CMPL 2005 Chinese Materia Medica 2

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 400877

Coordinator Yu-Ting Sun Opens in new window

Description This unit completes the study of Chinese medicinal herbs, which forms the basis for Chinese herbal medicine. It covers the commonly used herbs in each of the twelve categories of the Chinese materia medica, including the herbal properties, actions, indications, contraindications and combined usage. It also introduces the basic knowledge of herbal pharmacognosy. This unit also expands upon the student's understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine theory and practice principles.

School Health Sciences

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Pre-requisite(s) CMPL 1002 AND
CMPL 2004

Equivalent Subjects LGYA 7240 - Chinese Herbal Medicine 2

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Apply basic herbal theory and practice;
  2. Identify the major individual herbs in each of the twelve herb categories utilising visual recognition, tasting, smelling and hand examination;
  3. Describe the major individual herbs in each of the twelve herb categories, in terms of properties, functions and contraindications;
  4. Explain known herb interactions for the herbs in each category;
  5. Apply the concept of synergy in Chinese herbal medicine, specifically in reference to the herbs covered in this unit;
  6. Compare and contrast the range of commonly used Chinese herbs in each of the twelve categories.

Subject Content

1. Individual herbs (including commonly used combinations):
- herbs for warming The interior
- Astringent herbs
- herbs for dispelling Wind-dampness
- phlegm resolving, antitussive & antiasthmatic herbs
- herbs for relieving food stagnation
- herbs for purgation
- herbs for arresting bleeding
- herbs for calming The shen
- herbs for extinguishing The liver Wind
- Aromatic substances for Opening The orifices
- herbs for expelling parasites
- herbs for external application
2. Introduction to herbal pharmacognosy
- Plant physiology, Morphology and taxonomy
- major Chemical groups of Plant constituents

Special Requirements

Legislative pre-requisites

Prior to enrolling in this subject, students must have submitted a Student Undertaking Form and undertake to apply for a National Police Check, which is required to be submitted before placement. Students must also hold a valid and current First Aid Certificate from a Registered Training Organisation. 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.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Practical Exam 40 minutes 25 N Individual
Twelve Herb Category Essay 1,500 words 25 N Individual
Final Examination 2 hours 50 N Individual
Clinical Observation 10 hours at UniClinic Pass/Fail 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

2022 Semester 2



Subject Contact Yu-Ting Sun Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

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