The Workbook of Chinese Herbs
A Fun Innovative System For Memorizing All Individual Herbal Data
That Is Required For The California State Licensing Exam

The source of information for individual Chinese herbs is taken from Chinese Herbal Medicine – Materia Medica, compiled and translated by Dan Bensky and Andrew Gamble, Revised Edition, 1993.  

The Story Structure
The data pertaining to each herb is represented by a story full of memorable and memorizable symbols.  Each story is carefully structured in such a way as to clearly identify the main sections of information about each herb.  There are four sections of information, each in its own font.

1.The Pinyin and Latin Pharmaceutical names and the general category as described in the pages of Chinese Herbal Medicine – Materia Medica.  Although the California licensing examination requires the knowledge of only one herbal name (Chinese, Pinyin, or Latin Pharmaceutical), all serious students of Chinese herbology in North America will want to learn both the Pinyin and Latin pharmaceutical names.  

2.The energetic properties – tastes, temperature,  entering meridians, and toxicity.

3.The physical properties - actions and indications.  Every word in these paragraphs in Materia Medica cannot be memorized, nor is that necessary.  With a sound knowledge of Chinese medical theory, these functions can be summarized and streamlined for easy memorization.

4.The contraindications.  When there are contraindications, the entire section is italicized and will always begin with a negative word or a reference to an exiting.

Step One: Read and familiarize yourself with the information found in the introductory chapter before beginning the memorization process.

Step Two: Print your PDF copy on white paper and have it three-hole or spiral bound.  Then obtain thirteen colored pencils, paints, or crayons.  Crayons are brighter and perhaps more memorable, but some people prefer the precision of colored pencils.  You will need the following colors, which are, with a few exceptions, based on five-element color symbology:  Green liver, chartreuse gall bladder, red heart, pink small intestine, purple pericardium, lavender san jiao, yellow spleen, orange stomach, silver lung, brown large intestine, black kidney, blue urinary bladder, scarlet for the group Blood Activators.

Step Three: On the blank area of the page, draw each story in its appropriate colors as indicated.  You don’t have to be an artist.  This picture is yours and therefore you will remember it.

Step Four: Where necessary, modify or add to the symbology as you go along so that each story is as personal and memorable as possible.  The more outrageous and personal the symbols and drawings are, the more memorable they will be.  In between symbols, the more detail you create for yourself, the easier it will be to transition from one symbol to the next. 

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