Chinese medicines contain herbal, mineral and animal substances, whereby herbal active ingredients clearly predominate.
Not all herbs that are important for TCM grow only in China.
TCM medicines are not “Chinese” because their ingredients are only found in China.
On the contrary, a medicine is deemed “Chinese” because, according to the theories of traditional Chinese medicine, it has specific healing properties (important are taste, temperature and meridian entry).
Some of the approximately 5,000 known and documented remedies were actually imported to China in earlier centuries.
Many of the herbs also grow in our latitudes.
Some TCM therapists in Switzerland also purposefully use Western medicinal plants classified according to Chinese criteria.
The 400 most commonly used Chinese medicines are usually prescribed as complex formulations.
The ingredients are finely matched in order to optimally adapt the mixture to the patient.
In ancient China, herbs were prepared as decoctions.
This means as a tea freshly brewed daily or, if it was a tonic (restorative agent), dispensed in alcohol or made into a pill with honey.
Nowadays in Switzerland, decoctions and modern forms of administration are used:
granule extracts, tablets and drug therapy combined with acupuncture.