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Returning Our Focus to the Flavour & Nature of Herbs Article

Published in the Journal of Chinese Medicine June 2014

The foundational theories of Chinese herbal medicine originate in the Nei Jing (Inner Classic), which states that it is the flavour and nature of herbs that govern how they interact with the human body. However, this theory has more recently become superseded by theories of herbal actions, disease indications and modern research, which are invariably used in textbooks and by practitioners to inform prescription of herbal medicines. This article explains why these approaches to the practice of herbal medicine are incorrect, and how such approaches can easily damage the health of patients taking herbal medicines. The correct method of prescribing herbs based on the Nei Jing is described, and illustrated with various case examples.


Your Instructor


JulieAnn Nugent-Head
JulieAnn Nugent-Head

JulieAnn earned a master's degree in Oriental Medicine and completed hundreds of hours of clinical practice, yet without residency under skilled doctors, she did not feel her training was sufficient to treat serious illness. Summer internships in 2003 and 2004 at Beijing's KuanJie Hospital underscored the need for advanced study.

JulieAnn thus moved to Beijing learn Chinese and study under two "last generation practitioners", born and educated prior to 1949. Working with the Association for Traditional Studies, JulieAnn helped film and document octogenarian Dr Li HongXiang lecturing on the classic books of Chinese medicine; reading character by character, pulling out dictionaries, calligraphy brushes, clinical examples and personal stories to illustrate the tangibility of the text. JulieAnn can never thank Dr Li HongXiang enough for bringing classic texts and Chinese philosophy to life.

JulieAnn and husband Andrew entered the doctorate level medical program at the ZheJiang Chinese Medicine University in 2010, and completed doctorate studies with a focus on the classical perspective of herbs. With the changing visa laws and growing cost of living in Asia with 3 children, rJulieAnn & Andrew returned to the United States in 2014.

Through their not-for-profit teaching clinic in Asheville, NC, online curriculae and lecturing internationally, JulieAnn and Andrew work to promote classically based, clinically focused, tangible and effective Chinese medicine.



Course Curriculum


  Journal of Chinese Medicine June 2014
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