Chinese Herbal Medicine & Formulae 1

General Information
Duration 1 semester
Level Year 1, Semester 2
Unit Weighting Unit Credit Points: 10 credit points
Total Course Credit Points: 320 credit points
Student Workload Number of timetabled hours per week: 4
Number of personal study hours per week: 6
Total workload hours per week: 10
Prerequisites TCM113 Fundamental Theory of TCM & TCM Terminology
Academic Details
Description This unit introduces students to the principles of Chinese herbal material medica and presents their historical development, the theories and systems, the general characteristics and clinical applications, the methods of collection and processing, the forms in which they are administered, and the effect of Australia’s multi-cultural and multi-racial context on the application of CM herbal medicines.
Throughout this unit (and CHM203 Chinese Herbal Medicine & Formulae 2) students study approximately 450 Chinese medicinal substances. The depth of study for each herb will vary depending on the importance of the substance and its frequency of use. The characteristics and therapeutic applications of individual Chinese medicinal substances in each category are identified, including their names and their appearance, their primary method of preparation, their characteristics (flavour, nature, and channel tropism), functions, combinations with other herbs, primary therapeutic applications, dosage range and any cautions or contraindications.
Students also learn to identify and describe Chinese medicinal substances that are affected by Australian regulations and the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP). The importance of commitment to the reporting of adverse events and referral is emphasised.
In this unit students are referred constantly to the TGA and CMBA Guidelines on the use of herbs vis-à-vis the various regulatory instruments and the management and reporting of adverse events.
Learning outcomes On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Outline the historical development, classification and properties, processing method, and types of preparation of the Chinese material medica; and how Australia’s multi-cultural/multi-racial context may affect CM herbal application.
  2. Describe the nomenclature (in Pinyin and/or Chinese characters, their scientific name and common English name if applicable), the characteristics, the properties, channel tropism, functions, therapeutic effects, dosage range, and special preparation requirements for commonly used Chinese medicinal substances in each category.
  3. Evaluate cautions, contraindications, compatibility, incompatibility, and toxicity of commonly used Chinese medicinal substances.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of and familiarity with regulations and guidelines about restricted schedules of drugs, endangered species, reporting of adverse events, and referral to other medical practitioners in simulated settings.
Assessment Quiz (15%)
Practical Test (30%)
Class Test
Practical Test (40%)
Prescribed Textbooks/Readings * The prescribed and recommended readings are subject to annual review.

Bensky, D., Clavey, S., Gamble, A., & Stoger, E. (2015). Chinese herbal medicine: Materia medica (3rd ed.). Eastland Press.

Chan, E., Tan, M., Xin, J., Sudarsanam, S., & Johnson, D. E. (2010). Interactions between traditional Chinese medicines and Western. Curr Opin Drug Discov Devel, 13(1), 50-65.

Chan, K., Shaw, D., Simmonds, M. S., Leon, C. J., Xu, Q., Lu, A., … & Williamson, E. M. (2012). Good practice in reviewing and publishing studies on herbal medicine, with special emphasis on traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese materia medica. Journal of Ethnopharmacology140(3), 469-475.

Chinese Medicine Board of Australia. (2022, July 7). Guidelines for safe practice of Chinese herbs medicine.

Chinese Medicine Board of Australia. (2022, July 7). Nomenclature compendium of commonly used Chinese herbal medicines.

Kam, P. C. A., & Liew, S. (2002). Traditional Chinese herbal medicine and anaesthesia. Anaesthesia, 57(11), 1083-1089.

Li, Z. T., Li, L., Chen, T. T., Li, C. Y., Wang, D. Q., Yang, Z. F., & Zhong, N. S. (2015). Efficacy and safety of Ban-Lan-Gen granules in the treatment of seasonal influenza: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 16(1), 126.

Liao, H., Banbury, L. K., & Leach, D. N. (2008). Antioxidant activity of 45 Chinese herbs and the relationship with their TCM characteristics. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine, 5(4), 429-434.

Muluye, R. A., Bian, Y., & Alemu, P. N. (2014). Anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects of heat-clearing Chinese herbs: a current review. Journal of traditional and complementary medicine, 4(2), 93-98.

Pang, H., Wu, L., Tang, Y., Zhou, G., Qu, C., & Duan, J. A. (2016). Chemical analysis of the herbal medicine Salviae miltiorrhizae Radix et Rhizoma (Danshen). Molecules21(1), 51.

Tu, Y. (2011). The discovery of artemisinin (qinghaosu) and gifts from Chinese medicine. Nature medicine, 17(10), 1217.

Yang, F., Dong, X., Yin, X., Wang, W., You, L., & Ni, J. (2017). Radix Bupleuri: A review of traditional uses, botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology. BioMed Research International, 2017, Article ID 7597596. doi: 10.1155/2017/7597596

Zhou, N., Tang, Y., Keep, R. F., Ma, X., & Xiang, J. (2014). Antioxidative effects of Panax notoginseng saponins in brain cells. Phytomedicine, 21(10), 1189-1195.