What is Herbology?
Herbology is such a different concept between east and west. When I studied western herbology it was rather simple. Largely it was various indications for application of an herb with little consideration for the temperature, energy, and direction of the herb.
People who are used to western pharmaceuticals can find themselves wary of taking Chinese herbs. I explain to them that it is really like an exaggerated food. A good half of the Chinese herbs used are used in cooking as well. Commonly, the cook in the house in the east cooks for the season and the condition of the people eating the food. In this way, sometimes actual flavor is overlooked.
The Nature of Each Herb
Some herbs are hot in nature and others cold. Some herbs are for building up certain parts of the body. Still others are used to drain certain factors like dampness or excess heat. In order to use herbs effectively, we have to accurately diagnose the patient. For to give hot herbs to a hot constitution could cause a serious problem. Also, to give cold herbs to a cold constitution would certainly make them more deficient or sicker.
People are often surprised at how much of the herbs I ask them to take. Sometimes if a person takes herbs, but the dose is not significant to their needs, it does nothing to change the nature of their constitution. So it may not affect their illness at all and the effort could be completely wasted. Herbs are mixed together to make herbal effects more enhanced and synergistic.
Not Blended For Taste
Westerners are not fond of having to drink herbs with strong and different tastes. This is true even if it is a more enhanced method of effectiveness for their condition. Today, it is more likely to be given in powders or pills that are taken throughout the day which is much more palatable.
For more information, read my article, The Taking of Herbs.