A Materia Medica for Chinese Medicine book cover

A Materia Medica for Chinese Medicine

plants, minerals and animal products

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.

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


Published: April 2009

Imprint: Churchill Livingstone

ISBN: 978-0-443-10094-9


  • Preface

    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


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