In some cases, herbs can be the central healing modality. Over the past 3,000–5,000 years, Chinese herbology has evolved into an art form of its own. Ancient herbal information was gathered, compiled, formulated, tested and handed down from generation to generation. Today, practitioners of Chinese medicine continue to prescribe herbal formulas because they are a powerful therapeutic method.
Chinese herbs are formulated as a "poly-pharmacy." That is, depending on the needs of the individual, various herbs are combined in different quantities. In order to create the most effective formula, the herbalist creates a formula aimed at addressing an individual's health needs. Chinese herbal formulas combined this way offer specific synergistic actions and effects upon body, mind and spirit, which can be a powerful and effective way to address symptoms and support the total person. This combination increases the benefits of a particular formula and minimizes any harmful side effects.