The major constituents that give herbs their various actions can be detected using human senses. The effects of these basic constituents can be felt and observed in one's own body. This observation and detection are what modern Western herbalists call energetics.
Herbs can be divided into broad energetic categories based on their taste, constituents, and basic effects on the body. Learning these form the basis for understanding the language of herbalism. Just as musical notes are arranged together to create an infinite array of music, the energetic properties of herbs blend together to create an infinite array of music, the energetic properties of herbs blend together to create thousands of unique herbal profiles.
Warming herbs stimulate or generate heat in the body and may be used to improve circulation, digestion, and to address conditions related to cold or dampness.
Herbs with a cooling energetic have a calming and soothing effect on the body. They are often used for conditions associated with excess heat or inflammation.
Describes herbs that are neither warm or cool. neutral herbs do not have a strong effect on circulation or cellular metabolism.
Moistening herbs add moisture to tissues and are used for conditions associated with dryness or dehydration.
Drying herbs reduce excess moisture in the body and are used for conditions related to dampness, swelling or excessive fluids.
The term we use for herbs that normalize tissues that are either damp or dry, helping to balance the amount of moisture and solids (minerals) within the body's tissues.
Constricting herbs tighten or contract tissues and are often used to address conditions associated with excess fluid or tissue laxity. Constricting herbs help tone and strengthen tissues, and are particularly useful where there is a need to reduce swelling, excess mucus, or looseness in the body.
Relaxing herbs have a calming effect on the nervous system and are used to alleviate tension and promote relaxation.
Nourishing herbs provide essential nutrients and support to the body aid tissue healing, improve tissue structure and function. Nourishing herbs are often rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutritive compounds.
Stimulating herbs invigorate and energize the body, often used for conditions requiring increased activity or circulation.
Astringent herbs have a tightening or puckering effect and are used to tone and constrict tissues, often beneficial for conditions with excess fluid.
Bitter herbs have a bitter taste and have the ability to stimulate digestion, improve liver function, and promote detoxification.
Sweet herbs have a nourishing and grounding effect, often used for conditions requiring a gentle and soothing approach.
Sour herbs help stimulate digestion and help balance the body's pH levels.
Pungent herbs have a spicy or aromatic quality and have a warming and stimulating effect.