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Navigating Roles in Chinese Herbal Formulas: Assistants and Couriers Unveiled

Explore the nuanced roles of Assistant and Courier herbs in traditional Chinese herbal medicine formulas.

In Chinese herbal medicine, Assistants, including paradoxical ones, either enhance, counteract toxicity, or address secondary patterns within a formula. Prof Brandt cites “麻黃湯,” where apricot kernel (Xìngrén) assists in promoting lung Qi diffusion.

Paradoxical Assistants, with opposing properties, balance extreme herbs. Couriers direct herbal actions to specific areas; Jiégěng targets the chest, and licorice harmonizes formulas. The art of polypharmacy involves combining herbs based on taste, temperature, and actions, creating well-structured formulas to address various aspects of a condition. This introduction underscores the complexity and elegance of Chinese herbal medicine.

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Clinical Drug Development of Chinese Herbal Medicine

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