Chinese herbal remedies

Page Content
  1. Introduction to Chinese herbal remedies
  2. Selecting herbs
  3. List of herbs used
  4. Prepration of herbs
  5. Ethnic Chinese remedies
chinese herbal remedies

Introduction to Chinese herbal remedies


Chinese herbal remedies are an important pillar of traditional Chinese medicine. In terms of the material used botanical herbs are by far the most used substances an it is what this page concentrates on, but it should be noted that animal parts and minerals are also used. I refer you to the deer antler page as an example.

Selecting herbs


The process of selecting herbs for ailments is complicated. They are classified in terms of temperature first of all.

Hot, cool, warm, cold and neutral. This is known as the four natures. Cool and cold herbs treat heat based ailments and logically hot and warm herbs treat cold type ailments.

They are also categorized into five different flavours or taste. These are sour, salty, bitter, acrid and bitter.

Aryuvedic medicine uses a similar system known as the six tastes.

List of herbs used


There are too many herbs used in Chinese herbal medicine for me to list but here are some common ones with some links to individual herbs.

I will be doing a page on each of these in due course. Some pages were done some time ago, I will be updating a few of those.

The preparation of herbs


Once the diagnosis of the patient is completed, the prescription of herbs is tailored for the patients needs.

Usually a decotion of herbs or a herbal formula will be prepared. One such example is a formula for gout called Si Miao Wan.

The herbs are available in several forms, powdered, pills, freeze dried, tincture or teas.

Ethnic Chinese remedies


In my opinion, the subject of Chinese herbal remedies isn't all about traditional Chinese medicine, excluding the Han Chinese which make up 91% there are 55 ethnic groups in china, so I thought it would be interesting to look at some of those here. In time I will make individual pages about their medicine.


The Zhuang ethnic group are the second biggest ethnic group in china with a population of 18 million.

Most of the community live in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. It's a region that has over 4000 different plant herbs.

The Zhuang use a lot of fresh herbs they believe it's better for curing snakebite rather than dried or processed stuff.

A herb remedies's effectiveness is tested by the doctors from the taste ,shape and properties.


There are 10 million Uyghurs living in china most of which in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

A lot of the uyghur's botanical medicine comes from the fruits, kernels and the flowers of the plant.

Their medicine tends to be pretty aromatic. They use the lavender herb as well as musk, castor, clove, cardamom amomum and ambergris.


The Manchu ethnic group is the fourth largest group in china. They use the fruit from the Thladiantha dubia also called goldencreeper for dysmenorrhea, rheumatic pain and lumbocural pain.

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