Combining Western Herbs and Chinese Medicine: Principles, Practice & Materia Medica

Combining Western Herbs and Chinese Medicine: Principles, Practice & Materia Medica

Jeremy Ross

Combining Western Herbs and Chinese Medicine combines 2,000 years of Western herbal tradition with traditional Chinese medicine and modern pharmacology research. This unique integration offers a new level of understanding that can resolve many of the difficulties and controversies of the past. It can give a broader and deeper understanding of the individual herbs, enabling more sophisticated herb combinations that are both safer and more effective. Containing over 800 tables, the text is specially organised and designed for clear, easy access to a vast amount of useful data. This is a foundation text and reference for both students and practitioners, with discussion of. o 50 Western herbs: unparalleled detail reveals the unique character of each herb o 380 herb pairs: the basic units for building herb combinations o 150 herb combinations: a wealth of practical detail with essential comparison tables o 1500 references: pharmacological and clinical research is cited and fully discussed. There is special emphasis on the following topics: o Principles of herb combining: How to make safe and effective combinations o Practical herb use: Full details of herb dose, dispensing, and administration o Safety: Three special chapters on safety issues. Each of the 50 herb chapters discusses cautions and contraindications o Data access: Extensive cross references, plus a unique 70-page index for easy access to data on individual herbs, herb pairs, herb combinations, herb actions, Chinese syndromes, and disorders. Note This book is about using Western herbs according to the principles of Chinese medicine, Western herbal tradition, and modern pharmacology. It is not specifically about combining Western and Chinese herbs, although Chinese herbs appear in some of the combinations in this book. This book is only suitable for readers with a basic understanding of Chinese medicine - specifically a knowledge of the Chinese organ syndromes.

