Chinese Medicine Board of Australia - Compendium revised
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Compendium revised

20 Oct 2017

A revision of the Nomenclature compendium of commonly used Chinese herbal medicines has (the Compendium) now been completed by the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (the Board).

In addition, the ‘User Guide’ has also been revised.

The position of the CMBA is to write pin yin as two separate words rather than as pinyin. This is consistent with the compendium as supplied by NICM and is also in line with The pharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China (Zhong Hua Ren Min Gong He Guo Yao Dian) 2015 edition.

The Board appreciates that the words are often joined however, to avoid confusion, in all cases practitioners must separate.

This is also clear for herbs such as can gan which could be confused with cang an or xian confused with xi an.

The Compendium is available on the Board’s Guidelines for safe practice of Chinese herbal medicine page.

The Compendium cross-references commonly used species by:

  • authorised pin yin name
  • simplified and traditional Chinese characters
  • all the acceptable botanical/scientific (source species) names
  • pharmaceutical/Latin name
  • common English name
  • type of ingredient, and 
  • extra information (e.g. restriction/ warnings).

The version published on the Board’s website is the authorised, current version. The new document date is March 2017.

Feedback on the Compendium is welcome. To provide feedback please email

Page reviewed 20/10/2017