Principles of treatment behind every TCM herb are guided by the theories in Chinese herbal pharmacology.
• Chinese herbs are divided into 4 main types according to their properties: cool, cold, hot and warm. For instance, herbs with warm or hot properties can be used to treat illnesses that are classified as cool or cold in nature, and vice versa.
• Chinese herbs are also classified into 5 types of tastes based on their different features and effects: sour, bitter, sweet, pungent and salty. Chinese herbs that are bitter have a cooling property and can be used in cases of accumulated body heat due to lack of adequate rest, while pungent-tasting Chinese herbs have dispersing effects and can be used to treat the flu.
• Another feature of herbs is that they are attributed to different meridians to treat different problems and illnesses efficiently.
• Lastly, Chinese herbs also have both "ascending" and "descending" effects. These are used to guide the movements of the flow of Qi and blood in the body.