By Eric Brand, Zhongzhen Zhao, and Ping Guo
Throughout history, Chinese herbal medicine has been deeply influenced by the natural resources and culture of China. Natural resources such as wild and cultivated plant resources are inseparably connected to the development of Chinese medicine. Agriculture and trade have long played a pivotal role in the production and dissemination of herbal medicines in China, allowing access to medicinal materials sourced across a broad geographic area, both domestically and abroad. Historically, widespread trade in herbal medicines allowed practitioners in disparate regions to share the same medicinal substances, and the existence of a common written language allowed ancient Chinese practitioners to develop a vast body of literature to share medical perspectives and theories.