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...

Gui Zhi Cinnamon Twig


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  • Releases muscle layer and adjusts ying and wei qi levels
  • Useful in wind-cold-damp bi syndromes to warm channels and disperse cold
  • Resolves blood stagnation particularly from cold - dysmenorrhea
  • Unblocks yang qi in the chest - shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations
  • Resolve edema and accumulation of cold phlegm

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Hu Tao Ren Walnut Nut

  • Tonify Kidneys - weak back and knees with coldness, frequent urination.
  • Warms lung, help kidney grasp lung qi - chronic cough, wheezing.
  • Moisten intestines - constipation in elderly patients.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Zhu Ling Polyporus Sclerotium


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  • Promotes urination, drains dampness - edema, scanty urination, cloudy painful urination, vaginal discharge, jaundice, diarrhea.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Shi Di Persimmon Calyx


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  • Directs stomach Qi downward - stops hiccups and belching.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Where Do I Go Next?

Further Exploration - Herbs and Treatments

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