The Contemporary Herbalist: Understanding Chinese Herbal Medicine


This book is a simplified and condensed materia medica of Chinese herbal medicine. It is a compilation of information from my initial education, teaching materials, and my clinical experience in the use of Chinese herbal medicine. This compilation reflects and includes my professional use and expression of information provided in the academic texts, Chinese herbal medicine: Materia medica, by Bensky, Clavey, & Stöger (2004), Formulas and Strategies 2nd Edition by Scheid, Bensky, Ellis and Barolet, and Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology by John and Tina Chen, highlighting key points of each herb covered.

I have condensed and summarized the information in such a way as to promote learning and embracing Chinese herbal medicine in a practical, simplified way for beginning students as well as seasoned practitioners and educators. I have selected specific herbs from each category that are commonly found in formulas used today, prioritizing each category into primary herbs (most effective, most often used) and secondary (less commonly used, but useful).

In addition, I have included relevant theoretical, diagnostic, clinical information and “treatment tips” for each category of herbs covered, and have provided documented and academically agreed upon cautions and contraindications for categories of herbs and individual herbs.

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