The Successful Chinese Herbalist > Customer Reviews
Average Rating 4
Anonymous, Moving from Student to Practitioner
I took a gamble when buying "The Successful Chinese Herbalist" and I think itís turned out to be a value for money purchase. I am currently studying TCM and there is a horrifying moment for every student when they suddenly realise, in a few short months, they will be out of university and having to fend for themselves. This book helps with that transition.
The book partly goes over such issues as the importance of correct syndrome differentiation, however, its main focus is on the "grey areas" between knowing the details of a formula (i.e. constituent herbs, actions etc.) and being able to successfully use that formula in practice (i.e. getting dosages and modifications right for your patient, suggesting why the results you expected never occurred and so on).
Towards the end of the book the emphasis shifts towards the setting up of a "new start" dispensary: what ready-made (patent) medicines, powders and dry herbs are best to start with and what quantities to buy. A trimmed down version of this section appeared in the RCHM Journal of October 2005 (volume 4, number 3, pages 4-8). Itís kind of obvious stuff but, when you are studying, you donít tend to think about these peripheral issues, you just want to learn all the properties of the herbs!
I believe the bulk of the chapters are written by Bob Flaws. Iíve got a few of his books and generally get on well with his style, although his insistence on giving his views on the use of terms like "TCM" and "patent" grate a bit. They are well-made points but does he have to stick them in every Blue Poppy publication?!
On the whole, a good book, particularly for students getting towards the end of their studies.