ACTCM Meets with Delegates from China to Discuss Innovative Herbal Curriculum Pilot

By Bria Larson

The delegation consisted of representatives from WWF China, The State Forestry Administration of China and Chengdu University of TCM, who have been working collaboratively on the project. This comprehensive, 80-hour curriculum and accompanying textbook will examine the herbal industry- from the species used to collection and cultivation practices to manufacturing- through the lens of conservation and sustainability. The goal of this curriculum is to educate TCM practitioners and researchers on the larger implications, threats and opportunities of the TCM herbal industry, and is the first of its kind to be piloted on such a broad scale.

Special topics within the curriculum will include case studies on particular medicinal species, the relationship between biodiversity and medicinal species, and standards of harvest, cultivation, and manufacturing, as well as market analysis and regulation.

WWF approached ACTCM for feedback on the curriculum, and for insights into which parts of the curriculum may be applicable to Chinese herbal education in the US. ACTCM, in turn, educated the delegates on the existence of farms in the US that are attempting to cultivate Chinese herbs, and urged the delegation to translate abstracts of the textbook chapters to English.

Also in attendance at the meeting was Josef Brinckmann, Vice President of Research and Development at Traditional Medicinals. Mr. Brinckmann has worked closely with WWF China in developing and implementing a strategic model for biodiversity conservation and the sustainable management and utilization of traditional Chinese medicines, specifically with the harvest of Schisandra fruit in Sichuan province. Mr. Brinckmann has also collaborated with the FairWild Foundation, whose aim is to provide a worldwide framework for implementing a sustainable, fair and value-added management and trading system for wild-collected natural ingredients and products thereof.

Mr. Brinckmann, a former ACTCM staff member, strongly supports ACTCM’s history to conservation work and shares in the college’s vision of being an international center of educational excellence that advances professional collaboration and ecologically sustainable medicine.

ACTCM is proud to be involved in this groundbreaking and important project. The college will further review the curriculum and pilot outcomes with the hopes of introducing some of the material into herbal curricula in the US.

For more information on this and other conservation projects, please contact Bria Larson, ACTCM Development Officer at

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About American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) has provided affordable, quality health care to the public and trained professionals in acupuncture, massage and Chinese medicine since 1980. In addition to its graduate curriculum, ACTCM offers continuing education, public education, community outreach and clinical services in acupuncture and herbal medicine. ACTCM has been the recipient of many awards for its curriculum, faculty and clinic, and has been voted “Best of the Bay” by both the San Francisco Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. ACTCM is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.