“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” —
Plant Medicine (Herbalism)
‘A Lens Through Traditional Chinese Medicine’
Plants have long been our allies. Throughout many civilizations herbal medicine has been used to aid in the human’s mental, bodily and spiritual health. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herbalism is a unique approach to the whole person; all of the systems; the root and branch.
Herbalism through the lens TCM is prescribed based on patterns and collections of symptoms. There are many patterns of disharmony and often an individual has 1-3 occurring at any given time. Practitioners may create their own unique formulas knowing how certain herbs in the Chinese Medicine pharmacopeia work, while some may prescribe classical formulas already developed and utilized through centuries of time. Some may tweak classical formulas.
Chinese medicine patterns
‘Plants support the entire process’
As with everything in life, humans are constantly changing. With that, patterns of disharmony, as diagnosed through TCM also change, and therefore formulations will change throughout time as well. This adaptability allows for a more fluid and natural progression toward harmony and health. It provides a uniqueness specific to the entirety of you at that time, not a black and white/cut and dry prescription.
TCM Herbalism Treats the Root
‘Go to the source’
In TCM, one pattern differentiation may address a laundry list of complaints. For example, one classical formula may help with: insomnia, anxiety, loose bowel movements, lack of appetite, fatigue, irregular menstruation, mental clarity and foggy-headedness, and more. The goal of classical formulas is typically to correct deep, core imbalances that will address a collection of symptoms and not just one (as symptoms are branches to a deeper, root disharmony).
TCM Vs. Western Herbalism
‘Both valuable, different lenses of application’
Identifying patterns and matching them to applicable classical formulas is how herbal medicine is practiced at Wild Elements. The format is typically in pill or tincture (liquid) form. An initial intake/consultation is required before a prescription is assigned. While there are formulas made specifically for headache or pain or onset of a cold or flu, many formulas are prescribed longer term and may be taken for 2-6 months. Other formulas may be utilized as needed depending on circumstance and only for short periods of time. Topical salves and applications are utilized as well.
Yang Sheng-“Nourish Life”
‘Plants nourish differently than a practitioner’
Yang Shen translates to the art or act of nourishing life. Herbal medicine is a treatment outside of a human practitioner and will allow you to provide for and nourish yourself on a regular basis. When taken as directed, herbs can often aid in reducing the frequency and need to visit your acupuncturist. Herbs take time to build in the system and are not an overnight fix. They require dedication and trust in that they are working to subtly harmonize you from the inside out. They are one component to your general well-being and work synergistically with overall healthy diets, movement, proper sleep, emotional regulation, community and more.