We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Acupuncture Herbs?

Karyn Maier
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Herbs are a central component in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). As such, herbal preparations are typically recommended as a conjunctive therapy to acupuncture treatments. In fact, acupuncture practitioners are trained to prepare herbal formulas with the objective of correcting or improving Qi, or the flow of energy in the body at and between meridian points. This is done by identifying disruptive energy patterns through acupuncture techniques and then developing a customized formula of up to 15 acupuncture herbs to help correct that specific pattern.

In keeping with the traditions of Chinese herbalism, acupuncture herbs are classified according to their impact on the direction of Qi, their taste, their associated temperature (cold or heat), and which Zang Fu organs they act upon. Since most botanical therapies contain several acupuncture herbs, the properties of each plant must be taken into consideration in order to achieve the desired synergistic effect. While knowledge of herbal classifications and properties and their relevancy to energy patterns has been passed down for centuries in numerous texts, acupuncturists typically spend hundreds of hours in practical training to master proficiency in the preparation and administration of acupuncture herbs.

An example of the role acupuncture herbs play as a co-therapy is the treatment of arthritis according to TCM principles. Since this condition is usually worsened by environmental factors, such as rain or cold air, the acupuncturist may look toward herbs that tend to thrive in similar conditions. The thought behind this is that the plant may impart the same immune resistance to these factors to the patient. Therefore, Hai Tong Pi, also known as sea vine bark, may be incorporated into an herbal formula to treat arthritis since it grows near the ocean and can withstand cold and wet conditions.

One of the first acupuncture herbs the patient is often introduced to is moxa, known to Western herbalists as common mugwort. This herb is sometimes administered as a tea, but it is also often burned and held near the various points on the body to induce an increase in surface temperature. This particular process, known as moxibustion, is used in combination with acupuncture to treat a variety of conditions, including sports injuries, carpal tunnel, and arthritis. Since moxa is also thought to improve circulation, it is sometimes used to address infertility and pelvic disorders. In addition, moxibustion is sometimes used as a stand-alone therapy to treat young children who may fear acupuncture needles.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Karyn Maier
By Karyn Maier , Writer
Contributing articles to WiseGeek is just one of Karyn Maier's many professional pursuits. Based in New York's Catskill Mountain region, Karyn is also a magazine writer, columnist, and author of four books. She specializes in topics related to green living and botanical medicine, drawing from her extensive knowledge to create informative and engaging content for readers.

Discussion Comments

Karyn Maier

Karyn Maier


Contributing articles to WiseGeek is just one of Karyn Maier's many professional pursuits. Based in New York's Catskill...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.