Chinese herbology

Chinese herbology

Chinese Herbology (simplified Chinese: 中药学; traditional Chinese: 中藥學; pinyin: zhōngyào xué) is the theory of Traditional Chinese herbal therapy, which accounts for the majority of treatments in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

The term herbology is misleading in so far as plant elements are by far the most commonly, but not solely used substances; animal, human, and mineral products are also utilized. Thus, the term "medicinal" (instead of herb) is usually preferred as a translation for 药 (pinyin: yào).[1]

Dried herbs and plant portions for Chinese herbology at a Xi'an market



Chinese pharmacopoeia

Chinese herbs have been used for centuries. Among the earliest literature are lists of prescriptions for specific ailments, exemplified by the manuscript "Recipes for 52 Ailments", found in the Mawangdui tombs which were sealed in 168 BC.

The first traditionally recognized herbalist is Shénnóng (神农, lit. "Divine Farmer"), a mythical god-like figure, who is said to have lived around 2800 BC.[2] He allegedly tasted hundreds of herbs and imparted his knowledge of medicinal and poisonous plants to farmers. His Shénnóng Běn Cǎo Jīng (神农本草经, Shennong's Materia Medica) is considered as the oldest book on Chinese herbal medicine. It classifies 365 species of roots, grass, woods, furs, animals and stones into three categories of herbal medicine:

  1. The "superior" category, which includes herbs effective for multiple diseases and are mostly responsible for maintaining and restoring the body balance. They have almost no unfavorable side-effects.
  2. A category comprising tonics and boosters, whose consumption must not be prolonged.
  3. A category of substances which must usually be taken in small doses, and for the treatment of specific diseases only.

The original text of Shennong's Materia Medica has been lost; however, there are extant translations.[3] The true date of origin is believed to fall into the late Western Han dynasty[2] (i.e., the first century BC).

The Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders and Miscellaneous Illnesses was collated by Zhang Zhongjing, also sometime at the end of the Han dynasty, between 196 and 220 CE. Focusing on drug prescriptions[4], it was the first medical work to combine Yinyang and the Five Phases with drug therapy.[5] This formulary was also the earliest Chinese medical text to group symptoms into clinically useful "patterns" (zheng 證) that could serve as targets for therapy. Having gone through numerous changes over time, it now circulates as two distinct books: the Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders and the Essential Prescriptions of the Golden Casket, which were edited separately in the eleventh century, under the Song dynasty.[6]

Succeeding generations augmented these works, as in the Yaoxing Lun (simplified Chinese: 药性论; traditional Chinese: 藥性論; literally "Treatise on the Nature of Medicinal Herbs"), a 7th century Tang Dynasty Chinese treatise on herbal medicine.

Arguably the most important of these later works is the Compendium of Materia Medica (Bencao Gangmu) compiled during the Ming dynasty by Li Shizhen, which is still used today for consultation and reference.

Raw materials

Ginger is consumed in China as food and as medicine.

There are roughly 13,000 medicinals used in China and over 100,000 medicinal recipes recorded in the ancient literature.[7] Plant elements and extracts are by far the most common elements used.[8] In the classic Handbook of Traditional Drugs from 1941, 517 drugs were listed - out of these, only 45 were animal parts, and 30 were minerals.[8] For many plants used as medicinals, detailed instructions have been handed down not only regarding the locations and areas where they grow best, but also regarding the best timing of planting and harvesting them.[9]

Some animal parts used as medicinals can be considered rather strange such as cows' gallstones.[10] In general, Chinese traditional medicine emphasizes the penis of animals as therapeutic.[11] Snake oil, which is used traditionally for joint pain as a liniment,[12] is the most widely known Chinese medicine in the west, due to extensive marketing in the west in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and wild claims of its efficacy to treat many maladies; however, there is no clinical evidence that it is effective.[12][13]

Traditional Chinese Medicine also includes some human parts: the classic Materia medica (Bencao Gangmu) describes the use of 35 human body parts and excreta in medicines, including bones, fingernail, hairs, dandruff, earwax, impurities on the teeth, feces, urine, sweat, organs, but most are no longer in use.[14][15][16]


Ready to drink macerated medicinal liquor with goji berry, tokay gecko, and ginseng, for sale at a traditional medicine market in Xi'an, China.
Characteristic little black pills of Chinese patent medicine

