The so-called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient science with more than four thousand years of antiquity. Despite this, it only arrived in the West a short time ago, around the 1930s. Historical documents and relics suggest that Acupuncture, one of the arts of this medicine, has origins that date back to the Neolithic period. The earliest written record of TCM dates from the 11th century BCThe basic principle underlying the main theory of TCM is that everyone is endowed with a vital energy, called chi or qi , which circulates throughout the body through channels, called meridians. These channels have branches that connect all the organs. It also covers the concepts of yin/yang and the theory of the five elements.

around the world

Starting in the 1970s, the World Health Organization (WHO) finally began to pay greater attention to the successes achieved by China in solving health problems. Thus, in 1975, the Program for the Promotion and Development of Traditional Medicines was created.

Today, TCM has gained an increasing following around the world, especially people seeking to solve problems for which orthodox Western medicine does not bring relief. Thus, several physicians and scientists from the most diverse universities and hospitals have been carrying out rigorous experiments to prove the safety and efficacy of these different therapeutic modalities.

Basics of Traditional Chinese Medicine

MTC is based on the idea that “you cannot understand the parts if you do not understand the relationship with the whole”. It’s as if a person’s problems and symptoms are just part of a whole global system, and that’s what needs to be analyzed. It rests on four fundamental pillars: acupuncture and moxibustion (applying heat under the skin surface), herbal medicine, tuiná (massage and manipulative techniques) and Chinese dietetics.

use of plants

Without a doubt, Chinese herbal medicine is the most widely accepted unconventional therapeutic system. And also the most documented there is. There are about more than seven thousand species of medicinal plants, and they have been used continuously throughout history. In addition, it is valid to add that this medicine does not only include plants, but also includes the uses of mineral species and animal substances.

As we have seen, the species used are numerous, but we will present two of the most recognized types of remedies.


Native to China, Astragalus is one of the most important tonifying adaptogens. It is commonly found mixed with other herbs and has been used for thousands of years to treat general weakness, chronic illness and to increase vitality. It is even used to treat heart disease, liver disease, kidney failure, cancer, viral infections and immune system disorders.

In the West, several studies have been carried out and its effectiveness has been proven to stimulate the functions of the immune system and even shown to be a potent antiviral. Research is still being conducted to prove its usefulness as a supplemental therapy against cancer (especially liver cancer) and heart and kidney disease.


Shiitake is a mushroom originally from East Asia, and although it is not common in our flora, it has been cultivated in greenhouses in several countries, thanks to the most modern techniques. It is very aromatic and has a delicious flavor, which is why, in addition to medicine, it is used in the preparation of a wide variety of recipes. It can be sold fresh or hydrated.

It has been used as an energy tonic for centuries in countries like China, Japan and Korea. In the West, for some years, its potential to stimulate the immune system has been studied. Thanks to this ability, it is used as a complementary treatment to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, in order to keep the body’s defenses stronger. It is following this line of reasoning that this mushroom has also been included in several experimental compounds in the fight against AIDS.