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 | Emotional
  • Pathogenic Factors

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 Scrophulariae

Botanical Name

Scrophularia ningpoensiis Hemsl.

Common Name

Scrophularia root, Ningpo figwort root

Source of Earliest Record

Shennong Bencao Jing

Part Used & Method for Pharmaceutical Preparations

The roots are dug in the period at the Beginning of Winter (nineteenth solar term) and dried in the sun until they are black on the inside, then they are cut into slices.

Properties & Taste

Bitter, sweet-salty and cold


Lung, stomach and kidney


1. To clear heat and nourish yin; 2. To release toxins and nodules

Indications & Combinations

1. Sore throat caused by exogenous pathogenic wind. Scrophularia (Xuanshen) is used with Arctium fruit (Niubangzi), Platycodon root (Jiegeng) and Mentha (Bohe). 2. Sore throat caused by excessive interior heat. Scrophularia (Xuanshen) is used with Ophiopogon root (Maidong), Platycodon root (Jiegeng) and raw Licorice root (Gancao). 3. Boils carbuncles and furuncles. Scrophularia (Xuanshen) is used with Honeysuckle flower (Jinyinhua) and raw Licorice root (Gancao). 4. Scrofula, goiter and subcutaneous nodules. Scrophularia (Xuanshen) is used with Tendrilled fritillary bulb (Chuanbeimu) and Oyster shell (Muli). 5. Febrile disease in which pathogenic factors attack the nutritive and blood levels : a) thirst, fever, insomnia and deep red tongue proper with scanty coatingScrophularia (Xuanshen) is used with Fresh rehmannia root (Shengdihuang) and Ophiopogon root (Maidong); b) high fever, unconsciousness and maculopapuleScrophularia (Xuanshen) is used with Anemarrhena rhizome (Zhimu), Gypsum (Shigao) and Rhinoceros horn (Xijiao). 6. Constipation due to dryness in the intestines. Scrophularia (Xuanshen) is used with Fresh rehmannia root (Shengdihuang) and Ophiopogon root (Maidong).


10-15 g

Cautions & Contraindications

Scrophularia (Xuanshen) is contraindicated in cases with weakness of the spleen and stomach and should not be combined with Black false bellebore (Lilu).

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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 have recently started to revamp the whole website 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, 2014.


This website is published, edited and designed by Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA 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 The Commentary Limited. 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, The Commentary Limited or any of its associated businesses.