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The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Chinese Herbs, Plants, and Spices

  • Christopher Chang
  • M. Eric Gershwin
Chapter

Abstract

Of all the herbal pharmacopoeias of the many ancient civilizations, those from China have the longest history and form perhaps the most complex and intricate systems of all forms of empiric medicine. The Chinese pharmacopoeia is a treasure chest of pharmacological products, derived from plants, animals and minerals, which have been used to treat patients for over 5000 yr. In contrast to drugs used in Western medicine, which go through rigorous scientific study before being presented to the public, most of the herbal preparations or animal products used in Chinese medicine were developed by trial and error and have been handed down from physician to student, generation after generation. The enormity of this experience should not be lost on the reader. Thousands of products have been identified that have beneficial effects in thousands of diseases, without the help of the fundamental biochemical and biophysical knowledge and without the benefit of a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study method. Over the entire planet, other ancient civilizations have undergone the same evolution, from the Egyptians, to the Greeks, the Romans, Hindus, and American Indians. All of these cultures have their own collection of pharmaceutical and herbal products used in folklore medicine. Oftentimes, the same plant has been independently identified to work in the same disease states by cultures thousands of miles apart, separated in time by thousands of years, with completely different medical theories and doctrines.

Keywords

Chinese Medicine Allergic Rhinitis Western Medicine Herbal Product Ming Dynasty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Chang
  • M. Eric Gershwin

There are no affiliations available

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