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Navigating Herbal Directions: Understanding Bearing in Chinese Medicine

Explore the nuanced concept of bearing in Chinese herbal medicine.

Introducing the concept of bearing, Prof Brandt sheds light on the directional dynamics of Chinese herbal medicine.

Bearing, categorized into upfloating, down-sinking, floating, and sinking, signifies the directional movements of medicinal actions. Upbearing and downbearing align with upward and downward actions, respectively, while floating and sinking denote outward and inward movements. In clinical applications, these concepts prove vital in counteracting pathological tendencies. For instance, coughs and vomiting, representing pathological upward movements, are treated with downbearing agents. Conversely, conditions like diarrhea and flooding, characterized by pathological downward movements, find remedy in upbearing agents. The intricate understanding of bearing allows herbal practitioners to harmonize and counteract irregular Chi movements for effective therapeutic outcomes.

Review questions:

  • Explain the concept of bearing in Chinese herbal medicine and its four directions: upfloating, down-sinking, floating, and sinking.
  • How does the concept of bearing apply to the treatment of cough and vomiting, and what types of herbal agents are used?
  • Describe the use of upbearing agents in treating conditions like diarrhea and flooding in gynecology.
  • How does the concept of bearing apply to the treatment of spontaneous sweating or night sweating?
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