It is said that Chinese Herbal Medicine began thousands of years ago when a farmer found a snake near his hut, which he then beat with a hoe and left for dead. A few days later, the farmer found the snake slithering around and again tried to kill it. Another few days passed and the snake miraculously reappeared in the farmer's plot. The farmer beat the snake again, but this time he followed it and watched the snake crawl into a clump of weeds that it began to eat. The next day the snake was already on the mend, its wounds healing.
The clump of weeds is now the main ingredient of a Chinese Herbal formula YunNan BaiYao, which stops bleeding(internal or external) by bonding the edges of wounds and quickly healing torn tissue.
The actual origins of Chinese Herbal Medicine can be traced back to an ancient text written between 200 BCE and 100 ACE.This text, the Inner Classic, contains the earliest known mention of the theoretical and philosophical foundations of Chinese Medicine. Within the Inner Classic there is mention of 12 herbal prescriptions, with a total of 28 individual substances.
The following 2000 years gave rise to an increase in the number of substances and a corresponding increase in the number offormulae. This increase is due in part to the inclusion of herbs from the Chinese Folk traditions, as well as the importationof herbs from other parts of the world.