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Herbal Emissaries

Bringing Chinese Herbs to the West: A Guide to Gardening, Herbal Wisdom, and Well-Being

Published by Healing Arts Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



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About The Book

This extensive and engaging book--the first collaboration between a Chinese scientist and an American author and herbalist--blends traditional wisdom from both cultures with scientific verification of the medical effectiveness of many ancient Chinese plants, thereby deepening our knowledge of and appreciation for ornamentals whose usefulness extends far beyond their beauty.

More plants have been introduced from China to American and European gardens than from any other part of the world.
Many of the Asian species grown as ornamentals--such as daylilies, forsythia, gardenia, peonies, crape myrtle, and mums--are widely used in traditional Chinese medicine.
The authors supply specific techniques for cultivating Chinese herbs and flowers in Western gardens, as well as for using them medicinally.

About The Authors

Herbalist, author, photographer, conservationist, and researcher, Steven Foster (1957-2022) was renowned for his extensive work with Echinacea. He co-authored Herbal Emissaries and the Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants, and was the author of Herbal Bounty-The Gentle Art of Herb Culture, Special Publications Editor for the American Botanical Council (Austin, Texas), and Associate Editor of Herbalgram.

An expert on the source plants of traditional Chinese medicine, Prof. Yue Chongxi (C.H. Yueh) has served since 1956 as pharmacognosist with the Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Healing Arts Press (April 1, 1992)
  • Length: 368 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780892813490

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Raves and Reviews

"An authoritative guide to 44 common Chinese medicinal herbs grown in the U.S. but seldom regarded for their medicinal properties."

– Natural Health

". . . a detailed, readable guide to Chinese herbs, ornamental shrubs and flowering plants, and their medicinal uses."

– Booklist, ALA

". . . a valuable addition to plant science."

– American Herb Association

"Since 1949, China has worked to integrate traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and modern Western medicine, so that today both systems are used, along with a blend of the two. TCM is now researched using scientific methods at institutions such as the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing, where Chongxi is a pharmacognosist. He has also authored numerous works on herbal medicine. Foster has authored several herb books (and coauthored the Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants, Houghton, 1990). The authors introduce Western readers to a blend of the two systems by describing about 50 plants used in TCM that are also known to Westerners as ornamentals, weeds, or herbs (e.g., day lilies, gardenias, honeysuckle, privet, and forsythia). They cover in detail the uses, history, dosage, descriptions, cultivation, and processing of each plant. An excellent resource for alternative medicine collections."

– Library Journal (Wednesday, July 01, 1992) Katharine Galloway Garstka, Intergraph Corp., Huntsville,

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