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 However, this theory has more recently become superseded by theories of herbal actions, disease indications and modern research, which are invariably used in textbooks and by practitioners to inform prescription of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 Nugent-Head lived in China for eight and a half years studying with the last generation of practitioners born and educated prior to 1949. Seeing these traditional doctors effectively treat serious conditions illustrated the profundity and practicality of Chinese medicine. Through the ATS documentation project, JulieAnn benefitted from line by line reading and explanations of the classic books with Dr. Li Hongxiang, which deepened her understanding and brought to life the classical, foundational and common sense paradigm with which Chinese medicine views and attempts to manage illness.

In 2010, to escape the pollution of Beijing, JulieAnn and husband Andrew moved to the Westlake Tea Region of Hangzhou. While living amongst the tea fields, JulieAnn completed a doctoral level medical degree at the Zhejiang University of Chinese Medicine, focusing on the classical application of herbs.

JulieAnn is a vocal advocate of classically-based, clinically-focused, tangible and effective Chinese medicine. She feels herbs are practical and accessible, and hopes to encourage more of the western TCM community to employ herbal medicine as a principle treatment. Learn more about Nugent-Head's seminars around the world at traditionalstudies.org and their teaching clinic in Asheville, NC at alternativeclinic.org


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  Journal of Chinese Medicine June 2014
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