Traditional Herbs in Thailand
1:04 PM | Author: Atie
It views human as a part of nature and the universe and views health as a balance between person and the environment.

Human life is a combination of body and emotion. The four essential elements of the body are earth, water, wind and fire. 111-health is a result of imbalance among these elements together with a lack of harmony between patient, his circumstances in life and the world around him.

Earth element represents structural organs of the body: hair, nail, teeth, skin, brain, muscle, tendon, bone, bone, marrow, spleen, heart, liver, ligament, kidney, lung, intestine, early digested food and absorbed food together with the waste product.


Water element represents all liquid, phlegm and semisolid in the body: blood, bile, sputum, pus, sweat, thick fat, oily fat, tear, saliva, nostril fluid, urine and joint fluid.


Wind element means the energy that controls movement in the body: upward wind, downward wind, abdominal wind, wind in the bowel, wind the blood circulation, wind penetrating all over the body and breathe.


Fire element represents vital heat energy that makes the body warm, heat or burn, fire to warm the body, fire to warm the body, fire that causes anxiety, fire that cause aging and fire for digestion.


Disease develops from the imbalance of these elements. The imbalance is classified into three degrees: excessive, weakness, and deficiency.


For example:
Element Sample Balance Excessive Weakkness Deficiency
Earth/muscle Normal movement of the body Clamp, stress Weak, no elasticity convulsion Inflammation, painful feeling, bruise, spasm, fatigue, atrophy and paralysis
Water/salvia Soothe the mouth; normal speech, chewing and swallowing;
digest starch to sugar
Too much
saliva in the mouth, dripping saliva
Thick saliva, hard to speak, chew and swallow Dry, painful, bloody mouth, bad smell, dry teeth and throat, thirsty
Wind/ wind in the blood circulation Normal blood circulation High blood pressure, headache Low blood pressure, fatigue, fainting Circulatory failure unconsciousness, paralysis
Fire/ fire that cause aging Make tissue deteriorate in normal rate Faster deterioration
of cells and
organs
Lower rate of deterioration, the results such as thicker skin, thick tongue Bleeding and circulatory problems; blood vessel construction, brain atrophy, heart failure and can cause death.

Etiology of disease
As it has been written that most illness arise from prolonged problems in diets, exercise, etc. thus factors influencing the elemental imbalance are:
1. eating habit, too much, not enough or bad quality of food and water, etc..
2. imbalance action and work: overloaded working, standing or sitting for a long period of time, restlessness, sleep disorder, too long urinary and feces retention, etc.;
3. environment and climate, rapid change of temperature, pollution, etc and
4. emotions: sadness, depression, anger, rage etc.


Principle of the art of traditional compounding
The remedies used for ill-health are made from plants, animals of minerals. Each formula composes of many drugs which can be divided into 4 groups:
1. main ingredients to exert the main action;
2. auxiliary drugs to support the main ingredients keep balance of the four elements and restore the health;
3. controlling drugs to control the action and sometimes toxicity of the main ingredients; and
4. coloring and flavoring agents to make the whole formula more palatable.

Traditional herbalist usually possesses distinct knowledge of the history of the natural ingredients. He must understand clearly about the name, appearance, color, odor and taste. He also have the knowledge of tastes and properties which are divided into 2 categories;

1. Rot prathaan (chief tastes of the whole remedy); cold, hot and gentle.
Taste of the remedy Remedy contains these as main ingredient Remedy
Cold Leaves, flowers, stamens, heated drug to
charcoal, etc
Fever, toxic substances, etc
Hot Piper, Ginger, Galangal,
etc
Flatulence, constipation, etc
Gentle Kot Thang Ha (Selinum, Artemisia, Angelica,
Lovage and Atractylis),
Thian Thang Haa
(Cumin, Black cumin,
Garden cress seed, Fenel
and Caraway), Cinnamon,
etc
Fainting, blood disease, etc

2. Yaa Kao Rot (nine taste of the drugs): astringent, sweet, nauseating, bitter, nutty, fragrant, salty, sour and pungent.
Taste of Yaa Properties Incompatibilities
astringent Diarrhea, wound healing, stomachic Cough, constipation, flatulence, thirst
sweet Skin refresher, muscle
tonic, cardiac tonic,
demulcent, thirst
Diebetes mellitus, skin diseases, carries
nauseating Detoxificant, skin diseases, insect bites, depressant Cardiac disease, cough
bitter Blood and bile tonic,
antipyretic, tonic,
stimulate appetite
Flatulence
nutty Deficiency of tendon,
tonic for joint fluid, tonic
Astma, cough with sputum, fever, thirst
fragant Heart, liver and lung tonic,
tonic for pregnant
women, relieve thirst
Flatulence
salty Laxative, eliminate fatty substances from the
intestine, blood purified,
soften the sputum
Flatulence
sour Cough with sputum, blood purified, relieve thirst Fever, diarrhea
pungent Carminative, fire element
tonic, antiflatulent,
promote sweating
Fever, inflammation of the eyes.

Differing from modern medicine, traditional treatment is not limited to relieve or cure symptom, but also aim to restore the body's normal function, so that it can heal itself. This is an alternative, medicine for everyone to desire and design his own destination.
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