About TCM Database
Index > About TCM Database


For thousands of years, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has long held an important role in diagnosis and treatment of diseases in Asia. However, in the past, due to lack of systematic scientific investigations, TCM is less well recognized in Western society. Recently, more and more people ouelet  are gaining awareness of TCM due to emerging numbers of data supporting its therapeutic potential. Based on this growing demand for modernization of Chinese medicine, the Computational and System Biology Laboratory started to integrate TCM and western technologies in 2003. We decided to construct the first traditional Chinese medicine database that contains three-dimensional structural information of TCM constituents and is ready for molecular docking simulation. In the past seven years, we had performed extensive literature searches to obtain chemical composition of each Chinese medicinal herb and had constructed two- and three-dimensional structure of each TCM constituent. Currently, all the TCM compounds in the database have been geometrically optimized in MM2 force field and are available for download in mol2 file format. We would like to thank China Medical University, Taiwan, for all the supports and resources.


Traditional Chinese Medicine Database@Taiwan  is currently the most comprehensive and largest non-commercial TCM database available for download. All the molecular file formats provided in the database can be readily used for docking and molecular dynamics

simulation. Right now,  the database contains constituents from 352 different herbs, animal products and minerals. Some of the key features of this database are:

  1. The database contains 37,170 (32,364 non-duplicate) TCM compounds from 352 TCM ingredients. Users may search the database based on different criteria, including chemical name, TCM name, molecular properties and molecular structure.
  2. The molecules in the database are available for download in cdx (2D structure) and mol2 (3D structure) file format. All molecules have been geometrically minimized and could be used in docking programs.
  3. Unlike other traditional medicine website or database, the Traditional Chinese Medicine Database@Taiwan , provides comprehensive ingredient structural information of each TCM. In addition, original research articles of each ingredient are available in reference section.
  4. Users may download TCM subsets or desired TCM ingredients. Currently, the entire database may be downloaded as well.
  5. The Traditional Chinese Medicine Database@Taiwan  is created in the vision of an open TCM network that is free for researchers to share their data. Thus, users are free to upload their own molecules and the associated reference works. In this way, the Traditional Chinese Medicine Database@Taiwan can continue to grow and keep the database information most up-to-date.
  6. Currently, only TCM ingredients are available. In the future, we wish to extend the database to include traditional folk medicine as well.
 As technology advances, new TCM ingredients could be isolated in a daily basis. In the hope to create the world largest and most complete TCM library and network, we would like to call out for research groups to share their TCM findings with the society.

To cite us, please reference: PDF, DOI.

 Traditional Chinese Medicine Database@Taiwan is maintained by Calvin Yu-Chian Chen and Laboratory of Computational and Systems Biology. The funds are supported by China Medical University.

Table 1. Summary of medicines present in each TCM class. The English translation of each class is taken from WHO publication.

Main classes Sub-classes No.a
Exterior-releasing medicinal Wind-cold-dispersing (16) 28
Wind-heat dispersing (12)
Tonifying and replenishing medicinal Qi-tonifying (15) 62
Yang-tonifying (23)
Blood-tonifying (7)
Yin-tonifying (17)
Astringent medicinal Anhidrotic (3) 17
Lung-intestine astringent medicinal(8)
Securing essence, reducing  urination and  checking vaginal discharge (6)
Wind-dampness dispelling medicinal Wind-dampness dispelling and cold dispersing (13) 26
Wind-dampness dispelling and heat clearing (8)
Wind-dampness dispelling and bone(sinew) strengthening (5)
Dampness-resolving medicinal   9
Interior-warming medicinal   13
Worm-expelling medicinal   9
Emetic medicinal   3
Parasites elimination, dampness reduction and itchiness relief medicinal   8
Topical application medicinal   6
Liver-pacifying and wind-extinguishing medicinal Liver-yang calming (7) 15
Extinguishing wind to arrest convulsions (8)
Orifice-opening medicinal   7
Heat-clearing medicinal Heat-clearing and fire-purging (13) 64
Heat-clearing and dampness-drying (10)
Heat-clearing and detoxicating (30)
Heat-clearing and blood-cooling (6)
Deficiency heat clearing medicinal (5)
Purgative medicinal Offensive purgative medicinal (4) 13
Laxative medicinal (2)
Drastic (purgative) water-expelling (7)
Dampness-resolving medicinal Water-draining and swelling-dispersing(11) 27
Water-draining and strangury-relieving (11)
Water-draining and anti-icteric (5)
Qi-regulating medicinal   22
Digestant medicinal   8
Hemostatic medicinal Blood-cooling hemostatic medicinal (9) 36
Stasis-resolving hemostatic medicinal (5)
Astringent hemostatic medicinal (9)
Meridian-warming hemostatic medicinal (3)
Blood-activating and stasis-resolving medicinal Blood-activating analgesic medicinal (7) 33
Blood-activating menstruation regulating (11)
Blood-activating trauma-curing (9)
Blood-breaking mass-eliminating (6)
Cough-suppressing and panting-calming medicinal Cold-phlegm resolving (8) 34
Heat-phlegm resolving (15)
Cough-suppressing and panting-calming (11)
Tranquillizing medicinal Settling and tranquillizing (3) 9
Heart-nourishing tranquillizing (6)
Anti-malaria medicinal   4

aThe number of  medicines found in each functional class.