Each herbal medicine prescription is a cocktail of many substances, usually tailored to the individual patient.[citation needed]


Typically, one batch of medicinals is prepared as a decoction, which includes one or two main ingredients that target the illness. Then other ingredients are added to adjust the formula to the patient's individual disease pattern. Ingredients are also added in order to cancel out toxicity or side-effects of the main ingredients; on top of that, some medicinals require the use of other substances as catalysts. Overall, the balance and interaction of all the ingredients are considered more important than the effect of a single ingredients.[citation needed]

Chinese patent medicine

Chinese patent medicine (traditional Chinese: 中成藥, Simplified Chinese: 中成药, pinyin: zhōngchéng yào) is a kind of traditional Chinese medicine. They are standardized herbal formulas. From ancient times, pills were formed by combining several herbs and other ingredients, which were dried and ground into a powder. They were then mixed with a binder and formed into pills by hand. The binder was traditionally honey. Modern teapills, however, are extracted in stainless steel extractors to create either a water decoction or water-alcohol decoction, depending on the herbs used. They are extracted at a low temperature (below 100 degrees Celsius) to preserve essential ingredients. The extracted liquid is then further condensed, and some raw herb powder from one of the herbal ingredients is mixed in to form an herbal dough. This dough is then machine cut into tiny pieces, a small amount of excipients are added for a smooth and consistent exterior, and they are spun into pills. Teapills are characteristically little round black pills.[citation needed]

Chinese patent medicines are easy and convenient. They are not easy to customize on a patient-by-patient basis, however. They are often used when a patient's condition is not severe and the medicine can be taken as a long-term treatment.[citation needed]

These medicines are not patented in the traditional sense of the word. No one has exclusive rights to the formula. Instead, "patent" refers to the standardization of the formula. In China, all Chinese patent medicines of the same name will have the same proportions of ingredients, and manufactured in accordance with the PRC Pharmacopoeia, which is mandated by law. However, in western countries there may be variations in the proportions of ingredients in patent medicines of the same name, and even different ingredients altogether.[citation needed]

Several producers of Chinese herbal medicines are pursuing FDA clinical trials to market their products as drugs in U.S. and European markets.[17]


There are several different methods to classify traditional Chinese medicinals:

Four Natures

The Four Natures are: hot, warm, cool, or cold (or, neutral in terms of temperature).[18] Hot and warm herbs are used to treat cold diseases, while cool and cold herbs are used to treat heat diseases.[18]

Five Flavors

The Five Flavors, sometimes also translated as Five Tastes, are: acrid, sweet, bitter, sour, and salty.[18] Substances may also have more than one flavor, or none (i.e., a "bland" flavor).[18] Each of the Five Flavors corresponds to one of the zàng organs, which in turn corresponds to one of the Five Phases:[19] A flavor implies certain properties and therapeutic actions of a substance: saltiness "drains downward and softens hard masses";[18] sweetness is "supplementing, harmonizing, and moistening";[18] pungent substances are thought to induce sweat and act on qi and blood; bitterness "drains heat, purges the bowels, and eliminates dampness".


This classification refers not just to the meridian, but also to the meridian-associated zàng-organ, which can be expected to be primarily affected by a given medicinal (there are 12 standard meridians in the body a medicinal can act upon). For example, traditional beliefs hold that menthol is pungent and cool and goes to the Lung and the Liver channels. The Traditional Chinese concept of the Lungs includes the function of protecting the body from colds, and menthol is thought to cool the Lungs and purge heat toxins caused by wind-heat invasion (one of the patterns of common cold).

Specific function

These categories mainly include:


From the earliest records regarding the use of medicinals to today, the toxicity of certain substances has been described in all Chinese materiae medicae.[23] The toxicity in some cases could be confirmed by modern research (i.e., in scorpion); in some cases it couldn't (i.e., in curculigo).[24]

Substances known to be potentially dangerous include aconite,[24] secretions from the Asiatic toad,[25] powdered centipede,[26] the Chinese beetle (Mylabris phalerata, Ban mao),[27] and certain fungi.[28] Further, ingredients may have different names in different locales or in historical texts, and different preparations may have similar names for the same reason, which can create inconsistencies and confusion in the creation of medicinals,[29] with the possible danger of poisoning.[30][31][32]


Regarding Traditional Chinese herbal therapy, only few trials exist that are considered to be of adequate methodology by modern western medical researchers, and its effectiveness therefore is considered poorly documented.[33] For example, a 2007 Cochrane review found promising evidence for the use of Chinese herbal medicine in relieving painful menstruation, compared to conventional medicine such as NSAIDs and the oral contraceptive pill, but the findings have to be interpreted with caution due to the generally low methodological quality of the included studies (as, amongst others, data for placebo control could not be obtained).[34]

Ecological impacts

Dried seahorses like these are extensively used in traditional medicine in China and elsewhere

Animal products are used in certain Chinese preparations, which may disturb conservationists, vegans, and vegetarians. If informed of such restrictions, however, practitioners can often use alternative substances.

