Explore Chinese Herbs

So, you want to be a Chinese herbalist?  Or you’re already an herbalist and want to dig into the classics?  Chinese Medicine Central has, over time, become increasingly devoted to discussion of Chinese herbs, particularly classical herbal theory and practical issues in contemporary Chinese herbalism in the west.  Eric, site founder & main writer, teaches Chinese herbs lab at National College of Natural Medicine as well as teaching courses in herbalism in small groups in Portland and here on Chinese Medicine Central.

For many of you, rigorous training in Chinese herbs may not be part of your educational path.  That’s one of the main reasons we hope to offer ever more resources, on this page and elsewhere, to help you engage with this vital modality as deeply as possible.

On this page, find compiled the best content on Chinese Medicine Central that has to do with Chinese herbs.  It is by no means a complete listing of Chinese herb related content on the site, however.  It can serve as a great point of departure for deeper research into the topic on the site – just use the related posts feature at the bottom of each article to continue your exploration.


Here is a sampling of articles about Chinese herbalism here on Chinese Medicine Central.  Most of these articles are accessible to even first year students, but many of them will also give something of value to even experienced practitioners.

  1. Guizhi tang and Miles Davis
  2. Guizhi tang, Shanghan lun line 12 and Chinese herb study
  3. Chinese herb profiles – looking briefly at Guizhi / cinnamon twig
  4. The relational method of learning Chinese herbs – formula families
  5. Reawakening the faculty of touch in learning Chinese herbs
  6. The acupuncture channels and Chinese herb flavors
  7. Chinese herb substitution and using local species
  8. Experiments in Chinese herbalism / the dangers of Yin Qiao-itis
  9. Multi-disciplinary herbal study / Huangqi
  10. Why Chinese herbal formula science is the most advanced medicine out there


  1. The Shennong relational herb learning method course is reopening for new students in February 2015. If you’re interested about learning more about the course – head over to the course information page.
  2. New for 2015 – in late winter a new course will be accepting students. This course will look at herbs that are related to the galbladder organ system, and combines theoretical and practical information in an engaging style.

Audio & Video

Many of the earliest Chinese Medicine Central podcasts focused chiefly on learning Chinese medicine and study.  However, the last several have had a more herbal bent – here are the best of those. If you want to see all the podcasts, just head over to the podcast archive. 

Recommended external resources

Best places to buy bulk Chinese herbs as a student or practitioner

Best books related to Chinese herbs available in English