The significance of processing Chinese herbs (paozhi 炮制)

Panel organiser:

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Ute Engelhardt


In China there is valuable traditional knowledge about preparing medicinal drugs using particular processing methods (paozhi 炮制) in order to give them a variety of different therapeutic effects. These methods serve not only to preserve the raw materials and to remove any toxic substances, but foremost serve to modify the therapeutic effects. Over the course of history the focus of attention has ranged over different aspects and the intensity of developments has fluctuated.

The Ming Period (1368-1644) for example, was a time in which knowledge about preparation methods (paozhi) flourished; technical possibilities became more refined and an increasing variety of additional substances began to be used in the preparation processes. In present-day China, however, this variety is being (severely) restricted in the attempt to impose standardisation and introduce technological processing. 

This panel tries to elucidate the processing of Chinese herbs (paozhi) from different points of view. At first Dr. Ute Engelhardt will give a historical overview to provide a closer definition of the term paozhi and to explain its significance. This is followed by a short description of the historical development of these processing methods, which also takes into consideration some of the current trends in modern-day China. It concludes with a brief introduction to the Paozhi Project of the International Association of Chinese Medicine (SMS).

The second presentation by Dr. med. Rainer Nögel, internist and TCM-practitioner, will illustrate the clinical use of paozhi herbs by focusing on some of the most important medicinal drugs and their use in Chinese prescriptions/formulae.

Moreover, there will be further presentations on the processing of Chinese herbs (paozhi 炮制) by a German pharmacist and by a specialist of pharmacognosy.

Impressions of ICTAM IX

  • Impressions of ICTAM IX, 2017, by Matthias Burmeister, ICTAM IX Filmteam

Trailer ICTAM IX, 2017