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Chinese Medical Herbology & Pharmacology Hardcover – January 1, 2004
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This book is meticulously detailed source of information on pharmacological effects, clinical research and safety data. Richard Hammerschlag, Co-president, Society for Acupuncture Research. --Richard Hammerschlag, Co-president, Society for Acupuncture Research.
Applause for the Bicameral View: Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology, by Chen and Chen The new materia medica entitled Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology by John Chen and Tina Chen, is a valuable contribution, not just because more than 1200 glossy pages describe over 500 herbs and their many parts and preparations, but also because the language of pharmacology and herbology is precisely chosen. The volume is steeped in the foundations of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and then infused with Western science. Clear explanations and tables make the details of this book accessible. Traditional properties, channels, and therapeutic actions of each herb are described. Key diagnostic symptoms are differentiated in several tables using traditional terms. Other charts that compare similarities and differences of herbs within the category are invaluable tools for the student. Additional lists of herbs from other categories that share the section s function are found in each summary. For example, page 357 contains a list of 31 herbs that have Damp-Draining functions but ordinarily belong to other categories. Pharmacology, Clinical Research and Toxicology are thoroughly referenced, using sources selected, according to the authors, by relevance, strong study design, English language, use of human subjects, and wherever possible, with preference given to randomized, blinded, controlled studies over observational reports. However, most of the research available on Chinese herbs is still in Chinese language journals. Herbal Cautions, Contraindications, and Herb-Drug interactions are examined in many of the monographs. The Author s Comments sections with clinical notes are useful to practitioners as is the specific information for treatment of Overdosage. For example, page 788 describes symptoms of Quan xie overdose and contains 5 formulas for treatment. There are more good lists and charts, for cautions during nursing and pregnancy, dietary interactions, and dosing by age and weight. Writing and referencing this materia medica required eight years to complete, with a staff of 50, peer review by 35 experts in the field, and photos contributed from three herb companies. To improve its suitability as a desk reference the photos should be reviewed for standard species. For example, on page G5, the photo titled Ban Lan Gen is a substitute commonly found in many dispensaries. The Chen s have accomplished an impressive work that brings Traditional Medicine together with Pharmacology. The words chosen to talk about herbs inevitably will define the boundaries of our discussions on Traditional Medicine. An author from the last century emphasized the importance and implications of speech this way: People evolve a language in order to describe and thus control their circumstances, in order not to be submerged by a reality that they cannot articulate. * As herbs are increasingly examined, researched, and regulated, herb practitioners must cling to the foundational elements that give reason and utility to Traditional Medicine. The art and science of chemistry has its own useful language, rules, scope, and beauty. Chinese Medical Theory has a different language and world view. For the advancement of the herbal profession, Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology makes good use of both. Mercy Yule, L.Ac. *James Baldwin, letter to the New York Times, 1979 --Mercy Yule, L.Ac.
About the Author
Dr. John Chen actively participates in education, research and the frontiers of contemporary application of herbal medicine. In addition to developing professional continuing education seminars and serving as a senior lecturer through the widely respected Lotus Institute of Integrative Medicine, Dr. Chen speaks at seminars and conferences for universities, and local, state, national and international educational and professional organization. A professor at Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Emperor's College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, he is also a member of the Herbal Medicine Committee for the American Association for Oriental Medicine (AAOM) and an herbal consultant for the California State Oriental Medicine Association of Oriental Medicine Association (CSOMA). A recognized authority on Chinese herbal medicine and western (allopathic) pharmacology, Dr. Chen has written extensively on Oriental medicine and alternative complementary/integrative medicine for professional publications, journals and texts, drawing on his wealth of specialty post-graduate training and experience in mainland China in herbology as applied in internal medicine, and on his doctoral degrees from the University of Southern California (USC) School of Pharmacy and South Baylo University of Oriental Medicine.
Tina T. Chen, MS. LAc
Tina Chen is an active and respected educator in Oriental Medicine and Chinese herbal medicine. In addition to lecturing on TCM Gynecology and Cosmetology across North America, Ms. Chen is active on the faculty of South Baylo University of Oriental Medicine and has been an active contributor to professional journals and publications. She has served as Southern California Chair of the Education Committee for the California State Oriental Medical Association (CSOMA), and as an examiner for the California State License Exam for acupuncturists, and from 1996-2001 maintained private practice of acupuncture and herbal medicine through Chen's Clinic in La Puente, California. Her teaching and consulting is grounded in extensive post-graduate training in herbal medicine, TCM gynecology and cosmetology in numerous hospital in mainland China.
- Publisher : Art of Medicine Press; 1st edition (January 1, 2004)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 1267 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0974063509
- ISBN-13 : 978-0974063508
- Item Weight : 6.3 pounds
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For many herbs, this book still omits topics a western physician may need to know that are standard in the discussion of pharmacokinetics and dynamics (route(s) of drug metabolism, peak and duration of action, means of elimination and half-lives for the above, presence of active metabolites, etc). Yet it has more extensive information written in the English language (i.e. not translated) on cautions/contraindications and management of overdoses than any other similar resource I have yet found. These are clearly stated in traditional terms for chinese diagnoses such as "avoid in patients with yin deficiency, spleen deficiency," etc. The authors also attempt to list relevant concerns for western diagnoses such as epilepsy, diabetes mellitus, hypertension etc. There is generally a section for each herb regarding herb-drug interactions. These are written to explain the concerns by categories of western drug followed by specific examples -- thereby allowing a knowledgeable western provider to make some reasonable generalizations about other drugs in the same drug class even if not all of them are mentioned (such as beta-blockers.)
For some of the most common herbs, such as Ma Huang, substantially more details are given. For the best know ingredients, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine,these include time to peak plasma concentration, half-lifes, drug distribution through the body and excretion. This work is much more thorough with respect to modern pharmacology than Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, Third Edition by Bensky. The latter seems to be primarily directed toward disease descriptions in the context of TCM logic, tracking herbal usage through prior classic texts, and naming of herbs across asian and scientific languages.
The paragraphs in Chen & Chen that are devoted to clinical studies are still relatively limited in scope and precision. On some of the most popular herbs there may be more citations, but for the most part these are not often placebo-controlled or randomized. My understanding is that the included studies were indeed restricted to human populations, in order to make them more relevant. However, they frequently address only one or a few of the posited functions of a given herb. There is another source which does presents detailed research -- but these are more likely to be drawn from animal studies. The latter is a 2 volume set and is even further out of date plus out of print: Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Material Medical .
Given these limitations the authors/contributors and publishers of Chen & Chen's Chinese Medical Herbology have created a very solid and pioneering reference work. The consistent organizational structure of the herbal monographs is outstandingly user-friendly and succinct. The fonts and spacing are easy on the eyes, particularly when needing to scan for rapid access. There are high quality black & white photos with each herb monograph. The introductory section includes color plates with a photo for most or all herbs.
Although I have not at this point planned to prescribe chinese herbs, I am pleased to have this resource as a way of understanding the purpose of some of the preparations to which my patients may have been exposed. Previously these appeared to be a nearly incomprehensible maze of potential interactions and complications. It is helpful to know there is a source for learning about them, about some of the better known interactions with western pharmaceuticals. This allows me to dialogue more meaningfully with their oriental medicine practitioners. From the standpoint of medical acutherapies, this book is also intriguing as a way to further understand the actions of typical herbs (and some pharmaceuticals) on acupuncture channels and/or principles.
Nothing else compares to it on the market. In English at least.