Chinese herbs I

Please do not use these herbs without guidance from a licensed practitioner.
Some images are best viewed with a tablet, ipad, or phone as you can expand and see image better. In particular the Excel speadsheet images.

These are only for study (especially for me). For instance Ma Huang is illegal in the USA and was used in diet pills and thus someone had to take a lot and died. Herbs are used in FORMULAS with other herbs to balance the potency. Some are used in cooking however. Please use caution. This is my online guide for students of Chinese Medicine.




Herb will have Chinese- Latin name, English description



I. Herbs the release the Exterior pathogenic factors
In Chinese Medicine external and internal pathogens can influence health. External are from outside of body like wind, cold, heat. Internal area imbalance with similar characteristics of cold, heat, damp. The exterior means the superficial layer of “Tai Yang”, Weiqi, the Lungs and skin.

A. Warming types of herbs to release the External (Wind-cold)
These herbs release wind-cold and external cold that invade superficial layers of the body. They disperse cold and restore the superficial layer. Wind-cold symptoms are headache, body aches, aversion to wind, fever and chills, cough with clear phlegm, nasal charge with clear phlegm. pale tongue, floating and tight pulse.

Phlegm in the Face herbs:
Bai Zhi:Angleicae Dahuricae Radix good for clearing phlegm and genital discharge issues. Unblocks nasal passages, wind-cold frontal headaches, sinus infections, nasal orifices, reduces swelling, expels dampness, alleviates discharge in lower burner.

Cong Er Zhi- Xanthii fructus phlegm in face. dispels wind-dampness,opens nasal passages, disperses wind and dispel damp, dispel exterior wind, splitting headaches.

Xin Yi Hua- Magnolia flos (flower from Magnolia tree)- phlegm in face. unblocks nasal passages, sinus problems, sinus headaches.


Sweating herbs:
Ma Huang- Ephedra herba Creates “Big” Sweat. disseminates lung qi to calm wheezing, stop cough, promotes urination, warms cold pathogens, wind-damp obstruction.

Cong Bai- Allii fistulosi Bulbus (tip of green onion/scallion with root). good for early stage of wind-cold. Release exterior, unblock the yang by cold,

Zi Su Ye- Perillae Folium sweat to move qi. release wind-cold, promotes movement of qi in middle jiao, nausea, vmiting, resolves seafood poisoning.

Xiang Ru- Moslae herba “Summertime” ma huang.Induces sweat, exterior wind cold in summertime, promotes urination, reduces swelling.


Warming herbs
Gu Zhi- Cinnamomi Ramulus (Cinnamon twig)- warms the blood. Release exterior, assists yang, warms and unblocks channels, Bi syndromes of wind-cold-damp, assists heart yang, warm to the capillaries.

Sheng Jiang- Zingiberis Rhizoma Recens (Ginger)- Warms the stomach. disperse cold, exterior coldpatterns, warm middle jiao, alleviate vomiting.

Xi Xin- Asari Radix et Rhizoma (Wild Chinese Ginger) warms the Lungs. disperse cold, dispel wind, relieves pain, transform mucus, unblocks the orifices.


Herb that clear pathogenic Wind
Jing Jie- Schizonepetae herba superficial skin, wind-skin, vents rashes. release exterior wind-cold and wind-heat,

Fang Feng- Peucedani Radix– Master of winds. Exterior wind patterns, expels wind heat, wind cold, wind damp, Bi syndromes, expels wind, relieves spasms.

Qiang Huo- notopterygii Rhizoma Seu Radix– Tai Yang/Du ren (upper back and body). Release the exterior for wind-cold, body aches, tight shoulders and neck, unblock painful obstructions from wind-cold, guides qi to Tai yang and Du mai in upper back..

Gao Ben- Lingustici Rhizoma– Tai Yang /Du ren (lower body). Discharges external wind-cold, dispels wind, overcomes dampness, vertex headaches, body aches, jaw, teeth. Tai yang and Du mai in lower back.



B. Cooling type of herbs that release the External (Wind heat).


Wen Bing school of Febrile disease focused on releasing heat from the body. Heat invades the Weiqi and causes Fever, chills, aversion to cold, sneezing, sinus, sore throat, cough, headache, thirst, skin rashes, Red-tip tongue, floating and rapid pulse. The herbs disperse the heat and restore Qi mechanism.

Herbs that disperse wind, mucous from head and nose.
Bo He- Menthae Haplocalycis Succus(Mint) clears eyes, throat, and head also skin rashes, moves Liv. qi.

Niu Bang Zi- Arctii Fructus clears throat also skin rashes, moves Large Intest. Qi.

Chan Tui- Cicadae Periestracum (Cicada shell) Assist throat and voice issues. Clears skin rashes.


Herbs that clear wind heat via Liver and for Eyes.
Sang Ye- Mori Folium (Mulberry leaf) clears wind heat, Liv. eyes, Lung problems, stops bleeding.

Ju Hua- Chrysanthemi Flos(Chrysanthemum flower) – clears wind heat, Liv. eyes, Liv. wind, sores.

Mu zei- Equiseti Hiemalis Herba clears wind heat, liver, eyes.

Man Jung zi- Viticis Fructus clears wind heat, Liver, eyes, Bi-syndromes (Tai Yang).