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JCM Review

"There is a sense of inevitability to the eventual inclusion of Western herbs (or at least many of the commonly used ones) into TCM, a traditional system that has long been open to incorporating foreign medicinals into its materia medica (e.g., myrrh, frankincense, American ginseng and a host of others). The idea of assigning Chinese energetic values to Western herbs was first put forward by Michael Tierra in Planetary Herbology, followed later by Peter Holmes with his two volume The Energetics of Western Herbs. Jeremy Ross has for over 15 years been teaching his own unique approach to using Western herbs in the Chinese energetic framework and has now taken up his pen to further this effort. The result of Ross's seven year long, herculean efforts is a well referenced book that is a must for the libraries and clinics of anyone interested in this idea of using Western herbs in the practice of OM. "Combining Western Herbs and Chinese Medicine ' Principles, Practice and Materia Medica contains chapters on the history of Western herbal medicine, temperature, taste, actions, dose, safety and a materia medica section that covers fifty herbs; a number of herbs in the materia medica section are already commonly used in Chinese medicine, e.g., ginger, myrrh, cinnamon, licorice. Additionally the book contains a wonderfully detailed index and valuable tables for cross referencing, including the Chinese characters for herbs botanically related to the ones discussed. Each herb in the materia medica section is dealt with in exhaustive detail including botanical information, history and traditional use, pharmacological and clinical research, toxicology, regulatory status, dose, cautions, combinations and formulas. In an interesting section in each materia medica chapter Ross puts the scientific studies under his microscope to see which traditional uses are validated in some way by modern research. "All pioneers have to be prepared to take their knocks, and Ross will undoubtedly find himself roundly criticized in some circles. The traditionalists in OM and European phytotherapy will likely object to such a bold effort and question its necessity. There are ample herbs already described in the Chinese literature and no difficulty in purchasing them, the argument might go, and you're just going to muddy the waters... Some will contend it is disrespectful to all the many centuries of accumulated experience in the Chinese herbal literature to assume one author could take on and explain the energetics of so many herbs in one fell swoop.The phytotherapists might simply feel that all this talk of herb "energetics" is unnecessary to good prescribing. Even for those who accept the notion of herb energetics, some will object to the values he assigns to particular herbs in the materia medica section; that type of criticism is inevitable for a work of this sort. It will be difficult for anyone, however, to dispute the fact that he has brought the idea of using Western herbs in this OM way forward by a giant step. To the extent it is humanly possible in such a ground breaking endeavor where much that is new has to be created (the Greeks, for instance, had nothing to say about the herbal energetics of Harpagophytum/Devil's Claw, so here the author had to rely on his own experience), Ross has referenced his positions, with each materia medica section commonly containing 40+ citations. In this way he seems well prepared for his critics. "The approach used in the book is not a purely Chinese one; instead the author, who has credentials in the sciences as well as TCM and Western herbal medicine, has combined these three elements into a unique synthesis. He calls on his extensive experience in both Chinese medicine and Western herbal medicine to arrive at the indicated syndromes in TCM (and he has named a small handful of new syndromes) for a given herb. In many cases these indications are intuitively obvious for anyone who knows the herb and the Chinese framework, but in others the insights of a senior practitioner such as Jeremy Ross are needed for clarification. Where his experience seems to play a particularly important role is in the 380 herb pairs and the many formulas in the book. Some of these pairs can be found in the BHP, but the majority come from the author's own extensive clinical experience. "The handling of safety in Combining Western Herbs and Chinese Medicine ' Principles, Practice and Materia Medica merits special attention here because the author goes to great lengths (36 pages) to give this topic the thorough examination its deserves. Each chapter in the materia medica section has its own relevant safety data, including cautions, contraindications and dosage. Additionally, three of the early chapters contain a detailed discussion of the issues surrounding the safe use of herbal medicines. There is a chapter with a general handling of safety that includes adverse reactions, standardized herbal products, negative and positive interactions between herbs and drugs, government regulation, practitioner training and so on. "The second safety chapter deals with the organ systems. This discussion will be useful as a clinical guide for students and as a reminder to experienced practitioners. Here Ross goes into detail on how to avoid negative outcomes with particular Chinese syndromes, e.g., which types of herbs to avoid using in cases of Stomach Heat or Lung Dryness and so on. This discussion is also tackled from the Western scientific side of things with a look, for instance, at hypertension and cardiac arrhythmia and the herbs that are best avoided in formulas used to treat these conditions. "The third chapter is titled Safety in clinical practice. Here the reader is led through the thorny issues of preventing adverse reactions through the use of balanced herb combinations, balancing herbal prescriptions, monitoring and managing side effects and adverse reactions, general dosage guidelines, size and timing of the dose, duration of the prescription, and breaks in treatment. "In summary both the scholar and the practical-minded practitioner will find plenty to wrap his/her mind around in this ground-breaking work by Jeremy Ross. The design and layout of the book make it an easy read. Jeremy is is to be commended for the courage and vision it must have taken to step forward with so daring a work." Robert Alder Quinn, L.Ac. "By far the best, most practical book on this subject, written from the perspective of a clinician who has an in depth understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Herbalism - an essential reference." Michael Tierra L.AC, O.M.D.


Foreword Preface Sources Terminology Introduction Part I: Herbal medicine in theory and practice History Temperature Taste Actions Actions glossary Principles of herb combination Practical herb combination Dose Safety Safety and the organ systems Safety in clinical practice Part II: Materia Medica Using the materia medica Achillea Althaea Anemone Angelica Arctium Arctostaphylos Artemisia Asclepias Berberis and Hydrastis Calendula Capsella Capsicum Cimicifuga Cinchona Cinnamomum Commiphora Convallaria Crataegus Echinacea Euphrasia Filipendula Gentiana and Centaurium Glycyrrhiza Hamamelis Harpagophytum Juniperus Lavandula Leonurus Lobelia Myrica Phytolacca Piscidia Potentilla Rheum Rosmarinus Ruta Salvia Sambucus Sarothamnus Smilax Tanacetum Taraxacum Thuja Thymus Turnera Valeriana Viburnum Zanthoxylum Zingiber Additional herbs Appendices Glossary Healing crises Herb properties Herb names Cross references Family-botanical names Botanical-family names English-botanical names Pharmaceutical-English herb names Botanical-Mandarin herb names Mandarin-botanical herb names Combinations-Chinese syndromes Disorders-combinations Index


AuthorJeremy Ross
PublisherEastland Press
Number Of Pages970
Book FormatHardback

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