modern medicine is saving millions of lives with such wonder drugs as penicillin and the mycin s and such advanced techniques as radioactive treatment . at the same time, more and mor e chinese and a growing number of westerners place greater confidence in the prescriptions of herb medicines and acupunctur e ther apy .
he rbs used in the aromatic but often bit ter brews ar e not limited to the vegetable kingdom . mate rials and animal substances are also ingredients . mor eove r , not all the concoctions are to be drunk . many medicines a re in the form of pills , oint - ments and powders .
hundred s of millions of people in china , east asia and ove rseas chinese communities have been cur ed of diseases which weste rn pr escriptions failed to do so .
he rbal medical tr ea tment is mild and tonic , and its cur ative processes slow . the objective is to find the seat of the trouble or obst ruction and then work to counte ract its effects .
surprisingly enough , chinese her bs also include such strange thing s as insects , deer horn , tiger bones , cicada shells , frogs , and toads . liquid concoctions a re usually thick , brownish or black , and often taste bit ter .
a proverb says“ efficacious r emedies a re bit ter in the mouth but beneficial to the body , ”and i think chinese herbs bear the best proof .