List of Chinese herbs considered as dietary supplements

By Me & Qi
Jul 05, 2021

There are 2,711 Chinese Medicine herbs listed in the official Pharmacopoeia of China, compiled by the Pharmacopoeia Commission of the Ministry of Health of the People's Republic of China.

These herbs are further classified into 3 categories:

  1. Herbs classified as food. These are the safest. Please see list here.
  2. Herbs classified as dietary supplements (this list).
  3. Herbs classified as medicine, which you cannot get without a doctor's prescription.

The list below are the herbs that were classified as dietary supplements in the latest 2020 edition of the pharmacopoeia. In China this means that whoever commercializes those herbs need to follow a long list of regulatory obligations and precautions beforehand. As such, those herbs are considered more potent and less safe than those classified as food. That being said they're still considered relatively safe, otherwise they'd be classified as medicine.

Please note that a few herbs are on both the food and the dietary supplements list. This isn't an error, that's the way those herbs are classified in China. This is because some of the herbs are classified as food under certain limitations (like the quantity a food producer can use in their recipe) while those limitations are removed if the herb is used as a dietary supplement.

This list can be extremely useful to anyone living in Western countries because many of these ingredients have been little studied in these countries. At the end of the day, China remains the best source of information for Chinese herbs because it is were all these ingredients have been studied in depth and used for centuries.

Without further due, please find the list below.

Name Pinyin Chinese
Abalone shells Shí Jué Míng 石决明
Acanthopanax rhizomes Cì Wu Jiā 刺五加
Acanthopanax Rootbark Wu Jiā Pí 五加皮
Alexandrian senna leaves Fān Xiè Yè 番泻叶
Aloe vera Lú Huì 芦荟
American ginseng Xī Yánɡ Shēn 西洋参
Amur rose fruits Cì Méi Guo 刺玫果
Anemarrhena rhizomes Zhī Mu 知母
Atractylodes rhizomes Bái Zhú 白术
Bamboo shavings Zhú Rú 竹茹
Biota seeds Bai Zi Rén 柏子仁
Biota twigs and leaves Cè Bó Yè 侧柏叶
Bitter oranges Zhi Ké 枳壳
Black atractylodes rhizomes
Cāng Zhú 苍术
Bletilla rhizomes Bái Jí 栀子
Bugbane rhizomes Shēng Má 升麻
Cardamon fruits Bái Dòu Kòu 白豆蔻
Cattail pollen Pú Huáng 蒲黄
Cherokee rose fruits Jīn Yīng Zi 金缨子
Chinese asparagus tubers Tiān Mén Dōng 天门冬
Chinese senega roots Yuan Zhì 远志
Chrysanthemum flowers Jú Huā 菊花
Coco-grass rhizomes Xiāng Fù 香附
Codonopsis roots Dang Shēn 党参
Cornelian cherries Shān Zhū Yú 山茱萸
Costus roots Mù Xiāng 木香
Crown prince ginseng Tài Zi Shēn 太子参
Cuscuta seeds Tú Sī Zi 菟丝子
Cyathula roots Chuān Niú Xī 川牛膝
Deer bones Lù Gu 鹿骨
Deer placenta Lù Tāi 鹿胎
Dendrobium Shí Hú 石斛
Dogbane leaves Luó Bù Má 罗布麻
Dong quai Dāng Guī 当归
Drynaria rhizomes Gu Suì Bu 骨碎补
Dwarf lilyturf roots Mài Dōng 麦冬
Eclipta herbs Mò hàn lián 墨旱莲
Epimedium herbs Yín Yáng Huò 淫羊藿
Eucommia bark Dù Zhòng 杜仲
Eucommia leaves Dù Zhòng Yè 杜仲叶
Eupatorium herbs Pèi Lán 佩兰
Evodia fruits Wú Zhū Yú 吴茱萸
Fenugreek seeds Hú Lú Bā 胡芦巴
Fleeceflower roots Hé Shou Wū 何首乌
Fritillary bulbs Chuān Bèi Mu 川贝母
Garlic chive seeds Jiu Cài Zi 韭菜子
Gastrodia rhizomes Tiān Má 天麻
Ginkgo leaves Yín Xìng Yè 银杏叶
Ginseng Rén Shēn 人参
Ginseng leaves Rén Shēn Yè 人参叶
Glehnia roots Běi Shā Shēn 北沙参
Glossy privet fruits Nu Zhēn Zi 女贞子
Goji tree root bark Dì Gu Pí 地骨皮
Gotu Kola herbs Jī Xuě Cao 积雪草
Greater burdock fruits Niú Bàng Zi 牛蒡子
Greater burdock root Niú Bàng Gēn 牛蒡根
Green tangerine peel Qīng Pí 青皮
Houpu Magnolia flowers Hòu Pò Huā 厚朴花
Immature Bitter Oranges Zhi Shí 枳实
Indian madder roots Qiàn Cao 茜草
Japanese thistle Dà Jì 大蓟
Jiaogulan Jiao Gu Lán 绞股蓝
Kuding tea Ku Dīnɡ Chá 苦丁茶
Lingonberry Yuè Jú 越橘
Long peppers Bì Bá 荜茇
Lycopi rhizomes Zé Lán 泽兰
Milkvetch roots Huáng Qí 黄芪
Milkvetch seeds Shā Yuàn Zi 沙苑子
Morinda roots Bā Ji Tiān 巴戟天
Motherwort herbs Yì Mu Cao 益母草
Mudan peony bark Mu Dān Pí 牡丹皮
Mulberry bark Sāng Bái Pí 桑白皮
Mulberry twigs Sāng Zhī 桑枝
Ningpo figwort roots Xuán Shēn 玄参
Pagoda tree pods Huái jiao 槐角
Pearls Zhēn Zhū 珍珠
Pepino melons Rén Shēn Guo 人参果
Perennial buckwheat roots Jīn Qiáo Mài 金荞麦
Pilose antlers Lù Róng 鹿茸
Plantain grasses Chē Qián Cao 车前草
Plantain seeds Chē Qián Zi 车前子
Prepared rehmannia
Shú Dì huáng 熟地黄
Propolis Fēnɡ Jiāo 蜂胶
Psoralea fruits Bu Gu Zhī 补骨脂
Puncture Vine Fruits Jí Lí 蒺藜
Red peony roots Chì Sháo 赤芍
Red sage roots Dān Shēn 丹参
Rhodiola roots Hónɡ Jinɡ Tiān 红景天
Rhubarb Dà Huáng 大黄
Rose flowers Méi Guī Huā 玫瑰花
Roselle flower buds Méi Gui Qié 玫瑰茄
Rough horsetail Mù Zéi 木贼
Safflowers Hóng Huā 红花
Schisandra berries Wu Wèi Zi 五味子
Smilax glabra roots Tu Fú Líng 土茯苓
Softshell turtle shells Biē Jia 鳖甲
Szechuan lovage roots Chuān Xiōng 川芎
Tamarind fruits Suān Jiao 酸角
Terminalia Fruits Hē Zi 坷子
Tienchi ginseng Sān Qī 三七
Tokay geckos Gé Jiè 蛤蚧
Tortoise plastrons Guī Ban 龟甲
Tuber fleeceflower stems Shou Wū Téng 首乌藤
Turmeric Jiāng Huáng 姜黄
Unprepared Rehmannia Dì Huáng 生地黄
Water plantain Zé Xiè 泽泻
White peony roots Bái Sháo 白芍

 

Article tags: Chinese herbal medicine

Latest articles