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.

368 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
Acrid132
Aromatic18
Bitter (Ku)174
Cold (Han)126
Cool39
Hot (Re)9
Neutral (Ping)81
Salty (Xian)42
Sour (Suan)21
Spicy (Xin)1
Sweet (Gan)161
Warm (Wen)116

Some Herbs To Peruse...

Xiong Huang Realgar

  • Relieves toxicity, kills parasites, stops itching, inflammation, abscess.
  • Topically - scabies, ringworm, dam rashes.
  • Kills parasites - accumulation symptoms with roundworms.
  • Dries dampness, expels phlegm - wheezing, seizures, malarial conditions.

Functional Grouping

Properties

Channels Influenced

Yu Xing Cao Houttuynia

  • Clears heat and toxins, reduces swellings and abscess - for lung abscess or lung heat cough with thick, yellow-green sputum.
  • Relieves toxicity and expels pus for toxic sores (internally and topically).
  • Drains damp-heat, promotes urination - diarrhea, lin syndromes.

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

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

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