Based on the patients symptoms, state of illness, sex, age, constitution, occurring season of the disease and circumstances, the physician begins with the guidelines as delineated in classical texts to form a basic prescription. This is then adjusted by adding or deleting various herbs, or manipulating the dosages dependent on response. Such a prescription usually contains 5-15 substances and the dosages average 3-15 grams per herb.
Traditionally Chinese Herbs are made up in teas and decoctions, where the herbs are boiled in water to release their properties (detailed preparation methods are always given). Raw herbal powder in capsules, concentrated extracts and pills are also prescribed.