Herbal medicines are administered to a patient based on the results of diagnosis. That is to prepare a remedy by mixing a number of herbal medicinal substances in accurate dosage for a patient and to apply it to the patient to ease symptoms.
Herbal medicinal therapy has several principles, and is generally based on the principle of 'sovereign, minister, assistant and courier'. The principle is as follows below. 'Sovereign' means sovereign herbal medicinal, in which the prescription is composed of the herbal medicinal ingredients that provides the principle curative action on the main pattern or symptom. 'minister' means minister herbal medicinal and supplements and strengthens the effect of sovereign herbal medicinal. That is, it is a herbal medicinal ingredient that helps strengthen the principal curative action. 'Assistant' means assistant herbal medicinal. It plays a role of neutralizing the toxicity when the sovereign herbal medicinal is toxic or relieving of side effects accompanied by the action of the sovereign ingredient. 'courier' means courier herbal medicinal. It is composed of herbal medicinal substances that direct action to the affected site and temper the functions of mixed herbal medicinal ingredients. Among typical courier herbal medicinal substances are jujube, licorice, ginger, etc.
Preparation form of herbal medicine
1) Jeonje/Tangje(decoction preparation): this is a liquid herbal medicine prepared by boiling the ingredients in water, it is the most widely used form of prepared herbal medicine. It is absorbed well by the body and works rapidly. it is easy to change prescriptions according to the condition of the patients.
2) Ekisje(sap preparation): this is a herbal medicine made by extracting active constituents, concentrating them and mixing them with starch, lactose, etc., and then granulating them. It is convenient to take after being melted in warm water and is easy to carry and keep.
3) Sanje(powder preparation): this is a herbal medicine in the form of powder, or fine particles. It is divided into a herbal medicine for internal use and for external use. It is easy to make and convenient to carry and take.
4) Hwanje(pill preparation): this is a herbal medicine made in the form of a solid globular mass, by mixing finely powdered herbal medicine with honey, wheat flour, paste, water, liquor, vinegar, or wax. It is convenient to take, doesn't melt so easily and works slowly. It is also effective in curing paralysis.
5) Koje(paste preparation): this is made in a form of adhesive plaster that cures disease by applying herbal medicinal to the skin. It is used chiefly to cure inflammation of mucous membranes, ulcers, wounds, and boils. it functions by relieving swelling, stopping pain, drawing out pus, granulating, stopping bleeding.
6) Tanje(pellet): this is a compound of herbal medicines made by heating and sublimating mineral herbal medicines containing mercury and sulfur. It is strong in effect, even using only a small amount. It is chiefly for external use.
7) Juje and tincje(liquor preparation and tincture preparation): Juje is a herbal medicine made by steeping herbal medicinal in liquor, in a sealed container for about 30 days. It is used for pain caused by arthritis, wind-dampness, etc. Tinkje is a leached liquid obtained by steeping herbal medicinals in various strengths of alcohol for a period of time. It works quickly even using small amounts. It is possible to store this for along time.
8) Jeongje(tablet preparation): it is a herbal medicine in a form of a small, solid, round ball, made by concentrating extracted active ingredients. It is easy to carry, store, take, and produce in quantity.
9) Distilled herbal medicine: herbal medicine, obtained after boiling herbal medicinal, it tastes bitter, smells strong, and is thick in color. It is hard to drink because of the bitterness. In order to help drink it, taste and smell are removed and it becomes more transparent.
10) Fermented herbal medicine: this is one form of prepared herbal medicine under current development to make it safe and easy to drink. Strains of herbs are chosen appropriate for the fermentation of herbal medicinal.
11) Jelly-shaped herbal medicine: this is a herbal medicine which is made easy for children to drink. It can be sued over a long period of time by removing the peculiar smell sometimes associated with herbal medicine. It is also easy to digest.