TCM Herbal Database - Materia Medica - Properties

Traditional Chinese Medicine categorizes individual herbs into various groupings to aid in proper applications. Below you will find Chinese Herbs categorized by their taste and temperature properties. The taste and temperature properties can be used directly to effect a particular condition or to help balance other herbs in a formula to treat a particular condition.

For example, you may want to use a warming herb to help balance a deficiency such as low energy or fatigue in a patient. If the patient has some yin deficiency signs, however, you need to balance this warming property as you work towards balancing their system overall. Adding cooling herbs along with warming can help to regulate the actions of these herbs.

In formulas, these properties can also be used to help direct the herbs. Bitter herbs generally have an effect on the circulatory system and the heart. Using cooling herbs along with bitter herbs can help direct this property into that system.

Listed below are the various herbal properties along with the number of herbs within each meridian that are contained in our tcm herbal database.

375 TCM Herbs Listed By Their Properties (Taste and Temperature)

Below is a table of the Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs categorized by their properties. You may click on a property to view the names and functions of each individual herb as well as to learn more about the functional aspects of that property. You may also view the herbs categorized by channels influenced and functions.

Temp - TasteNum of Herbs
Acrid136
Aromatic18
Bitter (Ku)178
Cold (Han)127
Cool42
Hot (Re)9
Neutral (Ping)82
Salty (Xian)42
Sour (Suan)21
Spicy (Xin)1
Sweet (Gan)163
Warm (Wen)119

Some Herbs To Peruse...

Xi Yang Shen American Ginseng Root

  • Benefits qi, generates fluids, nourishes yin - for yin deficiency with heat signs, weakness, irritability and thirst after a febrile disease.
  • Nurtures lung yin and clears fire from the lungs - wheezing, coughing up blood streaked sputum, loss of voice due to lung yin deficiency.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Dang Shen Codonopsis Root


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  • Tonifies the middle warmer, augments the qi - lack of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, any spleen qi deficiency issues, prolapse of uterus, stomach, rectum.
  • Tonifies the lungs - lung deficiency w/chronic cough, shortness of breath, copious sputum due to spleen qi deficiency.
  • Nourishes fluids - xiao ke, thirst due to injury to fluids.
  • Often used with herbs that release the exterior when patient has significant qi deficiency.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Lu Jiao Jiao Deer Antler Glue

  • Tonifies kidney yang - low energy, fertility issues.
  • Tonifies kidney essence - impotence, fertility, low sperm count
  • Stops bleeding - blood in the stools, excessive menstruation, blood in the urine

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Tao Ren Peach Seed

  • Breaks up blood stasis (important herb) - menstrual disorders, abdominal pain/masses, trauma, flank pain, lung abscess, intestinal abscess.
  • Moistens intestines, unblock bowels - constipation due to dry intestines.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Where Do I Go Next?

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