Healing Herb Directory

Alphabetical List of Healing Herbs | Eastern Names

Welcome to our growing list of Eastern and Western healing herbs! The herbs below are listed in alphabetical order by their common Eastern names, pin yin names, and the common Western names are included in parenthesis. (Alphabetical list of Western names.) Some herbs are listed multiple times, under different pin yin names. In TCM, some plant parts have unique pin yin names, differentiating the parts because to their differing functions. Oak is an example of an herb with multiple listings for each of its various parts having distinct functions.

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Sang Bai Pi (Mulberry Bark)

Sang Bai Pi (Mulberry Bark)

White Mulberry has been a source of food for silkworms, a medicine, and a sweetener. Associated with the Tao and other sacred traditions this tree is often planted in sacred gardens or as a symbol of cosmic order and replenishment. The berries are a wonderful herb for nourishing blood. Read more…

Praying Mantis (Sang Piao Xiao)

Sang Piao Xiao (Praying Mantis)

Praying mantis egg cases have been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat frequent urination and are especially favored for being the best herb to treat bed-wetting in young children. The egg cases are not typically used as a medicine in the West. The insects are a popular organic and non-pesticide tool for preventing pests in your garden. Read more…

Sang Shen (Berry/Fruit)

Sang Shen (Berry/Fruit)

White Mulberry has been a source of food for silkworms, a medicine, and a sweetener. Associated with the Tao and other sacred traditions this tree is often planted in sacred gardens or as a symbol of cosmic order and replenishment. The berries are a wonderful herb for nourishing blood. Read more…

Sang Ye (Leaves)

Sang Ye (Leaves)

White Mulberry has been a source of food for silkworms, a medicine, and a sweetener. Associated with the Tao and other sacred traditions this tree is often planted in sacred gardens or as a symbol of cosmic order and replenishment. The berries are a wonderful herb for nourishing blood. Read more…

See Bo He (Peppermint)

See Bo He (Peppermint)

Cool, warm and refreshing this herbs history dates back as far as 10,000 years ago. Used as food, a drink, an essential oil and a medicine. Read more…

Sea Buckthorn (Sha Ji)

Sha Ji (Sea Buckthorn)

Sea buckthorn is rich in nutrients and antioxidants that support heart health, treat diabetes, and help to improve skin conditions. As it becomes better known in the West it is becoming recognized as a superfood. It contains 190 bioactive constituents. Read more…
Buckthorn

Sha Ji Pi (Buckthorn)

Buckthorn (aka alder buckthorn/Rhamnus frangula) is best known for treating constipation and as a cleanse for the liver and digestive tracts. In the West and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) several different species of Rhamnus are used. In TCM buckthorn is recognized for its ability to Remove Stagnation and Relieve the Bowels. It is used to treat cancer and help support healthy liver function. Read more…

Arnica (Shan Jin Che)

Shan Jin Che (Arnica)

Arnica is a toxic herb, but can be ingested in highly diluted form in homeopathic remedies, where it is used to ease pain and inflammation. Typically it is used topically and is considered one of the best herbs for helping to heal bruises fast. Arnica does this by helping to mobilize white blood cells to cleanup and repair wounds faster. Arnica is especially recommended for pain derived from trauma (injuries) or inflammation (such as arthritis). Read more…

Shan Yao (Chinese Yams)

Shan Yao (Chinese Yams / Dioscorea)

Called “fairy food” in China for its congenital and tonic abilities, it is often cut into thick slices and cooked in stews. Used safely by all ages, it is especially noted for improving male and female fertility, aiding digestion and stopping coughs. Read more…

Shan Zha (Hawthorn)

Shan Zha (Hawthorn)

The leaves and berries of the Hawthorn are edible, the leaves when young are used in salads and the berries are made into jams and jellies. This popular garden ornamental plant has long been known for it’s ability to treat many ailments of the heart and circulatory system. Read more…

Cowslip (Huang Hua Jiu Lun Cao)

Shan Zhu Yu (Cornus)

The bark of the dogwood tree (Cornus florida) is most commonly used in Western herbalism. In Asia, the bark and especially the fruit of the dogwood species, Cornus officinalis, is used. The fruit has a long history in Oriental medicine as a revered tonic for the Liver and Kidney Systems. It is especially identified with the kidneys and the reproductive system. It is used to treat a wide variety of conditions including impotence, heavy menstrual cycle, diarrhea, leukorrhea, fevers, and to help speed recovery after an illness. Cornus fruit is a classic anti-aging tonic herb. Read more…

Poke (Shang Lu)

Shang Lu (Poke)

American Poke has a long history as a food and herbal remedy considered excellent at relieving toxicities. In China, its use dates back to over 2,000 years where it has been used to treat edemas and especially breast tumors, lumps and mastitis. It is a potent herb that if used correctly can treat lumps and tumors but if used improperly can cause nausea, vomiting and death. Read more…

Snakeskin (She Tui)

She Tui (Snakeskin)

Snakeskin is documented as being used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as far back as 100 A.D. It was likely used long before that as it was considered good for treating skin eruptions, eye infections, sore throats and hemorrhoids. Read more…

Sheng Jiang (Ginger)

Sheng Jiang (Ginger)

Ginger produces a hot, fragrant spice that has been used in candy, foods, medicines, teas, beverages and wines. It is used in cooking the world over for its flavor, and ability to detox food. It is a well known cure for motion sickness of all kinds and has a long worldwide history of medicinal use. Read more…

Honey/Royal Jelly (Feng Wang)

Sheng Lou Le (Tulsi / Holy Basil)

