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...

Ban Xia Pinellia Rhizome


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  • Dries dampness, transforms cold-phlegm, descends rebellious qi - cough with copious sputum especially due to dampness of spleen.
  • Harmonizes stomach, stops vomiting due to lingering phlegm-dampness in the stomach.
  • Dissipates nodules, reduces distension - phlegm in chest or neck or anywhere in the body, focal distention in the chest.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Zi Zhu Callicarpa Leaf

  • Stops bleeding, both internally and externally - particularly useful for blood in the urine.
  • Treatment of burns and sores.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Wu Zhu Yu Evodia Fruit


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  • Warms the middle, disperses cold, relieves constraint in the liver channel and alleviates pain - headaches, nausea, cold hernia in the liver channel region.
  • Redirects stomach Qi downwards - due to liver and/or stomach disharmony.
  • Warms the spleen and expels damp cold, stops diarrhea.
  • Leads fire downwards - mouth/tongue canker sores (externally applied to canker sores).

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Chen Xiang Aloeswood


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  • Promotes the movement of Qi, alleviates pain - distention and pain in abdominal region due to cold from deficiency or blood stasis.
  • Directs rebellious Qi downward - excess/deficiency wheezing, vomiting, belching, hiccups due to cold from deficiency of the middle jiao.
  • Helps the kidneys grasp Qi - asthma and wheezing.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Where Do I Go Next?

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