Herbal medicine is the use of plants and other materials from nature to treat disease and promote health. 

Chinese Herbal Formula

Virtually every culture in history has had some form of herbal medicine.  The first archeological evidence for herbal medicine goes back 60,000 years to a Neanderthal burial site in a cave in what is currently Northern Iraq.   Knowledge of plants has been integral for the survival of humankind.  Awareness of poisonous plants to avoid has obviously been necessary for our survival.  But the discovery of plants beneficial for not only humans but the animals in their care has been a long and valuable tradition.  A written collection of healing herbs and natural substances is called a Materia Medica.  There are thousands of  listings of natural healing allies including those listed in the Chinese Materia Medica.

The prescription of Chinese herbal medicine is traditionally done as a formula of two or more herbs which treat a specific pattern or diagnosis.  The herbs work in synergy with one another, and are therefore rarely used alone.