Holy basil, is considered a sacred plant in the Hindu tradition and is often planted around Hindu shrines. The Hindu name for holy basil, Tulsi, means “the incomparable one.” This plant is not the same as common basil, aka sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum). The entire plant, from the leaves to the seeds is considered a tonic for the body, mind, and spirit. It is used to treat bronchitis, malaria, eczema, stomach ulcers, eye diseases, and more. It is especially known for treating symptoms associated with stress, anxiety, and depression. It can address physical, chemical, metabolic, and psychological stress. Read more…

Black Pepper (Hei Hu Jiao)

Sheng Ma (Black Cohosh)

Black cohosh is best known for its ability to treat menopausal symptoms, including excessive sweating, night sweats, osteoporosis, restlessness, vaginal dryness, and heart palpitations. It is also used to treat premenstrual syndromes, including menstrual cramping. In Oriental medicine the species used (Cimicifuga foetida) has similar properties and is additionally used for treating early stages of measles, chills and fever, and prolapse of the uterus and anus. Black cohosh has become an endangered species. Please use products created from cultivated sources. Read more…

Shenreg (Sage)

Shenreg (Sage)

Sage has been considered one of the top medicinal and culinary herbs for centuries. It is easy to cultivate and has spirit cleansing properties. This herb is a mainstay in many herbal gardens. Read more…

Shepherd’s Purse (Shepherd’s Purse)

Shepherd’s Purse (Shepherd’s Purse)

Shepherd’s Purse is famous for its ability to stop bleeding, especially in the uterus. It is used to heal wounds, bleeding from any internal organ for any reason, heavy menstrual bleeding for any reason from fibroids to endometriosis, to post trauma from surgery to the uterus. In China the leaves are a popular ingredient in dumplings and the herb is used to “brighten eyes.” Read more…

Green Onion (Cong Bai)

Shi Gao (Gypsum)

Gypsum has an interesting energetic and physical relationship with water, heat, and solubility. Used to make plaster of Paris, it is also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to counter conditions associated with severely high fevers and Heat or Fire in the body. These symptoms include high fevers with no chills, dry tongue, great thirst for cold water, delirium, red eyes, dark and scanty urine, irritability, and profuse sweating. A mineral, gypsum is a non-toxic substance that is used to make plaster, fertilizer, and a healing medicine to help reduce high fevers. In its crystal form, it is used to energetically rebalance your system and emotions to help get you back in the flow. Read more…
Deer Horn Velvet (Lu Rong)

Shi Hu (Dendrobium)

Dendrobium (orchids) build reproductive and physical stamina in both men and women. They are famous as being a Taoist tonic herb used to promote longevity and build strong muscles. The Aztecs mixed vanilla orchids and chocolate to give themselves power and strength. Read more…

Arnica (Shan Jin Che)

Shi Jue Ming (Abalone Shell)

Abalone is most often thought of as a delicious seafood in the West. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is also recognized for its ability to treat a wide variety of eye disorders, including glaucoma, conjunctivitis, night blindness and cataracts. The shell is also known to help calm anxiety and sooth headaches caused by what the Chinese call excessive Liver Heat. Read more…

Pomegranate (Shi Liu)

Shi Liu (Pomegranate)

Pomegranates are moderate in calories and an excellent source of dietary fibers. They are considered a “super fruit” because of their important nutritional value and antioxidant properties. Regular consumption of pomegranate juice has been found to be effective against diabetes, lymphoma, and BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). Pomegranates are a worldwide and ancient symbol of fertility and prosperity. The Spanish introduced the fruit to the Caribbean and Americas. Their leaves and flowers are used to treat burns. Read more…

Deer Horn Velvet (Lu Rong)

Shi Luo (Dill)

Dill is both a culinary and medicinal herb. It has been used for thousands of years as an aid to digestion and to support proper bowel function. Now dill seed extract has been found to have anticancer properties useful against specific tumor cells and cancer causing carcinogens. In particular, dill seed oil has been found to be chemoprotective. Read more…

Clover (Mu)

Shi Song (Club Moss)

There are two main types of club moss, Western (Lycopodium clavatum) and Chinese (Lycopodium chensis). Both are effective at treating swellings, pain and fevers, but only Chinese club moss contains the constituent huperzine A that is famous for improving short term brain function and supporting long-term cognitive function.Read more…

Thyme

Shu Gu Jiang Huang (Temulawak / Java Ginger)

Temulawak / Java Ginger (Shu Gu Jiang Huang), aka Java turmeric, is used to treat indigestion, stomach disorders, and liver and gallbladder complaints. Along with turmeric, it is in the ginger family of plants. Don’t confuse Java turmeric (aka temulawak/Curcuma xanthorrhiza Roxb.) with turmeric (Curcuma longa) which is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Both contain the constituent curcumin but Java turmeric also contains xanthorrhizol, a constituent known for supporting the production of bile. Read more…

Shui Shan (Redwood)

Shui Shan (Redwood)

The American writer John Steinbeck said, “The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe.” Read more…

Pine (Song)

Song (Pine)

Pine bark, needles and the essential oil derived from the plants resins are used to clean houses, clear unwanted spirits, prevent cancer, help digestion and even as an herbal viagra. More research is being done to confirm the plant’s benefits and functions. Pines are cultivated for Christmas trees and their scent is calming and cleansing. Read more…

Pinon (Song Zi Ren)

Song Zi Ren (Pinon)

Pinon (Pinon edulis), or the pinon pine, is native to the southwestern United States and Mexico. All species of pinon trees produce edible seeds, but only the North American pinon produces seeds large enough to be a major source of food. This tree’s (Pinon edulis) nuts are highly nutritious and were a staple of the Native Americans. The nuts are still enjoyed in pesto sauces, salads, main dishes and as a snack foods. The resin (also called trementina) is sacred and used in healing and religious ceremonies. Species of pine nuts can also be found in, Spain, Korea and China. Pine needles and their essential oils, are also used as a medicine to treat coughs and bronchitis. Read more…

