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Functional Formulas Nomenclature: Letters = Organs

Updated: 2 days ago



The Herb Academy offers a paradigm in how herbal medicine is taught and applied. Most students of Holistic Herbal Medicine can get lost in the many hundreds of single herbs and the many hundreds of classic traditional formulas (made up of single herbs). The amount of information is overwhelming not to mention that all of it must be based on a solid understanding of physiology (how the body functions) and pathophysiology (how dysfunction manifests resulting in disease).


Also, check out the course on this topic: Functional Formulas 515.


The first paradigm shift is to acknowledge that, although there are a million diseases, there are only a dozen organ systems. The paradigm is to teach based on the organ systems first, which result in the millions of pathologies, NOT the other way around which starts with a pathology and then tries to determine a formula. We always go back to the organ systems involved, because when they are functioning normally, we don't have symptoms and disease is resolved.





Dr. Cassone's Holistic Approach to Patient Care:

  1. What system is in trouble?

  2. What's in the way of function?

  3. How to improve function for that system?


Our Diagnosis is a Functional Diagnosis based on the Systems involved.

The Herb Academy teaches Herbal Medicine through the understanding of Functional Formulas which are modular sub-formulas designed to treat the organ system involved with the functional diagnosis. By teaching the Functional Formulas, we are teaching physiology at the same time. This results in the diagnosis and the prescription coming together to be the same. E.g. if we are detoxifying the liver then the functional diagnosis is a toxic liver. This avoids the many attempts at giving a "natural thing" for a symptom (instead of a drug) without any understanding of the cause of the symptom (which will always be based on an organ system that needs help). Always treat the Root Cause.





More than one functional formula can be combined into one prescription, called a Custom Formula, for treatment of the entire presentation. For example, a patient might need support for their liver, their hormone system, and their gut. These systems would be treated by individual functional formulas (one for the liver, one for the hormone system, and one for the gut) that would be combined into their custom formulas (so now they take one custom formula that addresses all of their medical needs).




The Functional Formula Nomenclature is made of a letter that represents the organ system being treated and a number that describes the action or function.




In this example, L represents the LIVER and the number 2 is a detoxifying function. "L2" is a functional formula (made up of single herbs) that detoxifies the liver.


Here are the rest of the Letters and Organ System they represent:

  • L = Liver

  • GB = Gallbladder

  • K = Kidney

  • B = Blood (including circulation)

  • N = Nervous System

  • D = Defense (Immune System)

  • A = Adrenal Glands

  • S = Stomach (and Pancreas)

  • G = Gut (Intestines)

  • R = Respiration (Lungs)

  • M = Male (Sex Hormones)

  • F = Female (Sex Hormones)


The numbers and related functions while covered in another article.


Here is a video covering this topic in more detail.



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