Herbs have different energies relating to their temperature: - cold, cool, warm and hot.
Herbs have different flavours which affect the Qi (the life force) of the body differently: - Sweet herbs strengthen and tonify Qi and nourish Blood. Pungent and acrid herbs disperse and increase the movement of Qi and invigorate and move Blood. Sour and astringent herbs bind body substances and control the organs. Salty herbs soften lumps. Bitter herbs reduce too much Qi and dry up moisture. Bland or neutral herbs tend to drain dampness in the body.
Herbs move energetically in different directions in the body: - Ascending and outward affecting the upper part of the body, descending and inward affecting the lower part of the body.
Herbs enter different channels in the body and affect different organs.
The combination of all of these aspects have to be taken into account by the practitioner when formulating a prescription to address the patients disharmony as the formula is a complex mix of different properties.
Gan cao (liquorice) (Glycyrrhizae Radix):- sweet, warm
Rou Gui (cinnamon bark) (Cinnamomi Cortex):- pungent, acrid, hot
Wu wei zi (Schisandra fruit) (Schisandrae Fructus):- sour, warm
Kun Bu (kelp) (Eckloniae Thallus):- salty, cold
Ban Lan Gen (Woad root) (Isatidis Radix):- bitter, cold
Fu Ling (Poria):- bland, neutral
Loose dried herb formula prescribed for a skin problem