The practice of using endangered species is controversial within TCM. Modern Materia Medicas such as Bensky, Clavey and Stoger's comprehensive Chinese herbal text discuss substances derived from endangered species in an appendix, emphasizing alternatives.[35]

Poachers supply the black market for such parts of endangered species[36][37], including tiger penis[11][38] and rhinoceros horn.[39] The black market in rhinoceros horn reduced the world's rhino population by more than 90 percent over the past 40 years.[40] Concerns have also arisen over the use of turtle plastron[41] and seahorses.[42]

TCM recognizes bear bile as a medicinal.[43] In 1988, the Chinese Ministry of Health started controlling bile production, which previously used bears killed before winter. Now bears are fitted with a sort of permanent catheter, which is more profitable than killing the bears.[44] More than 12,000 asiatic black bears are held in "bear farms", where they suffer cruel conditions while being held in tiny cages.[43] The catheter leads through a permanent hole in the abdomen directly to the gall bladder, which can cause severe pain; the bears are known to regularly try to kill themselves.[43] Increased international attention has mostly stopped the use of bile outside of China; gallbladders from butchered cattle (niú dǎn / 牛膽 / 牛胆) are recommended as a substitute for this ingredient.[citation needed]

Herbs in use

There are over three hundred herbs that are commonly being used today. The most commonly used herbs are Ginseng (人参, 人參, rénshēn), wolfberry (枸杞子), Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis, 当归, 當歸, dāngguī), astragalus (黄耆, 黃耆, huángqí), atractylodes (白术, 白朮, báizhú), bupleurum (柴胡, cháihú), cinnamon (cinnamon twigs (桂枝, guìzhī) and cinnamon bark (肉桂, ròuguì)), coptis (黄莲, 黃蓮, huánglián), ginger (姜, 薑, jiāng), hoelen (茯苓, fúlíng), licorice (甘草, gāncǎo), ephedra sinica (麻黄, 麻黃, máhuáng), peony (white: 白芍, báisháo and reddish: 赤芍, chìsháo), rehmannia (地黄, 地黃, dìhuáng), rhubarb (大黄, 大黃, dàhuáng), and salvia (丹参, 丹參, dānshēn). These are just a few of the herbs.


Chinese red ginseng roots

The use of ginseng (人参) is well over two thousand years old in Chinese medicine. Ginseng contains ginsenosides. The amount of ginsenosides in ginseng depends on how the plant was cultivated and the age of the root. Wild ginseng is rare and commands the highest prices on the market, but most ginseng on the market today is a reasonable price. Red Panax ginseng is the most popular form of ginseng and it is usually packaged as a liquid or tea. Ginseng comes in two kinds, red and white. The color of the ginseng depends on how it is processed. White ginseng is unprocessed and dries naturally. Red ginseng is processed with steam and is believed to be more effective. Native Americans have used American ginseng for dry coughs, constipation, and fevers.[citation needed]

TCM Information: Species: Panax ginseng. Pinyin: Ren Shen. Common Name: Chinese Ginseng. Quality: Sweet, Bitter, Warm. Meridians: Lung, Spleen, Heart. Actions: Tonifies yuan qi to treat collapse of qi, tonifies spleen and lung, generates fluids, mildly tonifies heart qi.[45][46][47]

Species: Elutherococcus senticosus. Pinyin: Ci Wu Jia. Common Name: Siberian Ginseng. Quality: Pungent (Acrid), Slightly bitter, Warm. Meridians: Spleen, Heart, Kidney. Actions: Tonifies spleen and kidney, mildly tonifies heart qi, promote blood circulation, calms shen.[48][49]

