Western Herbs according to Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Practitioner's Guide

Excerpts & Samples

By Thomas Avery Garran

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Thomas Avery Garran

Thomas Avery Garran
Thomas Avery Garran, MTOM, L.Ac., is a licensed acupuncturist with a master’s degree in Oriental medicine. He has practiced and taught herbal medicine since 1992. He has been chair of the Department of Herbal Medicine at the Institute of Clinical Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in  More...



The first book to exclusively use Chinese medical theories and terminology to guide practitioners of Chinese medicine in the use of Western herbs

• Written entirely according to the theory, diagnosis, and treatment paradigm of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)

• Explains how to combine and modify the standard TCM formulas to non-Chinese herbs suitable for Western practitioners

• Includes 58 monographs of common Western healing herbs, detailing how each plant is used clinically

The ever-growing number of Chinese medicine practitioners in the West has brought about an amalgamation of many styles of Chinese medicine and various other forms of medicine from around the world. This book addresses the increasing demand for knowledge of how to integrate plants from outside the standard Chinese materia medica into the fold of Chinese medical practices in the West. It is the first in-depth guide to using Western herbs exclusively according to the theories, diagnoses, and treatments of traditional Chinese medicine that harmonizes the unique terminology and theories of TCM with other botanical medicines.

The book contains 58 monographs, illustrated with full-color photographs, of herbs commonly used by Western herbalists. Each herb is grouped by the basic categorization for medicinals in Chinese medicine, such as Herbs that Resolve the Exterior and Herbs that Regulate Blood. The monographs detail the energetics, function and indication, channels entered, dosage and preparation, and contraindications of each plant. The author also explains how to use the herbs to modify standard formulas used in everyday Chinese herbal medicine, based on his own clinical experience. An appendix of Western Analogs for Chinese Herbs further highlights 40 Chinese medicinals that have related species growing in the West.
“Each continent has unique herbs that have no equivalent elsewhere. I know of no Western herb equal to the Chinese herb tian ma (Gastrodia) for treating dizziness and epileptic seizures. Likewise, I find few herbs in the Chinese materia medica to rival saw palmetto, milk thistle, or fresh oat. Adding to one’s “toolbox” of active medicines enhances any practitioner’s abilities to more effectively treat patients. Thomas Avery Garran has written the first truly authoritative work on understanding and using Western herbs based on the TCM model. This book is a major achievement, allowing anyone trained in Chinese medicine to effectively and safely add Western herbs to their daily practice.”
David Winston, RH(AHG), author of Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief and Winston and Kuhn’s Herbal Therapy and Supplements

“Thomas Avery Garran has definitively integrated a cornucopia of herbs from North America and other Western countries into the system of traditional Chinese medicine.”
Michael Tierra, author of Planetary Herbology and founder of the American Herbalists Guild

"This is a valuable book to have for a practitioner as well as a student or individual using it for self-help."
Making Scents, Vol. 13, Issue 1, Summer/Fall 2008

"Any herbal medicine collection must have this in-depth index of Chinese formulas applied to Western herbs."
The Midwest Book Review, June 2008

"This is an unusual book, full of information and ideas for helping oneself and others. Garran is to be congratulated on a fine book about herbs, a book that is accurate and highly useable. Enjoyable reading. One of the best herb books to be published."
Lee Prosser, ghostvillage.com, July 2008

"I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a serious interest in bringing the energy of East and West into their herbal practice. . . . Garran was a student of mine for many years and went on to study with outstanding Chinese herbalists in the U.S. and China. He took the direction I pointed out in Planetary Herbology a few steps further with a book that gives extensive descriptions of 58 important North American herbs so that their use will be practically available to TCM [traditional Chinese medicine] clinical practice."
Michael Tierra, Instructor of East West Herb course, and author of Planetary Herbology, March 2009