Botanical Formulations

Herbs, or botanicals, are medicinal food that provides a resonance to the body that can positively affect a symptom or disease, or support a patient’s Chinese medical pattern of dysharmony.

Herbs are chosen based on the taste, temperature, and organ system(s) they affect.

  • TASTE
  • Sour
  • Bitter
  • Sweet
  • Acrid

  • Salty
  • FUNCTION
  • Astringes (holds)
  • Descends
  • Nourishes the center
  • Moving
  • Dissolves
  • ORGAN
  • Liver
  • Heart
  • Spleen
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys

Just because an herb has a particular quality, say acrid, does not mean that it only affects the Lungs.

For example – Ginger (Fresh Ginger Rhizome); Sheng Jiang

Ginger is acrid, affects the Lungs, but it also affects the Spleen and Stomach, which is why it is so helpful with stomach upset. It is also slightly warm in quality.

  • ACTIONS
  • Release the exterior, induce perspiration and dispel cold
  • Warm the middle and stop vomiting

  • Warms the Lungs and stops coughing
  • Reduces the toxicity of other herbs and seafood
  • Adjusts the Ying and Wei – normalizes the flow of Qi in the center
  • INDICATIONS
  • Wind-Cold
  • Cold in the stomach especially with vomiting
  • Cough due to wind-cold
    Cough due to Lung deficiency with Phlegm
  • Herb toxicity or seafood poisoning
  • Wind-Cold with deficiency

So ginger is moving and slightly warming, and affects the Lungs, Stomach, and Spleen.

Therefore it would be helpful when you initially get a cold without heat signs (no sore throat or fever), and you want to enable your immune system to push the pathogen out of the skin level so it doesn’t go deeper into the body.

It would also be helpful when there is cold in the stomach. This injury can be from exposure – cold water and foods, or from poor metabolic function.

If you were experiencing digestive upset, you could safely try ginger since it is only slightly warm, versus warm to hot in nature.

If you took fresh ginger and dried it, it would become more warming (Dried Ginger Rhizome); Gan Jiang

Dried Ginger is warm to hot in temperature, is acrid, affecting the Lungs, Spleen, and Stomach, but also affects the Heart, and slightly affects the Kidneys and Large Intestine.

  • ACTIONS
  • Warms the Middle and expels Cold
  • Dispels Wind-Dampness seeping into the Lower Jiao
  • Rescues Devastated Yang and expels Interior Cold
  • Warms the Lungs and transforms thin mucus
  • Warms the channels (unblocks the pulse) and stops bleeding
  • INDICATIONS
  • External Cold affecting the Spleen and Stomach
    Spleen and Stomach Yang Deficiencies
  • Lower Jiao Wind-Cold-Damp Bi
  • Devastated Yang with a very weak pulse and cold limbs
  • Lung Cold with expectoration of thin, watery or white sputum
  • Hemorrhage due to Deficiency Cold, especially uterine bleeding (only if the bleeding is chronic and pale in color with cold limbs, ashen white face and a soggy thin pulse)

Ginger in it’s warmer form can improve digestion when digestive impairment is due to poor metabolic presenting as weakness and cold. The person may have an aversion to cold drinks, only wants room temperature or warm/hot. Raw foods like salads may cause digestive upset due to their cold nature. Their abdomen may be cool to cold on palpation.