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Herbs Glossary

Herbs are natural plant products with therapeutic properties to help restore balance in your system. Traditional Chinese Medicine have been harnessing the power of herbs for healing for thousands of years. While you may be familiar with herbs found in your kitchen for cooking, there are a plethora of herbs used in TCM to address the underlying causes of various conditions. They can be found in different shapes and forms (even garlic and ginger are herbs)! Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs include: roots and rhizomes, stems and barks, flowers and leaves, fruits and seeds, pearls and shells, and mushrooms. See our full list of Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs below:


Angelica Root

Angelica Root / Dang Gui / 当归 

Known as the “Female Ginseng”, Angelica Root offers many benefits for women such as promoting menstruation and improving digestion and circulation. It is also an adaptogen known to alleviate feelings of stress, anxiety, and fatigue, and promote relaxation when used in combination with other herbs.

Asian Ginseng

Asian Ginseng / Ren Shen / 人參 

Asian Ginseng is the revered queen of all adaptogen herbs to tonify the qi. It contains active ingredients, most notably compounds called ginsenosides, which work together to revitalize the body as a whole. Ginsenosides seem to regulate inflammation, provide antioxidant protection, and maintain the health of cells to boost the immune system, increase focus, and relieve fatigue and promote energy levels.

 

Astragalus Root

Astragalus Root / Huang Qi / 黄芪 

Astragalus Root is an adaptogenic herb used to strengthen qi and enhance energy levels. It is known to help build long term immunity, strengthen the lungs, and provide protective energy for building physical stamina. 

 

Biota Seed

Biota Seed / Bai Zi Ren / 柏子仁 

Biota Seed helps to nourish the heart and calm the spirit. It also improves quality of sleep and supports digestive health.

 

Bitter Orange

Bitter Orange / Zhi Ke / 枳壳 

Bitter Orange is a cooling herb associated with the large intestine and stomach meridians. It promotes the movement of qi necessary to increase metabolism and reduces accumulation in the body. It is typically used for indigestion, nausea, and constipation.

 

Cardamom Seed

Cardamom Seed / Sha Ren / 砂仁

Cardamom Seed is a warming herb that has been traditionally used as a carminative and gastrointestinal aid. Carminatives help to reduce and prevent the formation of gas in the digestive tract and relieve bloating. Cardamom helps to soothe the stomach when faced with indigestion or constipation.

 

Cinnamon Bark

Cinnamon Bark / Rou Gui / 肉桂

Cinnamon Bark is a warming herb, loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. In TCM, cinnamon is used to improve energy, vitality, and circulation, particularly for those who get cold easily.

 

Codonopsis Root

Codonopsis Root / Dang Shen / 党参 

Codonopsis Root is an adaptogen herb similar to Ginseng, but has a milder and gentler effect to strengthen immunity, relieve stress and fatigue, and promote digestion. It is used to tonify qi and nourish blood, and when combined with Astragalus Root, it doubles down as an immunity protector.

 

Costus Root

Costus Root / Mu Xiang / 木香 

Costus Root regulates qi, specifically to promote qi stagnation, in order to stimulate digestion to relieve symptoms like nausea, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, poor appetite, or intestinal cramping.

 

Dandelion

Dandelion / Pu Gong Ying / 蒲公英

Dandelion clears heat, reduces toxicity, and helps to dissipate nodules. According to research, dandelion is also rich in Vitamins A, B, C, D, potassium, zinc and iron, which gives skin a clear complexion.

 

Figwort Root

Figwort Root / Xuan Shen / 玄参

Stress can be caused by overworking and irregular eating habits. This can generate excess internal heat, and can disturb sleeping and suppress appetite. Figwort Root clears heat and nourishes yin (cooling) energy.

 

Ginger

Ginger / Sheng Jiang / 生姜

Ginger is a superfood that reduces fatigue by improving blood circulation and blood sugar levels, as well as boosting your immune system. It also helps to stimulate digestion, which improves metabolism and modulates and benefits your overall energy levels.

 

Goji Berry

Goji Berry / Gou Qi Zi / 枸杞子 

Goji Berry is an adaptogenic superfood that contains a good source of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A and C (which helps build immunity), and fiber, and iron, and healthy antioxidants (immune-boosting qualities). They are known to improve energy, mood, ability to focus, and quality of sleep. 

 

Honeysuckle Flower

Japanese Honeysuckle Flower / Jin Yin Hua / 金银花

As a natural diuretic, honeysuckle aids the body to extract toxins and harmful build up that occurs in the digestive tract. The bioactive compounds in honeysuckle are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antioxidant.

 

Licorice Root

Licorice Root / Gan Cao / 甘草 

Licorice Root is an adaptogen supporting healthy hormone balance and healthy normal cortisol levels (most important hormone in stress and adrenal fatigue), as well as increasing energy, and helping balance moods.

 

Magnolia Bark

Magnolia Bark / Hou Po / 厚朴

With anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, Magnolia Bark is traditionally used to treat digestive problems, including abdominal bloating and discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. In TCM, it dries dampness and disperses phlegm while descending qi and eliminating fullness.

 

Nervilia Fordii

Nervilia Fordii / Qing Tian Kui / 青天葵

Nervilia Fordii has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that help subdue swelling and dissolve lumps and blemishes on skin.

 

Ophiopogon Tuber Root

Ophiopogon Tuber Root / Mai Men Dong / 麦门冬

An anti-inflammatory perennial plant that’s also a tonic and tranquilizer, Ophiopogon Tuber Root is often used in combination with other TCM herbs to nourish yin, clear heat in the heart, and eliminate irritability.

 

Poria Mushroom

Poria Mushroom / Fu Ling / 茯苓

Poria is a type of mushroom (though it looks like coconut!) known to promote immunity, calm the spirit, and soothe nerves.

 

Rehmannia Root

Rehmannia Root / Shu Di Huang / 熟地黄 

Known as a longevity herb, Rehmannia Root’s benefits stem from its adaptogenic functions. They can modulate the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands, helping the body to adapt to different stressors, and give energy when fatigue takes over.

 

Reishi Mushroom

Reishi Mushroom / Ling Zhi / 靈芝 

Reishi Mushroom is known as a superior herb that has been used in TCM to nourish the three treasures that are essential to sustaining human life -- jing (essence), qi (energy), and shen (spirit).  It is packed with active compounds called polysaccharides, which have immune-boosting and anti-aging properties. Reishi mushrooms are one of the most powerful tonics to improve vitality, strength, and stamina. 

 

Schisandra Berry

Schisandra Berry / Wu Wei Zi / 五味子

Schisandra Berry, also known as the Five Flavored Fruit, due to its nature possessing all five flavors in TCM (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and acrid), is an adaptogenic herb that promotes overall health and vitality. They provide antioxidant protection, especially in the liver, and enhance the body’s natural resistance and adaptation to stressful influences and support mental and physical endurance.

 

Sour Jujube Seed

Sour Jujube Seed / Suan Zao Ren / 酸枣仁

Sour Jujube Seed is an herb that has been traditionally used for anxiety and insomnia, and as an appetite stimulant or digestive aid.

Sweetflag Rhizome

Sweetflag Rhizome / Shi Chang Pu / 石菖蒲

Sweetflag Rhizome calms the heart and promotes cognition.

Tokyo Violet

Tokyo Violet / Zi Hua Di Ding / 紫花地丁

Tokyo Violet has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties to clear heat, release toxins, and subdue swellings. It is often considered equivalent to dandelion, which is why it’s often used in combination with it.

 

Wild Chrysanthemum Flower

Wild Chrysanthemum Flower / Ye Ju Hua / 野菊花

Chrysanthemum is a coolant with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used to soothe and reduce skin irritation, swelling, and redness of skin.