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...

Xiong Dan Bear Gallbladder

  • Clears heat and alleviates spasms - high fever and convulsions in febrile disease.
  • Topically to relieve fire toxicity, hot skin lesions.
  • Red, painful eyes due to liver fire.
  • Reduces swelling and pain - trauma, sprains, fracture, hemorrhoids.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Hong Teng Sargentadoxa Vine

  • Clears heat, relieves toxicity, reduces abscesses, and stops pain - for intestinal abscesses and skin lesions with heat, swelling, and pain.
  • Invigorates the blood, disperses stasis - trauma, dysmenorrhea, joint pain.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

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

Jiang Can Silkworm

  • Extinguishes liver wind, stops spasms and convulsions - childhood convulsions or facial paralysis, seizures from liver-wind or wind-phlegm-heat.
  • Expels wind, stops pain - headache, red eyes, sore, swollen throat from an OPI or liver wind, loss of voice.
  • Transforms phlegm, dissipates nodules - phlegm-heat scrofula and other phlegm nodules.
  • Expels wind and stops itching.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Where Do I Go Next?

Further Exploration - Herbs and Treatments

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