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Chinese Materia Medica(2)

1. Herbs for Relieving Exterior Syndromes (Pungent and Warm)

1) ephedra

2) cinnamon twig

3) schizonepeta

4) ledebouriella root

5) perilla leaf

6) fresh ginger

7) notopterygium root

8) dahurian angelica root

9) chinese lovage root

10) spring onion

11) magnolia flower

2. Herbs for Relieving Exterior Syndromes (Pungent and Cool)

(to be continued)


The theory of chinese medicine (tcm)- Yin and Yang

The Concept :

The concept of yin and yang is an ancient Chinese philosophy, which is fundamental to all natural sciences. Based on this theory, ancient people's thinking became broader, and they were aware of a great deal more, and thoughtfully considered every phenomenon that they encountered. Quite naturally,the concept of yin and yang was incorporated into Chinese medicine, and became an important aspect of TCM theory.

What are yin and yang? In short, the concept holds that every thing and/or phenomenon in the universe has two aspects, known as yin and yang, which oppose, complement and counterbalance each other.

Some examples are shown below.

coming in going out
slow pulse rapid pulse
standing stillmoving



When we divide something into Yin-Yang , we will notice the fact that Yin or Yang that has just been divided into , has another pair of Yin and Yang in itself respectively. Another Yin or Yang itself also includes another pair of Yin and Yang respectively.

In this way we will be able to divide everything into Yin and Yang infinitely. This is what’s the most interesting character of Yin-Yang I’m really attracted to.


Opposition means that, as shown above, Yin and Yang are always opposite with each other. As I think this would be a really understandable character, I would not explain any more about this.


As Yin and Yang are the opposite aspects of one thing, Yin or Yang can not exist without its counterpart. Take for example, could we imagine the day without the night? Could we have any idea about “heavy” without “light”? Similarly, there could never exist “outside” without “inside”, the earth without the heaven as well.

We could say Yin and Yang are the best “partner” that co-exist, though they are standing at the opposite end.


Counterbalance is another important character of Yin-Yang. The relationship between Yin and Yang does not stand still, but fluctuate. In other word Yin and Yang are keeping their balance in a dynamic way.When Yin waxesYang wanes, and when Yin wanes Yang waxes. Take the relationship between the day and the night for example. With the sunrise the day waxes and the night wanes, while with the sunset the day wanes and the night waxes. In this way Yin and Yang counterbalance each other in both everything and every phenomenon in the universe.


Fifth is Convertability. This means that in certain conditions, Yin or Yang turns into the other all of a sudden. Though it is also very important, we are explaining it in detail on another occasion as it’s found only in the pathological state of the body.