Chinese Herbal Medicine dates back to the 3rd century BC. In AD 65 detailed writings describing many herbs by their properties and actions were produced in a book called the "material medica". There has been a continuous changing response to new illnesses over the centuries and now there is much modern research to back this developmental process and prove efficacy. In Europe animal and mineral products are not used and there are strict controls to protect endangered species.
Herbal medicine uses the same theories and principles as acupuncture but herbs have specific uses and actions and are used with this in mind in formulae which target different aspects of the patient's disharmony. Chinese herbal medicine is part of the eastern medical system that includes herbal, acupuncture, dietary, tuina (massage) and exercise treatments which may be combined in treating a patient.