Syndrome differentiation in modern research of traditional Chinese medicine

Miao Jiang, Cheng Lu, Chi Zhang, Jing Yang, Yong Tan, Aiping LYU*, Kelvin Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

279 Citations (Scopus)


Syndrome differentiation (Bian Zheng) in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is the comprehensive analysis of clinical information gained by the four main diagnostic TCM procedures: observation, listening, questioning, and pulse analysis, and it is used to guide the choice of treatment either by acupuncture and/or TCM herbal formulae, that is, Fufang. TCM syndrome differentiation can be used for further stratification of the patients' conditions with certain disease, identified by orthodox medical diagnosis, which could help the improvement of efficacy of the selected intervention. In modern TCM research it is possible to integrate syndrome differentiation with orthodox medical diagnosis leading to new scientific findings in overall medical diagnosis and treatment. In this review, the focus is to screen published evidence on the role of syndrome differentiation in modern TCM research with particular emphasis on basic and clinical research as well as, pharmacological evaluation of TCM herbal formulary for drug discovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634-642
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

User-Defined Keywords

  • Syndrome differentiation
  • Traditional Chinese medicine


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