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Chinese Materia Medica(2)

1. Herbs for Relieving Exterior Syndromes (Pungent and Warm)

1) ephedra

2) cinnamon twig

3) schizonepeta

4) ledebouriella root

5) perilla leaf

6) fresh ginger

7) notopterygium root

8) dahurian angelica root

9) chinese lovage root

10) spring onion

11) magnolia flower

2. Herbs for Relieving Exterior Syndromes (Pungent and Cool)

(to be continued)


The theory of chinese medicine (tcm)


The theory of Chinese medicine (TCM) is the one which has made an independent development of modern medicine and science. Therefore it may be seen bizarre by those who get used to modern medicine. I was sometimes confused by the mysterious oriental way of thinking, when I started to study Chinese medicine. Understanding this system of thought is, however, indispensable to effective use of medicinal herbs. So we recommend that you put your scientific viewpoints and knowledge aside at least during your study of Chinese medicine, and listen to the oriental way of thinking with an open mind.

How does Chinese medicine think of human beings and their diseases?

The Close Relationship between Humans and Environment

Chinese medicine(TCM) gives great importance to the close relationship between humans and environment.
This is the idea that all the phenomena of humans in the course of their lives-----birth, growth, onset of ailments and even death------are under the influence of natural environment. Take for example, in rainy season we are more likely to suffer from edema or gastrointestinal disorder because of dampness, which tells us the fact that humans are closely related to environment.

The Holistic Approach

Chinese medicine takes the human body for one organism as a whole : every tissue or every organ does not exist independently, but is related closely to each other. Therefore mind and body are naturally considered to be inseparable.


Under the normal state ,a harmonious balance among all elements of the human body, such as qi, blood, fluid, the organs, the tissues and the channels, is maintained.The disruption of such balance results in many diseases.

It should be pointed out here that actually there exist no "disease" as a clinical entity in the medical system of Chinese medicine. In fact, our main concentration is not on the diagnosis, but on the analysis of symptoms and signs as well as the identification of a variety of patterns made by the elements of our bodies. Chinese medicine(TCM) includes the name of diseases, because there has been a necessity of combining this medicine with the western medicine. In addition, this means that the borderline of "disease", in other words, distinction between "normal" and "abnormal" is not clear in Chinese medicine. The state of the human body seems to be something like a pendulum swinging slowly. The judgement whether the present state of your body is healthy or not depends upon its amplitude.