Background: Despite recent advances in understanding the pathophysiology of cancer cachexia, prevention/treatment of this debilitating disease remains an unmet medical need. Methods: We developed an integrated, multi-tiered strategy involving both in vitro and in vivo muscle atrophy platforms to identify traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)-based anti-cachectic agents. In the initial screening, we used inflammatory cytokine-induced atrophy of C2C12 myotubes as a phenotypic screening platform to assess the protective effects of TCMs. The selected TCMs were then evaluated for their abilities to protect Caenorhabditis elegans from age-related reduction of mobility and contractility, followed by the C-26 colon adenocarcinoma mouse model of cachexia to confirm the anti-muscle atrophy effects (body/skeletal muscle weights, fibre size distribution, grip strengths, and serum IL-6). Transcriptome analysis, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and immunoblotting were performed to gain understanding of the potential mechanism(s) by which effective TCM protected against C26 tumour-induced muscle atrophy. Results: Of 29 widely used TCMs, Dioscorea radix (DR) and Mu Dan Pi (MDP) showed a complete protection (all P values, 0.0002) vis-à-vis C26 conditioned medium control in the myotube atrophy platform. MDP exhibited a unique ability to ameliorate age-associated decreases in worm mobility, accompanied by improved total body contractions, relative to control (P < 0.0001 and <0.01, respectively), which, however, was not noted with DR. This differential in vivo protective effect between MDP and DR was also confirmed in the C-26 mouse model. MDP at 1000 mg/kg (MDP-H) was effective in protecting body weight loss (P < 0.05) in C-26 tumour-bearing mice without changing food or water intake, accompanied by the restoration of the fibre size distribution of hindleg skeletal muscles (P < 0.0001) and the forelimb grip strength (P < 0.05). MDP-treated C-26-tumour-bearing mice were alert, showed normal posture and better body conditions, and exhibited lower serum IL-6 levels (P = 0.06) relative to vehicle control. This decreased serum IL-6 was associated with the in vitro suppressive effect of MDP (25 and 50 μg/mL) on IL-6 secretion into culture medium by C26 cells. RNA-seq analysis, followed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and/or immunoblotting, shows that MDP's anti-cachectic effect was attributable to its ability to reverse the C-26 tumour-induced re-programming of muscle homoeostasis-associated gene expression, including that of two cachexia drivers (MuRF1 and Atrogin-1), in skeletal muscles. Conclusion: All these findings suggest the translational potential of MDP to foster new strategies for the prevention and/or treatment of cachexia. The protective effect of MDP on other types of muscle atrophy such as sarcopenia might warrant investigations.