What is herbal medicine used for?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is one Far Eastern doctrine of health and disease. It includes physical exercises and dietary rules as well as applications such as acupuncture and herbal medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a tradition that goes back thousands of years - exactly when it begins is unknown. Since then, TCM has continued to develop and has also been known in Europe since the 1950s.

How does traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) work?

Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on the idea of ​​one Life energy, the so-called Chi (Qi). The chi flows after adopting the TCM Energy channels (meridians) through the body and supplies the various organs. It has the two powers Yin and Yangthat work in opposite directions, but are interdependent.

If the flow of energy is blocked or if yin and yang are not balanced, according to TCM, malaise and illness occur. TCM should help to harmonize the flow of energy and thus promote health. The aim of TCM is to bring the chi and the yin and yang relationship back into balance using various methods.

How is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) used?

TCM therapists examine the patient physically, for example feeling the pulse and looking at the tongue. The therapist also asks the patient about his habits, diet and personality, among other things. This gives him the most comprehensive picture possible and records - in the sense of TCM - the status of life energy.

A TCM treatment includes various applications that are supposed to bring the life energy back into the flow. These include:

  • A balanced diet
  • Change of lifestyle
  • Acupuncture, moxibustion
  • Acupressure
  • Physical exercises like Tai Chi or Qi Gong
  • Massages, e.g. Shiatsu
  • Herbal medicine, drug therapy

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) used for?

Traditional Chinese Medicine can be used for all diseases according to its own understanding. The focus of TCM is to strengthen the health and thus preventive to work against diseases. TCM therapists recommend a balanced lifestyle - traditional Chinese medicine is considered a "More holistic" Approach.

There are few studies in which the effect of TCM in the treatment of diseases has been proven. But acupuncture has been proven to help relieve back pain. Doctors also recommend Tai Chi and Qi Gong as relaxation methods for stress-related disorders or pain.

additional Information

Author: Dipl.-Biol. Birgit Hertwig
Last update: January 2015
Updated by: Miriam Lossau, qualified journalist
Greten, H.J., Bosch, G .: Course book on traditional Chinese medicine. Thieme, Stuttgart 2006
Haake, M .; Müller, H.-H .: German Acupuncture Trials (GERAC) for Chronic Low Back Pain. Arch Intern Med. 2007; 167 (17): 1892-1898
Schmidt, H .: Far Eastern from the pharmacy. Pharmaceutical Newspaper 2008; 32
Schmincke, Ch .: Chinese Medicine for the Western World: Methods for a Long and Healthy Life. Springer, Heidelberg 2014

Siebenand, S .: Endangered animals on prescription. Pharmaceutical Newspaper 2008; 32