or processed for medicinal purposes, such as gypsum and rhubarb. The most widely known mineral medicine.
In addition to the source of raw materials, Chinese medicines can also be categorized by their medicinal properties, taste and efficacy. The flavor is sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, salty, and the efficacy depends on which organs the treatment is effected, according to the different diseases of Chinese medicine. According to the prescription, suitable herbs can be selected and processed into a compound formula to make medicine.
In fact, many daily food ingredients can also be used in Chinese medicine, such as honey, green beans, and so on. In fact, medicine has already been integrated into our lives.