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Herbal Medicine Learning Centre



In response to the increasing social need for Chinese medicine in Hong Kong, the School of Nursing of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) set up its Herbal Medicine Learning Centre in 2008 to provide a venue for Chinese medicinal education and practice, enhancing the student’s knowledge of Chinese medicine and advancing the development of Chinese medicine.

1. Teaching

  • To strengthen Chinese medicinal education by providing a teaching, learning and practice venue. Through the studying of Chinese herbal medicine, food therapy and formula study, learning and practice, students will develop deeper understandings on the use of proprietary Chinese medicine; the prescription, formulation, preparation and processing of Chinese herbal medicine and decoction pieces; and Chinese medicinal food therapy. We aim to nurture all-rounded nursing professionals and provide an opportunity for students from other disciplines to gain more knowledge of Chinese medicine.
  • To prepare and train Chinese medicinal nursing professionals to meet the service demands of the Hong Kong’s Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, which will be opened in the future.
  • To enhance the student’s and the public’s general knowledge of Chinese medicine by providing educational information.

2. Advance the Development of Chinese Medicine

    • To serve as a model for the Chinese medicine industry. Through the demonstration of a new dispensing practice, the Herbal Medicine Learning Centre can contribute to the enhancement of the professional standard of dispensers and other employees of the Chinese medicine industry, which will ultimately further the development of Chinese medicine and its advance on the road to modernization.
    • To promote regulation and standardization of Chinese medicine, which will enhance the safe use of Chinese medicine.
    • To lay the foundation for the modernization and internationalization of Chinese medicine through promotion of the concept of "one medicinal substance, one name", "standardized names for Chinese medicine", and emphasis on the importance of verification of the properties and origins of Chinese medicine.
    • To introduce a computerized management system to ensure the prescription, formulation, preparation and processing of Chinese herbal medicine be monitored by a qualified professional.
    • To establish a qualification accreditation and training system for employees of the Chinese medicine industry, e.g. registration of Chinese medicine pharmacists.
    • To promote the concept of division of prescribing from dispensing in Chinese medicine. We believe that this division will encourage double-checks and monitoring of the prescription and dispensing process by Chinese medicine professionals, which will enhance the safe use of Chinese medicine and protect patients' rights.

3. Research

To participate in various research projects on Chinese medicine and Integrative Chinese and Western therapeutics. To adopt scientific approaches to studying of Chinese medicine and make full use of scientific knowledge to bring out the value and strengths of Chinese medicine.

4. Computerized Operating & Management System:

The computerized operating and management system in the Herbal Medicine Learning Centre was designed and developed by the PolyU School of Nursing. The system can guide our users through the record keeping, prescription and dispensing processes.

  • The computerized data entry system is used to generate and print prescriptions.
  • Computerized system is able to monitor the ordering, sale and storage of Chinese medicine.
  • The Smart Card System in the dispensing process provides fool proof information to ensure that the correct medicine is administered.
  • All prescribed decoction pieces are photographed for the records. These records can be used to keep track of the medicine administered.
  • The computerized system and the data stored is maintained and managed by information technology experts.

5. Facilities


Dispensary Unit and Chinese Medicine Specimen

Temperature and humidity are strictly controlled at the Chinese medicine store and the Dispensary Unit to ensure that all Chinese medicine is stored in a suitable environment.
The traditional solid wood cabinets for Chinese medicine storage may contain volatile organic compounds which can be released into the air and affect the users and the herbal medicine. Stainless steel Chinese medicine cabinets are therefore used in the Herbal Medicine Learning Centre to reduce the health risk.

Chinese medicine specimen is available in the forms of decoction pieces and prescribed soluble granules. The principle of "one medicinal substance, one name" is adopted in the Herbal Medicine Learning Centre. Under this principle, we have 600 species of Chinese medicinal materials in the form of decoction pieces, and over 300 species of herbs/medicinal materials in the form of soluble granules.


6. Chinese Herbal Medicine Processing Unit

Processing brings specific impact to Chinese medicinal ingredients to meet demands for their clinical use. The processing equipment and utensils in this unit allow students to understand the principles and methods of processing Chinese medicinal ingredients.

7. Decoction and Food Therapy Preparation Unit

Allows students to learn the traditional and modern methods used in preparing Chinese medicine decoction and Chinese medicinal food therapy.

8. Learning Resource Corner

A place for self-learning and public education with reference books and a computer information unit showing information of Chinese herbal medicine.

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