Beijing Review


The practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) began when people became aware of the efficacy of some plants in treating illnesses and began to use them in a hit-or-miss way. Millenniums later, TCM has become an institutionalized medical system applied worldwide, using state-of-the-art technology such as remote sensing and a geographic information system.

Pu Sheban, an associate researcher at China Pharmaceutical University in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province in east China, is one of the innumerable people associated with the ongoing task to modernize and improve the system. He is one of the 50,000 participants who are spread out across China to conduct the Fourth National Survey of Chinese Materia Medica (CMM) Resources.

Launched in 2011 to establish a comprehensive database of CMM resources, the survey is a massive venture led by the National Resource Center for Chinese

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