Explore Chinese Herbs

So, you want to be a Chinese herbalist?  Or you’re already an herbalist and want to dig into the classics?  Deepest Health has, over time, become increasingly devoted to discussion of Chinese herbs, particularly classical herbal theory and practical issues in contemporary Chinese herbalism in the west.  Eric, site founder & main writer, teaches Chinese herbs lab at National College of Natural Medicine as well as teaching courses in herbalism in small groups in Portland and here on Deepest Health.

For many of you, rigorous training in Chinese herbs may not be part of your educational path.  That’s one of the main reasons we hope to offer ever more resources, on this page and elsewhere, to help you engage with this vital modality as deeply as possible.

On this page, find compiled the best content on Deepest Health that has to do with Chinese herbs.  It is by no means a complete listing of Chinese herb related content on the site, however.  It can serve as a great point of departure for deeper research into the topic on the site – just use the related posts feature at the bottom of each article to continue your exploration.


Here is a sampling of articles about Chinese herbalism here on Deepest Health.  Most of these articles are accessible to even first year students, but many of them will also give something of value to even experienced practitioners.

  1. Guizhi tang and Miles Davis
  2. Guizhi tang, Shanghan lun line 12 and Chinese herb study
  3. Chinese herb profiles – looking briefly at Guizhi / cinnamon twig
  4. The relational method of learning Chinese herbs – formula families
  5. Reawakening the faculty of touch in learning Chinese herbs
  6. The acupuncture channels and Chinese herb flavors
  7. Chinese herb substitution and using local species
  8. Experiments in Chinese herbalism / the dangers of Yin Qiao-itis
  9. Multi-disciplinary herbal study / Huangqi
  10. Why Chinese herbal formula science is the most advanced medicine out there

Audio & Video

Many of the earliest Deepest Health podcasts focused chiefly on learning Chinese medicine and study.  However, the last several have had a more herbal bent – here are the best of those. If you want to see all the podcasts, just head over to the podcast archive. You can also ask a question that I will answer on the podcast, give recommendations, or just general feedback, in text and audio on the podcast feedback page.

Courses & other products

We have two courses related to Chinese herbs.

The Shennong Relational Herb Method course is an 11 module digital course that focuses on teaching you a method for engagement with Chinese herbs that you can use to build a lifelong learning practice.  This is not a data oriented course, and while we talk about herbs, this is not a “single herbs” course like you might find in a Chinese medicine program at a school.  It’s deeply personal, multi-faceted and a lot of fun.  Click here to learn more about the Shennong method course.

There is also a course beginning in 2014 that explores single herbs in depth, one by one. If you’re interested in hearing more about that course, go check out the course page and sign up for updates.

As a foundation to fully take advantage of the herbal courses, any of our Chinese medicine essentials courses would be excellent. Of particular interest is the course, taught by Brandon Brown, on the five elemental phases.

Recommended external resources

Best places to buy bulk Chinese herbs as a student or practitioner

Best books related to Chinese herbs available in English