What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Chinese herbal medicines are mainly plant based, but some preparations include minerals or animal products. They can be packaged as powders, pastes, lotions or tablets, depending on the herb and its intended use. Different herbs have different properties and can balance particular parts of the body. Prescribing a particular herb or concoction of herbs means that the practitioner's diagnosis has to take into account the state of the patient's Yin and Yang, and the elements that are governing the affected organs.
Chinese herbal medicines may be prescribed internally or applied externally. In addition, the Chinese medical practitioner may also prescribe remedial or preventive exercises and counsel their patients on diet and lifestyle, all according to the theories of Chinese medicine.