Subhuti Dharmananda

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Subhuti Dharmananda is an herbalist and acupuncturist who founded the Institute for Traditional Medicine and Preventive Health Care, Inc. (ITM), which operates two clinics in Portland, Oregon and engages in a variety of educational and charitable projects related to traditional medicine. Dharmananda has traveled to China several times, between 1977, when travel became possible, and 2001 in the interests of studying traditional Chinese medicine. He received his PhD in Biology from the University of California in 1980.[1] He taught in Santa Cruz, at the Platonic School of Herbal Studies founded by Dr. Paul Lee with noted herbal faculty members Michael Tierra, Christopher Hobbs, and Grace Marroquin.[2] before moving to Portland, Oregon. He has exerted a significant influence upon the practice of Oriental Medicine through his monographs, clinical studies and training programs.

Institute for Traditional Medicine[edit]

Dharmananda established ITM as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 1979, incorporated it in 1983 in Santa Cruz, California.[3] He moved it to its current location in 1988. It has been a significant support to Chinese medicine in the United States, and has moved to support a variety of other indigenous medicines including Ayurveda, Latin American indigenous medicines, Tibetan medicine and Eastern European traditional medicine. ITM has a mission to enrich the lives of people seeking traditional medicine knowledge and services by clarifying the nature of traditional medicine and demonstrating how it can be utilized in the modern setting.[4]

Part of ITM's activity involves the training of practitioners and charitable administration of Chinese medicine. ITM operates two clinical facilities, the charitable Immune Enhancement Project (IEP) and the multimodal An Hao Natural Health Care Clinic which demonstrates a model for integrative health care by combining naturopathic medicine, chiropractic, acupuncture, shiatsu, Chinese herbs, and modern medicine.[5] IEP is a low cost treatment center providing acupuncture, herb therapies, and shiatsu primarily for patients with serious ailments such as cancer and HIV.[6] The clinics are also training centers for acupuncturists from schools in the Portland area, especially the National College of Natural Medicine.[7][8][9]

ITM sponsors clinics or donates materials where people are in need. One project is funding of the Drepung Gomang Monastery clinic run by Tibetan monks in exile in Mundgod, south India.[10][11] The clinic is run by a Tibetan doctor in the refugee camp. ITM has aided Chinese, Indian, Tibetan, Native American, Central and South American clinics that represent potential reservoirs of traditional medicine culture and resources. Herbs have been donated to Honduras, Guatemala, East Europe, Sri Lanka, India, and New Orleans to provide traditional Chinese health care relief after disasters or to areas in need. ITM has funded the International Trust of Traditional Medicine in India.

In addition to running clinics, Dharmananda has collected a large library of books and journals involved with traditional medicine and supports a variety of research translations on traditional herbal medicine. Dr. Fu Kezhi in Harbin, China provides ongoing translations of Chinese medicinal research, much of which is disseminated through the START Group by subscription to practitioners of Oriental Medicine.

Herbal medicine[edit]

At the time Subhuti Dharmananda started practicing, little was known about Chinese medicine in the United States and people were suspect of Chinese patent medicines. Raw herbs were questioned for their unfamiliarity, possible pollution and difficulty of preparation. Dharmananda helped initiate Dharma Consulting International, the All-The-Tea Company, and the low cost People's Herbs Incorporated. He had been a consultant to several major herb companies, including Fmali Herbs (maker of Good Earth Teas), Sen (maker of Sen traditional herbal products)and Health Concerns (maker of Chinese Traditionals herbal medicines pills.) As such he has been a significant influence on American made medicinals based upon Oriental medicine traditions.[4] He was also one of the earliest to test raw Chinese herbs for heavy metals and pollutants, which allowed American practitioners a comfort level in dealing with Chinese grown herbs.


Although Dharmananda has been a writer with some 2000 pages of writings on his web page, most of his work is in the form of articles, and his book output has been fairly minimal for someone who has been active since the early wave of modern American herbalism. He has been an editor, reviewer, and contributor to several journals including Herbalgram,[12] the International Journal of Oriental Medicine, the Oriental Medicine Journal,[13] the Chinese Medicine Times[14] and the Protocol Journal of Botanical Medicine and online journals like, HIV Resources Homepage[15] and the San Francisco Medical Society Homepage.[16][17] Dharmananda has spoken extensively at conferences of Oriental and alternative medicine including the Pacific Symposium,[18] Herbs and AIDS Conference[19] and the California Acupuncture Association.[20]

  • Chinese Herbology Workshop 1985
  • Natural Healing With Herbs (editor) with Humbart Santillo 1985
  • Tibetan Medicine: A lesson for us all (Update on Herbs) 1985
  • Chinese Herbs for Optimum Health 1986
  • Chinese Herbology 1986
  • Frontiers of Chinese Herb Research 1987
  • Chinese Herbal Therapies for immune disorders 1988
  • Pearls from the Golden Cabinet: The Practitioner's Guide to the Use of Chinese Herbs and Traditional Formulas 1988
  • Prescriptions on Silk and Paper: The history and development of Chinese patent medicines 1989
  • Kang Wen "Defeat the epidemic": The role of Chinese herbal medicine in the defeat of the AIDS epidemic 1989
  • The Golden Mirror of Chinese Medicine 1992
  • Foundations of Chinese Herb Prescribing 1992
  • Chinese Herbology: a Professional Training Program 1992
  • The Key Link: A detailed analysis of an epidemic disdease 1994
  • A Bag of Pearls 2000 2000


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ Biography. Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  3. ^ East Earth Medicine Wisdom. Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  4. ^ a b About ITM. Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  5. ^ An Hao Clinic. Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  6. ^ IEP Clinic. Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  7. ^ Classical Chinese Medicine School and Oriental Medicine School : The National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR[dead link]
  8. ^ ITM online. ITM online. Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  9. ^
  10. ^ benefactors. Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  11. ^ Drepung Gomang. (November 29, 1999). Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  12. ^ HerbalGram: The Journal of the American Botanical Council. Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  13. ^ Archives. Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  14. ^ eJournal ::: Chinese Medicine Times[dead link]
  15. ^
  16. ^ Moxibustion,Moxa,Articles, Stomach 36, St 36, Acupuncture points, Meridians,Stomach Disorders. Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  17. ^ San Francisco Medical Society | September 2002 San Francisco Medicine. Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Conference Recording carries thousands of recordings by noteworthy individuals. Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  20. ^ Conference Recording carries thousands of recordings by noteworthy individuals. Retrieved on December 17, 2011.