Processing is an important conventional technique in preparing medicinal substances, which is based on the theory of Chinese medicine, requirements for clinical use of the preparations and characteristics of the substances. The quality of processing directly influences the potency and safety of the herbal medicines.
1. To reduce or remove its toxicity, fiery property or side effect to ensure safety
2. To increase its potency and improve therapeutic effect
3. To change its property or effect to satisfy treatment
4. To change its form for easy storage and making preparations.
5. To purify it to ensure the quality, change its taste or smell for easy ingestion
Methods of Processing
1. Mechanical methods: Cleaning, pounding and cutting
2. Methods which utilize water: Rinsing, moistening, soaking and aqueous trituration
3. Methods which utilize fire: Frying, roasting, heating up, frying with liquids, calcining and roasting in ashes
4. Methods which utilize both water and heat: Boiling, steaming, scalding and quenching
5. Other methods: Germinating, fermentating and powdering.