Herbs that Help release and discharge exterior- body aches
Fu Ping- Spirodelae Herba induce sweating and release exterior for patterns of exterior wind with headaches and body aches.

Ge Gen- Puerariae Radix Discharge Exterior condition and release the muscles for exterior disorders lodged in muscles. Draws water up to muscles.


Herbs that move ‘Clear Yang’ upwards:
Chai Hu- Bupleuri Radix moves clear yang upward, Resolves Shao Yang Disorder, spreads Liver Qi.

Sheng Ma- Cimicifugae Rhizoma-Raises yang for SP/middle Qi deficiency with prolapse, clears heat and toxins, discharges exterior and rashes.

Ge Gen- Raises Yang to stop diarrhea, vents measles and rashes, generates fluids for thirst.

Herbs that help cool the heart.

Dan Dou Chi- Sojae Semen Praeparatum(Black Fermented Soy Bean)standing on its own, it is known as the “Cooling Mist of the Lungs”, it is viewed as a herb that helps the Lungs. The Lungs are viewed as a cooling canopy above the heart keeping it cool along with the Pericardium “fluid sac” of the heart. This herb helps release the exterior heat, eliminate irritability, and re-moisten Lungs.



Herbs that Clear Heat


  These herbs treat several issues including unresolved wind-cold and wind-heat that give the patient signs of “Fire”. epidemic toxins like bacteria and virus that affect general population, heat resulting form lifestyle such as diet, alcohol, emotional constraint, and internal heat. The herbs drain the fire and qi level heat.



Herbs that Clear Heat
Clearing Qi level heat (4 bigs: sweat, fever, thirst, pulse)

Shi Gao (Gypsum fibrosum)- Clear heat, Drain fire, excess LU heat, wheezing, clear ST fire, topical for skin.

Zhi Mu- Anemarrhenae Rhizoma Clear heat, Enrich Yin,moisten dryness, generate fluid.


Herbs that generate fluids

Zhi Mu see above.

Tian Hua Fen- Trichosanthis Radix drain heat, generates bodyfluid, transform phlegm, resolves toxicity, expel pus.

Lu Gen Phargmitis RhizomaClears LU, ST heat, promotes Urine (UTI).


Heart heat and Irritability
Zhi Zi, Gardeniae Fructus (gardenia bud) drain heat in HT,shen, resolves dampness, cools blood, reduces swelling.

Dan Zhu Ye , Lophatheri Herba (Bamboo leaf) clears heat, removes irritability, promotes urine, clears damp-heat.

Lian Zi Xin, Nelumbinis Plumula (Lotus plant bud) Drains Htfire, SJ- heart, PC, stops bleeding, binds essence.



Urination (Damp heat)
Lu Gen see above

Zhi Zi (Gardenia bud) see above

Dan Zhu Ye (Bamboo leaf) see above

Xi Gua, Citrulli Fructus (Watermelon) clears summer heat, generates fluids, promotes urination, expels jaundice.


Liver and eye problems
Xia Ku Cao, Prunellae Spica Clears Liver, brightens eyes, lowers blood pressure.

Jue Mingzi, Cassiae Semen Clears Liver, eyes, calms liver, anchors Yang, moisten Intes. Lower blood and cholesterol.


Herbs that Clear heat and Cool the Blood


Wen Bing (Warm Diseases) school:
4 layers:
1. Wei qi- protective layer: when imbalances it allows wind heat to invade with fever, slight chills, slight thirst, headache.
2. Qi layer: when invaded, you will have 4 bigs: big fever, big sweat, big thirst, big pulse.
3. Nutritive layer (ying qi) when invaded, scarlet tongue, irritability, restlessness, changes in consciousness, rashes, fever that worse in afternoon/evening.
4. Blood layer- heat penetrates and makes blood boil, severe febrile disease, a sign and symptom of “Bleeding” in TCM. Nose bleeds, vomiting blood, coughing blood, skin rashes that bleed, high fever.


Xi Jiao- Rhino Horn- clears heat, resolves toxitiy, cools blood,arrests tremors, HT, Liv. ST, Cold, bitter, salty. herb that cools blood.

Shui Niu Jiao Bubali Cornu (buffalo horn)- clears heat, resolves fire toxicity, cools blood, arrests tremors.

Herbs that clear heat, cool blood , nourish yin fluid def. from fever.
Sheng Di Huang- “Rehmanniae Radix” clears heat, cools blood, nourishes yin, engenders fluids, cool blood by generating fluids.

Xuan Shen-“Scrophulariae Radix” clears heat, cools blood, nourishes yin, softens hardness and nodules, good with skin.

Mu Dan Pi- “Moutan Cortex” clear heat, cool blood, Invigorate blood, dispel blood stasis, clear fire from deficiency, Liver fire, drain pus, reduce swelling.

Zi Cao- “Arnebiae/Lithospermi Radix” clear heat, cool blood, resolves fire toxicity, clear damp-heat from skin: rashes: diaper, athlete’s foot, sunburn.


