Welcome to Chinese Herb Info

View the complete old-style site by clicking HERE.

This site is being updated to WordPress. I expect it to take some time, but I’m slowly converting the old site, one herb at a time. The result will be a much better site in many ways. It will be more readable on more devices, the herbs and formulas will be “blog posts” and will therefore be editable really easily and quickly. And people will be able to make comments. You can check out what I’ve already created by going to the pull-down menu to the right and selecting a category or going to one of the list pages through the menu bar. Also, you can click on the magnifying glass at the top to search for any herb, formula, symptom, action, etc. I would love to add information from additional sources (such as Chen) and I never even got through Dui Yao, but this transcription takes a very long time. If you feel inclined to do this kind of stuff, by all means, contact me or post additional information as a comment below an herb or formula.

This has been a labor of love that I began in 1998. Of course, I don’t get paid, and never expected to. However, if you want to express your support financially, please visit the Imbue web site or get a treatment at The Dragontree Spa in Portland or Boulder.

Be well,


14 comments on “Welcome to Chinese Herb Info

  1. Kiranmayi Siddabathuni says:

    Hi Doc,

    I am suffering from Endometriosis and adenomyosis.I have been trying to conceive from 2009 but nothing happened ,underwent 2 IVF which failed.I have cysts on Left ovary, bilateral hydrosalphix and a large focal adenomoya.
    I was told that Chinese medicine has cures for endometriosis.Can you suggest a treatment for me.

    • says:

      Hi Kiranmayi, yes, we do treat endometriosis. It can be difficult, but Chinese medicine does have a lot to offer in this condition, as does acupuncture. Unfortunately, it’s not something I can advise you on through this forum. I would really need to see you in person to do this medicine justice for a condition such as yours. I hope you can find someone in your area. Be well, Peter

  2. Robert says:

    I am always appreciative of those who know traditional Chinese medicine and want to share their insights with other healers. Thanks.

  3. Christanne Spell says:

    As a newly licensed practitioner, I am totally in awe right now! I also have shared a similar vision of creating my very own Materia Medica that encompasses so much more than what we are taught in the standard texts. I am very excited to have this as a resource and I look forward to trying out your products/tinctures as I would love to carry this type of product in my clinic. You have made my day, so THANK YOU!! :)

  4. Tyler Rutland says:


    Years back, and to this date, I occasionally read on a certain website that yang deficiency is very common in people today, and therefore people should avoid too much yin products.

    In your practice, have you noticed this pattern as well, that many more people appear to need the energising quality of Yang to invigorate them? In Toronto, Canada, I see faces that could use that, but I wonder what your experience has been.

  5. Anaya Palay says:

    Sorry to bother you with trivialities but what does hsu stand for? Or mean??

  6. Mangala Ranasinghe says:

    Hi Peter,
    You have done wonderful work. Very useful for the students of TCM like me who struggle to study herbs and formulas. Thank you for your contribution to spreading knowledge.
    Final Year Student TCM Practitioner @ Humber College, Canada

  7. Geoff Nobles says:

    Greetings Peter! I have a question concerning a TCM called Jitai Tablet. I would like to find out more about it and its uses and how to obtain some and see if it might be able to help treat some neurological issues I suffer from. I can not find any other non-western name or description for it neither do I know how old the formulation is. In looking around for any manufacturers of Jitai Tablet, I read in an article that a company in China produced some for a study.(National Engineering Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine (Shanghai, China).I contacted them but received no response. All I am able to find out about the medication is that it has 15 different roots, flowers, stems,etc. I will add them all at the end so you can see them. I hope this is OK. Here is a recent study – 2018 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6389157/- hope you can copy/paste it. I have read quite a few as it fascinates me. It appears that the studies began within the last 10 years and all have suggested that apparently the formulation has neuro-protective as well as – this is amazing – neuro-REPAIRING capabilities..is that possible? And can this medicinal preparation be provided for treatment? Peter I hope you will forgive me for the length. I greatly respect your knowledge and deep understanding of TCM. Thank You for all the work you have done – WOW. I will continue to read more and learn. Here are the ingredients (just in case!) ?? Geoff
    The JTT prescription consists of 15 herbs (with 101 compounds tentatively identified previously) [16], including Papaveraceae Corydalis (10.2%), Solanaceae Daturametel (2.18%), Lamiaceae Salvia Miltiorrhizae (16.87%), Araliaceae Panaxginsen (2.18%), Apiaceae Angelica Sinensis (10.20%), Ranunculaceae Aconitum (2.18%), Myristicaceae Myristicacagayanensis (2.18%), Asteraceae Aucklandia (5.71%), Thymelaeaceaceae Aquilaria, (4.35%), Zingiberaceae Zingiber (2.18%), Lauraceae Cinnamomum (2.18%), Semen Persicae (10.20%), Pearl powder (13.47%).