Species: Panax quinquefolius. Pinyin: Xi Yang Shen. Common Name: American Ginseng. Quality: Sweet, Slightly bitter, Cold. Meridians: Heart, Kidney, Lung. Actions: Tonifies lung and spleen qi, tonifies lung yin, cools fire from lung yin deficiency, generates fluids.[50][51]


Mushrooms have long been used as a medicinal food and as a tea in Chinese herbology. Clinical, animal, and cellular research has shown mushrooms may be able to up-regulate aspects of the immune system.[52][53][54][55] Notable mushrooms used in Chinese herbology include Reishi and Shiitake.[citation needed]


Wolfberry (枸杞子) is grown in the Far East and is grown from shrubs with long vines. The shrubs are covered with small trumpet-shaped flowers, which turn into small, bright red berries. The berries are usually fresh and sometimes used when it is dried.[citation needed]

TCM Information: Species: Lycium barbarum. Pinyin: Gou Qi Zi. Common Name: Chinese Wolfberry. Quality: Sweet, Neutral. Meridians: Liver, Lung, Kidney. Actions: Tonifies kidney and lung yin, tonifies liver blood, tonifies jing, improves vision.[56][57][58]

Dang Gui

Dang Gui (当归, Angelica sinensis or "female ginseng") is an aromatic herb that grows in China, Korea, and Japan.[citation needed]

TCM Information: Species: Angelica sinensis. Pinyin: Dang Gui. Common Name: Chinese Angelica Root. Quality: Sweet, Pungent(Acrid), Warm. Meridians: Liver, Heart, Spleen. Actions: Tonify blood, invigorate blood, regulate menstruation, relieve pain, unblock bowels by moistening intestine. [59][60][61]


Astragalus (黄耆) is a root used for immune deficiencies and allergies.[citation needed]

TCM Information: Species: Astragalus membranaceus. Pinyin: Huang Qi. Common Name: Astragalus Root, Milkvetch Root. Quality: Sweet, Slightly warm. Meridians: Lung, Spleen. Actions: Raise yang qi to treat prolapse, tonify spleen and lung qi, tonify wei qi, increases urination, promotes drainage of pus, generates flesh.[62][63][64]


Atractylodes (白术) is believed to be important in the treatment of digestive disorders and problems of moisture accumulation.[citation needed]

TCM Information: Species: Atractylodes lancea. Pinyin: Cang Zhu. Common Name: Atractylodes Rhizome. Quality: Pungent(Acrid), Bitter, Warm. Meridians: Spleen, Stomach. Actions: Strong to dry dampness, strengthens the spleen, induce sweating, expel wind-cold, clears damp-heat from lower jiao, improves vision.[65][66][67]


Bupleurum (柴胡) is believed to be useful for the treatment of liver diseases, skin ailments, arthritis, menopausal syndrome, withdrawal from corticosteroid use, nephritis, stress-induced ulcers, and mental disorders.[citation needed]

TCM Information: Species: Bupleurnum chinense. Pinyin: Chai Hu. Common Name: Hare's Ear Root. Quality: Bitter, Pungent(Acrid), Cool. Meridians: Gallbladder, Liver, Pericardium, San Jiao. Actions: Treats alternating chills and fever, clears lesser yang disorders, relieves liver qi stagnation, raises yang qi to treat prolapse, treats certain menstrual disorders.[68][69][70]


Cinnamon (桂枝, 肉桂), mostly gui zhi and rou gui, are twigs and bark from large tropical trees.[citation needed]

Studies show that cinnamon reduces serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes, and the findings suggest that the inclusion of cinnamon in the diet of people with type 2 diabetes will reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.[71][72][73][74][75][76][77]

TCM Information: Species: Cinnamomum cassia. Pinyin: Gui Zhi. Common Name: Cinnamon Twig. Quality: Pungent (Acrid), Sweet, Warm. Meridians: Heart, Lung, Bladder. Actions: Induce sweating, warms and unblocks channels, unblocks yang qi of the chest, treats dysmenorrhea.[78][79][80]

Species: Cinnamomum cassia. Pinyin: Rou Gui. Common Name: Cinnamon Bark. Quality: Pungent (Acrid), Sweet, Hot. Meridians: Heart, Kidney, Liver, Spleen. Actions: Tonifies kidney yang, leads fire back to its source, disperses cold, encourages generation of qi and blood, promotes blood circulation, alleviates pain due to cold, dysmenorrhea.[81][82][83]