Herbs that clear heat and Dry Damp

Damp-heat disease is when heat affects the water layer of body. Water and heat in Intestines (sloppy stools), Bladder (UTI), water layer of skin athletes foot, jaundice, water in Gall Bladder channel: swollen genitals, painful eyes and ears.
Heat in 3 Jiaos:
Upper: fever, stifling in chest, thirst, irritable.
Middle: diarrhea, dysentery.
Lower: painful urination, swollen genitals, discharge from genitals.
These herbs are bitter and cold and treat bacterial and viral infections.


Huang Qin- “Scuterllariae Radix” clear heat, dry damp, resolve toxicity, stops bleeding, calms the fetus, sedates ascending Liv, Yang,

Huang Lian-“Coptidis Rhizoma” clear heat, dry damp, drain fire, resolve toxicity, stop bleeding, clear heat topically.

Huang Bai- “Phellodendri Cortex” clear damp-heat, drain Kidney fire down.


Long Dan Cao-“Gentianae Radix” Clear damp-heat in Liv/GB, drain and pacifies excessive Liver Fire.

Qin Pi- “Fraxini Cortex” clear heat, dry damp, resolve toxicity, drain Liv. Fire, benefit eyes, Disperse wind-damp, calm wheezing, cough.

Ku Shen-“Sophorae Flavescentis Radix” clear heat, dry damp, dispel wind, kill parasites, stop itch, promote urination.


Herbs that Clear Heat and Resolve Toxicity-


In TCM toxicity refers to infectious disease including febrile/viral: mups, measles, Infectious skin: Sores, mastitis, appendicitis, etc. They are cold and bitter herbs that treat febrile diseases and clear toxicity from skin and body.


Jin Yin Hua- Lonicerae Flos”Honeysuckle” Clear heat, resolves fire toxicity, vents and disperse external wind-heat, clear damp-heat lower burner.

Lian Qiao-“Forsythiae Fructus” Clear heat, resolve toxicity, reduce abscesses, dissipates clumps.


Da Qing Ye-“Isatidis Folium” clears heat resolves toxicity, anti-viral properties, dissipates macules.

Ban Lan Gen-“Isatidis/Baphicacanthis Radix” Clear heat, resolves toxicity, cools the blood, benefits throat, anti-viral properties.




Herbs that Clear Heat and resolve Toxicity continued


Qing Dai “Indigo Naturalis” Cold Salty Liv, LU, ST Clears heat, resolves toxicity, cools blood, reduces maculae, reduce swelling, drain Liv. fire, summer heat and wind to stop tremors.

Pu Gong Ying “Dandelion” Taraxaci Herba Cold Bitter Liv, ST Reduce abscesses and dissipates nodules, clear Liv. and eyes, clear heat, resolves damp, unblock pain urinary dribbling.

Zi Hua di ding “Violae Herba” Cold Acrid, bitter HT, Liv Clears heat, resolves toxicity, clear heat sores.


Ye Ju Hua “Chrysanthemi Indici Flos” Cold Acrid, bitter LU, Liv Drain fire, resolves fire toxicity.


Tian Kui Zi “Semiaquilegiae Radix” Cold Bitter Liv, Sp, UB Clear heat, resolves toxicity, reduces swelling, disperse clumping.

Bai Jiang Cao “Patriniae Herba” Cold Bitter Liv. LI, ST Clear heat, resolves toxicity, expel pus, internal fire, fire toxin surface sores, dispels blood stasis, stops pain.

Chuan xin Lian “Andrographitis Herba” Cold Bitter LU, ST, SI Treat heat disorders of upper body: ear, throat, eye, lung heat, dry dampness, stop diarrhea.

Bai Hua She she Cao “Hedyotis Diffusae Herba” Cold Bitter Liv., ST, LI Reduces abscesses, clears heat, facilitates resolution dampness.

Bai Tou Weng- “Pulsatillae radix” Cold Bitter LI, ST Clear heat, Resolves fire toxicity- damp heat in ST and LI.

Ma Chi xian- “Portlacae Herba” Cold Slippery, Sour LI, Liv., clear damp heat, treat sores, antidote for pain and swelling of insect bites, stop bleeding.

He Ye “Nelumbinis Folium” Neutral bitter, slight sweet HT, Liv.,SP Treats summer patterns, raise and clear yang of the spleen, Stops bleeding.

Lu Dou “Phaseoli Radiates Semen” Cold Sweet HT, ST Clear summer heat, used as an antidote in FU Zi poisoning.

Bai Xian Pi “Dictamni Cortex” Cold Bitter SP, ST Expel wind, dry damp, stop itching.

Tu fu Ling “Smilacis Glabrae Rhizoma neutral sweet bland Liv. ST Eliminates damp, clear damp heat from skin for recurrent ulcers and hot lesions.

Ma Bo “Lasiosphaera/Calvatia neutral Acrid, bitter LU Clear the lung, resolve fire toxicity, improve throat, stop bleeding.

She Gan “Belamcandae Rhizoma” Cold Bitter LU Improve condition of throat, transform phlegm, clear the lungs.


Herbs that clear heat from deficiency


These treat Tidal fevers, afternoon fevers, heat in palms and soles, night sweats, red tongue, thin rapid pulse. Used in later stages of warm pathogen diseases where pathogenic heat is not fully expanded but yin fluids are injured. good for postpartum complications.


Qin Hao “Artemisiae Annuae Herba”cold bitter/acrid KD, Liv.,GB Clear fever from def., Malaria, resolve heat, clear summer heat, cool blood, stop bleeding.

