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...

Bai Wei Swallowwort Root

  • Clears heat and Cools Blood. Particularly useful for yin deficient fever, summertime fever in children, post partum fever, and within the recovery stage of a febrile disease
  • Cools Blood and Promotes Urine. Xue Lin, especially before or after giving birth.
  • Relieves toxicity. Toxic sores, swollen and painful throat, snake bite.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Sang Ye White Mulberry Leaf


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  • Expels wind, clears lung heat - wind-heat with fever, headache, sore throat; also for lung dryness causing dry mouth, dry cough, lung heat with thick and yellow sputum.
  • Cools liver and clears the eyes - liver channel eye problems due to wind-heat or yin deficiency, red, sore, dry or painful eyes, floaters.
  • Cools the blood and stops bleeding - mild cases of vomiting blood due to heat in the blood.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Qu Mai Dianthus

  • Clears damp heat, promotes urination, unblocks lin syndrome - for any lin, especially xue lin.
  • Breaks up blood stasis - amenorrhea due to blood stasis.
  • Unblocks the bowels - constipation.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Wu Shao She Black Striped Snake

  • Same as Bai Hua but less powerful, not toxic.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Where Do I Go Next?

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