Coptis chinensis

Coptis chinensis (黄莲) is a rhizome that is one of the bitterest herbs used in Chinese medicine.[citation needed]

TCM Information: Species: Coptis chinensis. Pinyin: Huang Lian. Common Name: Coptis Rhizome. Qualities: Bitter, Cold. Meridians: Heart, Large Intestine, Liver, Stomach. Actions: Clears heat and drains damp, drains fire(especially from heart and stomach), eliminates toxicity.[84][85][86]


Ginger (干姜, 乾薑) is a herb and a spice that is used in Chinese cuisine. Commonly used to treat nausea.[citation needed]

TCM Information: Species: Zingiber officinalis. Pinyin: Sheng Jiang. Common Name: Fresh Ginger Rhizome. Quality: Pungent(Acrid), Slightly warm. Meridians: Lung, Spleen, Stomach. Actions: Release the exterior, expel cold, warm the middle jiao, relieve nausea, transform phlegm, warm lung to stop coughing, treat toxicity, and moderate the toxicity of other herbs.[87][88][89]

Species: Zingiber officinalis. Pinyin: Gan Jiang. Common Name: Dried Ginger Rhizome. Quality: Pungent(Acrid), Hot. Meridians: Heart, Lung, Spleen, Stomach. Actions: Warms the spleen and stomach, restores devastated yang, warms the lung to transform thin mucus, warms and unblocks channels.[90][91]


The use of licorice(甘草) is thought to help treat hepatitis, sore throat, and muscle spasms.[citation needed]

TCM Information: Species: Glycyrrhiza inflata or Glycyrrhiza glabra. Pinyin: Gan Cao. Common Name: Licorice Root. Quality: Sweet, Neutral. Meridians: All 12 channels, but mainly Heart, Lung, Spleen, Stomach. Actions: Tonify spleen qi, moisten lung for dry cough, clears heat and fire toxicity, tonifies heart qi to regulate pulse, alleviates spasmodic pain, antidote for toxicity, moderates the effects of harsh herbs.[92][93][94]


Ephedra (麻黄)

TCM Information: Species: Ephedra sinica or Ephedra intermedia. Pinyin: Ma Huang. Common Name: Ephedra Stem. Quality: Pungent(Acrid), Slightly Bitter, Warm. Meridians: Lung, Bladder. Actions: Induce sweating and release exterior for wind-cold invasion with no sweating, promotes urination, move lung qi for wheezing, cough or asthma.[95][96][97]


Peony (白芍, 赤芍) comes in two varieties: bai shao(white) and chi shao (red), the root of the plant is used in both varieties.[citation needed]

TCM Information: Species: Paeonia lactiflora. Pinyin: Bai Shao. Common Name: White Peony Root. Quality: Bitter, Sour, Cool. Meridians: Liver, Spleen. Actions: Tonify liver blood, calms liver yang, alleviates flank/abdominal pain from liver qi stagnation or liver and spleen disharmony, preserves yin and adjusts nutritive and protective levels, regulates menses for blood deficiency problem.[98][99][100]

Species: Paeonia lactiflora or Paeonia veitchii. Pinyin: Chi Shao. Common Name: Red Peony Root. Quality: Sour, Bitter, Cool. Meridians: Liver, Spleen. Actions: Clears heat, cools blood, invigorates blood and dispel stasis to treat irregular menses, dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhea, abdominal pain, and fixed abdominal masses.[101][102]


Rehmannia (地黄) is a root where the dark, moist part of the herb is used.[citation needed]

TCM Information: Species: Rehmannia glucinosa. Pinyin: Sheng Di Huang. Common Name: Chinese Foxglove Root. Qualities: Sweet, Bitter, Cold. Meridians: Heart, Kidney, Liver. Actions: Clears heat, cools blood, nourishes yin, generates fluids, treats wasting and thirsting disorder.[103][104]

Species: Rehmannia glucinosa. Pinyin: Shu Di Huang. Common Name: Chinese Foxglove Root Prepared with Wine. Qualities: Sweet, Slightly warm. Meridians: Heart, Kidney, Liver. Actions: Tonifies blood, tonifies liver and kidney yin, treats wasting and thirsting disorder, nourishes jing.[105][106][107]


Chinese rhubarb depicted by Michał Boym (1655)

Rhubarb (大黄) is a large root and was once one of the first herbs that was imported from China.[citation needed]