Di Gu Pi “Lycii Cortex”cold sweet/bland Lu, Liv., KD Cools Blood, reduces steaming bone disorder, clears lung heat, clear kidney fire, tuberculosis.

Bai Wei “Cynanchi atrati Radix”cold bitter/salty Liv., ST, KD Clear heat, cool blood (OB/GYN) women, promotes urination, clears heat toxicity.

Yin chai Hu “Stellarlae Radixcold sweet Liv., ST Clear heat from Def., reduce childhood nutritional impairment.

Hu Huang Lian “Picrorhizae Rhizoma”cold bitter Liv., ST, LI clear heat from yin def., childhood nutritional impairment, drains damp-heat.


Downward Draining Herbs (Purgatives, Moist Laxatives, harsh Expellants)


Herbs that Drain Downward

Purgatives help moisten and lubricate.
What happens if you don’t take out the trash? It builds up and you have to live in it.
You gotta’ move stool just like taking out the trash. The stagnation will build up heat. Heat in the Yang Ming channels like Stomach and Large Intestines.




Da Huang- “Rhei Radix et Rhizoma” (Rhubard) cold bitter HT, LI, LV, ST Drain heat, purge accumulation, drain fire, clear heat, transform damp, promote urine, invigorate blood, dispel blood stasis.

Mang xiao “Natrii Sulfas”Cold acrid, bitter, salty ST, LI Purges accumulations, clear heat, drain fire, reduce swelling, helps lactation (externally).


Fan Xie Ye “Sennae Follum”cold bitter, sweet LI Drains downward, constipation due to heat.
Lu Hui (Aloe)cold bitter LI, LV, ST drains liver fire, guides out accumulations, clears heat, kills parasites.

Moist laxatives
Huo Ma Ren “Cannabis Semen” (Cannabis seeds) Neutral sweet LI, SP, SI Nourish and moisten LI, nourish the yin, clear heat, promote healing of sores.

Yi Li Ren “Pruni Semen” (Prune pit) neutral acrib bitter sweet LI, SI, SP Moisten intestines, unblock bowels, promote urination, reduce edema.


Harsh Expellants
Qian Niu Zi “Pharbitidis Semen” (morning glory seeds) cold acrid, bitter KI, LU, SI, LI Drains water, promotes urine, drive out phlegm and thin mucous, unblock bowels, remove accumulations, expel parasites.

Gan Sui “Kansui Radix”cold bitter, sweet KI, LI, LU Drain water, drive out thin mucous, drive out phlegm, clear heat, reduce swelling.


Da Ji “Knoxiae Radixcold bitter, acrid, toxic KI, SP, LI Drain water , dry out mucous.

Ba Dou “Crontonis Fructus”hot acrid, toxic ST, LU, LI warmly unblock, vigorously purge, drive out water, reduce edema, break up clogged phlegm, promotes healing of abscesses and ulcers.




Herbs that drain Damp treat over accumulated pathogenic fluids.
They do the following:
1. Promote Urination to treat Edema.
2. Treat difficult and painful Urination.
3. Relieve and treat Jaundice.

Women have shorter urethra and are more prone to Urinary Tract Infections (UTI).
Untreated can lead to more severe types of infections in the Kidneys.
Some feel diet plays a huge role and elimination of Aspartame and refined Sugars from the diet as sugars cause a damp-heat in the Spleen which in western medicine is associated with the immune system.

Dampness in TCM is associated with headaches, dizziness, feeling heavy, sore and achy in the muscles and joints. Bloated, Diarrhea, UTI, and fungus like Athlete’s foot.

Standing water becomes putrid and gross. Bacteria and viruses can grow. Standing and still, “stuck” water in the body gets in the way of our normal Qi mechanism where Qi cannot flow in and out, up and down in our body due to water in the way.

If the Lungs are weak- this creates a build up of water.
If the Kidneys are weak- this creates a build up of water.
If the Spleen is weak- this creates a build up of water.

Edema can cause congestive heart failure. See diagram.

These herbs also assist the Small intestines which is responsible for separating the pure from the turbid foods and drinks.

Many are Safe, can use long term, and used in food therapy as they are simple diuretics.







Pinyin Name Thermal Flavor Organ/meridian Action Contraindication

Fu Ling “Poria” (Fungus close to root) Neutral Sweet HT, SP, KI, UB Promotes urination, strengthen SP and middle Jiao, Transform Phlegm, Calm Spirit/heart

Chi Fu Ling (outer skin of fungus) Drains heat, mobilizes water for difficult urine.

Fu Ling Pi (Outer layer of fungus node) Promotes urine, reduce edema in the skin.

Fu Shen (innermost part) Spirit calming

Zhu Ling “Polyporus”Cool Sweet/bland SP, KI, UB Promotes urine to treat water retention with edema and UTI. pregnancy

Yi Yi Ren (Job’s Tear Barley) “Coicis Semen”Cool Sweet/bland LU,SP, ST, KI Facilitates resolution dampness, Stretgthen spleen, clearheat, expel pus, cleardamp-heat.

