A Materia Medica for Chinese Medicine

plants, minerals and animal products


  • Carl-Herman Hempen, FA Fur Innere Medizin

Phytotherapy or herbal medicine is the most important therapy within Chinese medicine and is being used increasingly in the West.  A Materia Medica for Chinese Medicine: plants, minerals and animal products describes 400 of the most important plants, minerals and animal substances used as treatments by Chinese medical practitioners.  The items included have been selected according to their degree of clinical relevance.

Each remedy is clearly described and illustrated on two facing pages, making this an easily accessible reference for both students and practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine.  The clearly laid out text presents the following details for each herb or substance included:

  • a detailed description of the characteristic features
  • indictions for safe use
  • medicinal and toxic effects
  • possible combinations with other substances
  • full-colour illustrations, generally two for each substance, showing the detailed characterisitcs of the item described

A Materia Medica for Chinese Medicine has been written by two medically trained doctors who have worked as TCM therapists specializing in the use of Chinese herbs for more than 30 years.  Based on their many years of teaching and practice, the book has been carefully compiled and designed to provide a concise and accurate practice-based reference for both students and practitioners.

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Trainee and practicing acupuncturists and TCM practitioners
Other therapists interested in herbal medicine


Book information

  • Published: April 2009
  • ISBN: 978-0-443-10094-9

Table of Contents


General principles of Chinese pharmacology 

Herbs according to clinical groups:
I Herbs that release the exterior: warming and cooling acrid herbs
II Herbs that stop vomiting
IIa Herbs that promote vomiting
IIb Herbs that stop vomiting

III Herbs that purge and drain
IIIa Herbs that aggressively purge
IIIb Laxative herbs that moisten
IIIc Strong laxatives

IV Herbs that Cool Heat
IVa Herbs that drain fire and cool heat
IVb Herbs that cool Liver heat
IVc Herbs that cool blood
IVd Herbs that clear heat and dry dampness
IVe Herbs that cool and disinfect
IVf Herbs that clear heat from deficiency

V Aromatic herbs that Open the Orifices
VI Aromatic Herbs that Transform Dampness
VII Herbs that Drain and Transform Dampness
VIII Herbs that Dispel Wind-Dampness
IX Herbs that Warm the Interior and Expel Cold

X Substances that Calm the Spirit
Xa Substances that Anchor and Calm the Spirit
Xb Substances that Nourish the Heart and Calm the Spirit
Xc Substances that Extinguish Wind and Calm the Liver

XI Herbs that Regulate the Qi
XII Herbs tht Regulate the Blood
XIIa Herbs that Invigorate the Blood
XIIb Herbs that Stop Bleeding

XIII Herbs that Transform Phlegm and Stop Coughing
XIIIa Herbs that Transform Cold Phlegm
XIIIb Herbs that Cool and Transform Hot Phlegm
XIIIc Herbs that Stop Coughing

XIV Herbs that Promote Digestion

XV Tonifying herbs
XVa Qi tonifying herbs
XVb Tonifies yang
XVc Herbs that Tonify the Blood
XVd Herbs that Tonify the Yin

XVI Herbs that Stabilize and Bind
XVII Herbs that Expel Parasites
XVIII Substances for External Use

Treatment guidelines according to the main patterns of disharmony

How to prepare herbs

Appendix: Quality Proof of herbal drugs from Traditional Chinese
Medicine (TCM-drugs) by H. Wagner/R. Bauer

General index
Latin herb names
Pinyin herb names
English herb names
Other herb names
Chinese herb names