Herbal treatments are based in the TCM philosophies of the Four Natures and the Five Flavors. The Four Natures are the heat properties of use herb, and each herb is classified as cold, hot, cool, or warm. Each condition or ailment of the body and mind is association with an excess or lack of one of these properties, which is how your practitioner chooses which herbs to use. Excess heat, for example, can be caused by stress, illness, poor diet, and a variety of other etiologies, which can all be helped by consuming cooling herbs. The Five Flavors are another component to each herb, and are used to classify the “taste” of each herb. This does not refer to how to herb will taste when consumed, but rather the action that it takes in the body. The five flavors of are pungent, sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. The various flavors have different actions. Pungent flavors disperse and promoting circulation of qi and blood. Sweet flavors have a nourishing, harmonizing, and moistening action. Sour flavors have absorbing, consolidating, and astringent actions. Bitter flavors have the action of drying or resolving dampness, purging, and pushing down. Salty flavors have the effect of softening hard nodes or masses and promoting bowel movement. These are all examples of how each herbs Five Flavors property is considered when creating a custom tincture, as each person’s body needs different actions and levels of those actions in order to best treat their body’s needs.