Best Practices for Learning Chinese Herbal Formulas

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Best Practices for Learning Chinese Herbal Formulas


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Best Practices for Learning Chinese Herbal Formulas: From the Classics to Modern Educational Theory

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It is widely accepted that learning formulas in the Chinese materia medica is a difficult task. Many guides to learning specific individual formulas or formula families are available, but no systematic approach that combines modern learning theory with classical Chinese scholarship exists. This paper provides a clear framework for approaching the study of the Chinese medical formulary based on modern and classical theory. Texts on early Chinese scholar and medical practitioner habits are reviewed and compared to modern education theory. The challenges of early scholars are compared to those of the modern student and learning as an act of self-cultivation emerges as a common theme. Specific study tools and comprehension goals from modern educational theory are then applied to learning formulas with examples particular to the field. 


  • Summary of traditional approaches to learning Chinese herbal formulas and early educational theory.
  • Modern educational theory applied to the study of formulas. 
  • Practical guide to study approaches for the modern student. 
  • Concrete herbal formula examples of specific study tools. 
  • Study Toolbox