Dong Gui (Winter melon seed) “Benincasae Semen”cold sweet LU, ST, LI Clear heat, Expel phlegm, discharge pus, drain damp, , PID and Vaginal discharge. pregnancy ,(slippery)

Bi Xie “Dioscoreae Hypoglaucae Rhizoma”Neutral Bitter UB, LV, ST Separate the turbid inlower jiao, expel wind-damp, relax sinews, unblock collaterals, clear wind-damp from skin.

Han Fang ji “Stepaniae Tetrandrae Radix”Cold Acrid, bitter UB, SP, KI Promote urination, reduce edema, expel wind-damp, alleviate pain. Nephrotoxin.


Ze Xie “Alismatis Rhizoma”Cold Sweet/bland KI, UB Promote Urination, leach out damp, settles minister fire in Kidneys bydraining damp-heat in lower jiao.

Che Qian Zi “Plantaginis Semen”Cold Sweet UB, KI, LV, LU Promote Urination, clear damp-heat, solidify the stool, clear the eyes, expel phlegm, stop cough. Pregnancy

Hua Shi (Talcum) cold Sweet/bland ST, UB Clear heat, facilitates resolution dampness, Clear summerheat, absorb damp. Pregnancy

Mu Tong “Akebiae Caulis”Cold Bitter UB, HT, SI Promote Urination, unblock dribbling, drain heat from heart via SI, promote lactation, unblock blood vessels. Pregnancy

Tong Cao “Tetrapanacis Medulla”Cold Sweet/Bland LU, ST, Promote Urination, clear heat, promote lactation.

Deng Xin Cao (Lamp Wick herb) “Junci Medulla”Cold Sweet/bland HT, LU, SI Promote Urination, clear heat, direct fire downward.

Qu Mai “Dianthi Herba”Cold Bitter UB, HT, SI Promote Urination, clear damp-heat, break up blood stasis. Pregnancy

Bian Xu “Polygoni Avicularis Herba”Cold Bitter UB Promote Urination, clear damp-heat in Bladder, kills parasites (Tape, Hook, and Pin worms) , stops itching.

Shi Wei “Pyrrosiae Folium”Cold Bitter/Sweet UB, LU Unblock dribbling, clear damp-heat, clear heat, stop bleeding, clear lungs, expel phlegm, stop cough.

Di Fu Zi “Kochiae Frutus”Cold Bitter,sweet UB, LU Promote Urination, clear damp, Expel damp-heat, stop itch.

Dong Kui Zi “Malvae Fructus”Cold Sweet UB, LI, SI Promote Urination, unblock painful urination, benefit the breasts, moisten intestines, unblock bowels.

Jian Qian Cao “Lysimachiae Herba”Cold Sweet,bland, salty UB, GB, KI, LV Promote Urination, clear damp heat in GB and LV, resolve toxicity from snake and insect bites like bee stings (topically.)

Hai Jin Sha “Lygodii Spora”Cold Sweet/bland UB, SI Promote Urination, reduce edema, decrease jaundice.

Chi Xiao Dou (Red Azuki Bean) “Phaeseoli Semen”Neutral Sweet/sour HT ST Promote Urination, reduce edema, facilitates resolution damp and heat, dispel blood stasis.


Yin Chen Hao “Artemisiae Scoparlae Herba”Cold Bitter LV, SP, GB, ST Clear heat, dampness, go-to JAUNDICE herb, damp sores, wind rashes.

Ban Dian Lian “Lobeliae Chinensis Herba” Cold Sweet/bland HT, LU, ST Promote Urination, reduce edema, cool blood, resolve ascities (liver failure due to water. Snake bites, bee stings.

Yu Mi Xu (Corn silk) “Maydis Stigma”Neutral Sweet/bland UB, LV, GB Promote Urination, reduce edema, unblock painful dribbling, clear damp-heat in Liv. And GB w/Hepatitis, good for Diabetes and Hypertension.

Herbs that Dispel Wind-Damp


These herbs are very important for pain as wind is considered the origin of many diseases. “No good comes from Wind in the body”. Is the old saying. Wind carries the 6 qi or Evils: Cold, Heat, Damp, Dry, Inward and Outward energies. Wind blows things around, takes up space, and obstructs/blocks. Internal pathological Wind must be released so that it does not access the organs and tissues.

We do not like wind on the surface of our skin, Exterior wind-cold or wind-heat. Why would we want it inside of us?

Understanding Damp: water congeals if it goes untransformed and untransported. Water goes down (side note: phlegm moves up and thicker than damp), into lower burner and legs. unobstructed water is pathological yin. Damp will block, and has more substance than wind. It causes pain. wind-damp combination creates a lot of pain.

Bi-Syndromes or “Obstruction syndrome” . Wind-Cold-Damp three pathogenic factors. Cold is pain, slows down, stagnates, contracts/tightens, wind moves around and is migratory, damp is an excessive fluid pattern.
Acrid herbs treat wind.
1. Moving Bi- wind.
2. Painful Bi- Cold.
3. Heavy Bi- Damp.
4. Hot Bi- untreated wind-cold developing pathogenic internal heat (exposed to body’s Yang qi.
5. Stubborn Bi- repetitive injuries, stubborn damp, cold, wind, athletes.
6. Atrophy Bi- Liver and Kidney Yin Deficiency where muscles die and curl up.
7. Blood Bi- Blood deficiency: dull pain.
Blood Stasis: sharp, stabbing, and fixed.
Chronic Pain Syndromes/Fibromyalgia- look to blood!
8. Generalized Bi- treat all three evenly as one does not dominate.

