By Mark Wright
The book seeks to facilitate and promote interdisciplinary understanding between the related subjects of Chinese herbal medicine, botany, phytochemistry and pharmacokinetics. To this end, it assumes no prior understanding of the concepts and terminology of those elements by the reader.
Introductory sections are included on:
- Chinese herbals – their origin and history of development in Chinese medicine;
- Chinese medicine – its concepts and language, and an appreciation of its correspondence with biomedicine;
- botany – its historical origins, terminology, taxonomy and nomenclature;
- phytochemistry – its language and nomenclature, together with notes on the phytopharmacology of principal phytochemical groups; and
- pharmacokinetics – its salient features, how it relates to Chinese herbal medicine and its implications for patients receiving both Chinese herbs and other pharmacologically active materials.
Detailed monographs of 26 umbelliferous herbs from classical Chinese herbals follow the introductory material. They unite the knowledge of centuries past with that of modern science. Each monograph includes entries for:
- botanical identity, distribution and cultivation;
- classical Chinese medical lore including the nature, flavour, actions, applications and contraindications to use;
- biomedical information comprising actions, applications and phytochemical composition;
- the use of a herb in other herbal traditions, where such information is available.
Species of the Umbelliferae are used in the treatment of a wide range of conditions in Chinese herbal medical practice. Familiarity with the contents of the introductory sections provides the means of understanding entries within the monographs.
Praise for An Introduction to Chinese Herbal Medicine
“This is a considerable and original publication. It is well placed to be the standard text for Chinese herb students in the west and perfectly fills a key gap in the market”.
-The Journal of Chinese Medicine June 2004
“. . . .an excellent source for botanists and other western readers to understand Chinese herbal medicine and herbalists to understand plant nomenclature and botanical chemistry”.
-American Journal of Chinese Medicine July, 2005
“. . . contains a vast amount of information not otherwise available in the English language. Prof. Elizabeth M Williamson, School of Pharmacy, University of Reading,”
Phtyotherapeutic Research 2005
“Everyone dealing with quality control of Chinese herbals should refer to these monographs.”
“. . . three sections introducing botany, phytochemistry and pharmacokinetics provide basic information without being superficial and are written in a simple, explicit style.”
Journal of Ethnopharmacology July, 2005
“In walking the thin line between science and tradition, Mark Wright has brought about a balanced account of all the trumps and bottlenecks that Chinese herbal medicine holds.”
Michael McCarthy and Stephen Birch Thieme Almanac, 2007
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