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Kan Herbals

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Introducing Kan Herbals Formulas

by Ted Kaptchuk

Our Western health care system can greatly benefit from Eastern practices, but this knowledge needs to be sensitively transmitted and applied. Systems of healing always reflect the collective dilemma of human beings and their strivings for intactness and authenticity in the context of their communities and cultures. Medicine is universal, yet is simultaneously shaped by its environs.

In developing these products I have tried to remain aware of the tension between East and West, old and new, preservation and growth, accuracy and adaptation. These products are, and will continue to be, the outgrowth of an immersion in classical Chinese herbal texts, along with an attentiveness to the energies and concerns of Western customers. The intention is to be faithful to China's ancient herbal wisdom, while conscious of the contemporary clinical needs of Westerners.

These Kan Herbals formulations approach Oriental medicine in the most encompassing sense. Traditional Chinese medicine's primary concern, its self-definition, lies in attempting to bring harmony to the whole human being. This ancient system of medicine, which includes its herbal techniques, has always been able to address the configurations of being and behavior that delineate humanness. Its scope of concern and treatment is not necessarily limited to any one sphere of human activity. Instead, it embraces the total matrix of physical, mental, emotional, behavioral, social, ecological, moral, existential, and spiritual activities that encompasses a human life. Oriental medicine is about the full energy of human life. In the presentation of Kan Herbals' products, I have tried to maintain this scope of possibility. It is left up to the practitioner to negotiate the arena of transformation within each therapeutic relationship.

The ideal treatment method in Chinese herbology is to combine, in hand-tailored distributions, herbs that balance and match the unique energy configuration each customer encompasses. This skill, craft and art is complex, and involves a lifetime of dedicated learning. Yet, there have always been prefabricated or "patent" formulas that have been time-tested, are considered especially elegant, and effectively treat the most common clinical problems. Master practitioners as well as beginners frequently rely on such remedies. Most of my formulas in the Kan Herbals line are derived from these popular distributions.

Ted Kaptchuk
April 1986
Revised June 2002


Masterful adaptations of ancient traditions for modern health

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