Universiteit Leiden

nl en


Combining classic and novel tools in the study of Historical Collections of Chinese Materia Medica in the Netherlands

Chinese materia medica (CMM), comprising a diverse array of natural substances from plants, animals, and minerals, has been integral to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) throughout history. This study investigates the dynamic evolution of CMM, noting shifts in species for improved therapeutic effects and the abandonment of those with adverse outcomes.

Y. Jia
04 April 2024
Thesis in Leiden Repository

By examining historical CMM specimens, particularly those in Dutch collections, tangible evidence of this evolution emerges.The Westhoff collection, spanning 140 years, reveals significant changes alongside enduring practices. A handwritten catalogue accompanying the collection aligns with modern CMM practices, indicating a remarkable continuity. Comparative analyses of historical collections and contemporary CMM in EU markets over three centuries emphasize the stability of core medicinal plant taxa. Additionally, the study validates the delayed luminescence (DL) technique for discerning CMM storage times, showing promising results.Despite challenges in preservation, historical CMM specimens offer unique insights into medicine's history, underscoring their importance for further research and understanding.

This website uses cookies.  More information.