The author addresses loss of biodiversity as manifested in the world of Chinese medicine, specifically the non-sustainable use of endangered species in formulas.
"The process that infuses Chinese medicine seeks to work with nature, complement body processes, and reconnect and integrate the physiological and psychological possibilities within the entire being. Most Chinese medicine practitioners actively use their five senses in patient evaluation. ... The organic approach of Chinese medicine fosters the use of intuition, integrated with critical thinking, academic knowledge, and practical experience. Unfortunately, a split from nature also has occurred in Chinese medicine, the philosophy of which is applied only in clinical practice. For example, some Chinese doctors justify their use of endangered animals, because they insist that people are more important than animals. This position ignores the contributions of nature to people and wedges people and nature in conflicting opposition. So, while these individuals do not consider humans to be isolated from nature, they place humans in the central position (much like in the West), which maintains their distance from the web of life."
She sounds a call to the Chinese medicine profession to assume a responsible role in the survival of the species referenced in its materia medica, as well as in the preservation of its medicine for future generations. This is a thoughtful, thoroughly researched book that will not only be of interest to any student or practitioner in the field, but will serve as an important reminder of the vast and multifaceted responsibilities of the healer that may focus on the patient but that extend to the species, the planet, and beyond.