Expression of the difference between the Cold (Han) and Hot (Re) natures of traditional Chinese medicines (Strobal and Rhubarb) based on the cold/hot plate differentiating assay

Sci China C Life Sci. 2009 Dec;52(12):1192-7. doi: 10.1007/s11427-008-0154-1. Epub 2009 Dec 17.


In this study, objective differences between the Cold (Han) and Hot (Re) nature of traditional Chinese medicines, e.g. Strobal and Rhubarb, are determined by using a cold/hot plate differentiation technology. A novel, self-designed cold/hot plate differentiating instrument, with methodological study, was used to investigate the intervention of Strobal and Rhubarb on the temperature tropism of mice. Compared with the ICR and BALB/c mice, it was found that KM mice on the cold/hot plate were more sensitive to the change of temperature, within the tolerant temperature range of 15-40 degrees C. The temperature tropism behavior of mice is influenced by treatment with Rhubarb and Strobal, as is the activity of ATPase in liver tissue. These trends are consistent with the definition of the Cold/Hot nature of Chinese medicines based on traditional Chinese medicinal theory. This study showed that the differences of the Cold/Hot nature of traditional Chinese medicines. might be objectively represented by the temperature tropism of animal by means of cold/hot differentiating assay.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Ca(2+) Mg(2+)-ATPase / metabolism
  • Calcium-Transporting ATPases / metabolism
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / administration & dosage
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional / instrumentation
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional / methods*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / metabolism
  • Species Specificity
  • Thermosensing / drug effects


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Ca(2+) Mg(2+)-ATPase
  • Calcium-Transporting ATPases
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase