TCM Herbal Medicine Database (Herbs That Start With "B")

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers an extremely valuable, rich, lengthy, and extensive herbal treatment history. Within it are thousands of years of development and research which we benefit from greatly today. As opposed to some forms of herbalism and western medicine, Chinese herbs are often used in formulas instead of being used singularly in larger amounts. Formulas allow you to blend herbs to enhance their positive effects and reduce or eliminate any negative side effects they may have. These formulas take years and years of practice to master and many are kept within families and or generations of teacher-student transmissions. This rich tradition is a very valuable gift from previous generations.

The true benefit of this herbal tradition, as with acupuncture, is that it allows practitioners to blend formulas to match each patient and their signs and symptoms exactly. Instead of having a standard formula for a particular condition you can increase the clinical effectiveness of the herbs through this tailoring. For the patient this ideally means faster results with less side-effects.

Our Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herbal database contains usage information for the majority of the herbs used in clinical settings around the world. Listed within this section are individual herbs, however, in clinical treatment settings you would most often combine these into formulas for usage. The herbs listed here may be ground into powders and put into capsules, cooked into teas, used topically, taken raw, etc. You should never attempt herbal treatment without proper training as some of the herbs are toxic and need to be prepared correctly and others can have side-effects without being used in proper amounts and/or mixed properly into appropriate formulas.

You may view the individual herbs by clicking on the first letter of the Chinese Name or by searching through other groupings such as by channel, properties, or functions & actions (which also contains summary/study notes for each grouping).

This section is very much a work in progress, so please check back if you are not finding the herbal information you are looking for.

