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Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, Third Edition 3rd Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0939616428
ISBN-10: 0939616424
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Editorial Reviews

Review

The new 3rd edition of Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica raises 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. --This text refers to the Flexibound edition.

About the Author

Dan Bensky is a graduate of the Macau Institute of Chinese Medicine (Oriental Medicine Diploma, 1975), University of Michigan (B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature, 1978), Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (Doctor of Osteopathy, 1982), and the University of Washington (M.A. in Classical Chinese, 1996). He is co-author of the companion volumes Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica and Chinese Herbal Medicine: Formulas & Strategies, and co-translated and edited Acupuncture: A Comprehensive Text. Dr. Bensky is in private medical practice in Seattle, and is a director of the Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine.

Steve Clavey is a registered Chinese herbalist and has practiced Chinese medicine in Melbourne, Australia since 1986. He studied modern and classical Chinese at the Mandarin Center of Taiwan Normal University, and received his training in Chinese medicine in Taiwan and at the Zhejiang College of TCM in China. He is the author of Fluid Physiology and Pathology in Chinese Medicine, and editor of The Lantern, a new journal of traditional Chinese medicine in Australia.

Erich Stöger is a pharmacist and holds Master’s degrees in pharmacy (1981) and Chinese studies and anthropology (1990) from the University of Vienna. He studied Chinese at Taiwan Normal University, and since 1989 has translated and published numerous monographs from the Chinese Pharmacopoeia. Since 1990 he has been involved in the identification and analysis of Chinese herbs and extracts for a pharmaceutical laboratory in Germany. He also operates a wholesale Chinese herb business in Austria.

Andrew Gamble studied Chinese literature at Taiwan National University (1965-69) and in the Department of East Asian Culture and Linguistics at the University of Munich, where he also taught Chinese linguistics (1969-72). He is a graduate of the New England School of Acupuncture (1977) and studied Chinese medicine at the China Medical College in Taichong, Taiwan (1977-81). He is currently in private practice in Massachusetts and has lectured widely in the United States and Europe on Chinese herbal medicine.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1311 pages
  • Publisher: Eastland Press; 3 edition (September 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939616424
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939616428
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.9 x 2.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Attilio D'Alberto on March 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
At last, Bensky et al. third edition is finally out and what a vast source of knowledge it is. For anyone using Chinese medicinal products, this really is your bible. Massively expanded from the 2nd edition, there are hundreds more many medicinal products included.

Wonderfully categorised, excellently explained, beautifully illustrated and well indexed, this text allows all readers to easily source detailed information on hundred of medicinal products used in Chinese medicine.

Required reading for all Chinese medicine doctors and those wanting to learn more about Chinese medicinal products. Can't wait for Bensky et al. `Formulas and Strategies' 2nd edition!
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When I went to update this with my handwritten notes made on the second edition I found that the material had already been added. Much improved over the older edition with more information on alternate species, constituents, pao zhi and modern uses. It still has the annoying multiple indexes but at least they are thumb indexed. Well worth the investment for owners of earlier editions who actively use herbal medicine.
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The study of the herbal aspects of Chinese Medicine is still new to me. I am grateful for this unique text and the vast, comprehensive standard which the authors have set. Its organization for a newcomer is stellar. I also anticipate it would remain extremely helpful to experienced herbalists.

The table of contents lays out the "Materia" by their purpose for specific diagnoses: releasing the exterior, clearing heat, extinguishing wind, etc. There is a significant section on obsolete herbs and other substances that details why -- fascinating and useful for those reading historical texts. It provides information on what has been modified to achieve greater safety and/or to cooperate with preventing extinction to endangered species.

Each chapter has its own title page which rapidly summarizes the materia therein and any overall general subdivisions. For example, the chapter on HERBS THAT RELEASE THE EXTERIOR is divided by those that are warm+acrid versus cool+acrid, and it is followed by a nice comparative summary of specialized functions at the end. Similarly, the chapter on HERBS THAT CLEAR HEAT has separate subsections for those which also drain fire, cool the blood, dry dampness, resolve toxicity, and address deficiency heat. Again, these are followed by a very helpful summary of comparative functions. This systematic structure is very useful to me as a student struggling to form an an overall gestalt for such a complex field. It also seems like a powerful resource to revisit when puzzling over a potential formula and wondering what other alternatives might better suit a particular individualized need.
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Format: Hardcover
Well, what can you say about this book? This is a hefty, giant book, and could certainly induce some kind of cerbral damage if dropped out of a third story window. :) No, in all seriousness, this is a great, concise book, and as the title of this review implies, it becomes more manageable after you get used to it. Used solely by itself, it will probably not help the student of Chinese herbology to ace any exams, but used in accordance with other study techniques, it will furter deepen and reinforce the studying of the herbs.
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Format: Hardcover
While the information is excellent, there are so many printing errors that it is laughable. How could so many mistakes make it into publication, especially at the price charged? I hope future editions can rectify this seemingly easy problem, again before it sold as a product.
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My copy of this book is full of printing errors, including chapter summaries that are incomplete and index page numbers that are as many as two pages off. I expect much more from Eastland Press.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the hardcover Materia Medica 3rd Edition. Be VERY careful - some sellers will sell the Portable Edition, make sure you get the hardcover (if that's what you want). I had to return my copy and actually get the hardcover.
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This is a huge book. There are many many herbs in it, although they did leave out some of the truly never-to-be-used herbs, which is good to keep people from wanting them, but maybe it would have been good to learn those properties for finding good substitutions. But seriously, this is an excellent book. Every herb is gone into in detail with properties, combinations and preparation methods. Adulterants are noted as well.
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