Spirulina

Spirulina

Blue-green algae / Spirulina changed our Earth forever by their photosynthetic activity that brought the needed oxygen into the environment so new and more-complex organisms, plants and mammals could evolve. It is a highly nutritious food that is loaded with proteins, minerals and vitamins. Read more…

Milk Thistle

Su Mi (Millet)

Millet is a gluten-free grain that is loaded with important nutrition. In China, it was used by Chairman Mao and the Red Army to sustain themselves during their campaigns against the Kuomintang. It has nourished peoples in parts of China for over 8,000 years. Unlike rice, millet does not have to be refined before eating Read more…

Goldenberry (Suan Jiang)

Suan Jiang (Goldenberry)

In the U.K. it is known as Physalis. In the U.S. it is commonly called gooseberry. Considered to be a superfood, goldenberry helps prevent cancer, boosts the immune system, and fights urinary and respiratory infections. Read more…
Linden (Duan Hua)

Tai (Liverwort)

Not to be confused with hepatica (Hepatica noblis), another plant that is often commonly called liverwort, liverwort (Bazzania trilobata, Marchantia polymorpha L.) is an ancient plant that moved onto land over 400 million years ago. Today it is used to fight fungal infections and improve blood circulation. It is known as a liver and blood tonic. Read more…

Tai (Moss)

Tai (Moss)

Being highly absorbent and soft, with some antibacterial properties, mosses have long been used to help treat wounds. These same qualities have also led to their being used as insulation in clothing and shoes. In Finland, peat moss has been used to make bread during times of famine. Read more…

Tan Xiang (Sandalwood)

Tan Xiang (Sandalwood)

The tree’s heartwood is considered scared in the Vedic tradition. Sandalwood promotes deep relaxed states that increase the flow of spiritual energy. It relaxes the throat and heart chakras. It is used to treat depression, urinary infections, poor appetite and bronchitis. The herbs strong bitter taste and anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent cold remedy. Arabic texts from the 10th century say sandalwood “clears headaches due to heat.” In Ancient China, it was recommended to treat cholera because of its cooling and drying properties. Sandalwood is a unique herb able to treat and balance the body, mind and spirit. Read more…

Sugar (Tang)

Tang (Sugar)

Sugar was originally imported to Europe to be used as a medicine. Today the average person is said to consume about 53 lbs. of sugar a year, or the equivalent of 260 food calories per person per day. Sugar is used as a preservative and sweetener in many processed foods and beverages. Numerous studies continue to be undertaken to help clarify the role sugar, and too much sugar, can play in the body. To date, it is known that too much sugar leads to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, inflammation, tooth decay, dementia, hyperactivity and a host of other related ailments and conditions. Read more…

Myrrh (Mo Yao)

Tao Jin Niang (Myrtle)

Myrtle is one of the oldest and historically important medicinal herbs. The leaves and berries are commonly used in Middle Eastern culinary dishes to season lamb. Other regions use myrtle to season lamb and pork dishes. The herb has curative and restorative properties. It has anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties and has long been used to aid digestion, cure lung ailments, fight acne, and help treat bladder and kidney infections. Read more…

Peach (Tao Zi)

Tao Zi (Peach)

Peach fruit is enjoyed in the West, but in China, the pits are also used as an important medicine for treating conditions caused by blood stagnation. In China, peaches are associated with longevity and vitality. In the West the fruit is known for its heart healthy and antioxidant properties. Read more…

Tian Men Dong (Wild Asparagus Root)

Tian Men Dong (Wild Asparagus Root)

Wild Asparagus Root, Tian Men Dong, is called Shatavri (“She who has a thousand husbands”) in India. It is a tonic for the lungs, heart and spirit, promoting compassion and love. It is used by both men and woman but is especially used by woman to aid female disorders from PMS to menopause to sexual dysfunction. It is often eaten raw. The best qualify is considered to be soft, chewy and sweet like a jelly bean. Read more…

Bearberry / Uva Ursi (Xiong Guo)

Tian Cai (Beet)

Beets and their leafy greens are enjoyed worldwide for their wonderful flavor and nutritional value. High in folate they are especially important to eat during pregnancy, as folate is critical for normal tissue growth. They help improve the flow of blood to the brain slowing dementia and improving mental faculties. Studies show they help protect against colon cancer and other types of tumors. Read more…

Tian Shu Kui (Geranium)

Tian Shu Kui (Geranium)

There are many varietals of geranium. Beyond being a lovely garden flower the many varieties exhibit similar healing properties and the leaves and flowers of rose geraniums can also be used in the kitchen as a culinary herb. (NOT all geraniums are edible, but the rose geranium is one that is!) Read more…

Niu Bang Zi (Burdock)

Tie Da Yin Chen (Osha)

Osha has a long history of being used by Native American and Hispanic peoples for treating respiratory ailments and supporting lung health. It is excellent for treating colds, pneumonia, influenza, bronchitis, and asthma. Read more…

Hemlock (Tieshan)

Tieshan (Hemlock)

EXTREME caution advised. Hemlock is a seriously poisonous plant. Ingestion can be lethal. Often mistaken for other plants, it is critical for Western Hemlock to be correctly identified. In China, it is not the poisonous flower that is available but the conifer tree that is grown for it’s foliage and is considered safe and non-poisonous. Read more…

Elderberry

Tu Mu Xiang, Xuan Fu Hua, Jin Fei Cao (Elecampane)

Elecampane has been considered a cure-all and particularly useful herb since ancient Greek and Roman times for treating common colds, menstrual disorders, digestive upsets, and dropsy. It is especially regarded as a tonic herb for the respiratory system by European, Chinese, and Ayurvedic medicines. It effectively treats chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, colds with copious clear or white mucus, and irritating coughs (especially in children). It also supports digestion and helps build immunity. Read more…

