In the ancient Materia Medica of the East, Tibetan, Hindu and Chinese healing texts would often refer to crystal as herbs. The reference to crystals as “herbs” will be interchanged often in this text.
Herbal medicine is one of the great herbal systems of the world and has an unbroken tradition going back to the 3rd century BC. Together with acupuncture, massage (Tuina), exercise (Tai Qi, Qi Gong) and dietary therapy, it forms part of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
All these treatments share the same theory and the same aim, not just to treat symptoms but to deal with underlying imbalances and to strengthen the person’s Qi to prevent a recurrence of disease.
Chinese herbal medicine is extensively practiced throughout clinics and hospitals in China for the treatment of a very wide range of conditions. Because of its systematic approach and clinical effectiveness it has for centuries had a very big influence on the theory and practice of medicine throughout the Far East.
During its two thousand year history, great doctors have contributed to its store of knowledge and wisdom, and in the past few decades a great deal of research has been done in China into every aspect of its use. The result is a subtle, powerful and flexible system.
The range of conditions that can be treated with Chinese herbs is wide, but the following may be singled out:
Skin problems, including eczema, psoriasis, acne, urticaria Digestive disorders, including diarrhoea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome Gynaecological problems, including menstrual problems and pre-menstrual syndrome Chronic fatigue, including ME or ‘post-viral syndrome’ Asthma, coughs, bronchitis, Hay fever, sinusitis, rhinitis, Urinary problems, including chronic cystitis.
Chinese herbal medicine uses several hundred substances, mostly of plant origin (roots, seeds, flowers, twigs, crystals, bones and barks). These are hardly ever prescribed singly. They are combined into a formula which usually contains between 8 and 12 ingredients.
The exact combination is adjusted to suit the patient’s individual condition, and is likely to be altered as the treatment progresses to take account of changes that have occurred. It is therefore a very flexible system which can be closely tailored to the needs of the individual.
Some crystals used medicinally in Chinese Medicine include quartz, hematite, cinnabar, pearl and magnatite.