These are the herbs for:
1. dispelling wind and damp that cause pain.
2. Open peripheral channels and collaterals.
3. Strengthen Tendons and Bones.




Du Huo “Angelicae Pubescentis Radix”Herbs that Clear Wind-Damp Warm Acrid, bitter Liv, Kid, UB Dispel Wind-damp, alleviates pain in lower body, Disperse Wind-cold-damp, exterior, Shao Yin Headache.

Wei Ling Xian “Clematidis Radix”Herbs that Clear Wind-Damp warm Acrid, Salty UB Dispel Wind-damp, soften and transform fish bone, Reduce phlegm.

Hai Tong Pi “Erythrinae Cortex”Herbs that Clear Wind-Damp Neutral Bitter, acrid LV, SP, KD Dispel Wind-damp, unblock channels, promote urination, reduce edema, treat skin lesions, itching, toothache gargle.

Mu Gua (Papaya) “Chaenomelis Fructus” Herbs that Clear Wind-Damp Warm Sour LV, SP Relax sinews, unblock channels, harmonize ST, transform Damp, Reduce food Stagnation (Enzyme).

Can Sha (silkworm feces) “Bombycis Faeces” Herbs that Clear Wind-Damp Warm Sweet, Acrid LV, SP, ST Dispel Wind-damp, eliminate damp, harmonize ST, transform turbid damp, treats gas.

Qin Jiao “Gentianae Macrophyllae Radix”Herbs that Clear Wind-Damp slight cold Bitter, Acrid GB, LV, ST Sinews and collaterals, clear heat from Def., Relieves damp, reduce jandice, moisten intestines, unblck bowels, frozen shoulder.



Sang Zhi (mulberry) “Mori Ramulus” Neutral Bitter LV Dispel wind, muscel aches and pains, promotes diuresis, reduce sweeling, lower blood pressure- strokes.

Xi Xian Cao “Siegesbeckiae Herba”Cold Bitter KI, LV Dispel Wind damp, unblock channels, post stroke, clear heat, pacifies Liver, clear damp-heat, hypertension.

Qi She (Snake Wine) “Agkistrodon/Bungarus Parvus”Warm Sweet, Salty KD, LV Powerfully unblocks channels, chronic numbness, dispel wind from skin and sinews.

Sang Ji Shen (Mulberry parts) “Taxilli herba” Neutral Bitter, Sweet KD, LV Tonify Liv, KD, snews, Bones, Lower Back, Legs, Joints, nourish blood, calm womb/fetus, nourish blood, benefits skin, lowers blood pressure.

Wu Jia Pi “Acanthopanacis Cortex”warm Acrid, Bitter KD LV Dispel Wind-damp, sinews and bones, transform damp, 5 delay syndrome in babies: delated walk, talk, teeth, hair, fontanelle.

Hu Gu (Tiger bone) Os Tigriswarm Acrid, bitter LV, KD Dispel wind cold damp, bi syndromes, sinews and bones, Bizheng (Pain obstructions) Wei syndromes (Atrophy) in legs and back.


Aromatic Acrid Herbs that Transform Dampness

The Patient is showing excess conditions with dampness, phlegm, and qi stagnation. The Spleen and Stomach get invaded by pathogenic dampness that must be removed, and these herbs to that.

A patient with Dampness in the middle burner will exhibit signs of: thick greasy tongue, and a slippery , soft pulse. They will have a strong grogginess in the morning, stiffness in the joints, cramping abdomen or loose stools. They will have a decrease in appetite, gas/bloating, even nausea and vomiting.

The herbs will warm, acrid, and aromatic, and drying qualities. Warming will relieve the dampess, acrid will start to move qi and fluids in the spleen and stomach, aromatic to revive the function of the spleen and stomach.

They must be regulated closely as they can cause dryness and yin deficiency.

Aromatic herbs for Dampness

Aromatic Acrid herbs that transform Dampness


Cang Zhu “Atractylodis Rhizoma”Warm acrid, bitter SP, ST Strongly dries dampness, stengthen SP, induce sweating, dispel wind-dampness, clears lower burner, improves night vision.

Hou Po (Magnolia cortex) “Magnoliae Officinalis Cortex”Warm acrid, bitter LI, LU, SP, ST Promotes movement of Qi in middle jiao, resolves stagnation, promotes Qi down, dries damp, transforms phlegm, calms wheezing.

Huo Xiang “Pogostemonis/Agastaches Herba”Warm acrid, bitter LU, SP, ST Aromatically transform dampness, release the exterior, dispel sumer heat, harmonize middle jiao, stop vomitting, treats dermotosis.

Sha Ren “Amomi Fructus”Warm Acrid, aromatic SP, ST Promotes movement of qi, transforms dampness, strengthen spleen, warm middle, stop diarrhea, calm the fetus, in tonifying formulas to prevent stagnation.

Bai Dou Kou (White cardamom) “Amoni Fructus Rotundus” Warm Acrid, Aromatic LU, SP, ST Promotes movement of qi, transforms dampness, strengthen stomach, warm middle jiao, cause rebellious qi to descend.

