Chinese Materia Medica Combinations and Applications


Clearly written, innovatively presented, comprehensively indexed and eminently easy-to-use, this book is designed to facilitate ease of reference by herbalists in a busy practice and to assist students seeking to consolidate their basic knowledge. It contains more than 350 monographs describing the functions, indications, combinations and applications of commonly used materia medica.


‘The harmonization of herbs within a formula is comparable to a balanced composition in a beautiful painting. Adapting a formula to a patient’s particular disharmony requires a profound knowledge of single herbs and the differences and peculiarities of herbs in the same categories with similar effects. This book is an invaluable help to students and practitioners precisely for such a task. It presents the herbs in a very clear, easily memorized way [and] … can be highly recommended as an excellent clinical reference text.’

From the foreword by Giovanni Maciocia, author of The Foundations of Chinese Medicine.

Main features:

  • a reader-friendly tabular format presenting examples for all materia medica of common combinations and their applications

  • comparisons of materia medica with similar functions within most monographs

  • full listings of materia medica by pinyin, pharmaceutical and English names

  • cross-referencing of functions to individual materia medica, of materia medica to the combinations in which they appear, and of applications to relevant combinations

  • a listing of all herbs by channel entered

  • a listing of common patterns with the materia medica used in their treatment

About the author  Xu Li is Vice-Professor and Dean of the International School of Tianjin College of TCM. He has extensive clinical and teaching experience and has lectured abroad in several countries including the UK.

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