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...

Han Fang Zi Stephania Root

  • Promotes urination, reduces edema - lower extremity edema, borborygmus, abdominal distention, ascites from lower jiao damp accumulation.
  • Expels wind-damp-heat, alleviates pain - fever, red, swollen, hot, painful joints.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Xiang Ru Aromatic Madder

  • Expels summerheat and transforms dampness
  • Promotes urination, reduces swelling - edema

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Chuan Jiao Szechuan Pepper

  • Warms the middle warmer, disperses cold, alleviates abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea - spleen or stomach cold from deficiency patterns.
  • Abdominal pain due to roundworms (auxiliary herb).

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Chan Tui Cicada Moulting

  • Disperses wind, clears heat - wind-heat with loss of voice, swollen and sore throat.
  • Vents rashes - for early stage of measles with an incomplete expression of the rash.
  • Clears eyes and removes superficial visual obstruction, wind-heat eye problems - red, painful, swollen eyes, blurry vision.
  • Stops spasms and extinguishes wind - childhood febrile diseases in which wind causes convulsions, spasms, delirium or night terrors; tetanus (lockjaw).

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Where Do I Go Next?

Further Exploration - Herbs and Treatments

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