Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, Portable 3rd ed.

Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, Portable 3rd ed.

Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, Portable 3rd ed.


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1325 pages, 8" x 10"
Fully illustrated
Flex-case hardcover

ISBN:  0-939-616-82-3



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The new portable edition of Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica (Portable 3rd Ed.) is designed to provide students and practitioners with the same comprehensive and authoritative content that they’ve always relied on, but in a lightweight and more flexible format. 

The Materia Medica provides a wealth of information and practical insight into more than 530 of the most commonly used herbs in the Chinese pharmacopoeia. Drawing from a wide range of sources, both classical and modern, it provides unparalleled perspective and detail that goes far beyond what is available elsewhere to the Western practitioner. Among its many features: 

Herbs are grouped in chapters by function, with expanded summaries and tables for contrast and comparison. Each herb is identified by its pharmaceutical, pinyin, botanical, and family names, as well as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English common names. 

Key characteristics are provided at the beginning of each entry, along with dosage, properties, channels entered, and relevant cautions and contraindications. This provides a quick overview of essential information. 

Actions and indications are integrated with important combinations that illustrate the range of an herb’s functions, with references to appropriate formulas. This presents a more three-dimensional picture of how each herb is actually used. 

Expanded commentary offers in-depth analysis and places each herb in its clinical context through rich historical references. The mechanisms of action underlying important combinations, and comparisons with similar herbs, provide a broader context for understanding how the herb can be used with optimal effect. 

A section devoted to nomenclature and preparation describes the most important methods of processing and preparing each herb, and the advantages of each method. It also provides information about other commonly-used names and historical background. 

Safety is an important focus of this edition, with an emphasis on proper herb identification. Issues concerning standardized products, desirable qualities, variants, and adulterants are explained for each herb. There is also extensive information on toxicity, as well as chemical constituents. 

The utility of this book is enhanced by its wide range of appendices, among which are color photographs comparing the standard and adulterant forms of over 20 common herbs; tables of herbs that are indicated for specific pathologies of the five yin organs, and the effects of taste combinations; and extensive cross references of the herbs by taxonomy, pinyin, pharmaceutical name, and other East Asian languages. There are also comprehensive indices of both herbs and formulas, as well as a general index.


"The new 3rd edition of Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medicaraises the bar on the practice of herbal medicine in the West. Its commentaries on individual herbs and their combinations provide a wealth of practical information previously unavailable in English. The book is not just informative, it's fun to read."
Charles Chace, L.Ac.

"I use your book several times each day. It's totally invaluable. Thank you for providing us all with such an indispensable tool. I'm immensely grateful!"
Christine Leon, Head, Chinese Medicinal Plants Authentication & Conservation Centre, Royal Botanic Gardens

"[The 3rd edition] sets a new standard of excellence for Chinese herbals. The level of scholarship in this book is a reminder of what is possible through a combination of intellect, integrity, and hard work. A 'must' for the clinic and the classroom."
Craig Mitchell, L.Ac.

"A vastly improved edition. The commentary, comparisons, and new data on nomenclature and quality control all add considerably to previous editions and other versions of the Materia Medica. In particular, the descriptions of herbal individuality and applications which are rooted in traditional energetics and classical references are the great strength of this book."
The Journal of Chinese Medicine





Herbs that Release the Exterior 

Herbs that Clear Heat 

Downward-Draining Herbs 

Herbs that Drain Dampness 

Herbs that Dispel Wind-Dampness 

Herbs that Transform Phlegm and Stop Coughing 

Aromatic Herbs that Transform Dampness 

Herbs that Relieve Food Stagnation 

Herbs that Regulate the Qi 

Herbs that Regulate the Blood 

Herbs that Warm the Interior and Expel Cold 

Tonifying Herbs 

Herbs that Stabilize and Bind 

Substances that Calm the Spirit 

Aromatic Substances that Open the Orifices 

Substances that Extinguish Wind and Stop Tremors 

Herbs that Expel Parasites 

Substances for Topical Application 

Obsolete Substances 

Table 1 Herbs Associated with Pathologies of the Five Yin Organs 

Table 2 Summary Table of Herb Actions and Indications 

Table 3 The Effects of Taste Combinations 

Appendix 1 Guide to Pronunciation 

Appendix 2 Table of Chinese Dynasties 

Appendix 3 Glossary 

Appendix 4 Sample Photographs: Adulterants & Quality Issues 

Appendix 5 Table of Authors 

Appendix 6 Historical and Source Text Bibliography 

Appendix 7 Translators’ Bibliography 

Appendix 8 Cross Reference of Pharmaceutical Names with Previous Edition 

Herb and formula index 

Pinyin-pharmaceutical cross reference 

English-pharmaceutical cross reference 

Japanese-pharmaceutical cross reference 

Korean-pharmaceutical cross reference 

Botanical, zoological, and mineral index 

General index

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