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Unraveling Channel Entry: Navigating the Influence of Herbs on Specific Organs in Chinese Medicine

Explore the evolution of the herbal medicine concept of Channel entry.

Diving into additional herbal medicine concepts, Prof Brandt introduces the notion of Channel entry—a concept developed within the last thousand years. It pertains to the herb’s action on specific Channels and related organs. Despite variations in literature, Channel entry explains why certain herbs affect particular organs or regions.

Prof Brandt elucidates how this concept influences clinical decisions, citing examples like Báizhǐ treating frontal headaches. He delves into the evolution of toxicity understanding—from associating it with efficacy to explaining unwanted side effects. While foods and herbs share properties, herbs often possess stronger tendencies, emphasizing cautious use to avoid side effects, marked by terms like “great toxicity” and “minor toxicity.”

Review questions:

  • Explain how Channel entry is used to justify why certain herbs are effective in treating specific regions of the body.
  • How does the understanding of toxicity in herbal medicine differ from ancient times to the present, and how is it now associated with side effects?
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Clinical Drug Development of Chinese Herbal Medicine

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