Chinese medicine

Western Herbs In Chinese Medicine: Materia Medica & Methodology by Thomas Avery Garran


Chinese medicine is an ever-evolving medical practice originating in the cradle of one of the historically great cultures of Asia. Historically in China, where plants have arrived from around the world via trade, practitioners cared little about the origin of the plant and more about the efficacy of the medicinal they had been newly introduced to.

The “materia medica” or “bencao” (本草) is foundational to any form of medicine and and this text offers ways to strengthen that foundation. This text is a treatise on using plants from outside the standard Chinese materia medica within the Chinese medical paradigm, and therefore is, in many respects, a continuation of work that Chinese physicians have been doing for millennia. As Dr. Ioannis Solos wrote in his praise for the text, “His [Dr. Garran’s] high level of scholarship and solid methodolgy are evident throughout the book. Iam certain that this volume will influence and guide a new generation of TCM herbalists into creating a bridge that will unite eastern and western herbology, under a shared Chinese philosophical explanation.”

This book first discusses some historical information, then introduces a method to integrate new plants into Chinese medicine, and finishes with a materia medica covering some of the most common plants used in Western herbal medicine. This is a continuation of the author’s first book, Western Herbs According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (2008).

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