Wu Bei Zi (Sumac Gallnuts)

Wu Bei Zi (Sumac Gallnuts)

The Oak Tree has a long and powerful history. Used for its wood, acorns, leaves, bark and the spirit of the tree itself. These majestic trees can grow to be hundreds of hundreds of years old. The tree is held to be sacred by many cultures with its nuts, leaves, galls and bark providing medicinal healing and nutritive properties. Read more…

Sunflower (Xiang Ri Kui)

Wu Bei Zi/Yan Fu Zi (Sumac)

Sumac is a spice made from berries that is especially popular in Middle Eastern cooking. The spice has a lovely sour flavor and bright red color. Sumac is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory herbs available. Rich in a wide variety of polyphenols and flavonoids, it helps lower blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar, and reduce bone loss. Do not confuse red berry sumac (Rhus typhina) with poisonous white sumac which is a different plant with white berries or with the commonly called Chinese Sumac (Wu Bei Zi) which is actually a gallnut caused by the insect Maliphis and is a variety of sumac with yellow-green blossoms. These are each different plants though in the same Rhus family of plants. Read more…

Centipede (Wu Gong)

Wu Gong (Centipede)

Centipedes are considered a pest in the West, but in China, they are also a food and a powerful medicine. They are considered to be an important anticancer and anti-tuberculosis medicine and blood moving herb. They are successfully used to treat tremors, seizures, hemiplegia due to stroke, tetanus and snake bites. Read more…

Fig (Wu Hua Guo)

Wu Hua Guo (Fig)

Highly nutritious, figs are also anticancer, and the leaves can be used to treat diabetes and lower cholesterol. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, figs are considered a Yin and Yang balancing food. Figs are one of the world’s oldest trees. Read more…

Wu Wei Zi (Schisandra)

Wu Wei Zi (Schisandra)

Schisandra is considered one of the great longevity tonic herbs. It is famous as an adaptogen, building stamina and as an anti-aging herb. It is also known to impart beauty and sexual endurance to those who use it regularly. Read more…

Tomato (Xi Hong Shi)

Xi Hong Shi (Tomato)

Tomatoes are the best dietary source for lycopenes. This constituent is famous for helping to prevent heart disease and prostate cancer in men. Tomatoes also provide 33% of your minimum daily requirement of Vitamin C. They are a symbol for the sun and good health. Read more…

Chinese Yams (Shan Yao)

Xi Xiang Cong (Chive)

Chives are in the Allium family that also contains garlic, scallions, and leeks. There are two types of chives, onion or common chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and Chinese chives (also called garlic chives/A. tuberosum). While common chives have long thin hollow leaves or stalks, Chinese chives have flat leaves or stalks. Both varieties are useful for eliminating parasites, boosting heart and immune health, and aiding digestion. Chives also support bone health. A. ledebourianum is a variety of giant chive that is native to Siberia. Read more…

Ash Tree (Qin Pi)

Xi Xin (Asarum)

This is an herb that both Eastern and Western herbalists have long learned about due to its long history as a respected healing herb. Among its many applications it is excellent for treating congested coughs, asthma, pneumonia, and liver disease. However, it is now approached with caution and considered only possibly safe when used orally, for a short-term, and most certainly, if it is not contaminated with the banned compound aristolochic acid which is particularly found in asarum (Asarum canadense, A. europaeum) and the aerial parts of all asarum plants and has been banned. The compound has been found to be linked to renal failure. The roots in the Eastern varieties, A. sieboldii, A. heterotropoides, do not appear to contain the compound. While it remains not entirely clear what amount or circumstances around using the whole herb are required to cause renal failure, the compound itself has been found toxic and is banned and therefore, any plant substance containing any amount of this compound has also been called into question. Be very careful to know your source and consult your healthcare provider for proper dosing information and application of this herb. Read more…

Arnica (Shan Jin Che)

Xian He Cao (Agrimony)

Agrimony is an ancient herb used worldwide for purifying the blood, healing wounds, and treating urinary tract infections. It has been used on battlefields to stop bleeding and hasten the healing of traumatic wounds. Its overall tonifying and immune enhancing qualities help make it a good “cure all” herb. It can be used to improve digestion, support kidney, liver and heart function as well as support digestion. Read more…

Cucumber (Huang Gua)

Xian Ke Lai (Cyclamen)

Despite safety concerns, cyclamen has been used to treat nervous emotional states, digestive disorders and menstrual disorders. The leaves are edible, but the roots and flowers can be toxic causing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Used as a nose spray the herb is considered safe and effective for treating the facial aches caused by sinusitis. Read more…
Amaranth (Xian Shi)

Xian Shi (Amaranth)

Amaranth was already being cultivated by the Aztecs 8,000 years ago. Its ancient history is traced back to Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula. It is the only grain with a documented vitamin C content and is gluten-free. In Mexico, a sweet is made from popped amaranth that is mixed with sugar or honey called “dulce de alegria” or “sweet delight.” They are shaped into small skulls and given on the “Day of the Dead” celebration on October 31 and November 1 of each year. Read more…

Xiang Bin Jiu (Champagne)

Xiang Bin Jiu (Champagne)

Champagne is for celebrating but it is also a medicine! It is full of antioxidants and polyphenols that help prevent heart attacks, strokes and lower pressure. New studies are also showing that in small amounts, a small glass per night, it can aid short term memory loss and certain other cognitive functions! So enjoy a few bubbles, relax and have some fun! Happy New Year! Read more…

Lemon (Ning Meng)

Xiang Feng Cao (Lemon Balm)

Lemon balm is widely used to calm nerves and soothe anxiety and the symptoms associated with stress, including palpitations. It is also used to treat digestive disorders from bloating, to intestinal gas, to vomiting and even menstrual cramping. Lemon balm is used to call ghosts, spirits and promote clairvoyance. Read more…

Shepherd’s Purse (Shepherd’s Purse)

Xiang Gu (Shiitake)

Shiitake mushrooms boosts the immune system, lower blood cholesterol, and are packed with nutritional value. The high vitamin B levels found in shiitake can help counter adrenal fatigue. Shiitake mushrooms are also one of the few foods that contain vitamin D, which is important for bone health, heart health, reducing the risk of diabetes, cancer, and auto-immune diseases. Read more…
Licorice

Xiang Mao (Lemongrass)

Lemongrass has a long history as a culinary and medicinal herb. Both the leaves and the plant’s essential oil are popular forms for treating a wide variety of ailments ranging from heart ailments, to skin problems, to convulsions, to cancer, to menstrual cramps, to acne, to depression. A powerfully healing herb that is wonderful to cook with and easy to grow in your garden to chase away mosquitoes and attract bees. Enjoy lemongrass. Read more…

Sunflower (Xiang Ri Kui)

Xiang Ri Kui (Sunflower)

While the Chinese cultivate sunflowers for food, they do not typically use it medicinally, but it is used as a medicine and food in the West. The seeds are highly nutritious and sunflower oil is said to be the closest alternative to olive oil and can be used as an olive oil substitute. Read more…

Xiang Shi (Oak Acorn)

Xiang Shi (Oak Acorn)

The Oak Tree has a long and powerful history. Used for its wood, acorns, leaves, bark and the spirit of the tree itself. These majestic trees can grow to be hundreds of hundreds of years old. The tree is held to be sacred by many cultures with its nuts, leaves, galls and bark providing medicinal healing and nutritive properties. Read more…

Fern (Jue Lei)

Xiao Bai Ju (Feverfew)

With a long history of traditional use, feverfew has been documented as far back as the first century AD by the Greeks who among other ailments used it to treat “melancholy,” a condition associated with persistent headaches and long term depression. The herb is best known for treating migraines and its accompanying symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, pain, dizziness, and light and sound sensitivity. It is also effective for treating menstrual disorders that include headaches, cramping, nausea and anxiety. Read more…

Xiao Hui Xiang (Fennel)

Xiao Hui Xiang (Fennel)

With edible leaves, bulbs, seeds and fruit, fennel has a long culinary and medicinal history. Wildly cultivated this herb is also now found naturalized and growing wild in many place of the world. Read more…

Wheat (Xiao Mai)

Xiao Mai (Wheat)

Wheat includes two key components: wheat germ and wheat bran. Both are extremely high in nutritional value. Wheat based products include bread, pasta, semolina, bulgur and couscous. The grain has become controversial because of the protein gluten, which can trigger a harmful immune response in predisposed individuals. Wheat is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Wheat feeds an estimated one third of the world’s population. Read more…

Eyebright (Xiao Mi Cao)

Xiao Mi Cao (Eyebright)

Eyebright has a long history for being used to treat eye disorders. It is famous for treating even severe inflammation of the eyes. It reduces inflammation, conjunctivitis, and can be used as an eye wash, drops or as an infusion for internal use to treat eye problems. Eyebright is also used to treat sinusitis and help heal wounds. It can also help treat skin problems such as acne and stretch marks. Eyebright is primarily used as a poultice and wash, but it can be taken internally in teas and tincture. Read more…

Valerian (Xie Cao)

Xie Cao (Valerian)

Valerian has been used as a medicinal plant since ancient Greek and Roman times. The herb has been used for over 2000 years. It is most frequently used as a sleep aid. Some people use it to withdraw from using pharmaceutical sleeping pills. The herb is also used to calm anxiety and hysteria. Adding valerian to your bath water can help with restlessness and anxiety. The Chinese have also used the herb to heal injuries and treat menses as they define the herb as being able to also ease pain and stop bleeding. Read more…

Xin Yi (Magnolia Flower)

Xin Yi (Magnolia Flower)

Magnolia flowers and buds have a long tradition in Chinese Medicine for treating nasal congestion, whitening skin and calming toothaches. Read more…

Apricot/Apricot Kernel (Xing, Xing Ren)

Xing, Xing Ren (Apricot/Apricot Kernel)

Originally from China, apricots are now found worldwide. Considered one of the healthiest fruits in the world, it is loaded with nutritional, health and medicinal value. “An apricot a day, can also help keep the doctor away.” Apricots are packed with Vitamins A and C, minerals, fiber and antioxidants that support eye, skin, heart and digestive health. Apricots are low in calories and help regulate blood sugar levels. The Chinese have used the kernels for thousands of years to treat lung disorders and constipation. Read more…

Xiong Guo (Bearberry / Uva Ursi)

Xiong Guo (Bearberry / Uva Ursi)

Bearberry, also known as uva ursi, is most frequently used by Chinese, European and Native American’s to treat urinary tract disorders. Until the discovery of sulfa and antibiotics, bearberry was the treatment of choice for treating bladder, kidney and related infections. The name bearberry comes from the fact that bears love to eat the berries. This herb also helps keep the pH balance of urine from being too acidic. It has a sedating effect on bladder walls and is considered the best at treating chronic inflammation of the bladder or kidneys. Bearberry is also considered a visionary herb that helps those seeking increased psychic ability. Read more…

Plantain (Che Qian Zi)

Xiong Moyan Gen (Pleurisy Root)

Considered one of the best herbal expectorants available, pleurisy root has a long history of use by the American Indians prior to its discovery by early U.S. medical botanists. It is excellent for treating chest complaints, difficulty breathing, consumption, pneumonia, and is also good for treating diarrhea and dysentery. Read more…

