Red Flower

Chinese Herbs

A Digital Materia Medica Compilation by Dr. Peter Borten, DAOM, LAc
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface
Acrid Cool Herbs That Release The Exterior
Acrid Warm Herbs That Release The Exterior
Herbs That Clear Summer-Heat
Herbs That Clear Heat & Reduce Fire
Herbs that Clear Heat & Cool the Blood
Herbs that Clear Heat and Dry Dampness
Herbs that Clear Heat and Eliminate Toxicity
Herbs that Clear Deficiency Heat
Herbs that Dispel Wind-Dampness
Aromatic Herbs that Transform Dampness 
Herbs that Drain Dampness
Herbs that Resolve Phlegm-Cold
Herbs that Resolve Phlegm-Heat
Herbs that Stop Coughing and Relieve Wheezing
Herbs that Promote Bowel Movement by Moistening the Large Intestine
Herbs that Purge Accumulation & Stagnation Through the Bowels
Herbs that Aggressively Purge Accumulation
Herbs that Promote Digestion and Relieve Food Retention
Herbs that Warm the Interior
Herbs that Promote Qi Circulation
Herbs that Promote Blood Circulation and Dispel Blood Stasis
Herbs that Subdue Liver Yang and Extinguish Liver Wind
Herbs that Open the Orifices and Induce Resuscitation
Herbs that Quiet the Shen
Herbs that Nourish Blood
Herbs that Build Qi
Herbs that Build Yang
Herbs that Nourish Yin
Astringent Herbs
Herbs That Stop Bleeding
Herbs for Topical Use
Herbs That Kill Parasites
Extra Categories
   Herbs that Free the Circulation of Liver Qi
   Herbs that Calm Fetus & Prevent Miscarriage
   Herbs that Nourish and Support Jing
   Herbs that Generate Body Fluids and Moisten the Lungs
   Herbs for the Sinews that Relax Spasms and Open Obstruction
   Herbs for the Eyes
   Herbs that Enter the Eight Extraordinary Vessels
   Herbs that Promote Lactation
   Herbs in Gu Zheng (Gu Parasites) Formulas from Heiner Freuhauf
   Herbs that Soften Hardness, Resolve Masses, Lumps, and Nodules
   Herbs that Treat Tumors and Cancer (General)
   Herbs for Cancer from Zhenbo Li (OCOM doctoral professor)
   Yao Yao- "Essential Medicinals" from Eric Brand
Incompatibilities and Antagonisms
Channel and Region Guiding Herbs
Combining Natures and Flavors (Dui Yao)
Ayurvedic Terminology
Ayurvedic Tastes


Medicinal Terminology

HERBAL FORMULAS

Table of Contents for Herbal Formulas Section

Therapeutics for OBGYN Conditions

Commonly Used Formulas for OBGYN Conditions

Bibliography

Abbreviations of Sources

Search By Pinyin Herb Name
Jump to Formulas Category
Release Early Stage Exterior Disorders
Release Exterior Wind-Cold
Release Exterior Wind-Heat
Release Exterior Disorders With Head and Neck Symptoms

Preface

My first degree was in botany, and it taught me, among other things, to respect plant identification and taxonomy. Taxonomists frequently change names and confuse people, but the Latin binomials they've given our herbs are the most accurate way to identify them. Only by using the full botanical or zoological names of our medicines (plus part used) can we be sure we are all on the same page. (E.g., Paeonia suffruticosa root cortex - Mu dan pi) The "pharmaceutical names," (e.g., Cortex Radicis Moutan), which have unfortunately persisted throughout our field, are outdated and uselessly altered forms of the proper botanical and zoological names. In communicating about our medicines to other medical professionals, we will always need to utilize the proper botanical and zoological binomials and parts, so it's time we retired the pharmaceutical names. I wish I'd had the foresight to include all the proper Latin binomials when I first created the structure for this document in 1998. Because I didn't, these names are missing from most herbs as of this writing (January 2012) except in cases where the species is vital for distinguishing one common herb from another in the same genus (e.g., Bai Zhi vs Du Huo vs Dang Gui, all of the Angelica genus). I hope to add the scientific names for the rest of the substances in this materia medica in the near future.

Ideally, as practitioners who value the potency, validity, and effectiveness of our medicines, we should also know:

- Where it was grown

- When it was harvested

- How it was processed

- How it was stored

It is easy to be unaware of how many years the herbs in our pharmacy spent in a Chinese warehouse before we got them; of what other destructive elements they've been exposed to (heat, light, moisture, mold, biologically or chemically tainted water, etc.); of what agri-chemicals they were sprayed with; of what methods of processing (dui yao) were performed on them; of where they were grown; and of whether they're even the genus (much less the species) we believe them to be. If we expect our field to be taken seriously, we need to remedy these glaring issues.

You must forgive me for having left out much useful information that appears in printed materia medica, such as the historical background, the criteria for identifying good quality, contraindications, and the doses for individual herbs in formulas. The omission of most of this information is due to the fact that I initially created this document with my own needs in mind, and wasn't thinking about what other readers might want. Traditional contraindications for individual herbs are an interesting thing. Texts on Chinese herbal medicine tend to say that most drying herbs are contraindicated in cases of Yin deficiency; most warming herbs are contraindicated in cases of heat; most moistening herbs are contraindicated in cases of dampness, phlegm, and sometimes Spleen Qi deficiency; most strongly clearing herbs are contraindicated in cases of significant deficiency, etc. Anyone who understands Chinese medical theory should know these things (in a general way, at least). And anyone who has been trained in traditional Chinese medicine prescribes herbs in formulas whereby such contraindications become almost meaningless. These contraindications are stated as if the herb would be given alone. But a brief examination of classical herbal formulas and their indications reveals that most of them contain herbs that, if given individually, would be unsuitable for the condition the formula as a whole addresses. This is all an attempt to explain why I didn't feel the need to type out all the contraindications and cautions for the hundreds of herbs in this document. Perhaps I will someday do this; until then, you're on your own to use these herbs wisely. In my opinion, if you don't have formal training in Chinese herbal medicine, you have no business recommending or prescribing these herbs for anyone, yourself included. Besides, as the saying goes, the physician who treats himself has a fool for a patient.

If I could get on a soap box for a moment... there is much that could be said about the imperfect state of affairs in the field of Chinese Herbal Medicine in the United States. The FDA is impeding our ability to use certain herbs which can be utilized safely and to great benefit. Quality control is abysmal, mostly because Chinese growers and exporters are not yet at a place where proper soil analysis, herb analysis, and record keeping is a priority. Most Americans probably don't even know of this field's existence, much less that it's held in greater esteem in China than acupucture, which meanwhile gets all the press here.

Anyway, it makes sense to focus on what can most readily be improved. And, as I see it, one of the most significant impediments to the longevity and development of the field of Chinese Herbal Medicine in the United States is that we fail to take what we do as seriously as medical doctors do, or to hold ourselves to the same standards as those that the biomedical community (generally) abides by. We get combative about scientific standards because we claim science doesn't understand us, or that it's trying to take the spirit out of what we do, or that our medicine can't be measured or proven by their studies. We run schools in which it's nearly impossible to fail, even if a student truly doesn't have what it takes to responsibly guide others' health choices. Schools with a good percentage of students who couldn't last a semester in a biomedical program. Do we really want to be the medical field that's known for being much easier to get a degree in than the other major medical fields? Or a good career for someone who feels relieved by the thought that they won't be a "real" doctor? In Lawrence Kohlberg's terms, we need to stop thinking of ourselves as a culture that has transcended the conventions of the mainstream, when many of us have simply rejected the mainstream because of our own issues with authority or a blanket refusal to conform. Only by first learning how to play by the mainstream's rules, by truly adopting convention, can we actually, wisely transcend these conventions.

A most glaring example of the fact that we don't take ourselves seriously enough is that we have fought to get Chinese Herbal Medicine included in the scope of practice of acupuncturists in most states, even though most states require no demonstration of competency in the use of herbs. With few exceptions (thank you, California) acupuncturists get to practice Chinese Herbal Medicine - a medical system with a significantly higher risk of harming someone - whether or not they have received any formal training in it. If we want the FDA to stop taking away our herbs, we need to show that we recognize the risks associated with the practice of Chinese Herbal Medicine and we take them seriously. We need to prove that we know these things better than they do, and that we're determined to ensure the utmost safety for our patients. And we can demonstrate this by voluntarily withdrawing the right the prescribe herbs from anyone in our field who can't prove their proficiency in using them safely. Who among us would object to this, if you care about the future legitimacy of our field and the safety of your own patients? Who would be so arrogant as to insist on the right to prescribe medicines you cannot demonstrate your competence in? A simple course would be to go the way of Canada, where one can have a license to practice acupuncture only, a license for herbal medicine only, or a license to practice the full scope of TCM. 

In my opinion, Chinese Herbal Medicine is the most sophisticated, safe, holistic, and effective form of internal medicine on Earth. It deserves the reverence and respect of holding ourselves to higher standards.




~ OUR NATURAL ALLIES ~


Acrid, Cool Herbs That Release The Exterior

• For wind-heat, herbs from this category are often combined with herbs to clear heat-toxicity, since toxicity commonly results when heat is extreme.
• "Liang E Bing Fu": Too many acrid, cool herbs will simply suppress wind-heat. They freeze the surface and wind-heat cannot leave the body. Add one or two acrid, warm herbs to formulas for wind-heat (i.e. 80% cool herbs, 20% warm herbs).
• Use caution when there is profuse sweating or injury of body fluids, and with patients with carbuncles, boils, urinary tract infection, or a history of heavy bleeding.
• Since the dispersing effect of some of the more aromatic herbs in this category is dependent on their volatile oils, they are often decocted only for a short time, or they are just infused (not exposed to a heat source, simply allowed to steep in water that has been brought to a boil). 
For Various Wind-Heat Patterns, Also Consider, When Appropriate:
Bai ji li, Bai xian pi, Chuan xiong, Dan zhu ye, Gou teng, Gua lou pi, Guan zhong, Jiang can, Jie geng, Jin yin hua, Jue ming zi, Lian qiao, Lu gen, Ma bo, Mao dong qing, Pi pa ye, Qian hu, Qing xiang zi, Xuan shen, Zhe bei mu, etc.
Bo He
Mentha
Chinese Field Mint















acrid
cool

Lv
Lu
Disperses wind-heat; eases the head, eyes and throat; expresses skin eruptions; promotes Qi circulation on the surface and frees liver Qi.

• Wind-heat: headache, fever, slight aversion to cold, sore throat, red eyes, cough, nasal congestion.
• Liver Qi stagnation: distention, pain or pressure in the chest, costal region, or hypochondrium, emotional instability, gynecological problems.
• Wind-heat: slow skin eruption in early-stage measles, or other early-stage rashes.
• Add to a decoction in the last five minutes of cooking.
HF: A San Du, scattering toxin medicinal, typically found in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas.
Li Dong Yuan: Upbears Yang Qi.
Li: Can be warming in a large dose.
Yoga: Phudina: P, K-; V+ (in excess)
Sattvic herb, very ethereal: soothing, cooling, clarifying, expanding.
• Relieves tension, congestion; mild; harmonizer.
• Pungent/cooling (slightly)/pungent.
• Affects respiratory, nervous, digestive, and circulatory systems.
• Stimulant, diaphoretic, carminative, nervine, analgesic.
• Same indications as TCM plus earache, dysmenorrhea.
MLT: Similar to Lemon Balm and Spearmint (these herbs can be substituted).
• Do not boil. Infuse in the boiled water only after the rest of the decoction is prepared.
1.5-6g

JC: Spearmint:
• Diaphoretic (gentle), diuretic (lithotriptic), stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, aromatic, nervine (sedative), condiment, nephritic, anti-emetic.
• Beneficial to the kidneys and bladder as a diuretic, especially for suppressed, painful, or scalding urination, and bladder/kidney inflammation.
• Soothing and quieting to the nerves and stomach.
• Colic, flatulence, dyspepsia, spasms, dropsy, nausea, vomiting, gravel in bladder, hemorrhoids (shallow enema).
• Vomiting and nausea of pregnancy: 14g spearmint, 2 teaspoons cloves, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 teaspoons rhubarb. Infuse in 1 pint boiled water, cover 20 minutes, strain, take 3-4 tablespoons every 30 minutes.
• Ginger intensifies and accelerates its action.
PLB: Peppermint (the most pungent mint) is, overall, stronger/sharper than Spearmint, and is probably less similar to Bo he.
BII: For irritable bowel syndrome, GB disease (studies used enteric coated capsules of peppermint oil).
• Not for heartburn or esophageal reflux as it relaxes the esophageal (cardiac) sphincter (use licorice/DGL instead).
Chai Hu
Bupleurum root

"Kindling of the Barbarians"
bitter
acrid
sl cold
Lv
GB
PC
SJ
Frees the liver Qi; disperses pathological factors in the half-interior, half-exterior; lifts spleen Yang Qi; reduces fever; can both lift and descend (acrid and bitter).

