Books  Botany  Economic Botany & Ethnobotany 

Chinese Medicinal Plants, Herbal Drugs and Their Substitutes: An Identification Guide

By: Christine Leon(Author), Lin Yu-Lin(Author), Xiao Pei-Gen(Foreword By)

806 pages, 3000+ colour photos, 2 colour maps

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Hardback | Oct 2017 | #234408 | ISBN-13: 9781842463871
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £110.00 $145/€125 approx

About this book

This is the first comprehensive, botanically authoritative and practical illustrated identification guide to Chinese medicinal plants and drugs and their substitutes. It offers authoritative guidance on the identification of the herbal drugs themselves, and the plants from which they are sourced.

Over the past 15 years, the authors have been collecting plant specimens throughout China, using verified species to create typical TCM reference drugs, prepared according to traditional methods.

The herbal drugs included in Chinese Medicinal Plants, Herbal Drugs and Their Substitutes are officially recognised from the Chinese materia medica (as defined in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia) and their selection has been based on those popular in international trade, as well as those recognised by the European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association, and those that are easily confused, substituted or adulterated with other plants.

The authors provide a wealth of information on 226 herbal drugs, each illustrated extensively with colour photographs. Plant descriptions are given for official species and substitutes, with details on the harvesting, source and natural range, conservation status, the number of wild Chinese species, and up to date taxonomy and nomenclature for all Latin scientific names. Accompanying this is the derivative drug morphology, showing crude and processed forms, along with drug common names, properties and uses, and toxicity rating. Guidance is given on when to use laboratory-based methods to improve identification robustness.

The layout and design of Chinese Medicinal Plants, Herbal Drugs and Their Substitutes allow for quick and easy cross referencing of official and substitute species, with images appearing side by side, highlighting key identification characters. The herbal drugs are arranged by plant part, in colour coded sections, and cover the following: rhizomes, roots, tubers and bulbs; aerial parts and whole plants; stems and woods; stem barks and root barks; leaves; flowers and flower parts; and fruits, seeds and other fruit parts.

This easy to use, comprehensive identification manual is ideal for those without botanical or materia medica identification training, as well as TCM traders, herbal dispensaries and practitioners, health regulators, conservationists including CITES enforcement officers, academia, and the natural product industries as well as those involved in the cultivation and sustainable supply of the plants themselves.

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this book. Be the first to review this book!


Christine Leon is a medical botanist and specialises in Chinese medicinal plants, based at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where she has worked since 1997. She helped establish the Chinese Medicinal Plants Authentication Centre at Kew, in partnership with the Institute of Medicinal Plant Development in Beijing, China.

Professor Lin Yu-Lin is a leading specialist on the identification of Chinese medicinal plants and their materia medica, and is based at the Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College.

Bestsellers in this subject

World Guide to Tropical Drift Seeds and Fruits

NHBS Price: £29.50 $39/€34 approx

Weeds: The Story of Outlaw Plants

NHBS Price: £9.99 $13/€11 approx

Plants: Healers and Killers

NHBS Price: £14.99 $20/€17 approx

VAT: GB 407 4846 44
NHBS Ltd is registered in England and Wales: 1875194