Horseradish

Xiu Qiu, Chang Shan (Hydrangea)

Hydrangea is a popular ornamental plant in many gardens. The plant’s roots and rhizomes are used as medicine in the West and Asia for treating the kidneys, prostate, wounds and bladder. The plant increases the body’s use of calcium, lowering the risk of kidney stones. The roots are also becoming well-known for their ability to fight autoimmune diseases. In China, another separate plant related to the hydrangea, Dichroa febrifuga, is also used as a medicine and is famous for being an outstanding herb for treating malaria. Read more…

Meadowsweet (Xiu Xian Ju)

Xiu Xian Ju (Meadowsweet)

Meadowsweet is a common and beloved wild flower. It is popular as a cure for diarrhea, especially in children, general aches, fever, stomach disorders and headaches. Bayer Pharmaceuticals used the dried leaves of the plant as its original source for salicylic acid used to treat pain and headaches. Meadowsweet is gentle on the stomach. Read more…

Figwort/Scrophula (Xuan Shen)

Xuan Shen (Figwort/Scrophula)

The botanical name for figwort, Scrophularia, comes from scrofula, a form of tuberculosis that the herb is famous for treating. It is a mild herb best known for its ability to clear toxicities in the lymph and skin. It dissolves swellings and tumors of all kinds, including scrofula. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the herb is used to hemorrhoids, psoriasis, ulcers and other skin fungal infections. It can stimulate the uterus, regulate menses, and release a retained placenta. Figwort is an excellent example of an herb that promotes cleansing not through elimination but through actually cleansing the blood, tissues, lymph and skin. It is an excellent cleanser for the glands. Read more…

Snakeskin (She Tui)

Xue Rui (Snowberry)

Do not confuse with creeping snowberry (Symphoricarpos mollis). Snowberry has long been used by Native Americans who have used the plant medicinally to treat external skin conditions, burns, injuries, and rashes, and internally, to treat stomach and menstrual disorders. Internally it needs to be used with caution as it contains compounds that can be toxic if taken in high doses or too much is eaten raw. A decoction of snowberry has been used to fight fevers, colds, tuberculosis, and promote urination. Read more…

Xue Song (Cedar)

Xue Song (Cedar)

Cedar has been a revered plant by many cultures throughout history. It is burnt for sacred ceremonies, cleansing energies, healing the lungs as well as used to make teas and infusions to treat a wide variety of ailments. The Cedars of God remain one of the last vestiges of the extensive forests of the Cedars of Lebanon that thrived in ancient times. Read more…

Xun Ma (Nettle)

Xun Ma (Nettle)

Stinging nettles have been used for food, medicine and even to make fabric from. They are famous for being able to relieve almost all symptoms caused by allergies: itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, and nasal inflammation. The herb’s tonic properties are considered to be anti-aging and can help purify the blood. Nettle’s fibers have been used by many cultures, ancient and modern, to make cloth. Nettles also help break curses and spells. Read more…
Lavender (Xun Yi Cao)

Xun Yi Cao (Lavender)

Cupcakes, teas, soaps, and scents all benefit from lavender. Lavender has been used for centuries to cure headaches, calm the spirit, sooth throats and help acne. The Pilgrims brought lavender with them to America as one of their main healing medicines. Read more…

Ya Luo (Yarrow)

Ya Luo (Yarrow)

Yarrow has often been used in divination and spells. It is a powerfully protective herb and famous for helping to heal wounds and treat influenza. It has a long tradition in European, Native American and Chinese medicine. Yarrow helps treat toothaches, fevers, digestive issues, ulcers, lowers blood pressure and much, much more. Read more…

Salt (Yan)

Yan (Salt)

Salt is essential for life. It is one of the basic human tastes and makes up 0.4% of your total bodies weight. Salt plays a key role in the body as an electrolyte (aiding nerves and muscles to function properly) and as an osmotic solute (helping maintain the proper balance of fluids in the body). Too much salt can increase the chance of cardiovascular disease. Salt is one of the five herbal flavors in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is identified with helping the body to dissolve stagnation. Read more…

Yan Mai (Oat)

Yan Mai (Oat)

While Oats were most probably brought north by the Romans, it is in the North that we can recognize the plants gifts. Oats build extremely robust constitutions: consider the North’s extreme climatic and historical conditions (cold, damp, wind, plague, famine). Oatmeal porridge (from the meal not the flakes) was the mainstay food in the Middle Ages for most peasants. Oats feed your soul, your body, and your mind. Read more…

Artichoke (Yang Ji)

Yang Ji (Artichoke)

The globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) is not to be confused with the Jerusalem artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus) which are also called sunchokes and are actually sunflower roots, or Chinese artichokes (Stachys affinis also commonly called crosne or knotroot). Globe artichoke is a highly nutritious food, famous for its antioxidant and dietary fiber content. The leaves are commonly made into extracts used to stimulate the flow of bile from the liver which helps relieve heartburn and alcohol “hangovers.” Artichokes are an excellent liver tonifying food and medicine. Read more…

Bayberry (Yang Mei)

Yang Mei (Bayberry)

There are several species of bay trees whose leaves are used as medicines and as culinary herbs. They all have similar aromatic properties, but the Indian Bay tastes more like cinnamon though milder, and the California Bay is considered to have the strongest flavor. Read more…

Yao Shu Kui (Marshmallow)

Yao Shu Kui (Marshmallow)

Marshmallow is a wonderful plant for treating both hot dry and hot damp acute conditions. The plant is famous for its moistening properties. Marshmallow is also used to coat sore throats, treat irritated hot bladder infections and lubricate hot achy joint pain. Don’t confuse it with blue mallow, a similar plant but different species that is mostly used externally. Marshmallow is not the candied marshmallows used in desserts, but it can be boiled and eaten as a vegetable. Read more…

Coconut (Ye Zi)

Ye Zi (Coconut)

Coconut, coconut milk, water, cream, oil and butter are all highly nutritious, rich in fiber and delicious. The fruit is made up of its shell, kernel (meat) and water. A medium-sized coconut can provide almost all the daily-required essential minerals, vitamins and energy a person needs. Coconuts are full of lauric acid, the important saturated fatty acid that increases good-HDL that helps regulate cholesterol levels in blood. Coconuts are also a good source of potassium and electrolytes. Lactose free, it is an excellent substitute for anyone allergic to dairy or nut or grain-based milks. Read more…

Yerba Mansa (Yerba Mansa)

Yerba Mansa (Yerba Mansa)

Growing yerba mansa near your house protects you from evil spirits. The herb has a very low level of toxicity making it a useful herb for treating many conditions. It has been compared to the herb goldenseal as it has similar uses, though yerba mansa is considered safer to use and it has a different chemical makeup. Traditionally the herb is uses to treat colds and flus. To this day many local curanderas (Mexican traditional healers) include yerba mansa in their healing formulas. The plant is often said to have magical qualities that provide protection and give strength to the body, mind and spirit.
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Yew (Hong Dou Shan)

Yi Lan Yi Lan (Ylang Ylang)

Ylang ylang is an essential oil extracted from the flowers of the Cananga tree native to the forests of Indonesia and the Philippines. The oil has been shown in studies to lower blood pressure, reduce tension, and increase attentiveness. It aids sleep and helps clear up skin conditions such as acne, bruises and wrinkles associated with aging. Read more…

Yi Mu Cao (Motherwort)

Yi Mu Cao (Motherwort)

Motherwort is the plant best known for treating female disorders, hence it’s name “Motherwort.” It treats conditions from pregnancy, to menses, to menopause. It is also famous for calming nerves and giving strength to the heart. Read more…

Yin (Silver)

Yin (Silver)

The history of silver being used as an ingredient for healing goes back to before the days of alchemy. Long recognized for its unique properties as a metal, it was unlikely history would overlook its possibilities to aid in Healing. What’s true and what is still questioned. Read more…

Nettle (Xun Ma)

Yin Lian Ye (Neem)

Native to India, neem has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a wide variety of conditions including asthma, heart disease, diabetes, periodontal disease, gastric ulcers, head lice, wounds, and urinary tract infections. It is an effective blood, liver, and kidney cleansing herb and can be used externally to treat a variety of skin conditions, including acne, wounds, and skin ulcers. Read more…
White Poplar (Bai Yang Zhi)

Ying Su Qiao (White Poppy)

The White Poppy (aka the Opium Poppy) has been used in Europe and the Far East for many thousands of years. There is no better sedating and hypnotic drug. It is best used to treat pain. The drugs Morphine, Thebaine, Noscapine, and Codeine are all made from the plant’s two principal alkaloids. Often forgotten are the plant’s other medicinal properties that include being an effective astringent, used to treat chronic diarrhea and dysentery. It is also known for its expectorant and antispasmodic abilities. Read more…

Turmeric (Yu Jin, Jiang Huang, E Zhu)

Yu Jin, Jiang Huang, E Zhu (Turmeric)

Turmeric stands alone for its exceptionally high margin of safety during its over 6,000 years use as a culinary spice in curry and medicinal herb. Turmeric is used most especially to treat heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, cancer, depression and chronic age-related diseases caused by inflammation. The Chinese use both White Javanese (C. zedoaria) and Yellow Indian turmeric (C. longa) medicinally. They also differentiate between Yellow Turmeric Root and the Rhizomes. Both have similar but distinct properties. Read more…

Yu Li Ren (Wild Cherry)

Yu Li Ren (Wild Cherry)

The Chinese use the cherry pits of Prunus japonica, which is in the same Rosaceae family as the Western Prunus serotina and P. avuim. Both the East and the West use the cherry tree’s pit but in different ways. The wild cherries and the bark are typically used in the West. Information on both herbs is included here. Read more…

Corn (Yu Mi)

Yu Mi (Corn)

Domesticated by the peoples of southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago, maize or corn has since been brought to many countries all over the world for cultivation. Native American Indians were cultivating the multi-colored flint (Indian) corn since 1,000 BC. Contemporary dent (yellow or white) corn was developed from these earlier native varietals. Corn is a soft-starchy food. Whole grain corn is a good source of many antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Corn is a staple food and one of the most popular cereal grains in the world. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses Corn Silk (Yu Mi Xu) to stop bleeding, lower blood pressure and detoxify. Read more…

Corn Silk (Yu Mi Xu)

Yu Mi Xu (Corn Silk)

Corn Silk has a long history of gently and thoroughly treating urinary complaints. The word “maize” derived from Mexican native languages meaning “mother” or “mother of life.” Corn Silk is also used to treat coronary heart problems as it lowers blood pressure and eases hypertension. It is native to Mexico and was spread throughout the Americas around 2500 years ago. It is considered by many native tribes to be a gift from the gods. Read more…

Snakeskin (She Tui)

Yu Zhu (Solomon’s Seal)

Solomon’s seal is best known for its ability to heal sprains, joint injuries, connective tissue, cartilage injuries, bruising, arthritis, and low back pain. It is also used effectively to treat dry coughs, chronic respiratory ailments, and digestive issues. It can be used effectively to treat female complaints from menstrual cramping, to infertility, to healing after childbirth. Read more…

Yuan Hua (Lilac)

Yuan Hua (Lilac)

Lilacs are edible. They symbolize first love and are said to drive away ghosts. They have long been used in both the Eastern and Western healing traditions to fight fevers, treat coughs and calm the stomach. Lilacs are also used by the cosmetic industry for their aromatic and calming effects. Read more…