TCM Information: Species: Rheum palmatum, Rheum ranguticum, or Rheum officinale. Pinyin: Da Huang. Common Name: Rhubarb Root and Rhizome. Quality: Bitter, Cold. Meridians: Heart, Large Intestine, Liver, Stomach. Actions: Purge accumulation, cool blood, invigorate blood, drain damp-heat.[108][109][110]


Salvia (丹参) are the deep roots of the Chinese sage plant.[citation needed]

TCM Information: Species: Salvia miltiorrhiza. Pinyin: Dan Shen. Common Name: Salvia Root. Qualities: Bitter, Cool. Meridians: Heart, Pericardium, Liver. Actions: Invigorate blood, tonify blood, regulate menstruation, clear heat and soothe irritability.[111][112][113]

50 fundamental herbs

In Chinese herbology, there are 50 "fundamental" herbs, as given in the reference text,[114] although these herbs are not universally recognized as such in other texts. The herbs are:

Binomial nomenclature Chinese name English Common Name (when available)
Agastache rugosa[115] huò xiāng ()[116] Korean Mint
Alangium chinense[117] bā jiǎo fēng ()[118] Chinese Alangium Root
Anemone chinensis (syn. Pulsatilla chinensis)[119] bái tóu weng ()[118][119] Chinese anemone
Anisodus tanguticus shān làng dàng ()[120]
Ardisia japonica zǐ jīn niú ()[121] Marlberry
Aster tataricus zǐ wǎn () Tatar aster, Tartar aster
Astragalus propinquus (syn. Astragalus membranaceus)[122] huáng qí ()[123] or běi qí ()[123] Chinese astragalus
Camellia sinensis chá shù () or chá yè () Tea Plant
Cannabis sativa dà má () Cannabis
Carthamus tinctorius hóng huā () Safflower
Cinnamomum cassia ròu gùi () Cassia, Chinese Cinnamon
Cissampelos pareira xí shēng téng () or () Velvet leaf
Coptis chinensis duǎn è huáng lián () Chinese Goldthread
Corydalis ambigua yán hú suǒ () Fumewort
Croton tiglium bā dòu () Purging Croton
Daphne genkwa yuán huā () Lilac Dahpne
Datura metel yáng jīn huā () Devil's Trumpet
Datura stramonium (syn. Datura tatula)[124] zǐ huā màn tuó luó () Jimson Weed
Dendrobium nobile shí hú () or shí hú lán () Noble Dendrobium
Dichroa febrifuga[125] cháng shān () Blue Evergreen Hydrangea, Chinese Quinine
Ephedra sinica cǎo má huáng () Chinese ephedra
Eucommia ulmoides dù zhòng () Hardy rubber tree
Euphorbia pekinensis[126] dà jǐ () Peking spurge
Flueggea suffruticosa (formerly Securinega suffruticosa) yī yè qiū ()[127]
Forsythia suspensa liánqiào () Weeping Forsythia
Gentiana loureiroi dì dīng ()
Gleditsia sinensis zào jiá () Chinese Honeylocust
Glycyrrhiza uralensis gān cǎo ()[128] Licorice
Hydnocarpus anthelminticus (syn. H. anthelminthica) dà fēng zǐ () Chaulmoogra tree
Ilex purpurea dōngqīng () Purple Holly
Leonurus japonicus yì mǔ cǎo () Chinese motherwort
Ligusticum wallichii[129] chuān xiōng () Szechuan lovage
Lobelia chinensis bàn biān lián () Creeping Lobelia
Phellodendron amurense huáng bǎi () Amur cork tree
Platycladus orientalis (formerly Thuja orientalis) cèbǎi () Chinese Arborvitae
Pseudolarix amabilis jīn qián sōng () Golden Larch
Psilopeganum sinense shān má huáng () Naked rue
Pueraria lobata gé gēn () Kudzu
Rauwolfia serpentina shégēnmù (), cóng shégēnmù () or yìndù shé mù () Sarpagandha, Indian Snakeroot
Rehmannia glutinosa dìhuáng () or gān dìhuáng ()[130] Chinese Foxglove
Rheum officinale yào yòng dà huáng () Chinese or Eastern rhubarb
Rhododendron tsinghaiense Qīng hǎi dù juān ()
Saussurea costus yún mù xiāng () Costus
Schisandra chinensis wǔ wèi zi () Chinese Magnolia Vine
Scutellaria baicalensis huáng qín () Baikal Skullcap
Stemona tuberosa bǎi bù ()
Stephania tetrandra fáng jǐ () Stephania Root
Styphnolobium japonicum (formerly Sophora japonica) huái (), huái shù (), or huái huā () Pagoda Tree
Trichosanthes kirilowii guā lóu () Chinese Cucumber
Wikstroemia indica liǎo gē wáng () Indian stringbush

