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.

373 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
Acrid135
Aromatic18
Bitter (Ku)178
Cold (Han)127
Cool41
Hot (Re)9
Neutral (Ping)82
Salty (Xian)42
Sour (Suan)21
Spicy (Xin)1
Sweet (Gan)161
Warm (Wen)118

Some Herbs To Peruse...

Gu Ya Rice Sprout


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  • Reduces food stagnation, strengthens spleen.
  • Stagnation caused by starchy food.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Ji Xue Teng Millettia Vine


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  • Promotes the movement of blood, tonify the blood - blood deficiency patterns such as irregular menses, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, accompanied with abdominal pain.
  • Invigorate the channels, relax the sinews - numbness of the extremities, lower back pain, knee pain, damp bi-syndrome, w/blood deficiency or stasis.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Ye Jiao Teng Polygonum Vine, Fleeceflower Vine


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  • Calms the spirit, nourishes the heart and blood - insomnia, irritability, dream disturbed sleep from yin and/or blood deficiency.
  • Nourishes the blood and unblocks the channels - generalized weakness, soreness, pain, numbness due to blood deficiency.
  • Alleviates itching - external wash for itching and skin rashes.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Long Dan Cao Chinese Gentian Root, Gentiana


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  • Drains damp-heat from the liver and gallbladder channels - red, swollen, sore throat, eyes, and/or ears, sudden deafness, jaundice, pain, swelling or dampness in the genital region, or foul smelling vaginal discharge and itching.
  • Clears ascending liver fire - headache, red eyes; liver wind-heat with fever, spasms, convulsions, flank pain.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

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