Shaoyang syndrome: alternating fever and chills, distended chest and hypochondrium, bitter taste in the mouth, flank pain, irritability, vomiting, dry throat, dizziness.
• Liver Qi stagnation: distended hypochondrium, costal pain, headache, irregular menses, dysmenorrhea, dizziness, vertigo, stifling sensation in the chest, flank pain, emotional instability.
• Spleen Qi sinking: prolapsed rectum or uterus, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, shortness of breath.
• Spleen/liver disharmony: epigastric and flank pain, stifling sensation in the chest, abdominal bloating, nausea, indigestion, bloating.
• Some say Chai hu damages the Yin, since it is bitter and drying (often combined with Bai shao to counteract its drying nature).
• Contraindicated in liver Yang rising due to liver/kidney Yin deficiency.
• Antipyretic; some antibiotic/bacteriostatic effects; tranquilizer; anti-tussive.
• Used to treat malarial disorders.
• Occasionally can cause nausea or vomiting (should use a small dose in this case).
Chinensis species (hard, Northern) (Bei/Ying chai hu): better for harmonizing the Shaoyang and clearing heat and wind-heat.
Scorzoneraefolium species (soft, Southern) (Nan/Ruan chai hu): better for spreading liver Qi, resolving depression, and relieving constraint.
Jin: Safe in pregnancy in moderate dose (to 4.5g).
MLT: Some patients are sensitive to Chai hu. Some believe it "consumes the Yin." Despite its recommendation in the Shan Han Lun, many doctors avoid this herb.
• With blood deficiency, always combine it with Dang gui and/or Gou qi zi.
PFGC: Can purge heat in the uterus; can resolve blood heat; disperses exuberant gallbladder fire.
• Should be used to ascend Shaoyang pathogens to push them over and beyond the diaphragm, forcing them up and out.
• In large doses, it is diaphoretic, but this results in out-of-hand momentum and weakening of its uplifting force.
• Can facilitate smooth bowel movements and can foster proper urination - because uninhibited urination is linked to proper function of the san jiao - Qi dynamics of the san jiao are such that Qi descends only if it is allowed to rise first.
• Use in pre- and post-partum disorders, eruption of macules in children, consumptive fevers, carbuncles, furuncles, all malaria.
• Food accumulation: can move wood Qi to course earth.
• Alternating hot and cold are not a necessary symptom to prescribe Chai hu - it is enough to know the patient has an exterior affliction with nausea or vomiting or frequently spitting sticky saliva - this is sufficient evidence that the disease is in the Shaoyang.
HF: An important herb in anti-Gu therapy to move Qi (Xing Qi) and break accumulation (Po Ji).
DY: Drains the liver and resolves depression; harmonizes the Shaoyang; harmonizes the liver and spleen; abates heat; upbears clear Yang; frees the flow of Qi on the left side of the body.
• With Bai shao to drain the liver without damaging liver Yin, nourish the liver without causing liver depression Qi stagnation, regulate the spleen, stop pain effectively, harmonize the interior and exterior, and constrain Yin while upbearing Yang. For such indications as:
- 1. Liver depression Qi stagnation causing disharmony between Qi and blood.
- 2. Vertigo, unclear vision, chest and lateral costal oppression, pain, and distention due to liver depression Qi stagnation or to disharmony between the exterior and interior.
- 3. Menstrual irregularities, dysmenorrhea, breast distention, low-grade fever during the menses, premenstrual syndrome, and fibrocystic breasts, all caused by liver depression Qi stagnation or disharmony between the liver and spleen.
• The combination of Bai shao and Chai hu is effective for the treatment of liver and digestive problems caused by liver depression Qi stagnation or liver-spleen or liver-stomach disharmony, such as subacute or chronic hepatitis, hepatomegaly, cholecystitis, gallstones, enteritis, and colitis.
• With Huang qin to harmonize the interior with the exterior, the Shaoyang, and liver and gallbladder. Together, they also clear the liver and resolve depression as well as clear and eliminate dampness and heat, particularly in the liver and gallbladder. Chai hu dispels evils (heat) limited to the superficial part of the Shaoyang while Huang qin drains evil heat limited to the internal part of the Shaoyang. For indications such as:
- 1. Alternating fever and chills, a bitter taste in the mouth, dry throat, pain and fullness in the chest and lateral costal regions, nausea, and lack of appetite due to a Shaoyang pattern. (Xiao Chai Hu Tang)
- 2. Malaria due to a Shaoyang pattern.
- 3. Liver depression transforming into fire.
- This combination is remarkably effective for hepato-biliary disorders, such as acute or chronic hepatitis, biliary lithiasis, cholecystitis, and hepatomegaly due to liver-gallbladder heat.
• With Sheng ma for mutual reinforcement, to upbear liver, stomach, and spleen Yang Qi. These two herbs alone don't raise the Qi efficiently. They must be combined with Ren shen, Huang qi, and Bai zhu to be really effective for this purpose, because one cannot raise what is lacking. Huang qi does appear to upbear the Qi, but not for long. When Chai hu, Sheng ma, and Huang qi are combined, they raise the Qi effectively, and for long periods of time.
For indications such as:
- 1. Uterine prolapse, rectal prolapse, gastric ptosis due to central Qi fall. (Bu Zong Yi Qi Tang)
- 2. Metrorrhagia and abnormal vaginal discharge due to central Qi fall.
- 3. Chronic diarrhea or chronic dysentery due to central Qi fall. (Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang)
- 4. Shortness of breath and dyspnea with feeling of oppression and downward falling of Lungs due to Qi fall. (Sheng Xian Tang)
- For all the above indications, Sheng ma should be honey mix-fried and Chai hu should be stir-fried until scorched.
- In all the above cases, a small dosage of the two herbs is sufficient (i.e. 3-5g). However, a larger dose of Sheng ma (9-15g) can be used if one wants to simultaneously clear Yin fire due to spleen deficiency from the head and face.
Chai hu is a messenger herb which guides the action of other medicinal substances toward the liver and gallbladder channels, toward the upper part of the body (head and face), along the liver channel pathway (internally) and the gallbladder channel pathway (externally), and toward the lateral costal region.
Chai hu in high dosage (10-18g) resolves the exterior, abates heat, and harmonizes the Shaoyang. In small dosage (2-4g), it upbears Yang Qi. In an average dosage (6-8g), it courses the liver, rectifies the Qi, and resolves depression.
• When pain is predominant, vinegar mix-fried Chai hu is best.
• In cases of liver-spleen disharmony, stir-fried Chai hu should be used.
3-12g
Chan Tui
Cicada molt
sweet
cold
Lu
Lv
Disperses wind-heat; expresses skin eruptions; promotes vision by removing nebulas; relieves convulsions by subduing liver wind (large dose); strongly clears heat from the nose, eyes, and throat.

• Wind-heat: loss of voice, sore throat, cough, hoarseness, or fever, headache.
• Wind-heat or early measles: incomplete expression of skin rash.
• Liver wind-heat: red eyes, tears, nebulas, conjunctivitis, painful eyes, blurry vision.
• Liver wind-heat: childhood febrile disease, morbid night crying in babies, spasms, convulsions, delirium, night terrors; tetanus.
• Doctrine of signatures: skin treats skin; big eyes indicate affinity for eyes/liver; cicadas are silent at night - for calming children at night.
Hsu: Anticonvulsant; decreases muscle tremors caused by nicotine.
DY: Disinhibits the throat; diffuses the portals of the Lungs and increases the voice.
• One of few herbs in the materia medica which calms the liver and settles convulsions and is also non-toxic, even at high doses of up to 30g/day (unlike scorpion and centipede). For this reason, it is good for children.
• Vexation, agitation, insomnia, night crying, night fears, nightmares, clonic convulsions, epilepsy.
• With Shi chang pu to effectively rouse the spirit and open the portals. For vertigo, tinnitus, and deafness due to obstruction of the portals.
3-12g
Dan Dou Chi
Prepared Soybean

















Dou Juan

Soybean sprout
acrid
sweet
sl bitter
cold
Lu
St
Relieves exterior syndromes; relieves restlessness; clears heat.

• Wind-heat or wind-cold: fever, aversion to cold, headache (can be used for either hot or cold invasion, usually for early stage).
• Febrile disease causing stagnant heat in the chest: restlessness, insomnia, irritability, stifling sensation in the chest (Dan dou chi also reaches the heart) - combine with Zhi zi.
• Because of its mild character, is also appropriate for Yin deficiency with a superimposed exterior disorder.
• Is treated either with Ma huang or Zi su ye (more warming effect) or Sang ye or Qing hao (more cooling effect).
MLT: Good for kids (ok taste, nutritive).
• This and all soybeans contain genistein - estrogen precursor and tumor inhibitor.
DY: Promotes perspiration; diffuses and out-thrusts external evils from the exterior.
• With Zhi zi, the two herbs unite to form the clearing and diffusing and out-thrusting method to eliminate evils from the exterior and interior. Together, they effectively promote perspiration, drain evils from the exterior, clear and out-thrust heat from the interior, and eliminate vexation due to full heat. For indications such as:
- 1. Vexation and agitation, insomnia, and irritability during or after a warm disease. (Zhi Zi Chi Tang) Use stir-fried Dan dou chi.
- 2. External contraction of wind-heat or a febrile disease.
Qing dou chi is cold, and clears heat and eliminates vexation
Wen dou chi is warm and is superior for resolving the exterior and promoting diaphoresis. Although it is warm in nature, it is used in and preferred for wind-heat affections.

(Da) Dou Juan: Soybean sprout
• Sweet, acrid.
• Clears heat; drains dampness; clears summer-heat.
• Early stages of summer-heat or warm-febrile diseases, especially those with joint pain, sensation of heaviness, minimal swelling, and a greasy tongue coating due to the presence of dampness.
• Bensky/Gamble classifies with herbs that clear summer-heat.
MLT: Sprouted form is used for rheumatic conditions, edema, swelling of the whole body and knees.
9-15g
Fu Ping
Duckweed
Spirodela
acrid
cold
BL
Lu
Releases the exterior; unblocks the muscle level; vents rashes; dispels water, reduces swelling.

• Exterior heat: head and body aches.
• Hastens full expression of measles and other exanthemas and wind rashes and thereby hastens resolution of the disease.
• Hot, superficial edema, especially when affecting the upper body and when accompanied by urinary difficulty.
• One of few cool herbs that is a strong diaphoretic.
• Doctrine of signatures: The herb is very light, grows on the surface of water. This indicates its affinity for the surface/skin and its ability to release superficial water (edema, sweat).
• Topical: also used as a wash for rashes.
• Often used alone.
MLT: Diuretic, diaphoretic.
3-6g (to 9g in severe cases)
Ge Gen
Pueraria root
Kudzu


sweet
acrid
cool
Sp
St
Relaxes muscles by promoting sweats and expelling EPIs; lifts spleen Qi and Yang; clears heat; generates body fluids; supports detoxification and withdrawal from alcohol.

• Wind-heat or wind-cold (lodges in the muscles): stiff neck, occiput, or upper back, fever, headache, no sweating.
• Early-stage measles: slow eruption of skin, fever, aversion to cold.
• Spleen Qi deficiency or damp-heat: diarrhea (when due to deficiency, combine with tonics).
• Injury of body fluids by heat in febrile disease: restlessness and thirst.
• Stomach heat: thirst.
• Lowers BP, treats headache, dizziness, tinnitus, paresthesias due to HTN.
• Also for sudden deafness, ear infections.
• Eases alcohol withdrawal and hangover.
• Lowers blood sugar/treats diabetes.
• Guohui Liu: special for tendinitis.
• General analgesic for a variety of pains.
• To lift spleen Qi, roast with wheat bran until the Ge gen turns yellow. This form is less cooling and is superior for diarrhea due to deficiency.
Yoga: Sweet/cooling/sweet; P, V-; K+
• Tonic, diaphoretic, diuretic.
MLT: Demulcent and soothing to the stomach and intestines.
• Has an upward, antispasmodic property.
Hsu: Anticonvulsant, follicular hormone effect, dilates coronary arteries, improves cerebral blood flow in hypertensive patients.
DY: Resolves the muscle aspect; eliminates heat; engenders fluids and stops thirst; tends to reach evils horizontally and, therefore, out-thrusts rashes on the back and the middle part of the body.
• Marked vasodilatory effect, used for hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, coronary disease, angina pectoris, headaches and painful tension in the cervical area due to hypertension.
• With Sheng ma to resolve the exterior and muscle aspect, clear heat, resolve toxins, and out-thrust rashes over the whole body. For indications such as:
- 1. Skin rashes which have difficulty surfacing, accompanied by headache and fever due to an exterior pattern. (Sheng Ma Ge Gen Tang)
- 2. Measles in the initial stage with eruptions which have difficulty surfacing, and fever sometimes accompanied by lack of perspiration or perspiration which has difficulty coming out due to an exterior pattern. (Xuan Fu Jie Bao Tang)
• While Sheng ma is used for all forms of Qi sinking, Ge gen is only used for diarrhea. It treats diarrhea of either the deficient type (i.e. spleen deficiency) or excess type (i.e. damp-heat). For this, roasted Ge gen should be used.
6-12g
Ju Hua
Chrysanthemum flower







acrid
sweet
bitter
sl cold
Lv
Lu
Moves liver Qi, subdues liver Yang rising, clears liver heat; disperses wind and clears heat from the liver and Lungs; eliminates toxicity; promotes vision; can protect the Lungs; nourishes water of the kidneys; said to promote longevity.

• Wind-heat: fever, dizziness, headache.
• Liver wind-heat or flaring of liver fire: red, swollen, painful eyes.
• Liver Yang rising leading to stirring of liver wind: headache, dizziness, deafness,
hypertension.
• Liver and kidney Yin deficiency: seeing spots in front of the eyes, blurry vision, dizziness.
• Cook a short time (retain the acridness) to disperse wind-heat, cook longer (boil off the acridness, retain the bitterness) to subdue liver Yang.
• This herb is said to have the energy of autumn - it can protect the Lungs.
• Stronger than Sang ye at clearing liver fire, but weaker at dispersing wind-heat.
• Compared to Mu zei, with regard to the vision: Ju hua nourishes the eyes, but does not remove superficial visual obstruction (as Mu zei does).
Bai ju hua: white variety: stronger than the yellow variety at subduing liver Yang, freeing/nourishing the liver and clearing the eyes; often used for poor vision due to liver/kidney Yin deficiency; better for hypertension.
Huang ju hua: yellow variety: stronger than the white variety at clearing heat and dispersing wind-heat.
HF: A San Du, scattering toxin medicinal, typically found in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas.
SD: May help antidote lead poisoning.
Yoga: Sevanti - "Service," gives the energy of devotion, surrender, and service to the Divine.
• Bitter, sweet/cooling/pungent; P, K-; V+ (in excess).
• Affects digestive, respiratory, nervous systems.
• Diaphoretic, antipyretic, alterative, antispasmodic.
• For headache, sore throat, nose bleeds, eye infections, boils, dysmenorrhea, liver diseases.
• Cools and regulates the Pitta that governs vision.
• Calms Pitta emotions: anger, irritability.
• Promotes lactation and menstruation.
• Caution with high Vata.
• Aids in the surrender of the egoistic will (a function of deranged Pitta) to the Divine.
MLT: Drink cool in the summer to protect Yin and blood.
• Good for digestive upset, hypertension, headache, summer-heat.
DY: Light and upbearing in nature.
• With Gou qi zi to effectively nourish and supplement the liver and kidneys, clear heat, calm the liver, and brighten the eyes. For indications such as blurred vision, diminished visual acuity, "moving black spots in front of the eyes," fire sparks in the eyes, photophobia, dry eyes with distention and headache, and pain in the lower back and knees due to liver-kidney deficiency. For these indications, the combination is present in Qi Ju Di Huang Wan. Bai ju hua should be used. Ju hua carries the action of Gou qi zi toward the eyes.
• For eye problems, hypertension, or headaches with a feeling of distention, use 20-30g of Ju hua daily.
• (Bai) Ju hua yields very good results in hypertensive disorders, especially when accompanied by vertigo and headaches mainly due to liver Yang rising. It is often combined with Shan zha (15-20g), is cases of hypercholesterolemia.
Hsu: Hypotensive: suppresses the motor center controlling blood vessels and is vasodilatory.
4.5-15g
Man Jing Zi
Vitex fruit



















Chaste berry
Vitex agnus-castus











acrid
bitter
neutral
BL
Lv
St
Disperses wind-heat; eases eyes and headaches; drains dampness; expels wind; traditionally said to promote beard growth in men.

• Wind-heat: dizziness, headaches, migraines.
• Upper attack of wind-heat: blurry vision, red, painful, swollen eyes, lots of tears, spots in front of the eyes.
• Wind-dampness in the limbs/joints: stiffness, numbness, cramping, heaviness.
Jin: Particularly good for the pain of wind-damp Bi.
Li: Good for Shaoyang headaches behind the eyes.
HL: From Li Shi Zhen's Ben Cao Gang Mu [provided by John Black]:
Main Uses: Treatment of heat and cold between tendons and bones, damp Bi type cramps, brightens the eyes, and strengthens the teeth. Regulates the nine orifices and expels "bai chong" (the Chinese character indicates some kind of worm, bug, parasite, etc.). Prolonged use of this herb can prevent aging. Can treat headache caused by wind, ringing in the head, lacrimation; benefits the Qi. It can enliven and brighten the spirit, and has been said to be able to expel pathogenic Qi and help the hair to grow. It has also been said to be able to free up the joints, treat epilepsy, red eyes, and Taiyang type headache. It can treat heaviness in the head (and implies some state bordering on unconsciousness), disperse pathogenic wind, cool menstrual blood, treat aching eyes, soothe liver wind, treat headache caused by wind, darken head hair and treats mastitis in the early stages. Through its effect on enhancing beard growth and the hormonal effects attributed to its Western cousin, I believe this herb is a tonic to the Chong Mai.
A final note though. It is contraindicated for those with deficient stomach Qi. The effect of Man Jing Zi in my experience is similar to He Shou Wu in that it can cause bloating, loose stools, sometimes explosive bowels with those people with a digestive insufficiency. Bai Zhu seems to counteract this well.
6-12g

On the Western species: Vitex agnus-castus - Chaste berry:
It has not been clearly established as to whether the Chinese species shares all properties of the Western species.
NAH: For menstrual and menopausal disorders; probably an anaphrodisiac - lowers sex drive.
• Increases production of luteinizing hormone and prolactin; stimulates the flow of milk.
• Regulates menses when they are too frequent or too heavy.
• Seems to stimulate progesterone synthesis and regulate estrogen: for PMS and menopause.
• For fibroids and inflammation of the womb lining.
• Re-establishes normal ovulation and menses after discontinuance of the pill.
K&R: Sympatholytic, antispasmodic, estrogen antagonist, FSH inhibitor, luteotropic, galactagogue.
• Sweet-cooling; fire yang, wood yang.
Fire: nervousness, genital excitation, dysmenorrhea, acne; anti-FSH; sympatholytic; stops excess bleeding, corrects a shortened menstrual cycle.
Wood: neurotonia, globus hystericus, liver depression, palpitations, tachycardia, dysmenorrhea, uterine fibroids, hemorrhage, acne, genital excitation, mastosis and breast tenderness, male impotence from excessive sexual excitation, epigastric tightness, PMS, amenorrhea, menorrhagia, irregular menstrual cycle, menstrual and pre-menstrual edema, normalizes milk production (either too much or too little), cystic breasts-normalizes ratio of estrogen to progesterone; anti-FSH, sympatholytic.
RW: Increases LH production and inhibits release of FSH, leading to a shift in the ratio of estrogens to gestagens, in favor of gestagens, and hence a corpus luteum hormone effect.
• Menstrual disorders due to corpus luteum insufficiency (hyper or polymenorrhea and PMS based on hyperfolliculinism).
• Also for acne; pre-menstrual oral herpes; pre-menstrual water retention.
• Lactagogue (slow effect).
Mu Zei
Equisetum hiemale
Horsetail
Scouring Rush

"Wood Thief"

















sweet
bitter
neutral
Lu
Lv
Mildly disperses wind-heat; promotes vision, dispels nebulas; stops bleeding; clears heat.

