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...

Dang Gui Chinese Angelica Root


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  • Tonifies the blood, regulates menses - pallid, ashen complexion, tinnitus, blurred vision, palpitations, irregular menses, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea.
  • Invigorates/harmonizes the blood, disperses cold - important herb to stop pain due to blood stasis - abdominal pain, trauma, carbuncles due to blood stasis, chronic bi.
  • Moistens dry intestines due to blood deficiency.
  • Reduces swellings, expels pus, generates flesh - sores.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Yi Yi Ren Seeds of Job's Tears

  • Promotes urination, drains dampness - edema, difficult urination, damp leg qi.
  • Strengthens the spleen, stops diarrhea.
  • Clears heat and expels pus - carbuncles, lung or intestinal abscesses.
  • Expels wind-damp, relieves joint and muscle pain.
  • Clears damp-heat - any damp-heat disorder at any level with greasy tongue coating and digestive problems.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Meng Shi Lapis Stone

  • Directs qi downward and reduces phlegm - wheezing and coughing due to old and stubborn phlegm.
  • Calms liver and controls palpitations and seizures.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Dong Gua Ren Winter Melon Seed

  • Clears lung and intestinal heat, expels phlegm, discharges pus - thick, sticky, yellow phlegm, damp-heat with phlegm obstruction in the upper/lower jiao (lung/intestinal abscess).
  • Clears heat, drains dampness - leukorrhea due to damp-heat.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

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