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...

Xian Lu Gen Fresh Reed Rhizome

  • This is Lu Gen in its fresh form.  See the Lu Gen page for all indications.  
  • Xian Lu Gen is stronger in clearing heat, generating body fluids and promoting urination than the dried herb.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Bie Jia Chinese Soft Turtle Shell

  • Nourish yin, anchor yang - yin deficiency with fever, steaming bone, night sweats, often used when accompanied with internal liver wind symptoms.
  • Invigorate blood, promotes menses, dissipates nodules - chest and flank accumulations causing pain, amenorrhea, malarial disorders with palpable masses, excessive menses due to heat in the blood.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Fu Hai Shi Pumice

  • Clears heat from the lungs and expels phlegm heat - thick sputum (difficult to expectorate), coughing up blood.
  • Softens hardness and dissipates phlegm nodules - scrofula.
  • Promotes urination - hot and stony painful urinary dysfunction.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Ze Xie Water Plantain Root


All Images © 2019 Yin Yang House Inc

  • Promotes urination, drains damp-heat in the lower burner - urinary difficulty, edema, diarrhea.
  • Drains deficient kidney fire - heat signs, dizziness, tinnitus.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Where Do I Go Next?

Further Exploration - Herbs and Treatments

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