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Exploring Essential Categories in Chinese Herbal Medicine

Understand the actions of securing the stringent, emetics, and external-use herbs.

Prof Brandt introduces the category of herbs called “Opening the Orifice,” focusing on their use to treat clouded spirit or loss of consciousness, particularly in repletion patterns. The categories of supplementation, securing the stringent, emetics, and external use are also discussed as fundamental methods in Chinese medicine.

In Chinese medicine, the category of “Opening the Orifice” addresses loss of consciousness, especially in repletion or excess patterns, using strongly aromatic herbs like musk and Niuhuang. Supplementation is a broad method to treat deficiency, covering Qi, Yang, blood, and Yin deficiencies.

The action of securing the stringent involves astringent herbs to check sweating, diarrhea, and other fluid losses. Emetics, or vomit-inducing medicinals, historically treated not only stomach issues but also problems in the throat and chest. Finally, external-use herbs focus on topical applications for sores, wound healing, and skin issues. These categories provide a framework for organizing Chinese herbal medicines, aiding in the study of their diverse properties.

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Clinical Drug Development of Chinese Herbal Medicine

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