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...

Tian Men Dong Asparagus Tuber

  • Nourish kidney yin, clear lung heat - yin deficiency with heat signs in the upper warmer, dryness of mouth, thick or blood-streaked sputum that is difficult to expectorate.
  • Moisten the lungs, nourish kidneys, generate fluids - lung and kidney yin deficiency, especially xiao ke, low grade afternoon fever, constipation.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Zi Hua Di Ding Yedeon's Violet


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  • Clears heat and fire toxicity - hot swellings, red, swollen eyes, throat, and/or ears; mumps.
  • Clears hot sores - sores and abscesses of the head and/or back.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Chai Hu Thorowax Root, Bupleurum


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  • Clears shao yang disorders and reduces fever - alternating chills and fever, bitter taste in the mouth, irritability, vomiting, stifling sensation in the chest.
  • Relieves liver qi stagnation (often used with Bai Shao) - vertigo, menstrual disorders, chest and flank pain, the most common herb to treat stress, irritability, depression, etc.; also for liver and spleen disharmony - bloating, nausea, indigestion, flank pain.
  • Raises yang qi in spleen and stomach deficiency patterns (often used with Sheng Ma) - prolapsed organ, diarrhea, hemorrhoids.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

San Qi (Tian Qi) Pseudoginseng Root


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  • Stops bleeding, transforms blood stasis - internal and external bleeding such as vomiting blood, nosebleed, blood in the urine or stool.
  • Can stop bleeding without causing blood stasis.
  • Traumatic injuries - alleviate pain, reduce swelling from falls, fracture, sprains.
  • Invigorates the blood - chest and abdominal pain, joint pain from blood stasis.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

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