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TCM action of pharmaceuticals


Hello, I wish to learn about the TCM action of common North American over the counter and prescription pharmaceuticals … For example what are the the short and long term effects of Acetaminophen from a TCM point of view? How does it relate to TCM pattern diagnosis and treatment. Can and does a medication like Acetaminophen mask and distort underlying patterns leading to a less than accurate holistic treatment plan? Thank you.


Several of my Chinese teachers had mentioned there was a fair amount of research being in done in China to explore the TCM effects of pharmaceuticals -mostly so that herbal therapy could be used in conjunction as far as I understood it. I’m not aware of any single group or research effort here in the states that is looking to translate effects of western pharmacology into TCM terminology.

That being said you can make some very generalized statements. Antibiotics have a very strong cooling effect. Psychotropics affect the Shen (though the specific way they do so probably varies quite a lot). Chemo scatters and depletes the Qi (which systems are involved also varies greatly depending on the type of cancer and corresponding chemo).

I would suggest that looking at the common sides effects of a particular drug might be somewhere to start when trying to determine how it would affect the body from a TCM perspective.

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