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.

368 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
Acrid132
Aromatic18
Bitter (Ku)174
Cold (Han)126
Cool39
Hot (Re)9
Neutral (Ping)81
Salty (Xian)42
Sour (Suan)21
Spicy (Xin)1
Sweet (Gan)161
Warm (Wen)116

Some Herbs To Peruse...

Qing Dai Indigo Naturalis

  • Cools the blood - can be useful for bleeding disorders, nosebleeds, bruising/blotches at the skin level.
  • Clears heat/toxic heat - cough, particularly with yellow mucus, sore throat, mouthsores, mumps.
  • Drains liver fire/calms liver wind - convulsions, clear summerheat affecting the liver system in particular.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Suo Yang Fleshy Stem of Cynomorium

  • Tonify kidney yang - impotence, frequent urination, spermatorrhea.
  • Nourish blood, tonify essence, strengthen sinews - motor impairment, paralysis from blood and jing deficiency.
  • Moisten instestines - constipation due to qi and/or blood deficiency.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Fu Zi Prepared Aconite Root


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  • Restores devastated yang - extreme cold limbs with abundant cold symptoms.
  • Assists heart yang to unblock vessels and improve circulation, tonifies kidney yang to augment fire and avoid loss of the basal yang.
  • Warms fire and assists yang - any problem associated with weak heart, spleen, and/or kidneys.
  • Disperses cold, warms the channels, alleviates pain - wind-damp-cold bi, cold blocking organs, channels, sinews, bones or blood vessels.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Han Shui Shi Calcitum

  • Drains fire and expels summer-heat - high fever, irritability, thirst, yellow tongue coat associated with summer heat.
  • Burns and sores, throat and oral ulcers (topically).

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

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