Returning Our Focus to the Flavour & Nature of Herbs Article
Published in the Journal of Chinese Medicine June 2014
The foundational theories of Chinese herbal medicine originate in the Nei Jing (Inner Classic), which states that it is the flavour and nature of herbs that govern how they interact with the human body. However, this theory has more recently become superseded by theories of herbal actions, disease indications and modern research, which are invariably used in textbooks and by practitioners to inform prescription of herbal medicines. This article explains why these approaches to the practice of herbal medicine are incorrect, and how such approaches can easily damage the health of patients taking herbal medicines. The correct method of prescribing herbs based on the Nei Jing is described, and illustrated with various case examples.
JulieAnn Nugent-Head lived in China for eight and a half years studying with the last generation of traditional practitioners who were born and educated prior to 1949. Seeing these older doctors effectively treat acute and chronic conditions in their clinics and studying the classic texts with them in their homes revolutionized her understanding of Chinese medicine. Their clinical skills and perspective were a drastic contrast to her previous training in the West.
This experience encouraged JulieAnn to continue post graduate studies in the Chinese university system, focusing her doctoral thesis on the classical application of herbs. JulieAnn feels that herbs are wonderfully practical and incredibly effective, and hopes to encourage more of the TCM community to use herbs as a principle component of treatment. JulieAnn and husband Andrew moved back to the United States in 2014, and opened a teaching clinic in Asheville, NC. They teach internationally, and are vocal advocates of classically-based, clinically-focused, tangible and effective Chinese medicine.