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Distributed for Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Chinese Medicinal Plants, Herbal Drugs and Substitutes

An Identification Guide

The product of fifteen years of collecting activity throughout China, this book offers the first comprehensive, botanically authoritative, and practical illustrated identification guide to Chinese medicinal plants and drugs and their substitutes. The herbal drugs included in the book are officially recognized in the Chinese pharmacopoeia, with an eye toward drugs that are common in international trade, as well as those recognized by Western medical associations. The book is laid out to allow quick and easy cross-referencing of official and substitute species and will be ideal for those without botanical information training. A joint project of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the Institute of Medicinal Plant Development at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, it will be indispensable for anyone working with traditional or herbal remedies.

850 pages | 3000 color plates | 9 1/3 x 11 | © 2017

Biological Sciences: Botany


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“A top-quality, beautifully illustrated, and exhaustively researched reference work.”

Economic Botany

“The globalization of Chinese medicine has resulted in mass export of Chinese plant drugs
around the world and significantly changed the way herbal medicine is practised in many countries.
While Chinese medicine may have much to offer, it is particularly difficult for non-Chinese speakers
to navigate their way through the thousands of medicinal plants available . . . . Until now, very little has been published in English on this subject and so this book is both timely and in absolute need.”

Journal of Ethnopharmacology

“Without any reservation, if you use dried herbs or sell them, you need to have this book.”

The Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine Journal

“An outstanding original offering born of fieldwork that combines exacting observation with a passion for perfection. This book is an extraordinary contribution to the current knowledge of medicinal plants.”

American Botanical Council | Herbalgram

“The development of this volume is a truly impressive feat. The culmination of nineteen years of on-the-ground ethnobotanical
work over fourteen field expeditions in twenty-one Chinese provinces, this book is the first botanically-authoritative identification
guide of its kind and fills an important void in the English-language literature on this topic.”

Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries Quarterly

2018 Winner

American Botanical Council’s James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award

Award of Excellence in Plant Identification & Field-Guides

Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries

“This lavishly illustrated volume offers a painstakingly accurate identification guide for traditional Chinese medicine’s materia medica (‘healing materials’).”


“It’s the organization of the book that sets this reference, Chinese Medicinal Plants, Herbal Drugs and Substitutes: An Identification Guide, apart from all the others. The listings include a wealth of well-done photographs of the plant in all its forms; living leaves, flower, fruit; as well as dried in crude form, decocted, carbonized and sometimes ground. . . . It is an indispensable guide for anyone working with traditional or herbal remedies. The items covered in the book are recognized.”

Against the Grain

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