Guan Zhong / Mian Ma Guan Zhong / Dryopteris crassirhizoma root & rhizome OR Woodwardia OR Osmunda OR Matteuccia (or other plants) / Shield Fern

bitter, slightly cold

Enters: Liver, Spleen

Actions: Kills parasites (lice and various intestinal parasites, including hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, pinworms); clears heat; eliminates toxicity; cools the blood; stops bleeding (charred).

• Heat in the blood: rashes, eruptions, epistaxis, hematemesis, hemafecia, and especially uterine bleeding. The herb should be charred when used to stop bleeding.
• Heat and toxicity: mumps, epidemic disease, sores.
• Wind-heat EPI.
• Also for alopecia, head sores.
• Antiviral: influenza. Dryopteris (Dong bei guan zhong) has been taken as a preventive measure during flu epidemics. Currently used as a preventative in formulas for corona virus.
• Stimulates contraction of uterus. Used in post-partum, post-miscarriage, and post-surgical uterine bleeding.
• Do not take with fatty food: one toxic component (filmarone) is usually not absorbed from the GI tract unless the herb is taken with a very fatty meal.
John Christopher: Anthelmintic (taeniafuge, vermifuge), astringent, tonic, vulnerary.
• Tapeworms, roundworms, seat worms, pinworms.
• Wounds, rickets.

Dose: 6-15g

Shi Jun Zi – Rangoon Creeper fruit with seeds – Quisqualis – “Envoy Seeds”

Nature: sweet, warm

Enters: Stomach, Spleen

Actions: Kills parasites (particularly roundworms); eliminates food retention; strengthens the spleen; dissolves accumulations.


• Roundworms or malnutrition in children due to improper diet, weak constitution: abdominal distention, poor appetite. If roundworms are severe, this herb can be combined with Bing lang.
• Common side effects: nausea, vomiting, belching
• To reduce the herb’s toxicity, dry fry it until it is aromatic.
• Traditionally, this herb is not to be taken with hot tea (may lead to diarrhea and belching).
• Sources differ on dosage guidelines:
Liu: One piece per day for no more than 20 days (may discontinue for a week and then resume administration).
Bensky and Gamble: 1 piece per year of age, per day, not to exceed 20 pieces per day.
Li: No more than 12 pieces per day.

Dose: 4.5-12g

The “old school” American naturopath, John Christopher, on worms affecting Westerners:

“The three most common types of worms found in the body are: the thread or seat worms (Oxyuris vermicularis), the round worms (Ascaris lumbricoides-lumbrici), and the tape worms (Taeince-Taenia solium, bothriocephalus latus). There are also other less-common worm types that enter the body, such as hook worms for which thymol [from essential oil of Thyme] and oil of Chenopodium duodenale (American Wormseed) are specifics, and those of unclean pork, etc., which thrive on toxic conditions in the body.
The thread or seat worm is rather easily destroyed or expelled because it is usually found in the lower bowel and does not adhere to the intestinal wall. Herbs such as cathartics, astringents, Aloes, Quassia, Calumba, apple cider vinegar, etc., are effective against these intestinal vermin.
The roundworm is most likely to be found in and often clinging to the intestinal wall, and can cause considerable harm and physical discomfort, especially to children. If roundworms are not checked, they may increase to the point that they enter the stomach, and even travel up the esophagus to the pharynx, with most unpleasant and upsetting results. You can see roundworms in the stools, and you can also know you have them because they greatly disturb the balance of the stomach. The anthelmintic herbs are particularly useful and beneficial to eliminate roundworms and tapeworms. The anthelmintic agents are classed as to their action against the worm parasites: Vermifuges cause the expulsion of worms from the body. Vermicides kill worms in the body. Taeniafuges cause the expulsion of tapeworms from the body. Taeniacides kill tapeworms in the body.
The difference in the action of a worm medicine often depends on the medicinal dosage and how soon after administration the bowels are moved – thus a large dose of an anthelmintic, if it remains in the intestine, will destroy, while a smaller dose will merely expel the worm. Almost all althelmintics are potent and must be respected as such; and concentrated preparations must always be used in wisdom. Generally, in the case of thread or seat worms, an enema is sufficient; and, in the case of round worms, follow the following procedure:
1. Go on a three day cleanse/fast drinking only one type of juice and distilled water and take the anthelmintic morning and night, preferably with Wormwood.
2. On the morning of the fourth day, drink 6-8 ounces of Senna [Fan xie ye] tea alone to cleanse and purge the bowel of the parasites (other suitable cathartics are also acceptable).
The tapeworm is somewhat more obstinate, but the foregoing procedure will also work, using Male Fern [Guan zhong] or Pomegranate [Shi Liu Pi, Shi Liu Gen Pi] as the anthelmintic. Continue taking the remedy a few days after the worm sections have ceased to pass, and use Lobelia along with an antibilious cathartic.
[Dr. Shook:] Doctors generally have the patient fast for a day or two before taking tapeworm remedies, but this is unnecessary, because the worm, being a parasite, cannot be starved. This only makes the patient feel weak and nauseated, and when he finally takes the medicine on a starved stomach, he may throw it up. A far better way, from our experience, is to advise the patient to eat, for a day or so, foods the tapeworm dislikes, such as onions, garlic, pickles, and salted fish. This weakens the worm and tends to loosen its grip, so that when the medicine is taken, the tapeworm can be expelled more easily.”