Tendancy Action Direction

Tendency of action

Ascending / lifting — rise

Descending / lowering — fall

Floating — disperse

Sinking — astringe inward and drain urine and stool

These actions are:

  1. related to the four qi and five tastes: acrid, sweet, warm and hot pertain to ascending and floating sour, bitter, salty, astringent, cold and cool pertain to sinking and descending
  2. related to the herbs’ texture minerals, shells, stones, root, fruit and seed flower, leaf, bark and twig
  3. related to the processing frying with wine, ginger juice, vinegar, and salty


xuan fu hua
Cang er zi
Sheng ma
Ma huang ( both floating and sinking )
Nan gua zi ( no obvious action tendency )

The function of ascending, descending, floating and sinking

ascending and floating

  1. relieve the exterior
  2. raise the yang
  3. induce vomiting
  4. open orifices

descending and sinking

  1. clear heat
  2. purge undigested food and evil heat
  3. relieve constipation
  4. promote urination
  5. calm shen(especially sedate/settle heart)
  6. suppress liver yang
  7. stop cough / asthma
  8. stop vomiting
  9. astringe and prevent abnormal leakage