• Wind-heat affecting the eyes: red eyes, excessive tearing, pain, swelling, cloudiness, blurred vision, pterygium.
• Heat in the blood: bleeding hemorrhoids, hemafecia (usually used as an auxiliary herb).
• Pulmonary disease: silicosis (improves symptoms).
• Also used externally as a powder.
• Compared to Ju hua, with regard to the vision, Mu zei is best for removing membranes from the conjunctiva (which Ju hua cannot do).
• Doctrine of signatures: the herb is a hollow tube - useful for clearing the tubes of the body - urinary tract, bile duct, air passages, vessels (not widely in this sense in TCM).
SD: May help antidote lead poisoning.
Yoga: Bitter, sweet/cooling/pungent; P, K-; V+
• Affects urinary, respiratory systems.
• Diuretic, lithotriptic, diaphoretic, alterative, hemostatic.
• Strong stone-removing action for the kidneys, bladder, gallbladder.
• Somewhat irritant, should not be taken for a long duration.
• Promotes healing of bones.
• Similar to Niu bang zi: as a paste/wash for inflammation.
• Clears Pitta and fiery emotions from the nerves and mind.
• For edema, nephritis, burning urethra, kidney stones, gall stones, stomach ulcers, broken bones, menorrhagia, venereal disease.
• Caution with patients with high Vata, constipation, dry skin; good for high Pitta.
NAH: Major source of silica - for lungs damaged by tuberculosis.
• Contains many minerals - good for anemia, debility, broken nails, lifeless hair, white spots on nails.
• Silicon encourages calcium absorption and helps guard against fatty deposits in the arteries.
• Astringent action stops bleeding, good for stomach ulcers.
• Mild diuretic, but its astringency makes it useful for children's bed wetting.
• Also for inflamed/enlarged prostate, cystitis, urinary stones.
K&R: Remineralizing agent.
• Water yin, wood yang, water yang, metal yin, earth yin.
Water: edema, oliguria, ascites, glomerulonephritis, cystitis, nephrotic syndromes, osteoporosis, demineralization, pathological calcification, Paget's disease, amenorrhea, diabetes.
Wood: hemorrhage, metrorraghia, epistaxis, hematuria, spasmophilia, tetany
Metal: immune deficiency, scrofula.
Earth: diabetes, chronic rheumatism, conjunctivitis, eyelid swelling.
MW: 35+% silica: its uses include almost the entire portrait of homeopathic Silicea: loss of nerve, nervousness to the point of nail-biting, hair-pulling, picking at the body or objects, slightly chilly constitution, problems with the hard sheaths and tissues of the body (strengthens tissue), thin, split hair, weak nails, lack of "grit" to the personality, no confidence to plunge into life, allergic to all sorts of things, chronic cystitis
• For all bleeding, ulcers.
• Brings matters to the surface, releases corrupted material.
• Doctrine of signatures: [see above on tubes] plus stem's striking joints - for joints.
MLT: Cider vinegar extract of Mu zei: use topically for all fungus.
TS: Cleansing agent for the stomach.
• Reduces the suffering from gravel. For all bladder and kidney difficulties, especially stones in the bladder
• Painful urination.
• Hemorrhaging, hematemesis, epistaxis.
• As a compress for foul-smelling sores with pus.
Hsu: Appetite stimulant; diuretic; screening test shows it is effective against stomach, tongue, and liver cancers.
3-9g
Niu Bang Zi
Arctium seed
Great Burdock












acrid
bitter
cool
Lu
St
Disperses wind-heat; eliminates toxicity; expresses skin eruptions; eases the throat; relieves swelling; moistens the intestines for wind-heat constipation.

• Wind-heat: cough with difficult-to-expectorate sputum, swollen, red, and painful throat, fever.
• Wind-heat: slow skin eruption in early-stage measles or other incomplete skin rash.
• Heat and toxicity: red swellings, carbuncles, erythemas, mumps, acute febrile maculopapular rashes.
• Wind-heat: constipation.
• Good for constipation with sore, swollen throat.
• Prostatitis
• Weaker than Bo he at dispersing wind-heat and inducing sweating, but much stronger than Bo he at clearing heat and toxicity.
• Stronger at clearing heat than dispersing wind-heat, but much weaker at clearing heat and toxicity than the herbs in that category.
MLT: Should be crushed.
• Good for skin disease, cancer.
JC: Diuretic; alterative; tonic; nervine; diaphoretic.
• For edema, inflamed kidneys and bladder; scalding urine; mucus discharge from the bladder; difficult skin problems; eczema; boils; carbuncles; psoriasis.
• Topical: powder for abrasions, burns, wounds, ulcerations.
• Apply infusion topically to swollen glands and joints.
Yoga: (seeds and root) Bitter, pungent, astringent/cooling/pungent
• P, K-; V+ (in excess)
• Affects respiratory, urinary, circulatory, lymphatic systems.
• Alterative, diaphoretic, diuretic, antipyretic.
• Tonic and rejuvenative for Pitta.
• Same indications as above sources plus: lymphatic clogging, nephritis, edema, kidney inflammation, hypertension, cough.
K&R: Specific for all kidney afflictions; parotitis with constipation; eczema; cough; suppurative inflammation.
• Contracts the uterus.
IBIS: Alterative, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, tonic.
• [Western] dosage: root tincture: 2 - 8 mL; seed tincture: 0.5 - 2 mL.
• Therapy: aphthous and catarrhal ulcerations of stomach membranes; irritable coughs; psoriasis; chronic cutaneous eruptions; chronic glandular enlargements; syphilitic, scrofulous, and gouty conditions (Ellingwood, p. 378); skin conditions, especially with dry and scaly skin; eczema; acne; boils; styes; carbuncles; arthritis; rheumatism (Anderson Geller)
• Handling fresh leaves may cause contact dermatitis (Duke; Muenscher)
3-9g
Sang Ye
White Mulberry leaf
Morus alba
acrid
sweet
bitter
cold
Lu
Lv
Disperses wind and clears heat from the Lungs; clears heat from the liver to promote vision; cools the blood, stops bleeding (charred).

• Wind-heat: cough, headache, fever, swollen and painful throat.
• Lung dryness: cough and dry mouth.
• Lung heat: thick and yellow sputum.
• Lung yin deficiency: night sweats, feeling hot at night.
• Liver channel heat (full or deficient) or liver wind-heat: red, dry, painful eyes, excessive tearing, spots in front of the eyes (for liver heat, empowers metal to control wood).
• Heat in the blood: mild cases of hematemesis.
• May lower blood sugar.
• Stronger than Ju hua to disperse wind-heat, but weaker to clear liver fire.
• Fry with honey (honey:herb::1:10) to moisten the Lungs for invasion of dryness and treat coughing.
• Doctrine of signatures: (supposedly) looks like a lung.
• Grows in the spring and contains the energy of spring.
• Can be used as an external wash for eye problems.
• This is the food of the silkworm.
4.5-15g
Sheng Ma
Cimicifuga (Actea) rhizome

"Ascending Hemp"

























Cimicifuga (now Actea) racemosa

Black Cohosh











acrid
sweet
sl cold
Lu
Sp
LI
St
Guides upward; releases exterior syndromes; expresses skin eruptions; clears heat and eliminates toxicity; lifts Yang Qi.

• Wind-heat: headache; slow skin eruption in early-stage measles.
• Heat and toxicity: headache, swollen and painful gums, canker sores, sore teeth, ulcerated lips or gums, painful and swollen throat, sores, blotches (febrile disease).
• Spleen Qi sinking: prolapse (rectum, uterus, etc.), shortness of breath, fatigue.
• Spleen Qi deficiency and failure to control the blood in the vessels: uterine bleeding.
• Stomach heat: toothache (raises Yang and relieves heat toxicity).
• Often used with Ge gen to promote expression of rashes.
• Often used with Chai hu to lift the Yang Qi.
• Stronger than Chai hu at lifting prolapsed organs.
• Note that the herb Serrulata is often substituted for Cimicifuga.
• Guides other herbs upward.
• Fry in honey to lift spleen Qi.
HF: A San Du, scattering toxin medicinal, typically found in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas.
DY: Upbears Yangming and clear spleen Qi; frees the flow of Qi on the right side of the body.
• In combination with Chai hu for mutual reinforcement, to upbear liver, stomach, and spleen Yang Qi. See Chai hu in this category for indications and notes on this combination.
• With Sheng ma to resolve the exterior and muscle aspect, clear heat, resolve toxins, and out-thrust rashes over the whole body. See Ge gen in this category for specific indications and notes.
Sheng ma is stronger than Ge gen at upbearing Yang. Moreover, Sheng ma is used for all types of Qi fall in the middle burner, such as ptosis of the organs, rectal prolapse, uterine prolapse, shortness of breath with a feeling of collapse in the chest, chronic diarrhea, and persistent metrorrhagia.
• Sheng ma is a messenger medicinal which guides the action of other medicinal substances toward the upper part of the body - the head, face, and upper orifices - and toward the Yangming. Therefore, it is used to treat toothache, oral ulcers, and stomatitis associated with the stomach, and constipation associated with the large intestine [I assume he means by clearing excess from the Yangming].
Hsu: Anti-ulcerative, anticonvulsant, analgesic, antipyretic.
1.5-9g

Of the Western species, Cimicifuga racemosa:
It has not been clearly established how much the Chinese and Western species have in common, although they have been shown to contain many of the same chemical constituents. It seems that Black Cohosh possesses Sheng Ma's exterior releasing and analgesic qualities (and may even be stronger), but Sheng Ma does not necessarily possess the hormone modifying qualities of Black Cohosh. Since Serrulata species are a very common adulterant for Sheng ma, unless you are sure you are getting some kind of Cimicifuga, Sheng ma certainly cannot be counted on for the following actions and indications.
K&R: Antispasmodic (musculotrope and neurotrope), sedative, sympatholytic, vagolytic, LH antagonist. Pungent-cooling; wood yang.
Wood: headaches - migraine, ophthalmic headaches, cluster headaches, hypertension, vertigo, Meniere's, neuralgia, spasmophilia, menstrual cramps, menopausal complaints incl. depression, anxiety, hot flashes, vaginal dryness and atrophy.
• Also for genital herpes, asthma, pertussis, anxiety, panic attack, facial neuralgia, rheumatic pain, relieves tension in shoulders and occiput along the gall bladdder channel.
• Careful with the use of this herb for a true migraine - can induce vomiting.
JC: Nervine; emmenagogue; antispasmodic; alterative; diuretic; astringent; expectorant; diaphoretic; arterial and nervine sedative; cardiac stimulant-slightly depresses heart rate while increasing force of pulse and equalizing circulation; stomachic-tonic; antiseptic; antivenomous; muscular: for rheumatism, arthritis, neuralgia; tonic to mucus and serous tissues; stimulates secretions of liver, kidneys, and lymphatics.
• Pelvic disturbances, uterine disorders - contracts the uterus, increases menstrual flow.
• Acute chronic pulmonary and bronchial affections.
• Parturition: initiates uterine contractions, checks hemorrhage, allays nervousness and afterpains of delivery.
• Hypertension, palpitations, hemorrhage, uterine contractions: use full dose.
• Smaller dose for insomnia, headache, indigestion, bronchitis...
• Use as a syrup for colic, convulsions, nerve disorders, cough, whooping cough, liver and kidney disorders.
• Overdose can produce nausea and vomiting.
MW: A black, tangled mass of roots: for those caught in state of brooding, dark hopelessness, entangled in a web of coercive forces, against which one fights, but feels cannot ultimately defeat; a sense of entrapment; maybe caught in an abusive relationship or manipulative business pattern.
• For those who need to grab hold of their fears and drives in order to get through the entanglement which surrounds them.
• Gives the confidence to go through the black states of mind.
• Known as the "Herbal Chiropractor" - for spine problems/pain and head pain, especially when worse with menstruation.
Yoga: Bitter, pungent/cooling/ pungent
• Reduces Pitta and Kapha; elevates Vata
• Alterative, emmenagogue, antiseptic.



Acrid, Warm Herbs That Release The Exterior

• Since the dispersing effect of some of the more aromatic herbs in this category depends on their volatile oils, they are often decocted only for a short time (or are infused only).
• Also consider for wind-cold patterns when appropriate: Xi xin, Du Huo, Cang Zhu, Chuan xiong, Huo xiang, Ju hong, Wu gong, Jiang huang, Bai shao, etc.
Bai Zhi
Chinese Angelica root
Angelica dahurica
acrid
warm
Lu
St
Eliminates wind-cold; dries dampness; relieves swelling and drains pus; alleviates pain by eliminating wind; conducts to the Yangming channels; opens the nasal passages.

• Wind-cold: frontal headache, nasal congestion, supraorbital pain, toothache, or any other problem due to wind invading the Yangming channels in the head (can be used for heat syndromes when appropriately combined - e.g. for frontal headache due to wind-heat when combined with Shi gao).
• Headache due to sinusitis - key herb (not for headaches due to blood deficiency).
• Carbuncles and surface sores: dissipates swelling before there is pus or drains the pus after it has developed.
• Cold and damp in the lower Jiao: leukorrhea (combined appropriately, can be used for damp-heat also).
• Prevention of colds: increases IgA, IgM in the nose (by smelling it - usually hung in a container around the neck).
• Used in prevention of corneal ulcers secondary to burns.
• Used topically for freckles, maybe acne, hyperpigmentation, other blemishes.
• Liu: the ultimate herb for pus.
• A powder of Bai zhi and Bing pian, when inhaled through the nose, has been effective in treating headache, toothache, trigeminal neuralgia.
HF: A San Du, scattering toxin medicinal, typically found in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas.
Li Dong Yuan: Upbears Yang Qi.
3-9g
Cang Er Zi
Xanthium fruit
Cocklebur

"Deep Green Ear Seeds"
















Cang Er Cao
Cocklebur herb
acrid
bitter
warm
sl. toxic
Lu Opens the nose; eliminates wind-damp, alleviates pain; dispels wind.

• Wind-damp/wind-cold-damp: Bi syndrome, sinusitis, congestion, whitish discharge, headache.
• Wind-damp: skin disorders with itching, painful obstruction.
• Eliminates wind (auxiliary herb) for exterior syndromes with splitting headache radiating to back of the neck.
• Topical: local application in sesame oil for chronic rhinitis.
• Im injection for low back pain.
• Bensky/Gamble: eliminate wind-damp category.
Hsu: Antibacterial, decoction cures chronic arthritis and syphilitic neuralgia.
DY: Diffuses the Lung Qi.
• With Xin yi hua to effectively dispel wind, diffuse the Lung Qi, and open the portals of the nose. These two herbs are probably the two most efficient Chinese medicinal substances for all types of rhinitis and sinusitis. For the following indications, use the base formula Cang Er Zi San with these amendments: for wind-cold, add Xi xin, Huo xiang, Ma huang, and subtract Bo he; for wind-heat, add Ju hua, Jin yin hua, Lian qiao; for gallbladder heat, add Yu xing cao, Long dan cao, Huang qin; for Lung-spleen Qi deficiency, add Huang qi, Bai zhu, Dang shen, and subtract Bo he.
- 1. Common cold with headache, nasal congestion, and runny nose due to wind-cold.
- 2. Deep source nasal congestion with headache, nasal congestion, loss of smell, and turbid nasal phlegm.
- 3. Chronic or acute rhinitis, allergic rhinitis, hypertrophic rhinitis, sinusitis, parasinusitis, and frontal sinusitis.
Cang er zi is incompatible with horse meat or pork.
3-9g

Cang Er Cao: herb
• Bitter, acrid, slightly cold, slightly toxic.
• Expels wind; clears heat; eliminates toxicity.
• For wind-damp: Bi syndrome with spasms and pain in the extremities.
• Deep-rooted skin lesions and pruritis.
• Generally used topically.
• Not for long-term internal use, particularly by those who are very weak.
6-15g
Cong Bai
Scallion
Spring Onion
(white part with root)
acrid
warm
Lu
St
Mildly releases the exterior by promoting sweats; disperses cold and activates Yang; eliminates toxicity, dissolves swellings; conducts Yang to the surface.

• Mild wind-cold EPI : especially in the very early stage (often with Dan dou chi).
• Excess cold keeping the Yang on the surface of the body: diarrhea, cold extremities, feeble pulse, abdominal pain and distention, nasal congestion.
• Sores, abscesses, mastitis (often applied externally as a poultice).
• Combining with honey can upset the stomach.
• When decocting, cook only for a short time.
• When there is floating Yang due to deficiency, the use of Cong bai alone could make it collapse - this must be treated with Yang tonics or herbs which warm the interior (e.g. Fu zi, Gan jiang).
DY: Guides the action of other herbs to the Lung channel.
2-5 pieces
Fang Feng
Siler root
Ledebouriella

"Guard Against Wind"



acrid
sweet
warm
BL
Lv
Sp
Releases the exterior by eliminating wind, cold, and dampness; relives pain; relieves convulsions and tremors; alleviates itching.

• Wind-cold-dampness: headache, body ache, aversion to cold or joint pain, muscle spasm in the limbs.
• External wind: tetanus, trembling of the hands and feet.
• Spleen and liver disharmony: intestinal wind - recurrent, painful diarrhea with bright blood in the stool.
• Migraines.
• Deeper effect than Jing jie - Fang feng reaches the muscles and tendons while Jing jie is more for the skin level. Qiang huo which penetrates to the bones and tendons, reaches deeper than Fang feng.
• Analgesic, mild antipyretic.
Fang feng's chief function is to disperse wind. Can be combined with Huang qi to prevent wind (e.g. in Jade Wind Screen).
• Not for convulsions due to blood deficiency or Yin deficiency fire.
Liu: May free stagnant liver Qi.
SD: May help antidote arsenic poisoning.
DY: With Huang qi to supplement the defensive Qi without retaining external evils in the body, to drain external evils without damaging correct Qi and without causing perspiration, to secure the exterior, prevent invasion by external evils, and stop perspiration. This combination appears in Yu Ping Feng San for indications such as:
- 1. Spontaneous perspiration due to exterior deficiency.
- 2. Tendency to contract EPIs frequently due to defensive Qi deficiency.
- Yu Ping Feng San should not be used to treat wind affections that are already established. This combination is too astringent once the evil Qi and the defensive Qi are already struggling. Its use might, in this case, retain the external evil inside the body.
- The pair Fang feng and Huang qi, when combined with Zhi ke, yields good results in the treatment of prolapse of the rectum, external hemorrhoids, flatulence, and abdominal distention. For rectal prolapse, the best approach is to add 3g Fang feng and 6g Zhi ke to Bu Zong Yi Qi Tang.
3-9g
Gao Ben
Ligusticum root
Chinese Lovage
acrid
warm
BL Releases the exterior and alleviates pain by dispersing cold; eliminates wind and damp; guides to the bladder channel and organ; reaches both ends of the Du Mai.

• Wind-cold: headache, especially severe parietal headache radiating to the cheek and teeth, occipital headache, or migraine.
• Any wind pattern that presents as pain at the vertex or pain that travels from the vertex down to the cheeks and teeth.
• Wind-cold-damp: Bi syndrome, joint pain.
• Wind-cold: acute lower back pain (the herb reaches both ends of the Du Mai).
• Warm, dry, ascending, dispersing nature.
• Not for headaches due to blood deficiency.
Hsu: Antispasmodic, emmenagogue, antiphlogistic, antifungal.
HF: A San Du, scattering toxin medicinal, typically found in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas.
Li Dong Yuan: Upbears Yang Qi.
3-9g
Gui Zhi
Cinnamon twig














































acrid
sweet
warm
Ht
Lu
BL
Lv
Releases the exterior by promoting sweats; warms the channels; activates Yang; disperses cold; promotes blood circulation; frees the bladder channel to promote urination; adjusts the Ying and Wei Qi; warms and facilitates the flow of Yang Qi in the chest.

• Wind-cold: fever, aversion to cold, headache, sweating or no sweating.
• Wind-cold-damp: Bi syndrome, sore joints, back, limbs, and especially shoulders.
• Heart and spleen Yang deficiency: retention of phlegm and harmful fluid.
• Heart Yang deficiency or obstructed flow of Yang Qi in the chest (shi or deficiency): chest pain, palpitations, irregular pulse, or angina pectoris.
• Cold obstructing the channels/blood: dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, masses in the uterus/abdomen.
• Cold-phlegm accumulation or weak movement of Yang Qi: edema.
• To promote sweating, use with Ma huang (Ma huang opens the pores, Gui zhi pushes the sweat out), especially for Yangming stage.
Wei and Ying imbalance: deficiency patterns where sweating occurs without improvement.
• Diuretic; mild antipyretic (primarily by vasodilation); some antibiotic effects.
• Compared to Ma huang in the treatment of wind-cold: while Ma huang works more directly by opening and disseminating the Lung Qi, Gui zhi works more by aiding the Yang Qi - this gives it the ability to treat either wind-cold excess or deficiency.
• For EPIs, smaller doses are usually used (3-9g) while larger doses (9-15g) are used for dispelling painful obstruction.
Li: Harmonizes the heart and kidneys; warms cold extremities; useful for palpitations.
PFGC: Enters the upper extremities; enters the muscle layer - primary herb to relieve the muscles; opens the energy pathways, raises the ancestral Qi up, descends counterflow of Qi (asthma, coughing), disperses pernicious Qi; keeps the upflaring tendency of liver wood in check; helps collapsed spleen Qi rise and rebellious stomach Qi descend.
• Its pungency disperses while its sweetness tonifies: it is therefore somewhere between dispersing and tonifying.
• By harmonizing the Ying and Wei, it can astringe sweats due to wind injuring the Wei, which in turn cannot attend to the Ying, which becomes weak and cannot secure fluids. it can induce sweating by regulating the Ying, which lets the Wei be harmonious by itself, which then forces sweat out to release the wind.
Hsu: Analgesic (raises pain threshold in brain); alleviates headache due to spasm of blood vessels in the head and relieves abdominal pain due to spasms of smooth muscle of the viscera; stimulates gastric secretions and saliva; markedly inhibits influenza virus.
DY: Promotes perspiration and resolves the exterior without damaging Yin; tropism: the blood division; quickens the network vessels; supplements spleen Yang; relieves the muscles; frees the flow of Yang and promotes urination by stimulating the function of transformation of the bladder.
• Treats edema of the damp type due to deficiency of the transformative function of the bladder.
• With Bai shao to harmonize Yin and Yang, the Qi and the blood, and the constructive and the defensive. This combination drains without damaging Yin, while constraining without retaining evils. They harmonize the vessels, relieve tension and stop pain, as well as support stomach Yin and spleen Yang, while regulating the spleen and stomach. For indications such as:
- 1. Common cold with fever, shivers, slight perspiration, no thirst, headache, thin white tongue fur, and a floating, moderate pulse or, in other words, a wind-cold exterior pattern with disharmony between the constructive and the defensive. (Take Gui Zhi Tang. 10 minutes later, eat very hot rice porridge, and stay well covered in bed to promote perspiration.)
- 2. Spontaneous perspiration and/or night sweats accompanied by fear of wind and cold, a cold feeling in the low back, and frequent catching of colds due to disharmony between the constructive and the defensive. (Use stir-fried Gui zhi.)
- 3. Chest and cardiac area pain due to heart Yang deficiency and disharmony between the Qi and blood. (Use 15-30g Gui zhi. In case of very cold limbs, Fu zi can be added.)
- 4. Abdominal pain with spasms and cramps due to deficiency cold and disharmony between the Qi and blood. (Dose Bai shao:Gui zhi::2:1. Use honey mix-fried Gui zhi and wine mix-fried Bai shao.)
- 5. Pain and/or numbness of the limbs due to disharmony between the Qi and blood. (Use stir-fried Gui zhi and wine mix-fried Bai shao.)
- 6. Vomiting and weakness during pregnancy accompanied by fear of cold, lack of appetite, nausea and a weak pulse in the cubit position due to disharmony of the spleen and stomach and the constructive and defensive. (Use stir-fried Gui zhi and wine mix-fried Bai shao.)
- 7. Weakness in the elderly, during convalescence, postpartum, and post-operatively with fatigue and lack of strength, fear of wind, and slight perspiration due to disharmony between the constructive and the defensive. (Use stir-fried Gui zhi.)
• With Shi gao to clear heat, free the flow of the network vessels, stop pain, and treat heat Bi or impediment. For such indications as rheumatic pain of the heat type with redness, heat, swelling, and severe pain in the joints. (Bai Hu Gui Zhi Tang)
• With Ma huang to mutually reinforce each other's floating and dispelling characteristics, to effectively open the pores, strongly promote perspiration, resolve the muscle layer, and scatter wind-cold of the excess type. For indications such as:
- 1. Colds, influenza with fever, fear of cold, severe shivering, absence of perspiration, headache, and general body aches caused by wind-cold of the excess type.
- 2. Rheumatic pains due to wind, cold, and dampness. (Ma huang Tang)
- 3. Cough and asthma due to wind-cold obstructing the Lung Qi. (Ma Huang Tang) It is advisable to use honey mix-fried Ma huang for cough and asthma.
- Gui zhi communicates with the constructive division [Ying] where it moves fluids. It brings these fluids to the exterior where Ma huang pushes them outward forcefully.
• The fine twigs (Gui zhi jian or Gui zhi shao) are known for their powerful Qi and are very fragrant. They are more powerful (than Gui zhi) for scattering wind-cold, warming and opening the channels and vessels, and quickening the blood.
Gui zhi mu, small twigs of cinnamon from which the external bark has been removed, is less powerful than Gui zhi for resolving the exterior and inducing perspiration, but is more powerful for warming the channels and quickening the network vessels. Gui zhi mu is preferred for the treatment of joint pain and stiffness of the sinews.
3-15g
Jing Jie
Schizonepeta flowers and herb















Jie Du Tan
Charred Schizonepeta
acrid
sl. warm
Lu
Lv
Releases the exterior by eliminating wind; stops bleeding (charred); promotes expression of rashes, alleviates itching.

• Wind-cold or wind-heat: headache, fever, aversion to cold, lack of sweats (combine appropriately for heat or cold).
• Wind: itching, urticaria, slow skin eruption in measles.
• Has a superficial effect (to skin level).
• Carbuncles and boils when they first erupt, especially when accompanied by chills and fever.
• Liu: special for skin problems, the upper body, sore throat, headache, aversion to cold.
• Diaphoretic, increases subcutaneous circulation.
• Bensky/Gamble: can be used whether the disorder is hot or cold.
• Short cook.
Li: [contrary to Liu] this is a warm herb - caution with sore throat, can worsen it (Li removes Jing jie from Yin Qiao San when there is a sore throat). [My limited clinical experience seems to corroborate this idea. -PLB]
• With Fang feng - vital for opening the chest for persistent lung obstruction.
MLT: Antispasmodic, useful for rheumatism, facial paralysis, stroke symptoms, stiff neck and spine.
3-9g

Jie Dui Tan: charred
• Stops bleeding, promotes blood circulation, dispels blood stasis.
• For bleeding, helps the liver store blood and the spleen hold blood.
• Epistaxis, hemafecia, uterine bleeding.
Ma Huang
Ephedra
(E. sinica, E. equisetina, E. intermedia)

"Hemp Yellow"
























































































acrid
warm
Lu
BL
Promotes sweating (opens the pores); relieves asthma; promotes urination; disperses/moves Lung Qi and encourages it to descend.

• Wind-cold invasion: aversion to cold, no sweats, etc. - specifically Taiyang.
• Wind-cold in the Lung obstructs Qi: cough, asthma.
• Edema with exterior syndrome (heat or cold).
• For externally-contracted or internally-generated wheezing.
Ma huang opens the pores, but does not supply the sweat (combine with Gui zhi, which reaches the heart, the mother of sweat).
• Beneficial for urinary retention due to Lung Qi deficiency, where the Lungs lack the energy to descend fluids to the bladder.
• To mitigate its diaphoretic function, combine with astringent herbs, Qi tonics, or cool herbs.
• Anti-viral (influenzas); bronchodilator; vasoconstrictor, raises blood pressure (mild but prolonged).
• Not for breathing problems due to failure of the kidneys to grasp Lung Qi.
• Traditionally prepared by decocting it first and removing the foam on the surface of the water before adding other ingredients.
MLT: Of the world's ephedra species, Chinese has the most ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, especially between the joints of the stem. The best quality Ma huang has the joints removed.
PFGC: Shen Nung says it can break up masses and accumulations; it can reach the surface and also penetrate deeply into pockets of accumulated phlegm and coagulated blood, especially in combination with materials to eliminate masses and transform stasis
• By its entry into the Taiyang bladder, it can also enter the Shaoyin kidney and treat Shaoyin syndrome.
• Can treat pustules, skin ulcerations, stubborn skin disorders of the Yin (cold) type.
• The foam that collects on the water when Ma huang is cooked is too intense a diaphoretic and should be removed.
• People in cold areas with thick skin and muscles may need a larger dose to induce sweating.
DY: This is one of six medicinals which have been traditionally aged for the purpose of reducing secondary effects and reinforcing their therapeutic actions. Generally, the longer it is kept, the more efficient.
• The nodes of the stem (Ma huang jie) have an anti-diaphoretic action (like the root). For most effective diaphoresis, the knots should be removed.
• With Gui zhi to mutually reinforce each other's floating and dispelling characteristics, to effectively open the pores, strongly promote perspiration, resolve the muscle layer, and scatter wind-cold of the excess type. Gui zhi communicates with the constructive division [Ying] where it moves fluids. It brings these fluids to the exterior where Ma huang pushes them outward forcefully. See Gui zhi in this category for specific indications of this combination.
CHA: (Karen S. Vaughan) Honey fried Ma huang: The high heat in frying releases the essential oils in the joints of the Ma huang which would otherwise prevent sweating. (Smashing the joints and allowing the oils to escape would have a similar effect, but without honey's properties.) Honey frying makes Ma huang less warming (which may seem counterintuitive) because the oils are freed. (The Shang Han Lun suggests using node-free Ma huang to promote sweating.)
K&R: Sympathomimetic, diaphoretic, vasoconstrictor, bronchodilator, adrenal medulla stimulant, volumetric diuretic.
Wood, fire, metal, and water yin, water yang.
Also for cardiac disorders - hypotension, bradycardia.
- FDA: Contraindicated in heart disease, hypertension, thyroid disease, diabetes mellitus, difficult urination with enlarged prostate, or with antidepressants
Yoga: Somalata: K-; P+; V+ (in excess)
• Powerful Kapha reducer; lymph cleanser.
Rajasic - can overstimulate the adrenals and burn out the nerves.
IBIS: Affinities: respiratory tract, urinary tract.
• Actions: Sympathomimetic, Bronchodilator, Decongestant, Central stimulant, Hypertensive, Diuretic, Sudorific, Anti-rheumatic.
• [Western] dosage: Tincture : (1:4) 2.5 ml T.I.D.; Decoction of Dried herb : 600 mg - 1500 mg per cup, 3 cups per day; Maximum Recommended Doses: UK: (Schedule III restricted): 600 mg herb single dose. USA: (FDA recommended) 8 mg single dose, 24 mg total daily as ephedrine alkaloid. Commission E: 15-30 mg single dose as ephedra alkaloid up to max. 300 mg daily as ephedrine alkaloid. Children - Not recommended under 13 years. 2 mg alkaloid /Kg body weight maximum dose.
• Internal: Asthma, hay fever, urticaria, hives, emphysema, nocturnal eneuresis, narcolepsy, febrifuge, rheumatism, myasthenia gravis, edema, rheumatic conditions.
• External: Allergic skin irritations, insect bites and stings.
• Specific Indications: Allergic rhinitis, congestion due to sinusitis, coryza or asthma.
Pharmacology:
• Ephedra is indirectly sympathomimetic, causing epinephrine release and thus non specific adrenergic receptor agonism. Ephedrine is predominantly alpha adrenergic, pseudoephedrine is predominantly beta adrenergic (Mills, 1991). Ephedrine is well absorbed by the oral route, crosses the blood brain barrier easily, and has a half life much longer than epinephrine being resistant to MAO and COMT degradation; excretion is urinary. The whole herb is not identical to isolated ephedrine because of the pharmacodynamics of pseudoephedrine and other components; in addition there are pharmacokinetic differences between the whole herb and isolated ephedrine (Mills, 1991; White, 1997; Gurley, 1998).
• Alpha and beta adrenomimetic effects: peripheral vasoconstriction, skeletal muscle vasodilation, positive inotropism, potentially hypertensive, sudorific, tachycardic, bronchodilator, mydriatic, urogenital tract stimulant and relaxant, decreases visceral muscle motility, increases viceral sphincter tone lipolytic, thermogenetic, hyperglycemic, diuretic.
• Central stimulation: Increases arousal and wakefulness.
• Motor end plate actions: Ephedrine modulates skeletal muscle motor end plate activity in rat models of myasthenia gravis (Sieb, 1993., Molenaar, 1993)
• Complement inhibition: Aqueous extracts of Ephedra inhibit complement activation at C2 and C9 (Ling, 1995).
• Inhibition of 3'5'cAMP Phosphodiesterase: Whole Ephedra extracts inhibit PDE in vitro, but isolated ephedrine did not inhibit PDE. (Nikaido, 1990, 1992).
• Reports of Ephedra whole herb toxicity in therapeutic dose ranges are absent from the medical literature. Numerous references to ephedrine (isolated alkaloid) toxicity exist. Ma Huang OTC supplements are often cited in toxicity reports without analysis of dose or alkaloid content. Ephedra is not used as an isolated herb or supplement by clinical herbalists of Western or Traditional Chinese schools, but is always used in combination with other herbs.
• Excessive consumption of ephedrine causes typical side effects of sympathetic hyperstimulation including headaches, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, palpitations, tachycardia, insomnia, tremor, anxiety. These effects are less noticable in consumption of the whole herb, and it has been suggested that the other constituents may modify the effects of the ephedrine alkaloids (Mills, 1991) .
• Nephrolithiasis has recently been associated with both ephedrine and Ma Huang usage (Powell,1998) .
• Contraindicated in hypertension due to vasoconstrictive and inotropic actions. Hypertensive effects of ephedrine in whole herb modulated by pseudoephedrine beta adrenergic effects causing muscle bed vasodilation.
• Contraindicated in hyperthyroidism: due to sympathetic induced increase in metabolic rate.
• Contraindicated in anxiety states: due to central stimulatory effects.
• Contraindicated in pregnancy: due to uterine stimulatory action of ephedrine and potential mutagenicity of byproducts.
• Contraindicated in Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy: due to net adrenergic effects on bladder causing urinary retention.
Drug interactions:
• Sympathomimetic effects could interact with MAOI therapy to cause potentially harmful elevation of catecholamine levels.
• Increased norepinephrine levels may reduce effectiveness of beta-blocker therapy.
• Ephedrine containing preparations are banned by Olympic and other sporting authorities.
Notes:
• Related Species: E. sinica is the principal herb of commerce; the related species E. equisitina, E. intermedia, E. distachya, E. geradiana all contain ephedra alkaloids, in varying distribution profiles (Zhang,1989). Several species of Ephedra are native to the South Western USA, including E. nevadensis, E. viridis. These species, commonly known as Mormon Tea or Mexican Tea have either insignificant traces or no detectable alkaloids (Moore, 1993).
• Traditional Chinese Medicinal Uses: Ma Huang has been used for over 5000 years in China. Ma Huang is never given alone in Chinese medicine, but always used in formulae combined with other herbs that modulate its stimulant effects without altering its actions on the lungs and kidneys. The crude herb may also be treated before use (by boiling in water or cooking with honey) to change its characteristics. Its principal uses in TCM are to disperse external wind, and aid movement of Lung qi. It is also taken for chills, fevers and coughs, and in combination with Rehemannia glutinosa as a kidney yin deficiency tonic. In Chinese medicine, the root is also used - its therapeutic effects being almost opposite to the stem e.g. hypotensive as opposed to hypertensive (Hikono,1983).
• Ephedra and its alkaloids have gained widespread popularity among the sports and body-building communities for weight reduction. The combination of ephedrine with caffeine (E.C.), and of both with aspirin (E.C.A.) is used by body builders in combination with caloric restriction to "cut" fat. This practice and popular OTC "weight loss" and "natural speed" products, based either on Ephedra herb or more usually on isolated ephedrine alkaloids have attracted considerable bad press in recent years. The FDA responded by issuing ultra-conservative dosage guidelines for Ephedra herbal products, expressed in terms of total ephedrine alkaloid maximum recommended doses. (Since then, this herb and its derivatives have been essentially banned, due to their use in the manufacture of crystal methamphetamine. Even pseudoephedrine products are now controlled.) The retail and MLM market is still replete with products purporting to be legal or natural speed and "natural" weight loss agents that contain variable amounts of Ephedra alkaloids or synthetic ephedrine and which will likely continue to be subject to consumer abuse and potential adverse reactions.
3-9g

Qiang Huo
Notopterygium root

acrid
bitter
warm
BL
K
Releases the exterior and dispersing cold; eliminates wind; powerfully eliminates (external) dampness; unblocks obstruction to alleviate pain; guides to the Taiyang and Du Mai.

• Exterior obstruction (especially with dampness) causing pain, aversion to cold, fever, aches over the body and head, general feeling of heaviness, sleepiness, headache at the vertex or occiput.
• Wind-cold-damp: soreness and pain (Bi) over the limbs (especially upper limbs), shoulders, back.
• Reaches deeper than Jing jie and Fang feng: penetrates to bones and tendons.
• Compared to Du huo, Qiang huo is used more for the upper body while Du huo is used more for the lower body.
• Warm, dry, ascending, dispersing nature.
DY: Powerful in action; tropism: the upper part of the body, occiput, nape of the neck, shoulders, upper limbs, and Taiyang.
Qiang huo has a more powerful action than Du huo. Its nature is upbearing, draining, and vigorous. The ancients said that Qiang huo has a "masculine dispersing Qi."
• With Du huo to dispel wind, cold, dampness, and treat Bi over the whole body. For indications such as:
- 1. Moving rheumatic pains all over the body. (Juan Bi Tang)
- 2. Common cold with fever, back pain, and joint pain due to wind, cold, and dampness. (Qiang Huo Sheng Shi Tang)
- 3. Joint running wind due to wind, cold, and dampness penetrating the channels and network vessels. Li jie feng or joint running wind refers to acute arthralgia which is severe and movable with loss of joint mobility, swelling, and intense joint pain which is worse at night. This affection can transform itself into heat and then cause redness, pain, swelling, and heat.
6-15g
Sheng Jiang
Fresh Ginger rhizome














acrid
slightly warm
Lu
Sp
St
Releases exterior syndromes by promoting sweats; stops vomiting by warming the middle Jiao; stops coughing by warming the Lungs; eliminates or reduces toxicity from crabs, fish, shrimp, and some herbs; adjusts Ying and Wei Qi.

• Cold in the stomach: vomiting.
• Wind-cold: fever, aversion to cold, headache, nasal congestion.
• Wind-cold or chronic Lung phlegm disorder: cough.
• Cook with brown sugar for mild wind-cold in children.
• Good for motion sickness, helps the nausea of chemotherapy.
• Beneficial in acute bacillary dysentery.
• Weaker than Zi su ye at releasing the exterior/promoting sweating.
• This herb is mainly used to assist.
• Topical: slices over affected testicle in acute orchitis (when no lesions).
• Spasms, sprains, pain: apply ginger tea
• Raises blood pressure (an average of 11.2/14 in adults in one study).
• Ayurvedic uses: see dry ginger - Gan jiang.
• The skin of the ginger rhizome - Sheng jiang pi - additionally can promote urination and reduce edema.
K&R: (fresh and/or dry - not indicated) Eupeptic, carminative, febrifuge, stimulant, antiphlogistic, antiprostaglandin, sudorific, stimulates circulation and sympathetic nervous system, increases salivary and gastric secretions, strengthens peristalsis of stomach and intestines, accelerates transport through alimentary canal and has general calming effect, stimulates appetite, slight detoxifying effect, anti-ulcerative, especially for ulcers from excess HCl.
• Metal, water, and earth yin.
Metal: respiratory infection, bronchitis, flu, bronchorrhea, pulmonary congestion, fever.
Earth: anorexia, glairy diarrhea, immune deficiency, leukopenia.
Water: impotence, UTI, glomerulonephritis.
• Also for hiccups, abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, amenorrhea from insufficient circulation.
• For motion sickness: can work as well as or better than Dramamine.
DY: "Sheng jiang" refers not simply to raw ginger - it must be fresh and young.
• With Ban xia to transform phlegm, downbear counterflow, harmonize the stomach, and stop vomiting. For such indications as:
- 1. Nausea, vomiting with not thirst and slimy tongue fur due to phlegm-dampness stagnating in the middle burner. (Xiao Ban Xia Tang) Ginger-processed Ban xia should be used.
- 2. Enduring cough with white, watery, and profuse phlegm. Use lime-processed Ban xia.
Sheng jiang is renowned for effectively treating vomiting. It can be used for all types of vomiting, even in the case of stomach heat, if it is combined with other medicinals related to the nature of the imbalance. It is traditionally said, "Sheng jiang is a sagelike medicinal for vomiting."
• Use it with bitter medicinals when these would otherwise cause nausea. In these cases, Sheng jiang is directly integrated into the decoction or chewed immediately after swallowing the liquid. This often is sufficient to calm the most stubborn patient.
• With Da zao to move the defensive Qi, nourish the constructive Qi, harmonize the constructive and defensive, fortify the spleen, and harmonize the middle burner. For indications such as:
- 1. Perspiration, fear of wind, and fever due to disharmony between the constructive and defensive Qi. (Gui Zhi Tang)
- 2. Fatigue, lack of strength, abdominal pain, and lack of appetite due to disharmony between the constructive and defensive Qi. (Xiao Jian Zhong Tang)
- This pair helps insure the proper assimilation of the active principles of other medicinal substances. These are the two main harmonizing herbs in Chinese medicine.
3-9g
Xiang Ru
Elscholtzia
Aromatic Madder

"Fragrant Soft Herb"


acrid
sl. warm
Lu
St
Releases exterior syndromes by promoting sweating (strong); expels summer-heat; adjusts function of the stomach to resolve dampness; promotes urination, relieves edema; reduces swelling.

• Wind-cold or summer-heat with dampness: fever, aversion to cold, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, lack of sweats, chills, body aches, diarrhea.
• Edema with scanty urination, urinary difficulty, especially when associated with an exterior pattern.
• Simultaneously expels summer-heat from the exterior and transforms turbid dampness in the interior.
• Mainly used in summer.
• For exterior disorders, cook only a short time.
• For edema, cook a long time into a concentrated decoction.
• So effective for summer-heat with dampness that it is sometimes called the "summertime Ma huang."
• May cause vomiting if taken hot. Take at a room temperature or add Huang qin or Huang lian to reduce this effect.
3-9g
Xin Yi Hua
Magnolia flower



acrid
warm
Lu
St
Disperses wind-cold; opens the nose.

• Any nasal or sinus conditions: nasal congestion or obstruction, nasal discharge, loss of sense of smell, related headache.
• Wind-cold or wind-heat: key herb (first choice) for sinusitis and rhinitis.
• Stronger than Cang er zi to open the nose.
• Antifungal.
• The hairs can irritate the throat (use a tea bag or grind to a powder).
• This herb has also been prepared as an ointment and an aerosol for local application: when applied to nasal mucosa, Xin yi hua causes a reduction in secretions.
DY: Often combined with Cang er zi. See Cang er zi in this category for the properties and indications of this combination.
3-9g
Zi Su Ye
Perilla leaf

"Purple Relaxing Leaf"



acrid
warm
Lu
Sp
Releases exterior syndromes by dispersing cold (mild); eases distention of the chest and epigastrium; promotes Qi circulation, expands the chest; alleviates seafood poisoning; calms a restless fetus, alleviates morning sickness.

• Wind-cold: fever, aversion to cold, headache, nasal congestion, cough, chest discomfort or stifling sensation in the chest.
• Spleen and stomach Qi stagnation: distended chest, vomiting, morning sickness, poor appetite, nausea, bloating.
• Seafood poisoning: abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea.
• Morning sickness: best to use the stem (Zi su geng) rather than the leaf.
• Its ability to release the exterior is mild compared to Ma huang and Gui zhi, but it is stronger than Jing jie and Fang feng at dispersing cold.
• Excellent for treating turbidity.
• Short cook.
Hsu: Extract prolongs duration of sleep.
HF: A San Du, scattering toxin medicinal, typically found in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas (key herb in Su He Tang).
Li Dong Yuan: Upbears Yang Qi.
DY: Zi su (the leaves [Zi su ye] and stems [Zi su geng] of Perilla) can be combined with Huang lian to clear stomach heat, dry dampness, rectify the Qi, and stop vomiting. For the following indications, ginger mix-fried Huang lian should be used:
- 1. Vomiting and nausea due to stomach heat or damp-heat in the middle burner along with Qi stagnation in the middle burner.
- 2. Vomiting during pregnancy due to heat or damp-heat along with Qi stagnation in the middle burner.
Zi su geng (the stem) moves the Qi, opens the center, rectifies the Qi, quiets the fetus, and particularly treats vomiting due to pregnancy, threatened miscarriage, and epigastric or abdominal distention.
Zi su ye and Zi su geng are often combined and added to formulas to treat plum pit sensation or wind-cold attacks with food stagnation or vomiting.
BF: The contemporary standard description of Perilla is that it is acrid and warm, it enters the Lungs and spleen, and its functions are to effuse the exterior, scatter cold, rectify the Qi, and harmonize the constructive. It treats wind-cold flu, aversion to cold, emission of heat, cough, qi panting, chest and abdominal distention and fullness, and restless stirring of the fetus.
While all the sources quoted in the Zhong Yao Da Ci Dian (Large Dictionary of Chinese Medicinals) say that this medicinal is acrid and warm, the Ben Cao Yan Yi (Amplified Meaning Materia Medica) says that Perilla is only slightly acrid and also sweet. The Ben Cao Jing Shu (Oversights in the Materia Medica Classic) says its enters the hand Shaoyin and Taiyin and the foot Yangming, while the Ben Cao Jing Jie (Explaining the Materia Medica Classic) says it enters the foot Jueyin and hand Taiyin. In terms of functions and indications, the Ri Hua Zi Ben Cao (Ri Hua-zi's Materia Medica) says it supplements the center and boosts the Qi as well as frees the flow of the large and small intestines. The Ben Cao Tu Jing (Illustrated Materia Medica Classic) says it frees the flow of the heart channel and boosts the spleen and stomach. These other historical opinions suggest there is more to Perilla than its just resolving the exterior and downbearing upwardly counterflowing Lung and stomach Qi.
Restless fetal stirring refers to lower abdominal pain with leakage of blood from the vaginal meatus and low back pain during pregnancy. These are symptoms of threatened miscarriage. Most threatened and/or unstoppable miscarriages in my practice are due to insufficient production of progesterone. This usually goes hand in hand with a luteal phase deficiency and is, in my opinion, commonly due to autoimmune ovaritis. Such luteal phase deficiencies and progesterone insufficiencies in 35-50 year old Western women are overwhelmingly accompanied by signs and symptoms of spleen Qi-kidney Yang vacuity complicated by liver depression and possible damp heat, depressive heat, and/or blood stasis, and it is very interesting to me that Perilla is accepted as an empirically effective Chinese medicinal for quieting the fetus - something one would not expect from an exterior-resolving herb.
The Ben Cao Tong Xuan (The Mystery-penetrating Materia Medica) says that Perilla may discharge (drain) a person's true Qi if administered for a long period of time. Resolving the exterior means to promote sweating and sweating always results in a loss of true Yin and Yang Qi.
However, when combined with Mume, this medicinal's negative effects of discharging and draining are counterbalanced. As an exterior-resolving medicinal, Perilla is contraindicated in Yin vacuity patterns for fear of further damaging Yin fluids, but Mume engenders fluids. Likewise, over-effusing and out-thrusting can damage the Yang qi, but Mume's astringing and securing of the Lung Qi prevents this.
3-9g



Herbs That Clear Summer Heat


The year I learned single herbs from Guohui Liu, he chose not to utilize this category. Most of the herbs that clear summer-heat have other significant functions and may be assigned to these categories instead. Summer-heat attack, depending on where one lives, may be quite rare. Following is a list of herbs that clear summer heat which can be found in other categories in this book and also full descriptions of a few herbs that clear summer-heat as (perhaps) their most significant action.


• Bai bian dou (Qi Tonics)

• Che qian zi - treats diarrhea due to summer-heat (Herbs that Drain Dampness)

• Dong gua pi - treats edema due to summer-heat (Herbs that Drain Dampness)

• Dou Juan - see Dan dou chi section (Acrid, Cool Herbs that Release the Exterior)

• Hua shi (Herbs that Drain Dampness)

• Huo xiang (Aromatic Herbs that Transform Dampness)

• Ju hua (Acrid, Cool Herbs that Release the Exterior)

• Lian fang (Herbs that Stop Bleeding)

• Pei lan (Aromatic Herbs that Transform Dampness)

• Qing hao (Herbs that Clear Deficiency Heat)

• Ren shen ye - see Ren shen section(Qi tonics)

• Tai zi shen - treats unrelenting summer-heat in children (Qi tonics)

• Xiang ru (Acrid, Warm Herbs that Release the Exterior)


He Ye

Lotus leaf

Nelumbo nucifera

Particularly suited for treating diarrhea due to summer-heat. Also frequently used to promote weight loss.

Lu Dou

Mung Bean

Phaseolus

Particularly suited for treating thirst due to summer-heat. Also used to detoxify toxic herbs and for overdose of toxic herbs.

Xi Gua

Watermelon fruit

Particularly suited for treating thirst and scanty urine due to summer-heat. The white part ("watermelon frost" is coldest).




Herbs That Clear Heat And Reduce Fire

These herbs are among the coldest in the Chinese herbal pharmacopeia. Many are used for Qi level or Yangming stage full heat. 
From a Western perspective, a number of these herbs are antipyretic and some are anti-inflammatory.
Also consider, when appropriate: Huang qin, Huang lian, Huang Bai, Da huang, Tian Men Dong, Di Yu, Jue ming zi, Han shui shi, Gu jing cao, etc.

Herbs in this category are commonly combined with:
A. Herbs that strengthen the spleen and stomach, when there is deficiency of these organs.
B. Herbs that nourish Yin, when there is injury of body fluids by heat or the patient has pre-existing Yin deficiency.
C. Herbs that tonify Zhen Qi when used for patients with a weak constitution.
Dan Zhu Ye
Lophatherum stem and leaves

"Bland Bamboo Leaf"
(Not actually a true bamboo)
sweet
bland
cold
Ht
St
SI
Promotes urination; drains Ying level heat; conducts heart heat to the small intestine (conducts Ying level heat back to the Qi level); clears damp-heat; disperses upper Jiao heat; eliminates irritability or restlessness (by clearing heat from the heart, small intestine and stomach).

• Heat patterns with irritability, restlessness, thirst.
• Concentrated, rough, burning urination. Especially for heat in the heart/small intestine with irritability and a dark red tip of the tongue.
• Stomach or heart channel heat: canker sores or tongue sores, swollen and painful gums.
• Lingering Qi level heat.
• Some use this herb for Lung wind-heat, since it is very light and can disperse heat in the upper Jiao.
Dan zhu ye's diuretic effect is weaker than Mu tong.
• Note: Despite the translation of its name and its similar appearance to bamboo, this herb is of the Lophatherum genus, not Bambusa (true bamboo).
Hsu: Anticarcinogenic effect; diuretic.
6-9g
Lian Xin
(Lian Zi Xin)
Lotus seed heart or plumule
bitter
cold
Ht
PC
Drains heart fire; stops bleeding, binds Jing

• Warm-febrile disease: heat collapse into the pericardium channel causing mental confusion, delirium, mania.
• Heart fire: insomnia or irritability.
• Used as a powder for hematemesis, spermatorrhea.
• Lowers blood pressure, primarily by vasodilation.
Hsu: Dilates the coronary arteries; relaxes uterine smooth muscle.
1.5-6g
Lu Gen
Reed rhizome
Phragmites





sweet
cold
Lu
St
Generates body fluids; mildly promotes urination; clears heat from the Lungs and stomach; conducts Lung heat to the bladder and discharges it; promotes expression of incomplete rashes; stops vomiting; eases restlessness; eliminates phlegm.

• Lung heat, wind-heat, or phlegm-heat: cough, dry mouth, with or without sticky yellow sputum. Especially useful in acute stage. For phlegm-heat, Lu gen dilutes the phlegm and makes it easier to expel.
• Heat in febrile disease, stomach fire: thirst, dry tongue, fever, Shen disturbance - restlessness.
• Stomach heat: vomiting, belching, nausea.
• Heat: dark scanty urine, hematuria. Especially useful when accompanied by thirst and irritability.
Lu gen can also drain pus and treat pulmonary abscesses.
• Febrile disease with rashes that are incompletely expressed.
• This herb is most potent when fresh (rather than dried).
15-30 (up to 60g alone for incomplete expression of rashes)
Mi Meng Hua
Buddleia flower
sweet
cold
Lv Benefits the eyes.

• Red, swollen, painful eyes, excessively tearing, superficial visual obstruction, photosensitivity.
• Can be used in both deficiency and excess patterns.
MLT: Also for cataracts and for heat and inflammation of the face, head, throat, teeth, and gums.
3-9g
Qing Xiang Zi
Celosia seed
bitter
sl. cold
Lv Reduces liver fire to improve the vision and remove nebulas; clears wind-heat.

• Liver fire or wind-heat affecting the eyes: red, swollen, painful eyes, poor vision, superficial visual obstruction, cataracts.
• Lowers blood pressure: recently used for hypertension associated with liver Yang rising. In one study with cases of 160-230 mm Hg systolic and 100-135 diastolic, blood pressure was reduced to 125-145 over 78-90 after one month of treatment with Qing xiang zi.
• Dilates the pupils.
• Not for liver and kidney Yin deficiency or glaucoma.
Hsu: Antiphlogistic; dilates the pupils.
3-15g
Shi Gao
Gypsum

"Stone Paste"














acrid
sweet
very
cold
Lu
St
Clears heat and reduces fire from the Lungs and stomach; eases restlessness and thirst; the calcined form promotes tissue regeneration.

• Lung/stomach, Yangming stage, or Qi level heat: big, forceful pulse, high fever, restlessness, thirst, profuse sweats, red tongue, yellow coat.
• Stomach channel fire: headache, swollen and painful gums, toothache.
• Lung heat: cough, wheezing, fever, thick, viscous sputum.
• Topical: use the calcined form for eczema, burns, ulcerated sores, non-healing carbuncles. This herb may also be taken internally for these conditions.
• This herb should be crushed and cooked 20-30 minutes longer than other herbs.
Shi gao is stronger at clearing Lung and stomach heat than Zhi mu or Lu gen.
Shi gao is commonly combined with Ma huang. Ma huang's acrid quality helps to disperse Lung Qi, and its warm nature mitigates Shi gao's coldness. Shi gao lessens Ma huang's diaphoretic action, and its heavy quality helps Ma huang more effectively descend Lung Qi. Together, they effectively diffuse the Lungs and calm asthma, disinhibit urination and disperse swelling, clear heat and drain fire.
Li- "Shi gao is like Tylenol." Can relieve pain and lower the body temperature.
MLT: Potent for lowering fever: high fever, including that associated with meningitis, encephalitis.
Shi gao has little or no antibiotic properties.
• If necessary for long term, repeated use (e.g. reddening of the face from food allergies), Shi hu may be a better choice.
Hsu: Reduces thirst; hypotensive; antiphlogistic; tranquilizing effect.
DY: Heavy, downbearing, draining; engenders fluids, alleviates thirst; resolves heat from the muscles and from the exterior.
• For inflammatory rheumatism or hot Bi, use 150g per day, and in severe cases, up to 250g/day.
• With Zhi mu to strongly clear and drain replete heat (from the Lungs and stomach) while protecting fluids and Yin. For such indications as:
- 1. Persistent high fever, great thirst and desire for cold drinks, dry tongue, vexation, profuse perspiration, and a surging, big pulse due to heat in the Qi division. (Use Bai Hu Tang.)
- 2. Upper thirsting and wasting with polydipsia, a dry mouth and tongue, and great thirst due to replete Lung heat damaging fluids. (Use stir-fried Zhi mu.)
• With Chuan xiong to dispel wind, clear and drain heat, quicken the blood and move the Qi, and stop pain. For headaches due to wind-heat or full heat (particularly that which is located in the Shaoyang or Jueyin channels). Use unprepared Chuan xiong. For wind-heat headaches, add herbs that dispel wind. Usual dosage of Shi gao for these indications is 30-60g.
• With Gui zhi to clear heat, free the flow of the network vessels, stop pain, and treat heat Bi or impediment. For such indications as rheumatic pain of the heat type with redness, heat, swelling, and severe pain in the joints. (Bai Hu Gui Zhi Tang)
9-30g (to 90g for very high fevers)
Tian Hua Fen
Trichosanthes root

"Heavenly Flower Powder"
















bitter
sl. sweet
cold
Lu
St
Strongly clears heat from the Lungs and stomach; strongly drains pus and relieves swelling; transforms phlegm; generates body fluids, moistens Lung dryness; relieves toxicity.

• Heat injures the body fluids: restlessness, irritability, thirst, cough, dry tongue coat, wasting and thirsting disorder.
• Heat in the Lungs: cough, including dry cough, or coughing blood-streaked sputum
• Heat and toxicity: red, swollen, painful carbuncles, boils, other swellings, sores. Especially useful for breast abscess (both internally and topically).
• Diabetes: heat in the Lungs and stomach with strong hunger and extreme thirst. Use 60-90g or more.
• Abortifacient (used 2nd trimester) - applied via a tea-soaked tampon or IM injection (also with She xiang) - takes 3-6 days to have an effect.
• compared to Mai men dong and Tian men dong, Tian hua fen is best for Lung For heat and dryness, Tian hua fen is most useful for when the origin is stomach heat. Mai men dong is superior when the origin is heart fire, and Tian men dong is superior when the origin is kidney Yin deficiency.
Tian hua fen is much stronger than Lu gen at relieving swelling and draining pus.
• Bensky/Gamble and MLT classify this with herbs that resolve phlegm-heat.
• Some people are allergic to this herb.
9-30g

Contains Compound Q/Trichosanthin/GLQ223 - a protein which has been utilized in the treatment of various kinds of ulcers, as an abortifacient, and to treat diseases of trophoblastic origin, such as hydatiform mole, invasive mole, choriocarcinoma. It appears to inhibit HIV-1 replication in acutely infected T-lymphoblastoid cells and chronically infected macrophages, and appears to selectively kill HIV-infected cells.
It produces an anaphylactic reaction in 10-20% of users. Pharmaceutical companies have produced chemically modified variations for greatly reduced allergenicity.
CHA: (Harriet Beinfield, Efrem Korngold, March 7, 2001):
Weidong Lu, MD, L.Ac., Chairman of the Chinese Herbal Medicine Department at the New England School of Acupuncture, explains that trichosanthin is a type of protein that is inactivated by digestive enzymes or by decocting the herb in boiling water. Trichosanthin cannot be absorbed as an active protein by the intestine from either the crude herbal material or the water extract. He further states that trichosanthin can only exert toxicity via intravenous or intramuscular injection, and that overdoses of injected Trichosanthes root may cause allergic reactions that include malaise, sore throat, headache, swelling, itching, and rashes. He maintains that Trichosanthes root is non-toxic when consumed orally in appropriate doses.
Xia Ku Cao
Prunella spike
Selfheal

"Summer Withered Herb"

bitter
acrid
cold
Lv
GB
Clears liver fire; brightens the eyes; disperses stagnant phlegm and fire, dissipates nodules.

• Liver fire: red, swollen, painful eyes, lots of tears, dizziness, photophobia, headache.
• Liver deficiency: eye pain that increases in the evening, especially when the eyes are neither red nor swollen.
• Stagnant phlegm-fire: neck nodules, lipomas, swollen glands, scrofula, goiter. Also for similar nodules in the inguinal groove or other parts of the body.
• Mildly reduces hypertension (probably through vasodilation), especially when accompanied by liver fire or Yang rising.
• Broad antimicrobial (tuberculosis, shigella, salmonella, E. coli, pseudomonas, strep, many other fungi and bacteria).
Li: Softens hardness: thick blood, lumps (including hyperthyroidism), hardened skin in eczema.
MLT: Also for conjunctivitis; some cancers.
PCBDP: Astringent, vulnerary.
9-15g (up to 30g taken alone)
Ye Ming Sha
Bat feces
acrid
cold
Lv Clears the liver and improves vision.

Night blindness, superficial visual obstruction, cataracts.
Also used for childhood nutritional impairment.
Doctrine of signatures: bats are blind, fly at night - for vision, especially at night.
3-9g
Zhi Mu
Anemarrhena
rhizome

"Know About Mother"


































bitter
sweet
cold
Lu
St
K
Mildly nourishes Yin, moistens dryness; clears heat and reduces fire from the Lungs, stomach, and kidneys.

