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:
- Herbs classified as food (this list). These are the safest.
- Herbs classified as dietary supplements. Please see list here.
- Herbs classified as medicine, which you cannot get without a doctor's prescription.
The list below are the 110 herbs that were classified as food in the latest 2020 edition of the pharmacopoeia. In China this means that these ingredients are regulated as food and can be freely sold as such. As such they're considered the safest herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
This list can be extremely useful to anyone living in Western countries because many of these ingredients have been little studied in these countries. For instance in WebMD, a leading US health information website, it is currently written for chrysanthemum flowers (Ju Hua) that "there isn't enough information to know if chrysanthemum is safe". This would sound totally ridiculous to millions of Chinese who drink it daily as a tea and have done so for centuries!
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. Please note that any herb with an asterisk * is recommended in the pharmacopoeia to be used as food only in limited dosage.
Article tags: Chinese herbal medicine