Cover image for Chinese Herbal Medicine: Formulas & Strategies (Portable 2nd Edition)
1019 pages, 8" x 10"
Fully illustrated
Flex-case hardcover
ISBN: 0-939616-83-1

Chinese Herbal Medicine: Formulas & Strategies (Portable 2nd Edition)

Price: $130.00
Price: $91.00
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The new portable edition of Chinese Herbal Medicine: Formulas & Strategies (Portable 2nd Ed.), the companion volume to Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, is designed to provide students and practitioners with the same comprehensive and authoritative content that they’ve always relied on, but in a lightweight and more flexible format.

Included are over 800 medicinal formulas drawn from both classical and modern sources. Each of the 340-plus principal formulas includes a discussion of its therapeutic actions and indications, analysis of the functions and interactions of the ingredients, method of preparation, and a list of modifications to customize the formula in the clinic. Over 460 variations and associated formulas offer additional options for the practitioner.

The commentary to each formula is extensive. This section deepens the reader’s understanding of a formula’s genealogy, presents an overview of controversies regarding composition, usage, and other issues, describes the extension of a formula’s application to a wider range of disorders, and provides key clinical pointers to facilitate use of the formula in the modern clinic.

The section on comparisons helps the practitioner focus on the distinguishing characteristics of each formula by contrasting it with other formulas that are similar in terms of composition or indication. Tables at the end of each chapter reinforce these distinctions by comparing and contrasting formulas across a wider range. 

The introduction to the book traces the historical evolution of the formulas, and provides practical pointers for their preparation and use. Detailed timelines depict the key events, authors, and texts in the 2,000-year history of traditional Chinese herbal medicine, placing the contents of this book in historical context.

Among the appendices are a pinyin-to-English cross reference to the formulas, a basic summary formulary correlated to symptoms and disorders, a full listing of all books cited in the text, and a bibliography of all modern sources used in the preparation of the book. A comprehensive index to the formulas, and a general index, round out the contents.

Read an excerpt (PDF)


  • Formulas that Release the Exterior 
  • Formulas that Drain Downward 
  • Formulas that Harmonize 
  • Formulas that Clear Heat 
  • Formulas that Dispel Summerheat 
  • Formulas that Warm Interior Cold 
  • Formulas that Release Exterior-Interior Excess 
  • Formulas that Tonify 
  • Formulas that Stabilize and Bind 
  • Formulas that Calm the Spirit 
  • Formulas that Open the Sensory Orfices 
  • Formulas that Regulate the Qi 
  • Formulas that Regulate the Blood 
  • Formulas that Expel Wind 
  • Formulas that Treat Dryness 
  • Formulas that Expel Dampness 
  • Formulas that Dispel Phlegm 
  • Formulas that Reduce Food Stagnation 
  • Formulas that Expel Parasites 
  • Formulas that Treat Abscesses and Sores 
  • Formulas for External Application 
  • Guide to Pinyin Pronunciation 
  • Pinyin-English Formula Cross Reference 
  • List of Cited Sources 
  • Bibliography of Modern Sources 
  • Basic Formulary for Symptoms and Disorders 
  • Formula Index 
  • General Index


"The new edition of Formulas & Strategies is that unique book that works well as a clinical manual, as well as a scholarly work. The explanations and commentaries are thought-provoking and engaging. Use it to choose a formula for a patient this week, or read it to deepen your understanding of a huge assortment of classical and modern formulas--it excels in both arenas."
—Charles Winslow Chace, author, A Qin Bowei Anthology

"[T]he richer level of information in the new Formulas & Strategies . . . actually facilitates learning because it increases our engagement with the profound elegance of Chinese medicine, making it easier for us to build a deeper relationship with the formulas and the tradition as a whole. So I’m afraid that even if you have the first edition, I don’t think you will regret shelling out for the upgrade. The new book is both indispensable and . . . awesome; throw out the old and allow the new to flourish."
—Charlie Buck, Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine Journal