Herb Garden

herb garden 2

The legendary developer of Chinese Herbal Medicine and Agriculture Shen Nong, is said to have tasted hundreds of herbal substances to determine their beneficial or toxic nature. The Chinese Materia Medica, now containing thousands of substances, is based on his experiments. The ACTCM Chinese Medicinal Herb Garden shelters around 80 varieties of revered botanical treasures described within the Chinese Materia Medica, including plants used in medicinal healing and cooking. These plants contain potent medicinal properties which are used by Chinese herbalists to optimize health and restore balance.

How to Tour the Garden

The garden surrounds the school; it runs from Arkansas St. through to Connecticut St. and includes many hidden jewels. Labels identify the plants in both pinyin and Latin, and include their nature, taste and toxicity. For general inquiries and tours, contact Admissions at 415-282-7600 ext. 9734 or email actcmadmissions@ciis.edu.

The Philosophy of Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine is based on the Taoist principle of yin and yang carrying qualities of change, fluidity and interdependence. Sometimes the root is used, for some the leaves, stems, or the seeds are used.  Herbs can be divided into the following categories such as release exterior, warm the interior and expel cold, relieve food stagnation, expel parasites, stop bleeding, invigorate blood, transform phlegm, calm the spirit, stop tremors, tonify Qi and blood and so on. Taking Chinese herbal medicine is part of the therapeutic process of healing and herbal formulas are often adjusted to suit the patient’s condition and illness course.

Dr. Dean Ren whose Chinese calligraphy writings grace our garden card, also contributes this philosophical reflection:


Healing and Tao share the same harmonious root, acupuncture and herbal medicine come from the same origin.

Bay Area Herb Gardens

In 1986, ACTCM in cooperation with the garden and the Guangzhou College of Traditional Chinese Medicine assisted in developing the University of California, Berkeley Chinese Medicinal Herb Garden. Visit the website to find out more: http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu/.


A special thank you to the Kellogg Foundation, High Falls Garden Fund, Peg Schaefer, Whole Foods Market Potrero Hill, St. Teresa Avila Church, Lahlouh Inc., JCarpinelli Design, Angeli Cheng, Aileen Huang, Dr. Dean Ren, a donor in memory of her grandfather Shui Thuy Luu, and the alumni, students, staff and community who support our garden and continue to give back.

We would also like to thank our local vendors for their support: Flowercraft Garden Center, Sloat Garden Center, The Urban Farmer Store.

Our Supporters from Herb Garden Project 2014

Nickels for Non Profit – A special thank you to Whole Foods Potrero Hill!

Silent Auction 3-14 – A special thank you to all those who contributed to our auction.

Help the Herb Garden Grow!

ACTCM Chinese Medicinal Herb Garden depends on your support to organize public tours and workshops on health and nutrition, purchase supplies, tools and new plants and to maintain its well-being for many generations to come. To make a tax deductible donation: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/actcm



ACTCM Grad’s Chinese Herb Garden Promotes Sustainable Use of Medicinal Asian Plants
ACTCM Chosen as Nickels for Non Profit Recipient

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