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...

Xiong Huang Realgar

  • Relieves toxicity, kills parasites, stops itching, inflammation, abscess.
  • Topically - scabies, ringworm, dam rashes.
  • Kills parasites - accumulation symptoms with roundworms.
  • Dries dampness, expels phlegm - wheezing, seizures, malarial conditions.

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

Wa Leng Zi Cockle Shell, Ark Shell

  • Invigorate blood, dissolve phlegm, dissipate nodules - abdominal masses (mobile or fixed, due to blood stasis/stagnation qi/accumulation of phlegm).
  • Absorb acid, alleviate pain - chronic stomach pain, ulcer, vomiting of acid.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Xing Ren Apricot Seed

  • Stops cough and calms wheezing due to hot or cold patterns - especially for dry cough.
  • Moistens the intestines, unblocks the bowels.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Where Do I Go Next?

Further Exploration - Herbs and Treatments

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