Two professors from Nanjing CTCM compiled this text specifically for classroom-oriented study.
The first section compares the actions and indications of substances in 11 categories such as exterior-releasing herbs or tonics, much like an applied materia medica. Distinctions are offered based on principles that can be applied in the development or modification of formulas. The second section deals with combinations of common Chinese herbs. There are ten sections based on treatment principles. In the third section medicinal substances are grouped according to the zang fu. For each organ the actions and characteristics of commonly used substances from the Chinese materia medica are supplemented by a discussion of the distinction between herbs or the interaction of those herbs in combination. In the next section, thirteen categories of formulas are discussed. In each the guiding principles of prescription are outlined then detailed as instructions for formula development.
This is followed by reminders of the most critical point of the prescription and a comparison of the various commonly used formulas.
The final section outlines the treatment of common diseases, their differentiation as syndromes and the herbal medicine applied.
Each disease description, (some listed by biomedical nomenclature, others by Chinese description), includes the most telling clinical manifestations, a treatment principle, and a recommended formula including the dose of each herb.
The text includes case histories, a Pinyin-Latin and Latin-Pinyin cross-reference to the herbs, and an English-Pinyin and Pinyin-English formula cross-reference.