Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a collection of herbs, fungi, or berries that have historical usage as medicine in mainland China and sometimes nearby areas.

Although their effects are normally based on anecdotes, they are slowly being scientifically validated for their claims.

This page features 3 unique references to scientific papers.


Traditional Chinese Medicine, at least as far as is concerned, is a collection of nutraceuticals and plants that have traditionally been used for treating diseases or otherwise enhancing quality of life in China and surrounding regions.

In the ages before HPLC-MS analysis and identifying active components, looking at enzymatic interactions with xenobiotics, and assigning these pharmaceutical sounding terms to everything there was still nutraceutical research. This page is devoted to validating the effects of Chinese Medicine using western (peer-reviewed) science and categorizing the herbal combinations that have been traditionally used.

If primary sources are not given for claims, but the claims have been made via traditional practitioners of Chinese Medicine, it is sort of a grey area as far as is concerned.

Things to Know

Also Known As

TCM, Chinese Medicine, 中医, 中醫, zhōng yī

Do Not Confuse With

Kampo (Japanese Adaption of Chinese Medicine), Ayurveda (Traditional Indian Medicine)

Examples (List)

Chinese medicine tends to use combinations of herbs to target certain goals. There are a large variety of combinations, including:

  • Dan-Gui Buxue Tang (Astragalus Membranaceus and Angelicae Sinensis)

  • Fan Zuo Jin Wan (Coptis Chinensis and Evodia Fructae at 1:6); inverse ratio of Zuo Jin Wan

  • Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang (Astragalus Membranaceus and Stephania tetrandra), and anti-diabetic combination

  • Gan-kang (Horny Goat Weed, Nepal dock root, Ficus hirta yahl)

  • Hyangsapyunweesan (Atractylodes japonica roots, Citrus unshiu fruit cortex, Poncirus trifoliata, Cyperus rotundus, ginger, Pogostemon cablin, Magnolia Officinalis, Amomum xanthioides, Saussurea costus syn. S. lappa, and Glycyrrhiza uralensis)

  • Kai Xin San (Wolfiporia cocos (Hoelen), Polygala tenuifolia, Acorus gramineus, Panax Ginseng)

  • Qi-Shao-Shuang-Gan (Astragalus Membranaceus, Paeonia lactiflora)

  • Qizhu tang (Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae, Poria cocos, Radix Notoginseng, and Radix Astragalus Membranaceus)

  • Shimotsu-to (Japanese angelica root, cnidium monnieri, peony root and rehmannia root)

  • Sheng-mai-san (Schisandra Chinensis fruit, Panax Ginseng, Ophiopogon japonicus) in a 3:2:6 ratio

  • Su-He-Xiang San (8 herbs, listed here[1])

  • Toki-Shakuyaku-san (Peony Root, Atractylodes lancea rhizome, Alisma rhizome, Wolfiporia cocos (Hoelen), Cnidium Monnieri rhizome and Japanese Angelica root)

  • Wu-Zhu-Yu-Tang (Evodiae Fructus, Panax Ginseng, Zizyphi Fructus, and Ginger root)

  • Xiong-gui-tiao-xue-yin (14 herbs, listed here [2])

  • Yi-Gong-Ning-Xue (consisting of 8 herbs found here[3])

  • Zuo jin wan (Evodiae Fructus, Rhizoma Coptidis) at a 1:6 ratio and used for gastrointestinal disorders. Inverse ratio of Fanzuo jin wan

List of Traditional Chinese Medicine Supplements


Scientific Support & Reference Citations


  1. Jeon S, et al. A modified formulation of Chinese traditional medicine improves memory impairment and reduces Aβ level in the Tg-APPswe/PS1dE9 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. J Ethnopharmacol. (2011)
  2. Xiong-gui-tiao-xue-yin (Kyuki-chouketsu-in), a Traditional Herbal Medicine, Stimulates Lactation with Increase in Secretion of Prolactin but not Oxytocin in the Postpartum Period.
  3. Simultaneous determination and pharmacokinetics of four coumarins in rat plasma after oral administration of traditional chinese medicine "YIGONG" capsule by SPE-HPLC.