Name

Characteristics/Taste/Meridian

Common Uses

Ren Shen, Ginseng
(Panax Ginseng)

Slightly warm/Sweet, slightly bitter/Spleen, lungs, heart

Boosts energy; enhances cerebral circulation; slows aging

Huang Chi, Astragalus
(Astragalus membranaceus)

Slightly warm/Sweet/Spleen, lungs

Stimulates the immune system and enhances healing

Ma Huang, Ephedra
(Ephedra sinensis)

Warm/Acrid, bitter/Lungs, bladder

Treats wheezing; induces sweating; source of drug ephedrine

Gan Cao, Licorice
(Glycyrrhizae uralensis)

Neutral/Sweet/All twelve meridians

Used as a tonic; treats spasms; moderates and harmonizes with other herbs

Ying Xing, Ginkgo
(Ginkgo biloba)

Neutral/Sweet, bitter/Lungs, kidneys

Treats chronic coughs, asthma, bladder infection and frequent urination

Tang-Qui, Angelica
(Angelica sinensis)

Warm/Sweet, acrid, bitter/Spleen, kidneys

Regulates femal reproductive organs

Fu Hua, Chrysanthemum
(Chrysanthemum morifolii)

Slightly cold/Sweet, slightly bitter/Lung, liver

Used in formulas to treat headaches and fever.

Rou Gui, Cinnamon Bark
(Cinnamomum cassia)

Hot/Acrid, sweet/Kidneys, spleen, liver, bladder

Used in formulas to treat headaches and fever



Source: The American Association of Oriental Medicine's Complete Guide to Chinese Herbal Medicine (Berkeley Publishing Group) by David Molony, PhD.