    • says:

      Hi Geoff, there are numerous studies on “Jitai Tablets” for a variety of neurological conditions. As far as I know, you can’t get it in the U.S., though the most likely place to find it would be in a Chinatown herb shop in a big city. Usually it’s no problem if you can’t find a premade formula, since you can just have an herbalist make you some. But that’s going to be close to impossible in this case, since some of those herbs are difficult to obtain.
      When discussing Chinese herbs, it’s often easier to go by pinyin names.
      They are:
      Yan hu suo
      Datura metel (I don’t know the pinyin)*
      Dan shen
      Ren shen
      Dang gui
      Fu zi
      Myristica cagayanensis (I don’t know the pinyin)*
      Mu xiang
      Chen xiang*
      Gan jiang
      Rou gui
      Tao ren
      Zhu mu*

      * = these herbs are hard to obtain. The first is a form of datura, which is highly toxic. It’s sometimes found as a weed and grown ornamentally, but you wouldn’t want to mess with it if you didn’t know exactly what you were doing. The second is probably a relative of nutmeg – I know nothing about it. The third, aquilegia (chen xiang) is occasionally available, but very expensive and probably often fake. The fourth, Zhu mu, is powdered pearl. It’s not that hard to come by – you could obtain some pearls and powder them – but not cheap, and some pearls are contaminated with heavy metals.

      So, sorry to break the news to you. That said, acupuncture and herbs (a customized formula made by a proficient practitioner using the herbs we DO have available) should still be quite effective. I’d also look into lion’s mane mushroom, fish oil (perhaps with uridine), certain cannabinoids, creatine monohydrate, ginkgo biloba, bacopa moniera, ocimum sanctum, acorus gramineus, acetyl-l-carnitine, citicholine, phosphatidyl serine, vinpocetine, alpha-GPC, mucuna pruriens, and the pre-made formula called Bu Nao Wan.

      • Geoff Nobles says:

        Peter! Like Hippocrates Gracious you are indeed with the sharing of your knowledge of the, shall we say, Healing Art of TMC. Yes, I am sad to see my concerns were indeed valid regarding the inability/difficulty to obtain JTT.
        But I’m happy to at least know that that is the truth and that I have finally LEARNED something! Now I can move forward! So greatly appreciated Peter!!
        I will follow your instructions and try and locate a TCM herbalist. I live in Tucson but I will also check out Phoenix and LA. So you think it is possible providing I find a proficient TMC herbalist, that, even without all the JTT herbs, an effective mixture can be made?
        Do you mean as far as the dopaminergic regenerative abilities? I appreciate it is your best opinion.
        I am familiar with almost all of the things you have kindly recommended and am currently using Lions Mane (sublingual),Fish oil,Bacopa,ALCAR,Ginko and vinpocetine. Also, I am taking Gou Teng to help with cognitive issues. Would you recommend it for that as well? I have not heard of the Bu Nao Wan but will find out more. Thank you very much. Is it like Jitai tablet with regard to it’s healing capabilities? Also,along that line, are you aware of any TCM herbs or mixtures that benefit the reward circuit? Do the Chinese even have a name for that part of the brain?
        With regards to acupuncture I have had some done and want to resume treatments but cant afford it right now.
        Also, what do you feel is the best form to take TCM to get the best absorption ? I like to mix my powders in yogurt presently.
        Lastly, I have read to be careful when buying Chinese herbs due to Aristolochic Acid content. Is there any guideline I can follow to avoid it?
        Well Peter I will get cracking on seeing if I can find a TCM herbalist and what the availability is of any of the Jitai ingredients.Thank you for guiding me on what I need to do. Thank you VERY much for giving me the ingredients listed in their proper pinyin spelling and also for indicating which herbs will be the toughest to find and the specific reasons why.
        I am truly grateful for the time you take from all that you need to find the time to do.

        • Peter Borten says:

          Hi Geoff,
          To answer your questions, since neurotransmitters have never been part of the theory of TCM, not only is it hard to say if Chinese herbs can restore these substances or the “reward circuit” of the brain, but a practitioner leaning on the strength of TCM wouldn’t even concern themselves with such things. That is, in my opinion, TCM works best when practiced according to its own methodology – meaning, TCM treatments are made to match TCM diagnoses. As you can see throughout this site, although I’ve sprinkled in references to modern research findings, the bulk of it is about actions and indications in the terminology of TCM. Most of these herbs have not just been in use for thousands of years, but their application has been cataloged and debated and refined over these years – and it’s all been in the context of Chinese medical theory. In other words, what they may do to our neurotransmitters is pretty speculative, while we can confidently say they have the TCM properties they’ve been relied on for centuries. Even if you do have a wonky reward circuit – and by the way, I would be cautious about trying to directly strengthen such a mechanism, since any successful means of doing so threatens to become addictive and to make you more at the mercy of pleasure-seeking behavior – the most holistic way of addressing it using Chinese Medicine, would be to start with a Chinese medical diagnosis. Numerous different underlying patterns could be at play. Without knowing the TCM patterns you’re trying to correct, you miss out on what makes this medicine most special and effective. So, again, even if you can’t afford ongoing treatment, if you’re interested in approaching your health issues with TCM, I encourage you to see someone in person who can set least give you a TCM diagnosis. Be well.

          • Geoff Nobles says:

            Hi Peter!Wow! Great stuff!Thank you again for generously sharing your thoughts,knowledge and recommendations. I see what you are saying with regards to how TCM should be looked upon when one is interested in using it to improve health….Western Medicine and it’s application indeed differs vastly. I bet there isn’t even a way to say neurotransmitter in ancient Chinese!!

Leave a Reply to Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *