3. Auflage 2004
Format: 29 x 22 cm
The first edition of Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica was published in 1986, and the revised edition in 1993. During the ensuing years there has been a huge increase in the use of Chinese herbal medicine in those Western countries where this book has served as a basic reference text. About six years ago we realized that some important changes had to be made if the book was to remain useful, and we have been working hard ever since to bring this new book to fruition.
To assist with this edition, two new co-authors were invited to contribute their special expertise. Steven Clavey, an author and practitioner from Melbourne, Australia, applied his clinical and scholarly expertise to expand the traditional background and usage of each herb. He was primarily responsible for in-depth discussions of the herbs in the Commentary, Mechanisms of Selected Combinations, Comparisons, Traditional Contraindications, and Nomenclature & preparation sections. Our other new co-author is Erich Stöger, from Austria, trained in both traditional Chinese and modern pharmacology. He has done extensive work in herb identification, which is reflected in this book, as well as his work translating and editing monographs on Chinese materia medica in German. He was primarily responsible for the identification section as well as Quality Criteria, Major known chemical constituents, Alternate species & local variants, Adulterations, Alternate names, and Additional product information.
The principal changes in this edition can be divided into four categories:
First, our guiding principle has been to provide the type of information that enables the reader to practice Chinese herbal medicine more effectively. To this end, in each entry we added new types of information: commentaries, discussions of key combinations, comparisons of related herbs. This new material provides the reader with a more well-rounded picture of the herbs and how they are used from both contemporary and pre-modern perspectives. In addition, because one of the keys to successful practice is proper preparation of the herbs, we also added a section that describes the different methods of preparing individual herbs, and the advantages of each.
Second, we address the issue of safety more directly. This has two aspects. The first concerns toxicology research. Much work has been done in this area since the previous editions of this work were published, and we now include a section on toxicity in each entry where it is warranted. The literature on this subject is in its infancy, and often raises more questions than it answers. This information should therefore only be used for cautionary purposes, and not as an excuse to ban herbs or limit their availability. The second aspect of safety is proper herb identification. We can't be sure that the herbs we give our patients are safe if we don't even know what they are. This is a major issue in contemporary Chinese herbal medicine and is discussed at length in the Introduction. In this edition we have added new sections to each entry dealing with quality criteria, alternate species and local variants, and adulterants. We have also updated the information on the major known chemical constituents of each herb. In doing so, we have tried to balance the competing pulls of tradition, convenience, utility, and scientific taxonomy. It is our belief that a consensus is building around these impor- tant issues, primarily because of their impact on safety. On the other hand, we have chosen not to directly address the thorny issue of herb-drug interactions, as the information available at this time on the subject is often too unclear to be useful.
Third, we separated out those materia medica that we consider to be obsolete and put them in their own chapter (19). Some are derived from endangered species, as identified in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Appendix 1. Others have a level of toxicity that far outweighs their usefulness, rendering them unsuitable for use.
Finally, there are many substances that are new to this edition. These either appear in textbooks from the People's Republic of China or are in relatively common use outside of China. This now brings the total number of substances discussed in our book to approximately 532, of which 478 are discussed at some length. One aspect of prior editions that we elected to remove from this one is pharmacological and clinical research. This is a field that has exploded in recent years and deserves a multivolume work of its own. Given our own disposition - that the practice of Chinese herbal medicine must be grounded on traditional approaches - and our limited expertise, we felt that we simply could not do justice here to the vast amount of new research that has been published. Fortunately, however, there are a number of other books on this topic in English to which we can happily refer the reader, among them The Pharmacology of Chinese Herbs, 2d ed. (Huang Kee-Chang and W. Michael Williams, 1998), Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica (Chang Hson- Mou et al., 2000), and Chinese Materia Medica: Chemistry, Pharmacology and Applications (Zhu You-Ping, 1998). In preparing this book we consulted a wide range of sources. Except where otherwise indicated, all of the information is drawn from the Chinese sources listed in the Translators' Bibliography. With respect to the Actions & Indications section, we relied primarily on three recent textbooks: Chinese Herbal Medicine (Yan Zheng-Hua, 1991), Clinical Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine (Lei Dai-Quan and Zhang Ting-Mo, 1998), and Chinese Herbal Medicine (Gao Xue-Min, 2000). There is a high level of agreement on the basic actions of the herbs in modern materia medica texts, and these books were consulted for their relatively comprehensive treatment of the subject.
Our translation methodology remains largely unchanged from the previous edition. As always, our goal has been to translate Chinese medicine into English as clearly and transparently as we can. Yet, as our understanding of the medicine has improved, and the experience of our profession in transmitting information about Chinese herbal medicine into English has grown, we have made certain changes in our terminology, the most important of which are discussed in the Glossary.
Another change is the manner in which we refer to the herbs themselves. We have adopted the new standard in international pharmacognosy that places the genus and species (when relevant) in front of the part of the plant used. For example, what used to be rendered as Herba Ephedrae is now Ephedrae Herba. This change will allow readers to more easily cross reference our work with those of other authors. We continue to combine the pinyin transliteration of the standard name of an herb with its pharmaceutical name, as this is the clearest method of identification. A cross reference to the names used in the previous edition of our work is provided in Appendix 8.
While we use the standard pïnyïn transliteration system from the People's Republic of China, we have modified it to better fit the needs of our audience. The standard transliteration system separates each word, while we separate each syllable (character). For example, we write jïn yïn huä instead of jïnyïn huä. We do this because much of our audience is untutored in Chinese, and separation by syllables is easier to read. We also modified the rendering of Chinese given names. In the standard method of transliteration, the two syllables (characters) of a given name are combined and placed after the surname, as in Zhang Zhongjing. In part to make things less confusing, and in part to emphasize to a Western audience that both parts of a two-syllable given name are important, we separate the two syllables with a hyphen, as in Zhang Zhong-Jing. We believe that this is clearer to our readers than the standard approach, and hope that Sinologists will forgive us this trespass. Many people generously shared their knowledge and expertise on various aspects of this project. Among them are our colleagues Mazin al-Khafaji, Peter Deadman, Subhuti Dharmananda, Andy Ellis, Johann P. Gruber, Amy Hanks, Andreas Höll, Volker Scheid, and Nigel Wiseman. Christine Tani provided the bulk of the Japanese transliterations, with some contributions from Atsue Morinaga, Gretchen de Soriano, and Jacqueline Young. Jinwoong Kim, professor of pharmacognosy at Seoul National University, not only brought our transliteration of the Korean names for the herbs up to date, but also participated in our deliberations regarding herb identification. We would like to particularly thank our mentor and friend Yao Da-Mu in Beijing for all his encouragement and assistance with issues of herb identification. Michael Ellis in Australia did much of the basic work on the herb comparison tables. We wish to express our appreciation to the many Chinese authors whose works form the basis of our text. Given the focus of this book on herb identification, we especially pay tribute to some of the early pioneers of modern pharmacognosy in China who laid the foundations of this field, while laboring under extremely difficult circumstances. In particular, we honor the names of Lou Zhi-Cen, Cheng Jing-Rong, Xu Guo-Jun, Chen Jun-Hua, Zhao Da-Wen, Yao Da-Mu, and Xiao Pei-Gen.
We also thank John O'Connor for his perspicacious editing, Hans Bleicher for his help with the photos, and Gary Niemeier for his artful book design. All errors are ours alone. We hope that this new edition will prove useful not only to you, our readers, but more importantly, to your patients.
DAN BENSKY, STEVEN CLAVEY, ERICH STÖGER