"Zang Fu Syndromes:
Differential Diagnosis and Treatment"

William Morris
Academic Dean, Emporer's College, Los Angeles, CA.
published in T.C.M. World

At last, a complete clinical reference text on the differential diagnosis and treatment of Zang Fu syndromes has emerged. Drs. John McDonald and Joel Penner have elucidated the Zang Fu model in an easy to use, and accessible format. Although there are other materials available on the subject, "Zang Fu Syndromes: Differential Diagnosis and Treatment" has the distinct virtue of being comprehensive and well organized.

The syndromes are presented according to the five elements. Each chapter begins with diagrams that clearly lay out each of the Zang Fu patterns within an element, concluding with flow charts that demonstrate the interrelationships of the various related patterns. There is an in-depth study of several syndromes, their etiology, clinical manifestations, complications, associated Western conditions, differential diagnosis and treatment principles. Treatment options presented include acupuncture, with the functions of recommended points and comm only used herbal formulas. Each formulae is cross-referenced, by page number, to an extensive section on herbal formulas.

The formula section allows the practitioner or student to match syndromes with their appropriate formulas, and provides a detailed look at the individual herbs within the formula, dosages, actions of the formula, clinical manifestations, western associated diseases, contraindications and modifications. Although it is clear that the authors were not attempting to reproduce the materia medica, what they have done is provided a selective amount of information that enables the practitioner or student to choose an herbal formula with a competent understanding of its uses.

The 241-page index renders this book uniquely organized and useful. The authors state in their introduction that the indexes were created in order to make the volume "user friendly," it has accomplished just that. This index includes: a Pin Yin formula index, a Latin individual herb index, a pin yin individual herb index, a points index, a tongue and pulse index and a very extensive symptom index.

Whether used in the classroom as a learning tool or in the clinic as a reference book, Zang Fu Syndromes: Differential Diagnosis and Treatment provides its readers with the foundation from which sound diagnostic and treatment protocols may be derived and implemented. This book is a valuable tool in the practice of Chinese Medicine, and an excellent tome on this fundamental model of TCM practice.


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