CMPL 2004 Chinese Materia Medica 1

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 400876

Coordinator Yu-Ting Sun Opens in new window

Description Herbal medicine is one of the principal therapeutic interventions in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This subject introduces students to the therapeutic and reference organisation of Chinese medicinal herbs, and enables students to commence using the materia medica. It covers the commonly used herbs in each of the six categories of the Chinese materia medica, including the herbal properties, actions, indications, contraindications, combined usage as well as herbal dispensing. This subject also expands upon the student's understanding of TCM theory and practice principles. This subject includes a minimum of 20 practicum hours at UniClinic.

School Health Sciences

Discipline Traditional Chinese Medicine

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Pre-requisite(s) CMPL 1002

Co-requisite(s) CMPL 2006

Equivalent Subjects LGYA 7239 - Chinese Herbal Medicine 1

Assumed Knowledge

Assumed knowledge equivalent to Traditional Chinese Medicine 1

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Apply the basic traditional Chinese herbal medicine theory and practice.
2. Compare the properties, functions, indications, contraindications and safety profiles of each of the major individual herbs in the six herb categories.
3. Evaluate the interactions of herbs including synergism,and antagonisms in the context of Chinese medicine theory in an evidence-based approach.
4. Classify the range of commonly used Chinese herbs in each category.

Subject Content

1. Introduction to Chinese materia medica
2. Herbal properties
- four natures
- Five flavours
- four tendencies
- Attributive meridians
- combination of The herbs
- contraindications of The herbs
3. Naming and classification of Chinese herbs
4. Individual herbs (including commonly used combinations)
- herbs for relieving The exterior
- herbs for clearing heat
- herbs for removing dampness
- herbs for regulating QI
- herbs for moving blood
- Tonifying herbs

Special Requirements

Legislative pre-requisites

•To be able to enroll in this subject, all students must have complied with School Requirements indicated below:

Students must meet Western Sydney University course requirements as well as any special, legislated, or policy-mandated requirements.   
There are Western Special Requirements that you may need to meet to enroll into your program of study or subject.   
International students have additional requirements: check the booklet for these additional  requirements.

School Requirements 
Contact your School for further details regarding your School’s requirements, if any, such as: 
•If you live outside of NSW or Australia or need to meet a state, territory or country’s compliance requirements 
•NSW Working with Children Check (WWCC) or another state equivalent, valid for your entire course. 
•Current approved first aid certificate valid for your entire course - approved course providers can be found at: 
•Other non-health related requirements. 

 Refer to the Special Requirements website for more information.

Special Requirements


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Practical 40 mins 25 Y Individual
Case Study 1,500 words 25 N Individual
Final Exam 2 hours 50 N Individual
Log/Workbook 20 hours at UniClinic S/U Y Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Yu, C., (2000). A Clinical Guide to Chinese herbs and Formulae. Melbourne: Churchill Livingstone.
  • Bensky, D., Clavey, S., Stoger, E., (2004). Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, (3rd ed) Seattle: Eastland Press.

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)



Subject Contact Yu-Ting Sun Opens in new window

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