Book Review: Ten Key Formula Families in Chinese Medicine. Huang Huang
by Scott R. Smith
When it comes to the study and effective application of Chinese herbal medicine, correctly interpreting classical herbal literature is no easy task. Most textbooks on the subject present an herbal formula monograph that identifies, among many things, the formula name, ingredients, source text, signs and symptoms for which the formula is indicated, and formula composition. Formulas are also organized in chapters based on what disorder category the formulas treat; such as formulas that tonify, and formulas that expel parasites – none of these are organized by a specific herb family per se. This is where Dr. Huang Huang’s Ten Key Formula Families in Chinese Medicine is somewhat different. For Dr. Huang, this book is not one that "…discusses the definition of formulas, but one that describes formula presentations.” In his book, Dr. Huang states that formula families versus formula categories are used to provide a strong foundation in the basic principles of Chinese herbal medicine’s pattern recognition.
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