Chinese Herbal Medicine “Secret Weapon” Search Tool

I’ve got a secret weapon I use when creating herbal formulas and today I’m going to share it with you.

But first a bit of background.

The most highly systematized and useful approach to using herbal medicine comes from the ancient Chinese doctors. For almost 40 years I’ve been gathering information about all kinds of herbs, but in all that time I’ve never found a better overall system for using them effectively.

Last year I decided to put the entire database online. I figured that way I could make use of it no matter where I was and even if I didn’t have my own computer with me. It turned out better than I thought it would.

Since I planned on only using it for myself, I never put any links to it on the web site. So far I’ve only shared it with 2 or 3 colleagues. Nobody else has ever seen it.

Then recently I got the idea that readers of Balance Point might like to have access to this information as well. So today I’m giving you complete access. Nobody else knows about this.

I’ll give you the link in a moment. First, here’s the scoop on what’s in it and how to get the most good out of it.

The database contains information on 324 individual Chinese herbs, including the following about each:

  • Latin Name
  • Chinese (pinyin) Name
  • Category
  • Dose
  • Taste
  • Temperature
  • Entry Meridians
  • Functions
  • Contraindications
  • Preparation

The search page has simple instructions about how to use it, but I want to give you some additional details here.

You’ll probably get the best results by searching for disease names or symptoms into the search box.

For example, you could search for diabetes, migraines, fibromyalgia, etc. All of these are in the database. However, even though it is fairly comprehensive, there’s no way to put every possible disease in the database. But there’s a way to work around that limitation.

If you happen to put in something a little more specific, like Parkinson’s Disease, you won’t find it. The workaround is searching by symptom. Since two of the symptoms of Parkinson’s are seizures and tremors, you can use these terms for your search.

The term “seizure” pulls up 14 different herbs, and the search for “tremor” gives 16 possible herbs.

Searching by symptom is often the easiest way to view the relevant herbs for just about any condition, such as headache, joint pain, fatigue, etc.

You can also search for specific Chinese herbs, but this will be a little more difficult. The reason is that you have to enter the herb in exactly as it’s listed in the database.

Typing “cinnamon” (a commonly used Chinese herb) gives no results. But when you type in the Latin name, “cinnamomi” you get 4 results. Two of these results are herbs that shouldn’t be used with cinnamon and the other two are the two common parts of the cinnamon tree used in Chinese herbal medicine.

You can also search for the Chinese (Pin Yin) name for the herb. If you’re looking for cinnamon bark, searching for “rou gui” will show it to you, along with another herb that should never be used with cinnamon bark.

Typing “gui zhi” (cinnamon twig) will return that specific herb.

Since I presume most readers won’t know the Chinese or Latin names for herbs off the top of their heads, your best bet is to just stick with disease or symptom searches. You’ll get plenty of information by doing this.

Okay, as promised, here is the link:

I hope you find it useful. If you have comments or feedback after using it, I’d love to hear from you!

Be well,

Dr. Bruce

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