Introduction to TCM

Basics of TCM

  • Yin-Yang | Five Elements

Zang-Fu Theories

  • Zang Organs | Fu Organs

Classification of Antineoplastic Herbal Medicines

Characteristics of Herbal Medicines


  • By Auscultation & Olfaction
  • By Inspection


Theories of Channels (Meridians) and Collaterals

Reference: A Modern View of the Immune System

Differentiation of Syndromes

  • 8 Principles
  • 6 Channels 4 Stages
  • Syndromes of Zang-Fu Organs


  • Exogenous | Pestilential
  • Pathogenic Factors
  • Emotional

Materia Medica

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The information that is available at or through this site is not intended directly or by implication to either diagnose or treat any medical, emotional, or psychological condition or disorder. It is always recommended that consultation with local health care providers be obtained for specific health or medical concerns.

Pharmaceutical Name

Radix Astragali

Botanical Name

1. Astragalus membranaceus (Fisch.) Bge.; 2. Astragalus membranaceus Bge. var. mongolicus (Bge.) Hsiao

Common Name

Astragalus root

Source of Earliest Record

Shennong Bencao Jing

Part Used & Method for Pharmaceutical Preparations

The four year old roots are dug in spring or autumn, but autumn ones are of better quality. After the fibrous roots are removed, the roots are dried in the sun, soaked again in water and cut into slices.

Properties & Taste

Sweet and slightly warm


Spleen and lung


1. To replenish qi and cause yang to ascend; 2. To benefit qi and stabilize the exterior; 3. To release toxins and promote healing; 4. To promote water metabolism and reduce edema

Indications & Combinations

1. Deficient qi of the spleen and lungs manifested as poor appetite, loose stool, shortness of breath and lassitude. Astragalus root (Huangqi) is used with Ginseng (Renshen) and White atractylodes (Baizhu). 2. Deficient qi and weakened yang manifested as chills and sweating. Astragalus root (Huangqi) is used with Prepared aconite root (Fuzi). 3. Qi sinking in the middle jiao due to weakness of the spleen and stomach manifested as prolapsed anus, prolapsed uterus and gastroptosis. Astragalus root (Huangqi) is used with Ginseng (Renshen), White atractylodes (Baizhu) and Cimicifuga rhizome (Shengma) in the formula Buzhong Yiqi Tang. 4. Failure of deficient qi of the spleen in controlling blood manifested as blood in the stool and uterine bleeding. Astragalus root (Huangqi) is used with Ginseng (Renshen) and Chinese angelica root (Danggui) in the formula Guipi Tang. 5. Deficiency of qi and blood manifested as palpitations, anxiety, insomnia and forgetfulness. Astragalus root (Huangqi) is used with Longan aril (Longyanrou), Wild jujube seed (Suanzaoren) and Polygala root (Yuanzhi) in the formula Guipi Tang. 6. Spontaneous sweating due to exterior deficiency. Astragalus root (Huangqi) is used with Oyster shell (Muli), Light wheat (Fuxiaomai) and Ephedra root (Mahuanggen) in the formula Muli San. 7. Night sweating due to yin deficiency and excessive fire. Astragalus root (Huangqi) is used with Fresh rehmannia root (Shengdihuang) and Phellodendron bark (Huangbai) in the formula Danggui Liuhuang Tang. 8. Deficiency of the spleen leading to dysfunction in transportation and transformation of water manifested as edema and scanty urine. Astragalus root (Huangqi) is used with Tetrandra root (Fangji) and White atractylodes (Baizhu) in the formula Fangji Huangqi Tang. 9. Boils and ulcers due to qi and blood deficiency manifested as sores that have formed pus but have not drained or healed well. Astragalus root (Huangqi) is used with Cinnamon bark (Rougui), Chinese angelica root (Danggui) and Ginseng (Renshen). 10. Retardation of circulation of the blood due to deficiency of qi and blood manifested as hemiplegia. Astragalus root (Huangqi) is used with Chinese angelica root (Danggui), Chuanxiong rhizome (Chuanxiong) and Earthworm (Dilong) in the formula Buyang Huanwu Tang.


10-15 g (The maximum dosage can be 30-60 g.)

Cautions & Contraindications

This herb is contraindicated during yin deficiency and hyperactivity of yang, qi stagnation and accumulation of dampness, retention of food, exterior excess syndrome, and the early stage of carbuncles and furuncles.

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With over 3000 years of experience, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has remain one of the many fascinating areas in ancient Chinese culture. First known to be documented in the Yellow Emperor's Canon of Medicine, TCM is believed to have been practised in as early as 475 to 221 B.C. The field of working knowledge of TCM stretches from anything related to general healthcare practice to the philosophy of the mind, the logic of life, religion, and even to as far as cosmology and astronumerology. This is why in order to thoroughly understand the concepts behind TCM, one must be comprehensive in learning and embracing the Chinese culture as a whole.

Just as Douglas Hoff put it when he explained about accupuncture, "The systems of TCM uses the concepts of elements and meridians and are completely immersed in the Asian cosmology which takes shape through the religions." The meridian-brain mechanism, the fundamental working concept of acupuncture, in which the pain block from the message that the needle or burning cone of herbs gives to the point of stimulus, was only found centuries later by the West through science and technology.


Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA Thank you for visiting this TCM and acupuncture information website. If you have previously been to this website, you might have noticed that some of the pages on ancient historical ideas and holistic thinkings related to Chinese metaphysics are temporarily taken offline. This is because I will be revamping the whole website and be moving those information into a new \"Ancient Chinese Culture\" section so as to reflect a more current perspective on the interpretation of some of the fundamental concepts as well as to include some of the latest information in the area. But if you have just found this website for the very first time, I welcome you again and wish you could find what you require and, hopefully, you could also be benefitted from reading the articles I published on this website.

Please be patient and do come and check out this website frequently as it's being revamped.

Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA FRSA FRSPH

March 28, 2020.


This website is published, edited and designed by Raymond Cheng, and reflects only and only his personal views and opinions in his individual capacity. The information available at this website is not intended directly or by implication to either diagnose or treat any medical, emotional, or psychological condition or disorder. It is also not intended to create a physician-patient relationship between you and I or between you and Wyith Institute™ and The Office of Dr Raymond K K Cheng. The information here is not a substitute for advice and treatment provided by your physician or by another healthcare professional. It is always recommended that consultation with local healthcare providers be obtained for any of your specific health or medical concerns. Furthermore, any products that can be purchased (yet you can see I don't have much to sell here) through advertisers' banners or through links to other websites are not either explicitly or implicitly given any warranty or endorsement by me, my colleagues, Wyith Institute™ or any of its associated businesses.