Chinese Herbs

In ancient China, Chinese medicine doctors had recorded the new herbs and formulas in Chinese herbal medicine books. The number of recorded herbs has continuously increased. The Newly Revised Materia Medica in Tang Dynasty records 844 herbs and Materia Medica Arranged According to Pattern in Song Dynasty records 1,558 herbs. The current edition of Chinese Materia Medica contains over 10,000 herbs.

Chinese Materia Medica is not easy to read. It is impossible to understand without knowing the basic theories of traditional Chinese medicine. It studies the correlative TCM theories and the properties, actions, indications of each herb. TCM practitioners don’t use all of the herbs in Chinese Materia Medica. There are only about 700 herbs that are commonly used.

Chinese herbs are traditionally prepared in clay cooking pot. If you don’t have it at home, you can also use any ceramic, glass pot or stainless steel. Many Chinese herbs can interact with aluminum or cast iron which can cause a chemical reaction. It could alter the therapeutic quality of the herbs. You should avoid using pot made by these metals.

It’s not easy to process Chinese herbs. Each herb has its own processing method which can involve drying, soaking, boiling, steaming, fermenting, roasting and many different types of frying. An herbal formula can contain many different herbs. This is a very time-consuming process. Nowadays, many people don’t prepare Chinese herbs in the traditional way. TCM herbal products can be easily purchased online. There are simpler ways to take Chinese herbs such as liquid extract, powder, pills and capsules. (Learn more about Chinese herbal formula)

Common Herbs Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Bai Bu
Bai Guo
Bai Zhu
Bai Zi Ren
Ban Zhi Lian
Cang Zhu
Chuan Xiong
Dang Gui
Dan Shen
Du Huo
Du Zhong
E Jiao
Fang Feng
Fang Ji
Fan Hong Hua
Fo Shou
Fu Ling
Fu Pen Zi
Gan Cao
Ge Gen
Gou Ji
Gui Zhi
Gu Ya
He Huan Pi
He Shou Wu
Hou Po
Huang Bai
Huang Lian
Huang Qi
Huang Qin
Jiang Huang
Ji Xue Cao
Ku Shen
Ling Zhi
Mo Yao
Ren Shen
Rou Gui
Ru Xiang
Shan Yao
Shan Zha
She Chuang Zi
Shen Qu
Shu Di Huang
Tian Men Dong
Tian Qi
Wu Wei Zi
Xie Cao
Xun Ma
Yan Hu Suo
Yi Yi Ren
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