Herb Name Functions and Usage
Ba Dou (Croton Seed)
  • Vigorously purges, warmly unblocks - severe cold accumulation in the interior leading to constipation and abdominal fullness and pain.
  • Drives out water and reduces edema - ascites.
  • Bursts clogged phlegm and improves condition of throat - difficult breathing due to phlegm in the throat, wheezing.
  • Promotes healing of abscesses and ulcers - topically, accelerates ulcerating process.
Ba Ji Tian (Morinda Root)
  • Tonify kidneys, strengthen yang - impotence, male or female infertility, premature ejaculation, frequent urination, urinary incontinence, irregular menses, low back pain and weakness, cold and painful abdomen.
  • Strengthen sinews and bones - back pain, muscular atrophy.
  • Expel wind/damp cold - back and leg qi pain, bi syndromes.
Bai Bian Dou (Hyacinth Bean)
  • Clears summerheat - especially with pronounced diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Strengthens the spleen - chronic diarrhea, vaginal discharge due to spleen deficiency.
Bai Bu (Stemona Root)
  • Moistens the lungs, stops cough - chronic and acute cough, especially for deficient coughs.
  • Expels parasites, kills lice - topically for lice, internally for pinworms.
Bai Dou Kou (Round Cardamon Fruit)
  • Transforms dampness - low appetite, greasy tongue coat, stifling sensation in the chest.
  • Warms the middle warmer (stomach/spleen) and descends rebellious qi - vomiting due to cold from spleen/stomach qi deficiency or stomach cold.
  • Transforms stagnation - fullness in the chest.
Bai Fu Zi (Typhonium Rhizome)
  • Dries dampness, transforms phlegm, expels wind-cold, stops spasms - wind-phlegm affecting the head including wind stroke, facial paralysis, hemiplegia, migraines.
  • Relieves toxicity, dissipates nodules - snake bite, scrofula.
Bai Guo (Ginkgo Nut)
  • Nourish the lungs, stop wheezing - cough with copious sputum.
  • Eliminate dampness, stop discharges - leukorrhea, turbid/frequent urine, deficiency and damp heat patterns.
  • Stabilize the lower burner - urinary frequency, incontinence, spermatorrhea.
Bai He (Lily Bulb)
  • Moisten the lungs, clear heat, and stop coughing - cough from dry lungs or lung heat, sore throat.
  • Clear heat and calm the spirit - low fever, insomnia, restlessness, irritability in the aftermath of a febrile disease, palpitations from qi and/or yin deficiency.
Bai Hua She (Agkistrodon, Bungarus Snake with Inner Organs Removed)
  • Powerfully unblocks the channels and dispels wind - chronic wind-damp with numbness and weakness of the limbs and cramping of the sinews, tinea, numbness of the skin, any type of rash, spasms, facial paralysis or hemiplegia due to wind-stroke.
Bai Hua She She Cao (Heydyotis, Oldenlandia)
  • Clears heat, strongly relieve fire toxicity, reduces abscess - for intestinal abscess, toxic sores, ulcerations, swellings, snakebite (internal and external application).
  • Clears heat and resolves dampness by promoting urination - lin syndrome, jaundice.
Bai Ji (Bletilla Rhizome)
  • Stops bleeding from the lungs and stomach - vomiting and/or coughing of blood, nosebleed.
  • Reduces swelling and generates flesh - topically for sores, chapped skin, skin ulcers, especially for chronic, nonhealing ulcers.
Bai Ji Li (Caltrop Fruit, Puncture Vine Fruit)
  • Calms the liver, anchors the yang - headache, vertigo due to liver yang rising.
  • Expels wind-heat, brightens the eyes - red, painful, swelling of the eye.
  • Promotes the smooth flow of qi - chest/flank pain and distention, insufficient lactation.
  • Expels wind - stops itching.
Bai Jiang Cao (Patrina, Thiaspi)
  • Clears heat, relieves toxicity, and expels pus - intestinal abscess, sores, swellings.
  • Dispels blood stasis, stops pain - for heat induced blood stasis, especially in the abdomen and chest; also for post-partum pain, post-operative pain.
Bai Jie Zi (White Mustard Seed)
  • Warms the lungs, regulates qi, expels cold-phlegm - cough with copious and thin sputum, chest distention, pain due to accumulation of phlegm-cold, especially for chronic disorders.
  • Dissipates nodules, reduces swelling, alleviates pain (both joint and body), yin type boils.
Bai Mao Gen (Wolly Grass Root)
  • Cools blood and stops bleeding - blood in urine, nosebleed, vomiting blood, coughing blood.
  • Clears heat and promotes urination - hot painful urination with edema and difficult urination.
  • Clears heat from the stomach and lungs - nausea and thirst due to stomach heat or wheezing due to lung heat.
Bai Qian (Cynanchum Rhizome)
  • Redirects lung qi down, expels phlegm - cough with copious sputum (but difficult to expectorate) and gurgling in throat, wheezing.
Bai Shao (White Peony Root)
  • Nourishes the blood and regulates menstrual problems due to blood deficiency (pale, lusterless complexion and nails) - menstrual dysfunction, vaginal discharge, uterine bleeding - very common herb for gynecological disorders (Si Wu Tang).
  • Calms liver yang, alleviates pain from constrained liver qi or disharmony between the liver and the spleen due to liver yang rising - cramping and spasms (limbs and abdomen), abdominal pain from dysentery, headache and dizziness.
