There was a question about the difference between Chinese herbs, pharmaceutical drugs, and essential oils. This is my response . . .
Chinese herbs work. Just like essential oils, they are plants. There are differences, though.
Plants begin losing life force when they are cut. Essential oils are usually distilled very soon after they are cut. Chinese herbs are dried, often for very long periods.
Chinese herbs may be sprayed with chemicals. There is little regulation or disclosure of what happens to the cut plants. Plants from which Young Living essential oils are distilled are grown under strict supervision and are not sprayed to “retain freshness”.
Many recipes involving Chinese herbs require cooking – often for long periods. The temperature, time, and even the pan used for cooking can dramatically affect the molecules contained in the herbs. (There is no testing done in your kitchen on the product you cook.) Every batch of essential oil from Young Living is tested multiple times by trained scientists with sophisticated equipment to determine the actual molecules included in that particular batch.
Note that there are optimal ranges of each molecule, and the aroma of the essential oil does not accurately reflect the chemical composition. Young Living has rejected essential oils that were “almost” within the ranges that they require even though the aroma was good – AND they have accepted essential oils that smell “different” because the required molecules were present in the optimal ranges. (A recent batch of peppermint essential falls into this category – it smells “different” and the chemical composition perfect.)
Pharmaceutical medicines are synthetic. They cannot be plant based because plants differ in their chemical composition, and drugs must have the same composition every dose.
Plants are compatible with the human body. Synthetic ingredients are not really compatible.
At the core of TCM is the principle of balance. When the body is in balance, symptoms disappear. Drugs are created to alleviate specific symptoms. There are often negative side effects of the synthetic drugs.