The Top 10 Herbs Used In Tcm

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May 17, 2023
Joy Hsueh

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used for centuries to treat physical and mental ailments. It relies on the use of natural herbs, which are believed to have healing properties that can restore balance in both body and mind.

In this article, we'll be looking at the top 10 herbs commonly used in TCM to provide relief from a range of conditions. We'll discuss how they work and where you can find them so that you can begin incorporating these powerful plants into your own health routine.

Read on to learn more about these amazing herbal remedies!


Astragalus is one of the top ten herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It has many actions and benefits that make it a popular herbal remedy.

Actions of Astragalus include strengthening the body’s immune system, increasing energy levels, reducing inflammation, and promoting overall health. It can be taken as an extract or brewed into a tea for easy consumption.

Additionally, Astragalus contains polysaccharides which are molecules with anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful for treating certain conditions associated with chronic inflammation such as arthritis.

Benefits of Astragalus also include its ability to protect the cardiovascular system from damage caused by oxidative stress. Studies have found that taking Astragalus regularly helps reduce cholesterol levels in the blood, thus decreasing risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Furthermore, research suggests that Astragalus may help improve cognitive function in people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease due to its neuroprotective effects on nerve cells in the brain.

Overall, Astragalus is a powerful herb with numerous beneficial effects on both physical and mental health. Taking this herb regularly can provide long lasting protection against common diseases while improving overall well-being.


Moving on from Astragalus, we come to Ginseng. Considered one of the most popular herbs in Chinese medicine, it is used for its energizing benefits and immune boosting effects.

It has been used as a medicinal tonic since ancient times due to its ability to regulate energy levels and rid the body of toxins.

Ginseng can be taken orally or applied topically depending on what needs treating. When ingested, it works by increasing qi (energy) flow throughout the body, allowing for improved physical stamina and cognitive alertness. This makes it beneficial for people who are fatigued or need an extra boost of energy during times of stress.

Additionally, ginseng has antioxidant properties that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, making it useful for prevention against some forms of cancer.

The herb also helps support normal functioning of the immune system thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties which reduce inflammation and improve immunity. In addition to this, research suggests that long-term use may lead to better overall health outcomes with fewer instances of colds and infections.

Thus, regardless if you're looking for an immediate pick me up or something more long lasting when it comes to your health, then ginseng should definitely be at the top of your list!


Ginger is one of the most popular herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It has a distinct flavor and can be used to add zest and pep to any dish. Its benefits are numerous – it helps reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and even relieve nausea.

Extensive research has been conducted on ginger's ability to fight illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, heart disease, migraines, colds and flu. Studies have shown that its anti-inflammatory properties make it useful for treating arthritis pain and other inflammatory conditions.

Additionally, some studies suggest that ginger may help lower cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. When cooking with ginger, you should use fresh ginger root rather than powdered or dried forms because it retains more of its beneficial compounds.

Freshly grated ginger adds an earthy kick to soups, stir-fries, smoothies, teas and many other dishes. With all these impressive medicinal benefits plus its delicious taste – no wonder why this herb is so widely used in TCM!


Having discussed the many benefits of ginger, let's move on to another popular herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): licorice.

Licorice has been used for centuries and is believed to originate from China and other nearby countries in Asia. It was first mentioned in ancient texts around 2,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest herbs still used today.

Licorice root can be found in a variety of different forms such as powder or extract. The main constituents are glycyrrhizic acid and flavonoid compounds which give it its characteristic sweet taste with health-promoting properties.

One of its most important benefits is that it helps to balance hormones within the body by stimulating cortisol production which can help reduce stress levels. Additionally, licorice can reduce inflammation throughout the body due to its anti-inflammatory activity. Other potential benefits include improving digestion, aiding respiratory issues, helping manage blood sugar levels, and increasing energy levels.

In terms of TCM uses, licorice is thought to strengthen spleen qi while also nourishing yin energies - effectively balancing both yin and yang forces within the body. It’s therefore used as an overall tonic for people who need extra support for their immune system or digestive system as well as those suffering from exhaustion or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Its subtle sweetness allows it to be combined with many other herbs without overwhelming them flavor wise.


Turmeric has been used for centuries in the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practice, and continues to be one of the most popular herbs today. It is no surprise that it stands as one of the top 10 herbs used in TCM.

From its many benefits related to inflammation, digestion, and even mental health, turmeric offers a wide range of healing properties.

Turmeric's history can be traced back over 4000 years when it was first used by ancient Indians as both a medicinal herb and culinary spice. Its unique flavor helped make curries very popular and various cultures around the world have since adopted this traditional dish into their diets.

Nowadays, people consume turmeric in capsules or powder form due to its anti-inflammatory effects which are beneficial for joint pain relief, skin care, and digestive issues. Additionally, some studies suggest that this root may help improve brain function while reducing depression symptoms.

Overall, turmeric is an incredible resource that brings numerous advantages with minimal side-effects making it an essential part of TCM practices worldwide. With its easy accessibility and affordability compared to other remedies or medications on the market, there’s no doubt why this plant remains so highly sought after within the medical community.


Cinnamon has been used for thousands of years, making it one of the oldest herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It is derived from a tropical evergreen tree native to China and Sri Lanka, with its history dating back as far as 2800 BC.

Not only does Cinnamon have an ancient pedigree, but it also contains many health benefits that make it an essential herb within TCM. The main active components of Cinnamon are cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid, which give Cinnamon its sweet flavor and aroma.

Historically, it was brewed into tea or taken orally as a supplement due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, it can be applied topically as a paste to help reduce muscle pain or joint discomfort.

Other uses include treating digestive issues such as indigestion or diarrhea, boosting energy levels when feeling fatigued, and helping to regulate blood sugar levels in those with diabetes. Today, Cinnamon remains an important staple of TCM due to its diverse range of uses and natural healing capabilities.

Although modern medicine has developed more sophisticated treatments than the use of herbal remedies like Cinnamon, this doesn't diminish the fact that people around the world still rely on these centuries old methods for their primary healthcare needs.

Ginkgo Biloba

Moving away from cinnamon, the next herb on our list is Ginkgo Biloba. This ancient tree has been used for many years in traditional Chinese medicine and continues to be a popular choice today.

It's known for its wide range of health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving brain function, and protecting against heart disease. Ginkgo Biloba contains powerful antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

It also helps improve circulation throughout the body by increasing blood flow to extremities such as toes and fingers. Additionally, it may reduce symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s Disease such as confusion and memory loss.

Despite these numerous benefits, there are some potential side effects associated with taking Ginkgo Biloba supplements or extracts. These include headaches, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and increased risk of bleeding when taken at high doses or combined with other medications.

Therefore, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider before incorporating this herb into your routine. All in all though, Ginkgo Biloba is a safe option for those looking to reap its many rewards.


I have outlined the top 10 herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Astragalus, ginseng, ginger, licorice, turmeric, and cinnamon are among them.

Ginkgo biloba is also an important herb with many medicinal properties.

All of these herbs can be found in health food stores or online, so it's easy to make sure you're getting the right ingredients for your TCM needs.

These herbs are all natural remedies that have been used for centuries to promote overall health and wellbeing.

They provide a safe alternative to pharmaceuticals and offer relief from various ailments without any of the side effects associated with chemical-based medications.

If you'd like to experience the benefits of TCM yourself, consider adding some of these healing plants into your daily routine!

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