• Extreme heat in the Lungs and stomach, Yangming stage or Qi level: high fever, restlessness, irritability, thirst, big, rapid, forceful pulse.
• Lung heat (including Yin deficiency): cough, including with thick, yellow sputum.
• Kidney (and Lung) Yin deficiency: tidal fever, night sweats, restlessness, steaming bone disorder, irritability, warmth in the five centers, bleeding gums.
• Also for kidney heat signs such as spermatorrhea, nocturnal emissions, and an abnormally elevated sex drive.
• Lung, stomach, and kidney Yin deficiency: excessive thirst, hunger, and urination - diabetes (often used with Tian hua fen).
• Treats both excess and deficiency heat.
• For excess Lung heat, it is often combined with Huang qin. For Lung Yin deficiency heat, it is often uses with Mai men dong. For excess stomach heat, it is commonly combined with Shi gao. For stomach Yin deficiency heat, it is used with Tian hua fen. For kidney Yin deficiency heat, it is often used with Huang bai and Shu di.
• Fry it in salt water to strengthen its ability to nourish the kidneys and to direct the actions of a formula downward.
Li: Can lower the body temperature.
DY: Treats all three Jiaos; clears the Qi division; drains deficiency fire from the lower burner, drains [aberrant] ministerial fire.
• If thirst is predominant, bran stir-fried or honey mix-fried Zhi mu should be used.
• If dry cough is predominant, Zhi mu should be stir-fried until scorched.
• With Bai he to moisten the Lungs and clear heat, nourish the heart and quiet the spirit. For such indications as:
- 1. Vexation and agitation, insomnia, vertigo, thirst related to a warm disease which has damaged Yin or due to Yin deficiency with deficiency heat.
- 2. Dry cough, vexation and agitation after a warm disease.
- 3. Lily disease.
• With Chuan bei mu to clear and moisten the Lungs, enrich Yin, drain fire, transform phlegm, and stop cough. For such indications as:
- 1. Enduring dry cough with little phlegm and difficult expectoration, sometimes fever, dry mouth, and a dry, red tongue due to water deficiency causing rising fire or due to Lung Yin deficiency. (Use stir-fried Zhi mu)
- 2. Cough due to Lung heat which causes Lung dryness.
• With Huang bai to clear heat, enrich Yin, drain deficiency fire, resolve toxins, and eliminate dampness in the lower burner. For such indications as:
- 1. Evening fever, steaming bones, and night sweats caused by Yin deficiency. - 2. Seminal emission, premature ejaculation, easy erection, excessive thinking about sex, sexual hyperexcitability, erotic dreams, nymphomania due to deficiency fire and hyperactive ministerial fire.
- 3. Dysuria due to Yin deficiency and to Yang losing its ability to transform (at the level of the bladder). For all these indications, both herbs should be salt mix-fried to guide their action toward the lower burner and kidneys.
• With Shi gao to strongly clear and drain replete heat (from the Lungs and stomach) while protecting fluids and Yin. For such indications as:
- 1. Persistent high fever, great thirst and desire for cold drinks, dry tongue, vexation, profuse perspiration, and a surging, big pulse due to heat in the Qi division. (Use Bai Hu Tang.)
- 2. Upper thirsting and wasting with polydipsia, a dry mouth and tongue, and great thirst due to replete Lung heat damaging fluids. (Use stir-fried Zhi mu.)
MLT: Broad spectrum antibiotic; has a downward energy, helps lubricate the kidneys.
• For heat with thirst unrelieved by drinking.
Hsu: Reduces blood sugar; antibacterial.
6-12g
Zhi Zi
(Shan Zhi Zi)
Gardenia
Cape Jasmine fruit









bitter
very
cold
Ht
Lu
St
SJ
Lv
Clears heat in all three Jiaos; mildly drains dampness; cools the blood; stops bleeding; eliminates toxicity; reduces fire from the heart, Lungs, and stomach to ease restlessness; topically reduces swelling and blood stasis due to trauma.

• Heat in the Lungs, stomach, or heart: restlessness, irritability, fever, stifling sensation in the chest, insomnia, delirious speech.
• Liver/gallbladder damp-heat (and constraint): jaundice, fever, scanty urination.
• Lower Jiao damp-heat: painful urinary dysfunction.
• Damp-heat in the gallbladder and san jiao channels of the face, affecting the nose and eyes or causing sores in the mouth or facial region.
• Heat in the blood: hematemesis, hematuria, hemafecia, epistaxis. Usually partially charred for this use.
• Topical: powder the herb and mix it with egg white or vinegar for swelling and blood stasis due to trauma.
• Increases contraction of the gallbladder 20 to 40 minutes after ingestion.
• A paste made of ground Zhi zi, water, and alcohol was used in an uncontrolled study of 407 acute sprains. The paste was changed every 2-5 days. 80% of patients had no pain within 24 and 97% were pain free within 48 hours. Swelling and restoration of function were also improved.
• Though Wei Li freely uses 9g/day, Guohui Liu is often more conservative with the dosage, cautioning that it is very bitter and cold and can nauseate some patients.
• This herb should be pounded before cooking.
• Partially char the herb when using it to cool the blood and stop bleeding.
Chao zhi zi is Zhi zi which is dry-fried until it turns yellow. It is less likely than plain Zhi zi to cause nausea or vomiting.
Li: Can lower the body temperature.
MLT: Also promotes blood circulation; relieves pain.
• Liver damp-heat: jaundice, hepatitis, boils, sores.
• Sometimes called the "happiness herb" because it relieves irritability associated with heat and liver stagnation.
Hsu: Cholagogue, lowers blood bilirubin; hypotensive; antibacterial.
DY: This is one of the bitterest substances in the Chinese pharmacopeia.
• The outer layer (epicarpium) of Zhi zi (Shan zhi ke) moves blood and clears external heat. The seeds inside (Shan zhi ren) clear internal heat. The seeds with the epicarpium are superior for draining Lung fire. The seeds without the epicarpium are superior for draining heart fire.
• With Dan dou chi, the two herbs unite to form the clearing and diffusing and out-thrusting method to eliminate evils from the exterior and interior. Together, they effectively promote perspiration, drain evils from the exterior, clear and out-thrust heat from the interior, and eliminate vexation due to full heat. For indications such as:
- 1. Vexation and agitation, insomnia, and irritability during or after a warm disease. (Zhi Zi Chi Tang) Use stir-fried Dan dou chi.
- 2. External contraction of wind-heat or a febrile disease.
3-12g



Herbs That Clear Heat And Cool The Blood

• This category consists of two moistening herbs - Sheng di and Xuan shen - and three moving herbs - Chi shao, Mu dan pi, and Zi cao. Xi jiao should no longer be used.
• Herbs in this category are commonly combined with:
A. Herbs that strengthen the spleen and stomach, when there is deficiency of these organs.
B. Herbs that nourish Yin, when there is injury of body fluids by heat or the patient has pre-existing Yin deficiency.
C. Herbs that clear heat and reduce fire, when there is a combination of Qi and Xue level invasion.
Herbs in other categories that also cool the blood. Consider as appropriate: Bai Mao Gen [Stop Bleeding], Bai Tou Weng [Clear Heat & Toxins], Bai Wei [Clear Deficiency Heat], Ban Lan Gen [Clear Heat & Toxins], Ce Bai Ye [Stop Bleeding], Da Qing Ye [Clear Heat & Toxins], Dai Zhe Shi [Subdue Liver], Dan Shen [Move Blood], Di Yu [Stop Bleeding], Di Gu Pi [Clear Deficiency Heat]Gui Ban [Nourish Yin], Mo Han Lian (Han Lian Cao) [Nourish Yin], Huai Hua [Stop Bleeding], Luo Shi Teng [Expel Wind-Damp], Qian Cao Gen [Stop Bleeding], Qing Dai [Clear Heat & Toxins], Qing Hao [Clear Deficiency Heat], Sang Ye (charred) [Acrid, Cool], Xiao Ji [Stop Bleeding], Yin Chai Hu [Clear Deficiency Heat], Yu Jin [Move Blood], Zhi Zi [Clear Heat Reduce Fire], Zhu Ru [Resolve Phlegm].
Chi Shao Yao
Red Peony root

























bitter
sl. cold
Lv
Ht
Sp
Promotes blood circulation, dispels blood stasis, relieves pain; clears heat; cools the blood; clears liver fire.

• Blood stasis: pain and swelling (including after trauma), dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, immobile abdominal masses. Not for amenorrhea due to cold/Yang deficiency.
• Xue level heat or heat in blood: skin eruptions, fever, purple tongue, bleeding including hematemesis, epistaxis.
• Liver fire: red, swollen, painful eyes.
• Heat-toxicity in the blood: carbuncles, boils, red, swollen eyes.
• Many sources classify this herb as a blood mover.
• Compared to Mu dan pi, Chi shao is only to be used for excess heat, while Mu dan pi can be used either for excess or deficiency. Chi shao is stronger than Mu dan pi at relieving pain.
Chi shao and Bai shao may be derived from the same plant (Paeonia lactiflora). Usually, but not always, Bai shao is gathered in the wild, while Chi shao is cultivated. The two are used together for pain and irritability associated with constrained liver Qi stagnation or pain and swelling due to trauma.
• For hepatitis, Chi shao is often used in very high doses (to 60g).
Hsu: Tranquilizes the CNS; suppresses abdominal pain caused by spasm of the smooth muscle of the small intestine; inhibits common cold viruses; dilates coronary arteries.
DY: When using many cold herbs, add Chi shao to prevent the cold from causing blood stagnation.
• For Hepatitis A and B (Chi shao regulates gamma GT and transaminases) due to liver fire or liver blood stasis. Most hepatitis (especially enduring cases) presents with blood stasis. Give 10-30g/day (depending on the severity of stasis) on a routine basis in this disease.
• With Bai shao to nourish the blood, constrain Yin, stop pain, cool the blood without causing blood stasis, and drain and nourish the liver. For such indications as:
- 1. Persistent low-grade fever due to heat in the blood. (Add Sheng di, Di gu pi, and Mu dan pi.)
- 2. Dry mouth and tongue, red and painful eyes due to insufficiency of fluids or Yin caused by residual heat. (Wine mix-fry both herbs and add Xiang fu and Dang gui.)
- 3. Lateral costal and chest pain, abdominal pain and conglomerations due to blood stasis or liver depression Qi stagnation.
- 4. Menstrual irregularities or amenorrhea caused by blood stasis, blood deficiency, and/or liver depression Qi stagnation.
4.5-15g
Mu Dan Pi
Cortex of Tree Peony root
Moutan
Paeonia suffruticosa



























bitter acrid
sl. cold
Ht Lv K Promotes blood circulation; dispels blood stasis; clears heat, including deficiency heat; cools the blood; drains pus, reduces swelling; clears liver fire.

• Heat in the blood or Xue level heat: skin eruptions, hematemesis, epistaxis, hemoptysis, subcutaneous bleeding, frequent and profuse menstruation.
• Blood stasis: dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, uterine masses, lumps, bruises, swelling, pain due to traumatic injury. Often combined with Gui zhi.
• Yin deficiency heat: fever (especially low grade, evening), steaming bone disorder. Particularly used in the aftermath of febrile disease. Most suitable in the absence of sweating.
• Heat-toxicity in the blood: yang-type carbuncles, boils, abscesses - including intestinal abscess. Also used topically for firm, non-draining sores.
• Liver fire: headache, eye pain, flank pain, flushing, dysmenorrhea.
• Appendicitis: with Yi yi ren, Da huang.
• Lowers blood pressure. In one study using Mu dan pi to treat 20 cases of hypertension, all diastolic readings dropped 10-20 mm Hg within 33 days, and symptoms improved.
• Use it in its raw form to cool the blood.
• Dry-fry it to promote blood circulation.
• Char it to stop bleeding.
MLT: Mu dan pi's blood circulating properties are similar to Gui zhi.
• For trauma, bruises with ecchymotic blood
• Strong downward action: not for wind-heat or Qi level heat - can drive exterior pathogens deeper into the body.
DY: Stops bleeding.
With Dan shen to quicken the blood and dispel stasis, cool the blood, and eliminate deficiency heat. For indications such as:
- 1. Hematemesis, epistaxis, metrorrhagia, purpura, and also rubella and pruritis due to heat in the blood division.
- 2. Menstrual irregularities, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, dark purple menstrual blood with clots, and postpartum abdominal pain due to heat in the blood which causes blood stasis.
- 3. Continuous, low-grade fever due to Yin deficiency heat. In this case, if there are night sweats, use Di gu pi instead of Mu dan pi.
- 4. Hot, red, swollen, painful joints due to hot Bi or impediment.
Mu dan pi is incompatible with garlic and coriander.
Hsu: Hypotensive, antibacterial, tranquilizing effects.
6-12g
Sheng Di Huang
Rehmannia root
(Unprepared)

"Fresh Earth Yellow"




sweet bitter
cold
Ht Lv K Sp Nourishes Yin, generates body fluids; clears heat; cools the blood; cools upward-blazing heart fire; slightly promotes bowel movement (by generating fluids).

Ying or Xue level heat: feverish body, dry mouth, deep red tongue, hemorrhage.
• Heat in the blood: epistaxis, hematemesis, hematuria, uterine bleeding.
• Heart fire blazing upward: mouth and tongue sores, irritability, insomnia, afternoon or low grade fever, malar flush.
• Injury of Yin or body fluids by heat: constipation, dry mouth, red tongue, thirst, continuous low-grade fever.
• Yin deficiency: wasting and thirsting disorder, throat pain.
• Sheng di huang's ability to nourish Yin is relatively weak compared to most herbs classified as Yin tonics.
• Hepatitis: Sheng di is a liver protectant.
• Rheumatoid arthritis: May reduce joint pain and swelling, improve function, nodules, and rash, and decrease temperature. May reduce ESR to normal.
• Eczema.
• Ulcerative colitis.
MLT: Antifungal, antibacterial.
• Normalizes blood sugar for diabetes mellitus.
• Stimulates new growth of flesh and bone for injuries.
PFGC: Moistens the skin, promotes a glossy appearance.
• In patients with weak stomach Qi, it may cause poor appetite.
• Can be used to gently clear away exuberant Qi - after taking it, it will bring about temporary peace.
• Contains iron - partly responsible for its ability to generate and cool the blood.
• Boosts the vessels, generates jing and marrow, brightens the eyes, clears the ears, treats taxation heat.
Hsu: Hemostatic, diuretic, lowers blood sugar.
DY: In the beginning of treatment, it can cause loose stools for 1-3 days. This side effect usually goes away on its own.
HF: An An Shen (spirit calming) herb, important in Gu Zheng (Gu parasite) formulas (because of emotional disturbance common in patients with Gu).
9-30g
Xi Jiao
Rhinoceros horn













Shi Niu Jiao
Water Buffalo horn

bitter salty
cold
Ht Lv St This herb has been included only because of the important position it has held historically in classical Chinese herbal medicine. The market for this and other rare animal products has led to the endangerment and abuse of many wonderful creatures.

Cools the blood; stops bleeding; reduces fire; eliminates toxicity; calms the Shen; relieves convulsions and tremors.

• Heat in the blood or Ying or Xue level invasion of heat: epistaxis, hematemesis, erythema, purpura, convulsions, delirium, very high fever.
• Blockage of the heart by fire (in disease caused by damp-heat): delirium, high fever, coma.
Ying or Xue level heat: unremitting high fever, loss of consciousness, delirium, convulsions, manic behavior.
• Heat and toxicity: skin eruptions
• Used mainly for cases of extreme heat.
• Never cooked. Powdered and taken directly.
• Do not combine with aconite.
1-2g taken directly


Shi Niu Jiao: Water buffalo horn (Bubalus bubalis)
• Salty, cold.
• Clears heat; cools the blood; relieves toxicity.
Shui niu jiao and Xi jiao have basically the same functions and composition, but Shui niu jiao is significantly weaker than Xi jiao.
• Ox horn is also used.
30-120g in decoction, 6-15g as a powder
Xuan Shen
Scrophularia root
Ningpo Figwort

"Dark Root"
bitter sweet salty cold K
Lu St
Nourishes Yin; strongly clears heat and eliminates toxicity; cools the blood; softens hardness, dissipates nodules and swellings; drains fire.

