Chinese Herbal Medicine & Formulae 2

General Information
Duration 1 semester (14 teaching weeks)
Level Year 2, Semester 3
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/ Corequisites TCM106 TCM Diagnosis & Clinical Theory; CHM108 Chinese Herbal Medicine and Formulae 1
Academic Details
Description This unit is a development of CHM108 Chinese Herbal Medicine and Formulae 1 which provides the student with further information on herbal categories which must be memorised and integrated into the student’s understanding of Chinese herbal substances. Students further develop their understanding and familiarity with the full spectrum of medicinal substances.

Additionally, this unit introduces the student to TCM herbal formulae. In the second half of this unit the student will study the theory of Chinese herbal formulae classification, the construction and application of formulae including its historical development; its form and function; its current classification; and its therapeutic methodologies. For each herbal category studied, the student will examine and explore the formulae modification, preparation and administration.

Students will be informed about restricted and scheduled herbs and their use throughout the study of this subject and in accordance with Australian regulations and the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP). The importance of a commitment to the appropriate reporting of adverse events will be also emphasised and the desire to achieve excellence in the practice of Chinese herbal medicine and to contribute to improving both the quality of life of patients and the wellbeing of the community and the environment will be a key feature in the teaching and learning of this unit.

Students will be referred constantly and appropriately throughout the course 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. These latter are provided in the prescribed and recommended readings.

Learning outcomes Upon completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Identify Chinese medicinal substances with their Chinese, scientific and common English nomenclature (in pinyin and/or Chinese characters).
  2. Analyse the functions and therapeutic applications of the main traditional Chinese medicinal substances in each category from their properties and channel tropism.
  3. Explain and describe the cautions or contraindications in the dosage range of the main Chinese medicinal substances and any special preparation requirements of specific substances; Describe the compatibility and incompatibility of specific Chinese material medica including toxicity and the restricted schedules of drugs and poisons used in CM practice, and the importance of a commitment to the appropriate reporting of adverse events.
  4. Describe and explain the development of TCM formula theory and its principles; Evaluate the principal functions of formulae in each category and the relationship between each category and its treatment strategy; Compare and contrast the principal formulae of the same category and identify the appropriate formula to achieve a particular therapeutic effect.
Unit requirement To successfully complete the unit, students must: attend 80% of all the tutorial classes; attempt all assessment tasks including summative and formative assessments and achieve at least 50% of the total marks; and achieve a mark of at least 40% in the final examination.
Assessment Assessment 1: Practical Test (25%)

Assessment 2: Quiz (25%)

Assessment 3: Final examination (50%)

Prescribed text * The prescribed and recommended readings are subject to annual review.

Bensky, D., Clavey, S., Gamble, A., &Stoger, E. (2004). Chinese herbal medicine: Materia medica (3rd ed.). Seattle, Wash.: Eastland Press.

John K.Chen &Tina T. Chen (2009). Chinese Herbal Formulas and Applications. LA: Art of Medicine Press.

Bensky, D., & Barolet, R. (2009). In Scheid V. (Ed.), Chinese herbal medicine: Formulas & strategies (Rev. ed.). Seattle, WA: Eastland Press.

Recommended readings Therapeutic Goods Administration, Poisons Standard October 2018, 25 September 2018. Retrieved from (Accessed 30/01/2019)

TGA (2018). Australian regulatory guidelines for complementary medicines (ARGCM). Retrieved from (Accessed 30/01/2019)

TGA (2018). Reporting adverse events. Retrieved from (Accessed 30/01/2019)

Chang, H., & But, P. P. H. (1986). Pharmacology and applications of Chinese materimedica (English ed.). Singapore; Philadelphia, PA, USA: World Scientific.

Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (2017). Guidelines for safe practice of Chinese herbs medicine.  Retrieved from (Accessed 30/01/2019)

Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (2018). Nomenclature compendium of commonly used Chinese herbal medicines. Retrieved from (Accessed 30/01/2019)

Gao, Xue Min (2007): Chinese Materia Medica (2nd ed.). Beijing, China Chinese Medicine Press.

Deng, Z. J., Li, J. &Lian, J. W. (2010). Chinese Herbal Formulas (2nd ed.). Beijing: China Chinese Medicine Press.

Ou, M. (1992). Chinese-English manual of common-used prescriptions in traditional Chinese medicine Guangzhou, China: Guangdong Science and Technology Press.

Sionneau, P. (1997). Dui yao: The art of combining Chinese medicinals (B. Côté Trans.). (1st ed.). Boulder, CO: Blue Poppy Press.