Other Chinese herbs

In addition to the above, many other Chinese herbs and other substances are in common use, and these include:

  • Akebia quinata (木通)
  • Arisaema cum bile[131] (胆南星)
  • Arsenic trioxide (砒霜)
  • Arsenolite (砒石)
  • Aspongopus (九香虫)
  • Asteriscus pseudosciaenae (鱼脑石)
  • Benzoinum (安息香)
  • Bombyx batryticatus (僵蚕)
  • Bulbus fritillariae cirrhosae (川贝母)
  • Bulbus fritillariae hupehensis (湖北贝母)
  • Bulbus fritillariae pallidiflorae (伊贝母)
  • Bulbus fritillariae thunbergii (浙贝母)
  • Bulbus fritillariae ussuriensis (平贝母)
  • Bulbus lycoridis radiatae (石蒜)
  • Cacumen securinegae suffruticosae (叶底珠)
  • Cacumen tamaricis (西河柳)
  • Calamina (炉甘石)
  • Calculus bovis (牛黄)
  • Calculus equi (马宝)
  • Calomelas (轻粉)
  • Calyx seu fructus physalis (锦灯笼)
  • Caulis ampelopsis brevipedunculae (山葡萄)
  • Caulis aristolochiae manshuriensis (关木通)
  • Caulis bambusae in taeniam (竹茹)
  • Caulis clematidis armandii (川木通)
  • Caulis entadae (过江龙)
  • Caulis erycibes (丁公藤)
  • Caulis et folium piperis hancei (山蒟)
  • Caulis et folium schefflerae arboricolae (七叶莲)
  • Caulis euphorbiae antiquori (火殃勒)
  • Caulis fibraureae (黄藤)
  • Caulis gneti (买麻藤)
  • Caulis hederae sinensis (常春藤)
  • Caulis impatientis (透骨草)
  • Caulis lonicerae (忍冬藤)
  • Caulis mahoniae (功劳木)
  • Caulis perillae (紫苏梗)
  • Caulis piperis kadsurae (海风藤)
  • Caulis polygoni multiflori (首乌藤)
  • Caulis sargentodoxae (大血藤)
  • Caulis sinomenii (青风藤)
  • Caulis spatholobi (鸡血藤)
  • Caulis tinosporae (宽根藤)
  • Caulis trachelospermi (络石藤)
  • Cera chinensis (虫白蜡)
  • Chenpi (Sun-Dried tangerine (Mandarin) peel) (陳皮)
  • Cinnabaris (朱砂)
  • Clematis (威灵仙)
  • Colla corii asini (阿胶)
  • Concha arcae (瓦楞子)
  • Concha haliotidis (石决明)
  • Concha margaritifera usta (珍珠母)
  • Concha mauritiae arabicae (紫贝齿)
  • Concha meretricis seu cyclinae (蛤壳)
  • Concretio silicea bambusae (天竺黄)
  • Cordyceps sinensis (冬虫夏草)
  • Corium erinacei seu hemiechianus (刺猬皮)
  • Cornu bubali (水牛角)
  • Cornu cervi (鹿角)
  • Cornu cervi degelatinatum (鹿角霜)
  • Cornu cervi pantotrichum (鹿茸)
  • Cornu saigae tataricae (羚羊角)
  • Cortex acanthopanacis (五加皮)
  • Cortex ailanthi (椿皮)
  • Cortex albiziae (合欢皮)
  • Cortex cinchonae (金鸡纳皮)
  • Cortex dictamni (白鲜皮)
  • Curcuma (郁金)
  • Dalbergia odorifera (降香)
  • Hirudo medicinalis (水蛭)
  • Myrrh (没药)
  • Olibanum (乳香)
  • Persicaria (桃仁)
  • Polygonum (虎杖)
  • Sparganium (三棱)
  • Zedoary (Curcuma zedoaria) (莪朮)

See also


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