Top 15 of the Most Effective Chinese Herbs Used Today

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The Chinese culture has used herbs for medicinal purposes for centuries. They have written logs and literature which lists the specific herbs used, their method of preparations, and dosage for curing specific aliments or diseases. One such book popularly known as Divine Farmer, but is actually called Shennong, classifies specific species of woods, herbs, even animals into different categories of medicines and their uses. This information is useful even in today’s modern times.

Compared to Westernized medicine, Chinese medicine has its own unique function and methods of diagnosis. Although there are literally thousands of medicinal herbs that are used in Chinese medicine but for this article, we are going to list the top 15 of the most effective Chinese herbs that are often used today.


1. Ciwujia

Traditional Chinese medicine states that regular use of ciwujia (acanthopanacis senticosi) will reduce body weight while protecting the body from premature aging. An old Chinese saying goes like this: “Better a handful of ciwujia than a cartful of gold and jade.” Research confirms that this herb is effective against aging, fights fatigue, and can invigorate the body. This herb can also help to regulate the endocrine system, the central nervous system, as well as the cardiovascular system. Ciwujia has strong anti-inflammatory compounds, which might be the active ingredient against aging.


2. Ginseng

Ginseng might be most well-known for its energy enhancing and aphrodisiac qualities, but perhaps this most famous of all Chinese herbs should be best known for its ability to help with a wide variety of aliments including menopause problems, high blood pressure, hepatitis, PMS, erectile dysfunction, and many other common health problems. Ginseng has been used for untold centuries.


3. Black and Red Reishi Mushrooms

These mushrooms are highly valued by the Chinese for their ability to help strengthen the immune system, improve the effect of antioxidants, increase white blood cell vitality, and give the body an overall calming effect. Reishi mushrooms of both colors have been known to help induce relaxation so persons can fall asleep naturally, and to help improve female sexual dysfunction. Read more about mushrooms benefits.


4. Lotus Seed

Lotus seed is nowhere near as popular as ginseng, but this is an invaluable Chinese herb that improves the function of the spleen and kidneys. It can also help to stop diarrhea. Lotus seeds stimulate the appetite and have a sweet taste that makes them easy to consume.


5. Astragalus

This herb has been documented as being used for more than 4,000 years. It’s thought of as a tonic for improving the immune system, digestion, and the metabolism. Astragalus is also used to help wounds or injuries to heal quickly and to help prevent infections. This herb is now commonly found in the United States as well.

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Fresh ginseng root

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6. Dang Gui

Dang Gui (angelica sinesis) is a much respected herb because it has the ability to help relax muscles, which can be very helpful when treating various diseases. This herb can have great healing power in the area of infertility in women. It’s also been used to treat those with heart-related health problems, such as angina, hypertension, and irregular heartbeat.


7. Lingzhi

According to Shennong’s, lingzhi (ganoderma) is known to nourish the liver and calm the nerves. This ancient book states that regular use of his herb can naturally reduce body weight and prolong the life. Research does show that this herb can help to regulate the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and the respiratory system. Lingzhi can also improve the immune system and helps to fight free radicals, which cause premature aging, and it also balances the metabolism, all of which have an effect on the aging process, so perhaps this book is correct and lingzhi can actually add years to your life.


8. Da Huang

Da Huang (rhubarb root) is commonly used as a purgative for things the Chinese call “blood stagnation or excess heat.” It’s an excellent laxative and while it is considered to be generally safe, it can cause cramps, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Rhubarb root does have some toxicity to it and it must be boiled for a minimum of one hour before it can be used.


SEE ALSO: Achieve Abundant Health This Summer with Traditional Chinese Medicine


9. Albizzia Flower and Bark

The flowers and bark of this tree have long been used by Chinese herbalists for those who are feeling emotionally unbalanced or distraught. The flowers and/or tree bark are thought to be excellent Shen stabilizers and have very powerful calming compounds.


10. Alisma

This Chinese herb strengthens the metabolism of water in the body. This herb is often used to fight obesity, especially for those who carry excess water weight in the body. This herb is a great diuretic which helps those who have difficulty urinating and for diabetics as well.

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11. Prepared Aconite

This is a potent yang tonic; however, when used excessively, it can be toxic. This is also toxic in its raw form, so this herb should only be taken under a doctor or herbalists supervision. Overuse of this herb can also result in overheating. It is never used alone, only in combination with other herbs, to treat infertility, arthritis, rheumatism, and excess urination.


12. Gingko Biloba

The most ancient of all herbs in the Chinese medicine cabinet. This herb has withstood the test of time for helping those with lung or heart ailments. Gingko biloba helps to fight cough, asthma, and chronic inflammation. This is one of the most popular and best herbal supplements around.


13. Bupleurum

This herb has a funny name, but it is one of the most important for those practicing Chinese medicine. This herb is well-known for treating those with liver disease, ulcers, mental problems, arthritis, and much more.


14. Ma Huang

Ma Huang, also known as ephedra sinica, is a very ancient herb that has been used to treat asthma symptoms, cold symptoms, and seasonal allergies.


15. Licorice Root

Licorice root is a vital ingredient in many Chinese medicines since it has potent healing compounds and is a great detoxifier, which is useful in treating various ailments such as asthma, cold, flu, hepatitis, depression, heartburn, and many, many more. Chinese medicine uses licorice root to harmonize all other herbs in a formula, making it very valuable.


One Comment

  1. Gretchen Synclaire

    Jan 17, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    Thank you for writing this list of 15 Chinese Herbs. I went to and I have been looking at their products for allergies and weight loss.