Cao Du Kou “Alpiniae Katsumadai Semen”Warm Acrid, Aromatic SP, ST Dries damp, warm middle, cold-damp of SP and ST. cold related nausea.

Cao Guo (Black Cardamom) “Tsaoko Fructus”warm Acrid SP, ST Strongly dries damp and disperse cold, dissolves stagnation, indigestion from excess meat, checks malarial disorders.

Controversial Herbs: Snake Wine, Tiger Bone, and Rhino Horn

Qi She (Snake Wine) “Agkistrodon/Bungarus Parvus”Warm Sweet, Salty KD, LV Powerfully unblocks channels, chronic numbness, dispel wind from skin and sinews.

Xi Jiao- Rhino Horn- clears heat, resolves toxitiy, cools blood,arrests tremors, HT, Liv. ST, Cold, bitter, salty. herb that cools blood.

Hu Gu (Tiger bone) Os Tigriswarm Acrid, bitter LV, KD Dispel wind cold damp, bi syndromes, sinews and bones, Bizheng (Pain obstructions) Wei syndromes (Atrophy) in legs and back.


Herbs that cool and transform Phlegm-Heat


These herbs are used in cases where there is phlegm heat, and dry-phlegm patterns. Coughs are key indicators, but also goiters, convulsions, scrofula as well.

Phlegm is the thickening of fluids, a disorder of fluid metabolism and obstruction of the transportation of fluids. It accumulates in areas of the body like respiratory, digestive, channels, and muscles.

1. Spleen Qi Def./SP Yang Def.- causes dampness, dampness turns into phlegm.
2. Lungs: become a receptacle for phlegm.
3. Kidney Def,: impacts organs ability to control fluid.
4. Liver Qi Blockage or constraint:Liver failing to support Spleens transportation and transformation functions. Liver also failing to assist smooth flow of qi in the body, slowing circulation of body fluids.

“Phlegm is the mother of 1000 diseases”

These herbs are cooling in nature to address phlegm heat, phlegm dryness. They are expectorants, sedatives, anti-inflammatory, and Lung stimulants.


Herbs that Relieve Coughing and Wheezing (future)


Herb Name Class of Herb Thermal Temperature Flavor Organ/Meridian Herbal Action Dosage Contraindications

Herbs that transform cold-phlegm

Qian hu (hogfennel root) Herbs that cool and transform phlegm-heat cold bitter, acrid LU direct qi downward, assists the disemination of Lung qi, expel external pathogens, direct fire down to dissolve phelgm 3-9g cough due to fire from yin def. or thin cold mucous cough.

Chuan Bei Mu (fritillaria bulb) Herbs that cool and transform phlegm-heat cold bitter, sweet HT LU cools, moistens, directs lung qi and HT fire down to transform phlegm, alleviate cough, relieve constraint, disperse clumped phlegm heat. 3-9g cold-phlegm, damp-phlegm.

Herbs that cool phlegm-heat

Guo Lou (trichosanthes fruit) Herbs that cool and transform phlegm-heat cold sweet LI, LU, ST cools and transforms phlegm heat, moistens intestines, directs turbid phlegm down 9-21g diarrhea, weak sp/ST, drugs like aconitum.

Gou Lou Ren (trichosanthes seed) Herbs that cool and transform phlegm-heat cold sweet LU, ST, LI slippery, moistens LU and LI, cools and transforms phlegm, 9-15g weak SP, nausea, loose stool.

Kun bu (kelp) Herbs that cool and transform phlegm-heat cold salty KD, Liv, ST reduce phlegm, soften areas of hardness, promotes urination, eliminate edema 6-15g .

Hai Zao (seaweed) Herbs that cool and transform phlegm-heat cold bitter, salty KD, Liv, LU, ST Soften areas of hardness, clear damp-heat, reduce edema 6-15g none.

Pang Da Hai (sterculia seed) Herbs that cool and transform phlegm-heat cold sweet LI, LU, Gently cools and moistens throat and intestines 2-3 pieces caution w/ diarrhea.

Huang Yao Zi Herbs that cool and transform phlegm-heat cold bitter Liv, Lu Toxic, reduce scrofula, cools blood, alleviates bleeding, resolves toxicity 6-15g toxic, can cause death.

Ming Dang Shen (changium root) Herbs that cool and transform phlegm-heat cool sweet, bitter LU, Liv Clear the LU, transform phlegm, calm the liver, harmonize the ST, resolves toxicity. 4.5-12g SP/ST

Bi Qi (water chestnut) Herbs that cool and transform phlegm-heat cold sweet LU,ST,LI clear heat, transform phlegm, 30-120g cold from def.

Zhi ban xia (pinellia rhisome) Warm herbs that transform cold-phlegm toxic, warm acrid LU, SP, ST acrid for opening, slippery for directing rebellious qi downward, bitter for drying, best used for thin phlegm or dampness. 3-9g cause with dryness, yin def., fire excess.

Tian Nian Xing (jack in the pulpit) Warm herbs that transform cold-phlegm toxic, warm bitter acrid Liv, LU, SP dispersing, warm, drying, eliminate wind-phelgm in channels and collaterals, toxic raw 3-9g dry cough yin def., heat, blood def.