  • Preserves yin, adjusts ying and wei levels - vaginal discharge and spermatorrhea, exterior wind-cold from deficiency with continuous sweating, spontaneous sweating, night sweats.
Bai Tou Weng (Chinese Anemone Root, Pulsatilla)
  • Clears heat and relieves fire toxicity - dysentery due to damp-heat in the stomach or intestines.
Bai Wei (Swallowwort Root)
  • Clears heat and Cools Blood. Particularly useful for yin deficient fever, summertime fever in children, post partum fever, and within the recovery stage of a febrile disease
  • Cools Blood and Promotes Urine. Xue Lin, especially before or after giving birth.
  • Relieves toxicity. Toxic sores, swollen and painful throat, snake bite.
Bai Xian Pi (Dictamnus Root Bark)
  • Clears heat, relieves fire toxicity, expels wind, dries dampness - wind-heat or damp-heat sores, carbuncles, rashes with excessive pus, moist skin; also for damp-heat jaundice (only in combination).
Bai Zhi (Angelica Root)
  • Expels wind-cold, dampness
  • Opens nasal passages, sinus congestion (particularly with green discharge), alleviates pain (especially in the head region)
  • Resolve wind-cold symptoms especially with headaches (yangming - ST), supraorbital pain, congestion
  • Useful for swollen gums and toothache
Bai Zhu (Atractylodes (White) Rhizome) - Chinese Herbal Medicine
  • Tonifies the spleen, augments qi, dries dampness - diarrhea, fatigue, lack of appetite, vomiting, edema.
  • Stabilizes the exterior and stops sweating - spontaneous sweating due to qi deficiency.
  • Calms the fetus - arising from spleen deficiency.
Bai Zi Ren (Arbor-Vitae Seed)
  • Nourishes heart blood, calms the spirit - irritability, insomnia, forgetfulness, palpitations.
  • Moisten the intestines from blood/yin deficiency - constipation (elderly, post-partum women).
  • Nightsweats due to yin deficiency.
Ban Bian Lian (Lobelia)
  • Promotes urination and reduces edema - ascites.
  • Cools the blood and reduces toxicity - good for snake bites and wasp stings.
Ban Lan Gen (Woad Root, Isatis Root)
  • Drains heat, relieves fire toxicity, cools the blood and benefits the throat - warm-febrile disease, mumps, painful swollen throat.
  • Damp-heat jaundice.
Ban Mao (Cantharides, Mylabris)
  • Attack toxins, wears away sores - used topically for sores, carbuncles, scrofula.
  • Breaks up blood stasis, disperses clumps - palpable non-moving masses.
Ban Xia (Pinellia Rhizome)
  • Dries dampness, transforms cold-phlegm, descends rebellious qi - cough with copious sputum especially due to dampness of spleen.
  • Harmonizes stomach, stops vomiting due to lingering phlegm-dampness in the stomach.
  • Dissipates nodules, reduces distension - phlegm in chest or neck or anywhere in the body, focal distention in the chest.
Ban Zhi Lian (Barbat Skullcap, Scutellaria)
  • Clears heat, relieves toxicity, invigorates blood, reduces swelling - furuncles, sores, abscesses.
  • Recently used for cancers and chronic hepatitis.
Bei Xie (Dioscorea Root)
  • Separates the pure from the turbid - cloudy urine and leukorrhea, either from damp-heat or deficiency.
  • Expels wind damp (cold and hot bi syndromes), relaxes the sinews.
  • Damp-heat - skin disorders (eczema, pustular sores).
Bian Xu (Knotweed, Polygonoum)
  • Clears damp-heat in the bladder - promotes urination, damp-heat lin.
  • Expels parasites - intestinal parasites.
  • Damp skin lesions - itching.
Bie Jia (Chinese Soft Turtle Shell)
  • Nourish yin, anchor yang - yin deficiency with fever, steaming bone, night sweats, often used when accompanied with internal liver wind symptoms.
  • Invigorate blood, promotes menses, dissipates nodules - chest and flank accumulations causing pain, amenorrhea, malarial disorders with palpable masses, excessive menses due to heat in the blood.
Bing Lang (Betel Nut, Areca Seeds)
  • Kills parasites - tapeworms, pinworms, roundworms, blood flukes, helps expel body of worms as well.
  • Promote movement of Qi, reduce stagnation - drains down and unblocks the bowels, food accumulation, abdominal distention, constipation, tenesmus.
  • Promote urination - damp phlegm and malarial disorders.
Bing Pian (Borneol)
  • Aromatically opens orifices, revives the spirit - fainting, convulsion.
  • Clears heat, alleviates pain, dissipates nodules, alleviates itching - topically for pain, swelling of the throat, skin disease, eye disease (photophobia, excessive tearing), regenerates flesh.
Bo He (Field Mint, Mentha)
  • Expels wind heat particularly from the head region - fever, headaches, red eyes, cough, sore throat.
  • Vents rashes - accelerates the activity of rashes towards the surface to quicken healing.
  • Resolves LV Qi Stagnation - emotional issues, PMS, menstrual issues, pressure in chest or sides of body.
Bu Gu Zhi (Psoralea Fruit)
  • Tonify Kidney, strengthen yang - impotence, premature ejaculation, cold and painful lower back.
  • Stabilizs jing and reserves urine - enuresis, incontinence of urine, frequent urination, spermatorrhea.
  • Tonify and strengthen spleen yang - cold deficient spleen diarrhea, borborygmus, abdominal pain.
  • Aids kidneys to grasp lung qi - wheezing, asthma.
  • Apply topically for alopecia, psoriasis, vitiligo.