Yue Gui Shu Ye (Bay Leaf)

Yue Gui Shu Ye (Bay Leaf)

There are several species of bay trees whose leaves are used as medicines and as culinary herbs. They all have similar aromatic properties, but the Indian Bay tastes more like cinnamon though milder, and the California Bay is considered to have the strongest flavor. Read more…

Eyebright (Xiao Mi Cao)

Yue Jian Cao (Evening Primrose)

Evening primrose has a long history of being a cure-all herb. The oil made from the seed of the plant is high in the essential fatty acids gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and linoleic acid, both of which are Omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are known for improving cardiovascular health, utilization of insulin, treating multiple sclerosis, infertility, premenstrual and menopausal disorders, and regulating moods. GLA forms part of the structural fats that comprise the brain, muscle, bone marrow, and cell membranes. The flowers bloom in the evening and night, closing up during the day. . Read more…

Turmeric (Yu Jin, Jiang Huang, E Zhu)

Yun Zhi (Turkey Tail)

Turkey tail has been used for thousands of years by the Chinese as well as by Native Americans. The herb’s name in Japanese translates as “Cloud Mushroom,” a reference to the mushroom’s appearance and ability to promote health, longevity, and enlightenment. It is an adaptogenic herb full of a variety of powerful antioxidants. Turkey tail is now commonly used as an anticancer agent in conjunction with surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapies. Turkey tail also contains prebiotics that help maintain a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in your gut, further supporting your immune system’s ability to function properly. Read more…

Za Cao (Willowherb)

Za Cao (Willowherb)

Willowherb (also called Willow Herb) is not to be confused with the Willow Tree (also called Willow White). Willowherb is a lovely plant known mostly for being nutritious and edible, but it is also a good medicine for treating whooping cough and asthma. It is often used with the herb saw palmetto to treat prostrate problems. It is known for its ability to treat urinary tract infections, chronic diarrhea, intestinal irritations, and skin problems ranging from eczema, acne and burns to wounds and boils. The juice of the flowers is highly antiseptic and can be simply squeezed from the fresh petals. Read more…

Ze Xie (Alisma)

Ze Xie (Alisma)

Ancient Chinese texts indicate that alisma promotes an easy labor, fertility and stimulates the female sexual and generative organs. It is considered a pure Kidney tonic. Extracts are showing anticancer properties. Read more…

Periwinkle (Zhang Chun Hua)

Zhang Chun Hua (Periwinkle)

Both species of periwinkle (Vinca major, V. minor) and Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) are used for their astringent and tonic properties. Often associated with supporting “brain-health,” the plant is used to support memory and brain function in the elderly. It is also used to stop bleeding, and clear mucous from the throat and lungs. A beautiful flower, periwinkle has been associated with death, used as a medicine and as a magical ingredient in love potions and other spells. Read more…

Cannabis

Zhang Nao (Camphor)

Camphor is a compound found in several plants, but it is most purely found in the camphor tree. It can be highly toxic when taken internally or allowed to penetrate into the body, so it is most typically used externally and as an aromatic for opening the lungs, easing asthma, and the discomfort associated with sprains, chest pain, arthritis, and sinus congestion. Read more…

Zhi Shi (Orange Peel)

Zhi Shi (Orange Peel)

Oranges bring good luck, are loaded with Vitamin C and the peels are super high in nutrients. There are many different varietals of orange peel, but all of them help build and move Qi (Energy) in the body. They are a powerful and tasty herb often used in combination with other herbs to improve the overall taste of herbal remedies and lend strength to the formula. Read more…

Angelica (Dang Gui)

Zhi Mu (Anemarrhena)

Anemarrhena is often used to treat infectious conditions with high fevers and extreme thirst. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is said to nourish Yin and reduce Fire. It is commonly used to treat chronic lung infections and diabetes, but also a wide range of ailments associated with Heat and Dryness. Read more…

Peach (Tao Zi)

Zhou Ye Ou Qin (Parsley)

Parsley is an excellent digestive and cleansing herb. It is a perfect herb to add to your diet for cleansing your system during the time of seasonal changes, from winter to spring and summer to fall. A popular culinary herb, it can also be used medicinally to help cleanse the blood and support healthy liver and kidney function. Parsley can stimulate menses and uterine contractions, heal a variety of skin conditions and bruises, and help treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). There is more to parsley than just garnish! It is highly nutritious, can help treat what ails you, and better yet, keep you healthy! Read more…

Bamboo (Zhu)

Zhu (Bamboo)

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the leaves of the bamboo plant are most commonly used medicinally. However, there are five parts of bamboo that are used and each has its own unique medicinal properties. They are bamboo shavings, dried sap, liquid sap, bland leaves and bitter leaves. While they can all overlap in function, they each have varying strengths and applications including the treatment of febrile diseases, depression and urinary dysfunction. Read more…

Cleavers (Zhu Yang Yang)

Zhu Yang Yang (Cleavers)

Cleavers are a valuable diuretic. It stimulates the lymphatic system and is often used to treat skin problems ranging from seborrhoea and eczema to psoriasis. The herb has also been used in both kidney and liver Spring tonics as a general blood cleanser and even as a cleansing tonic used during serious ailments such as cancer, especially if there is nodal involvement. Read more…

Parsley is an excellent digestive and cleansing herb. It is a perfect herb to add to your diet for cleansing your system during the time of seasonal changes, from winter to spring and summer to fall. A popular culinary herb, it can also be used medicinally to help cleanse the blood and support healthy liver and kidney function. Parsley can stimulate menses and uterine contractions, heal a variety of skin conditions and bruises, and help treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). There is more to parsley than just garnish! It is highly nutritious, can help treat what ails you, and better yet, keep you healthy! Read more…

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