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April 28, 1989

The Essential Book of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Author Affiliations

University of Washington Seattle

University of Washington Seattle

JAMA. 1989;261(16):2430-2431. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420160170047

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


These two volumes present for a Western audience an orthodox Chinese formulation of the basis of traditional Chinese medicine. They are the product of an international collaborative effort begun in 1980 by the People's Medical Publishing House of the Ministry of Public Health (Beijing) and the United States—China Educational Institute (San Francisco, Calif), with the financial support of the Educational Foundation of America (Westport, Conn). The book reflects a great deal of work not only by the author Liu Yanchi, of the faculty of the Beijing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, but also by a group of about 10 highly proficient translators and editors on both sides of the Pacific who did a wonderful job of rendering the Chinese original into readable English.

Their success in translating and presenting the material is a mixed blessing. In other, less careful English-language works on traditional Chinese medicine, the imprecision and impenetrability of