Bai Jie Zi (white mustard seed) Warm herbs that transform cold-phlegm warm acrid LU penetrates to the yin to restore movement of yang, transform cold-phelgm, dissipates clumps 3-9g Lung def., Blazing fire.

Zao Jiao Ci (gleditisia thorn) Warm herbs that transform cold-phlegm warm acrid Liv, ST, LU draws out toxicity, discharge pus, invigorate blood, reduce swelling 3-9g open sores, pregnancy.

Jie Geng (platycodon root) Warm herbs that transform cold-phlegm neutral bitter, acrid LU causes qi and actions of other herbs to rise, soothes throat, release exterior, transform phelgm, expel pus 3-9g yin def, coughing up blood.

Xuan Fu Hua (inula flower) Warm herbs that transform cold-phlegm warm salty, acrid, bitter Liv, LU, ST, SP directs qi downward to stop cough, softnes hardened phlegm to break up clumped accumulations, promotes the dissipation of pathogenic water 3-9g dry cough due to yin def. loose stools.

Bai Qian (cynanchum root) Warm herbs that transform cold-phlegm warm acrid, sweet LU directs the LU qi down, suitable for any type of cough, phelgm in throat 3-9g Lung def.

Herbs that Relieve Cough

Xing Ren (apricot seed) Herbs that relieve cough and wheezing toxic, warm bitter LU, LI directs lung qi down, disperses wind-cold, moistens the intestines, toxic 3-9g toxic, use with caution.

Zi Wan (aster root) Herbs that relieve cough and wheezing warm acrid, bitter LU acrid-dispersing, bitter draining, warm and moistening without drying, stops cough, facilitates urination, enter both qi and blood aspects 5-9g none.

Kuan Dong Hua (coltsfoot) Herbs that relieve cough and wheezing warm acrid LU acrid, warm but not drying, dispersing, but not draining, appropriate for any type of cough and wheezing 4.5-9g coughing blood.

Zi Su Zi (perilla fruit) Herbs that relieve cough and wheezing warm acrid LI, LU acrid, warm, moistening, best at directing qi downward to disperse phlegm and calm wheezing, moisten intestines, 3-9g diarrhea.

Bai Bu (stemona root) Herbs that relieve cough and wheezing warm sweet, bitter LU excels at directing qi down to alleviate all types of coughs both chronic and defcient types 3-9g loose stool SP def.

Sang Bai Pi (mulberry bark) Herbs that relieve cough and wheezing cold sweet LU drains the lungs, especialy heat in lungs, alleviateing cough and wheezing, drains fluids, treats , edema. 6-15g Lung cold.

Ting Li Zi (tingli seed) Herbs that relieve cough and wheezing very cold acrid, bitter LU, BL strogly drains Lung qi for cough and wheezing that worsens when lying down, facial edema 3-9g SP def.

Mu Hu Die (oroxylum seeds) Herbs that relieve cough and wheezing cool sweet, bland Liv, LU gently frees flow of liver qi, benefits voice 1.5-3g none.

Luo Han Gao (momordica fruit) Herbs that relieve cough and wheezing cool sweet LU, LI clears heat and moistens lungs, generates fluids to stop thirst,lubricates intetines to unblock bowels. 9-15g none.


Herbs that Relieve Food Stagnation


These herb are used for the digestive tract, to guide out accumulation, dissolve and drive out food. These are abdominal masses usually caused when a patient is mental in a way that it causes stagnant qi, blood stasis, along with poor food habits and choices that impairs the middle burner. Phlegm and ‘hot and cold’ disorders as well.

Hot types: bad breath, distention, preference for cold foods, ice drinks.

Cold Types: stagnation due to spleen def., too much cold foods, weakness.

Herbs that relieve food stagnation


Shan Zha (Hawthorn berry)Herbs that relieve food stagnation warm sour sweet Liv, SP, ST Reduce food stagnation from greasy foods and meat, invigorate blood flow, alleviate diarrhea and dysentery. 9-12 g caution: weak sp/st.

She Qu (medicated leven) Herbs that relieve food stagnation warm sweet acrid SP/ST treats food stagnation, promotes flow of qi, alleviates diarrhea 6-15g none.

Gu Ya (grain sprout: barley, millet, rice)

Mai Ya (barley sprout)Herbs that relieve food stagnation neutral sweet Liv, Sp, ST reduce food stagnation due to starches and fruits, soften areas of hardness, improve appetite 9-15g women who are nursing/lactation.

Su Ya (millet sprout)Herbs that relieve food stagnation warm sweet SP/ST gently reduce food stagnation while strengthening the SP and improving appetite 9-15g none.

Dao Ya (rice sprout)Herbs that relieve food stagnation neutral sweet SP/ST gently reduce food stagnation while strengthening the SP and improving appetite 9-15g none.

Lai Fu Zi (radish seed) Herbs that relieve food stagnation neutral acrid, swet LU, SP/ST transform phlegm, reduce food stagnation, promote flow of qi in Lungs, SP, and LI 4.5-9g can consume qi if not needed for food stagnation.

Ji nei jin (gizzard lining) Herbs that relieve food stagnation neutral sweet BL, SI, SP/ST reduce all types of food stagnation, stop enuresis, dissolves stones 3-9g SP def. w/o food stagnation.

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