Discussing Jing Fang with Dr. Huang Huang

With Guest: Dr. Huang Huang

Episode Qi039

Fifteen plus years ago when I was living in Beijing and studying medicine and language I was gifted with a copy of Dr. Huang's Ten Key Formula Families in Chinese Medicine.
At the time it was an astonishing read, as I'd never been exposed to his ideas about constitutional type and how certain people have an affinity for a particular herb or formula family.
It changed how I thought about herbal medicine.

And I've been fortunate to have now known Dr. Huang for many years, and had an opportunity to introduce his work to the western world.

I was recently in Nanjing for a visit and had an opportunity to sit down with him and some of his foreign Ph.D. students and have a discussion around his latest thoughts on the classic formulas and the practice of medicine.

A special thanks for Dan Eng for his stellar translation here, I could not have done this podcast without him.

Please enjoy this podcast in either English or Chinese, as I was able to edit for both languages.
In this conversation we discuss:
  • Dr Huang’s connection to the Menghe clan
  • The Person, Illness, Formula Triangle is not an abstraction, but rather a concrete way of understanding the complexity and relationship of these key aspects of treating people with herbal medicine
  • The role of emotions in how people get ill.
  • How different formulas can treat the same “problem” and it helps to use a patient’s constitution to clarify the diagnosis.
  • What are some ways in which Dr. Huang’s perspective has changed over time.
  • Thoughts about the future development of Jing Fang throughout the world
  • What it means to be healthy
Dr. Huang Huang

Dr. Huang Huang is a professor at the Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, a prolific author, busy and much in demand clinician and the founder of the International Jing Fang Institute of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine.

He is a dedicated teacher who travels all over the world to help practitioners better understand his methods and perspective on using the classic formulas of the Shang Han Lun and Jin Gui Yao Lue in clinical practice.
Links and Resources


Ten Key Formula Families is the first book in English that details Dr. Huang's thinking, and is a good introduction to his thoughts and methods.

Fifty Herbal Medicines gives you Dr. Huang's thinking not about formulas, but about individual herbs.

You may also join the Facebook page  Dr Huang Huang Study Group, for more discussion of his methods and to be informed of future Study Tours to Nanjing with Mark.



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I’ve heard it said that for something to be heard — it takes someone to speak and another to listen.

Michael Max

Acupuncturist, Podcast Host
About me
I've always been more drawn to questions than answers. And the practice of medicine seems to more lively when infused with a sense of curiosity and inquiry. It's been delight and honor to be able to discuss our medicine with so many thoughtful and skilled practitioners.