• Stagnation of heat/fire and toxicity in the blood: swollen, severely painful throat, swollen or red eyes, carbuncles, boils, nodes in the skin. For throat problems, Xuan shen can be used for wind-heat, Lung heat, and kidney Yin deficiency patterns when combined appropriately.
Ying level heat with injury of the Yin: feverish body, dry mouth, deep red tongue.
• Heat in the blood or Xue level heat: skin eruption, restlessness, delirium, bleeding, dry mouth, purplish tongue.
• Phlegm-fire: neck lumps, enlarged lymph nodes, etc. (Often with Zhe bei mu)
• Weaker than Sheng di at nourishing Yin.
• Lowers blood pressure - especially effective for renal hypertension - probably by vasodilation.
• Dry-fry it in salt to enhance its Yin nourishing properties.
• Not to be combined with Li lu.
Li: For enlarged lymph nodes, use Xuan shen:Huang lian::1:2.
• Caution with the dosage for sore throat - its ability to generate Yin can create phlegm (2g or less per day is safe).
• Can treat hyperthyroidism
PFGC: Treats rootless kidney fire attacking the throat.
Hsu: Vasodilator; stimulates blood circulation; antiphlogistic; hypotensive; antipyretic; hypoglycemiant; antifungal.
• Use 30-90g for tuberculosis and vasculitis.
DY: Drains floating fire; disinhibits the throat.
• With Ban lan gen to clear heat, resolve toxins, cool the blood, nourish Yin, downbear fire, disinhibit the throat, disperse swelling, and stop pain. For painful, red, swollen throat with dry, red tongue, and a fine, rapid pulse due to Yin deficiency generating a deficiency fire or replete fire which damages Yin. For heat-toxins, add Shan dou gen and Gan cao. For deficiency fire, add Mai men dong and Sheng di huang.
HF: An An Shen (spirit calming) herb, important in Gu Zheng (Gu parasite) formulas (because of emotional disturbance common in patients with Gu).
NAH: (Figwort - S. nodosa) Alterative. Thought to stimulate the lymphatic system. Formerly used [in Western herbalism] to treat scrofula (tuberculosis of the cervical lymph nodes). Because of its eliminative power, it is useful for eruptive skin diseases.
PCBDP: (herb) Diuretic, depurative, anodyne.
6-30g
Zi Cao (Gen)
Lithospermum root
or Arnebia

"Purple Herb"











































sweet
cold
Ht Lv Clears heat; cools the blood; promotes blood circulation; promotes the expression of skin eruptions; eliminates toxicity; slight function to moisten the intestines and unblock the bowels; topically clears damp-heat from the skin.

• Skin eruptions due to a warm-heat pathogen, heat in the blood, or extreme heat and toxicity in the blood: early measles, chickenpox, eczema, carbuncles, boils, burns. Especially good for dark red or purple skin disorders.
• Heat in the blood: constipation.
• Topical: for damp-heat skin lesions, vaginal itching. Often used in ointment for burns, sores, etc.
• May inhibit ovulation.
• Antineoplastic effects.
• Doctrine of signatures: Its purple color conveys it ability to enter the blood and to treat purple skin eruptions.
JTCM: Its nature is mild. It cools the blood but is not harsh, it moves blood, but not recklessly. It promotes muscle regeneration, clears dampness, heals ulcers, kills parasites and fungus. It can prevent the growth of bacteria and also has anti-inflammatory properties. It promotes blood circulation, growth of the epithelium, and excretion of toxins. It treats allergic purpura due to heat in the blood.
• Treatment of chronic hepatitis B and liver stagnant-heat:
Zi cao treats liver stagnant-heat: dull complexion, liver or spleen enlargement, jaundice, stabbing pain in the liver area, low grade fever, restlessness, burning urination, constipation, bitter taste, dry mouth, dark red tongue with a sticky yellow coat, wiry pulse. This pattern includes chronic hepatitis B (its main pathology is stagnant damp-heat-toxicity). Experiments show the herb has activity against the hepatitis B virus. It also treats cirrhosis and ascites.
To treat chronic liver stagnant-heat, combine Zi cao with Mu dan pi, Chi shao, Shan zha, Hu zhang, Bai jiang cao, Ku shen, Chai hu, Yu jin, Yin chen hao. Add Huang qi and Tai zi shen if there is Qi deficiency. Add Nu zhen zi and Sheng di if there is Yin deficiency.
Zi cao oil for neurodermatitis:
Zi cao oil: Soak Zi cao in sesame oil (1 part herb : 2 parts oil) for 15 days. Strain the oil. Apply it to rashes 3-6 times/day.
Treats neurodermatitis (skin rash due to nervous system disorder, including with severe paroxysmal itchiness).
Zi cao for retinal phlebitis and other eye problems:
Zi Yun eye drops: Decoct 500g each of Zi cao and Dang gui for 15 minutes. Strain. For each liter of the fluid: Add 1kg Feng mi. Cook for another 10 minutes. Strain. Add 100g Bing pian and 3g She xiang.
Drop into the eyes three times daily.
Treats retinal phlebitis (including blindness caused by it), cataracts, bleeding of the eyes.
While applying the above eyedrops, give this formula internally:
Zi Lan Tui Yi Tang: Zi cao, Ban lan gen, Mu zei, Chan tui, Huang qi, Pao jia pian. In 30 days, the symptoms of 85% of patients are controlled. 95% of patients recover in 90 days.
Zi cao for festering otitis media:
Zi cao oil #2: soak 100g Zi cao in 1kg sesame oil. Cook over low heat until the Zi cao becomes charcoal colored.
Treats festering otitis media. To use, clear any pus from the ear with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Apply 3-4 drops of oil into the ear 4-5 times/day. Complete recovery usually takes 3-7 days.
Can be used for both acute and chronic ear conditions.
Zi cao for burns:
Zi Yun Gao: melt 150g beeswax. Add 30g each of Zi cao and Dang gui, and 500 mL sesame oil. Cook until the oil changes to a reddish-purple color. Strain, cool.
Apply to burns - especially first and second degree.
Zi cao for chronic ulcers:
Zi Cao Gao: soak Zi cao (30g), Dang gui (15g), and Chuan jiao (3g) in 300 mL sesame oil for 24 hours. Bring to a boil. Add Chuan shan jia (9g). Strain. Add 60g beeswax. Allow to cool.
Apply topically to chronic ulcers: Sterilize the surface of the ulcer. Apply Zi Cao Gao. Cover with gauze. Use a hot water bottle to warm it for 20 minutes, twice a day. Change the gauze once daily. Ulcers usually heal in 14 or fewer applications.
K&R: (L. officinale - fruit, leaves, flowers) Diuretic, emmenagogue, inhibits pituitary gonadotropins [FSH and LH], TSH antagonist.
• Wood yang, fire yang, earth yang:
Wood: biliary dyskinesia, urinary and biliary calculi, hyper-folliculine dysmenorrhea, mastosis, mastitis, hot flashes, spastic colon.
Fire: excess pituitary hormone secretion, especially inhibits FSH and LH.
Earth: hyperfolliculine dysmenorrhea, PMS.
RW: (various Lithospermum species) Contraceptive: antigonadotropic, anovulatory actions. Like oral contraceptives, it blocks the gonadotropic hormones of the anterior pituitary. Only reliable after prolonged use. Still does not reach the almost total efficacy of the contraceptive pill. Taken as a daily infusion by American Indian women for a period of six months to ensure infertility.
3-9g



Herbs That Clear Heat And Dry Dampness

• Because the herbs in this category are quite cold and bitter, use them with caution in cases of body fluid injury or deficiency of the spleen and/or stomach.
• Herbs in this category are commonly combined with:
A. Herbs that strengthen the spleen and stomach, when there is deficiency of these organs.
B. Herbs that nourish Yin, when there is injury of body fluids by heat or the patient has pre-existing Yin deficiency.
C. Herbs that clear heat and reduce fire, when there is fire.
D. Herbs that clear heat and eliminate toxicity, when there is toxicity.

In general, these herbs are related to or bear close resemblance to the class of herbs that in Western herbalism are called "bitter tonics." This use of the word "tonic" is somewhat different from the Chinese concept of a tonic. These herbs are considered tonics because they are useful for atonic conditions of membranes, muscles, and other tissues - particularly of the gastrointestinal tract. Also, based on the doctrine of signatures, yellow herbs are said to be useful for yellow conditions (e.g. thick yellow tongue coat indicating damp-heat, the yellowness of jaundice indicating [yang-type] damp-heat, yellow phlegm), and to affect organs that process yellow fluids - urine and bile (i.e. the biliary tract and urinary tract). For these purposes (mainly digestive weakness) they are prescribed in much smaller doses than those given in Chinese herbalism for clearing damp-heat. Typical doses of the bitters are a few drops of tincture in water (up to about 60 drops), three times daily, which might be equivalent to something from 0.02g to a maximum of 1.5 g of the herb daily. When using these herbs in the Chinese doses given below, they may be wisely combined with protective/restorative supplements (e.g., warming herbs such as sheng jiang; moderating herbs such as gan cao, da zao; middle jiao rectifying herbs such as chen pi, mu xiang; spleen Qi tonics; probiotics; l-glutamine; zinc-carnosine; etc.) when appropriate.

Also consider to clear Damp-Heat, when appropriate: Bai hua she she cao, bai tou weng, bai xian pi, ban lan gen, chuan xin lian, jin yin hua, ma chi xian, pu gong ying, shan dou gen, tu fu ling, yu xing cao, hu huang lian, qin jiao, xi xian cao, pei lan, bi xie, bian xu, che qian zi, chi xiao dou, deng xin cao, di fu zi, dong gua ren, dong kui zi, hai jin sha, hua shi, jin qian cao, mu tong, qu mai, shi wei, tong cao, yi yi ren, yin chen hao, ze xie, da huang, gan sui, qian niu zi, chuan lian zi, mu xiang, hu zhang, niu xi, si gua lou, yi mu cao, chun gen pi, bai mao gen, di yu, huai hua, etc. 
See also herbs that also clear heat in the Drain Damp category, Cool Herbs that Resolve Phlegm category, etc.
The first three herbs in this category, plus Zhi zi comprise the formula Huang Lian Jie Du Tang.
Huang Bai
Phellodendron bark
Amur Cork tree

"Yellow Fir"









bitter
cold
K
BL
LI
Clears heat and dries dampness (particularly from the lower Jiao); reduces fire; eliminates toxicity; clears deficiency heat; lowers blood pressure

• Damp-heat (especially in the lower Jiao): painful urination, low back pain, thick yellow leukorrhea, foul-smelling diarrhea, dysenteric disorders, prostatitis, red, swollen and painful legs, feet, knees, or jaundice.
• Yin deficiency heat: tidal fever, night sweats, spermatorrhea, steaming bone disorder, afternoon fever.
• Damp-heat-toxicity: carbuncles, boils, sores, lesions, eczema. Can also be used as a wash, powder, or ointment.
• Useful in meningitis.
• Bacillary dysentery.
• Topical: vaginitis and cervicitis from Trichomonas infection.
• Conjunctivitis.
• Weak antibiotic: contains berberine ˆ1% or more (less than Huang lian).
Li Dong Yuan: Leads rising Yang Qi back down to its lower source.
MLT: Useful for kidney fire with nocturnal emissions, insatiable sexual urges.
Hsu: Antiphlogistic, anti-inflammatory.
DY: With Zhi mu to clear heat, enrich Yin, drain deficiency fire, resolve toxins, and eliminate dampness in the lower burner. For such indications as:
- 1. Evening fever, steaming bones, and night sweats caused by Yin deficiency.
- 2. Seminal emission, premature ejaculation, easy erection, excessive thinking about sex, sexual hyperexcitability, erotic dreams, nymphomania due to deficiency fire and hyperactive ministerial fire.
- 3. Dysuria due to Yin deficiency and to Yang losing its ability to transform (at the level of the bladder). For all these indications, both herbs should be salt mix-fried to guide their action toward the lower burner and kidneys.
• With Cang zhu for mutual reinforcement, to clear heat, dry dampness, disperse swelling, and stop pain. For indications such as:
- 1. Wilting of the lower extremities with pain in the sinews and bones due to damp-heat pouring downward. (Er Miao San) Use salt mix-fried Huang bai.
- 2. Abnormal vaginal discharge, external vaginal itching, and cloudy, scanty urination due to damp-heat. (Use Cang zhu which has been stir-fried until scorched.)
- 3. Red, swollen, hot, painful joints due to wind, damp, heat impediment. (Cang Zhu San)
• With Ze xie to clear and drain fire due to Yin deficiency, and clear and eliminate dampness and heat. For indications such as:
- 1. Steaming bones, night sweats, and seminal emission due to deficiency fire. (Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan) Both herbs should be salt mix-fried.
- 2. Inhibited urination and pricking, painful urination due to damp-heat in the lower burner. (Salt mix-fried Huang bai and either unprepared or salt mix-fried Ze xie should be used.)
3-12g
Huang Lian
Coptis rhizome
Gold thread

"Yellow Links"






















































































bitter
cold
Ht
Lv
LI
St
Sp
Clears heat; dries dampness; reduces fire; eliminates toxicity; clears heart fire, drains stomach and liver fire; adjusts the appetite; stops bleeding due to heat.

• Heart fire: irritability, insomnia, high fever, restlessness, coma, delirium. Also combined with Rou gui for heart/kidney disharmony.
• Stomach or large intestine damp-heat: diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting, acid regurgitation.
• Stomach fire: digestive dysfunction, belching with a putrid odor, excessive hunger and thirst, diabetes. Also with Wu zhu yu in Zuo Jin Wan.
• Heat in the blood: epistaxis, hematuria, hemafecia, hematemesis.
• Heat and toxicity: carbuncles, boils
• Topical: for red and painful eyes; ulcerations of the mouth and throat; first and second degree burns; exudative erythema multiforme. Often used as a powder or ointment.
• Cholagogue; lowers serum cholesterol in rats; anti-inflammatory.
• Sometimes thought of, among the three "Huang" herbs in this category, as the main herb for addressing the middle Jiao, though it actually treats all three.
• For heart heat, Huang lian treats the heart, its mother (wood-liver), and also its son (earth-stomach/spleen).
• Contains berberine (4.7%): a broad spectrum antibiotic and fungicide. More effective than sulfa drugs. As effective as synthetic antibiotics for bacillary dysentery, tuberculosis, scarlet fever, diphtheria.
• Canker sores.
• Ulcerative colitis.
• Vaginal trichomonas infection.
• Tuberculosis.
• Typhoid fever.
• Scarlet fever.
• Diphtheria.
• Suppurative otitis media (administer in ear drops).
• Conjunctivitis, superficial keratitis.
• Anal fissures. (Applied repeatedly with cotton balls and increasing pressure.)
• Dry-fry it (Chao huang lian) to make it less cold and to help it enter the blood.
• Ginger-fry it (Jiang huang lian) to make it less cold, easier on the spleen and stomach, to treat stomach heat, help stomach Qi descend, and stop vomiting.
• Fry it with Wu zhu yu (Yu huang lian) to treat damp-heat in the Qi level, with such symptoms as diarrhea, vomiting, belching.
MLT: Combine Huang lian with any guiding herb to clear heat anywhere in the body.
• For diarrhea with stomach heat and an inability to ingest food, combine with Ren shen in a tea and sip throughout the day (it is alright if the patient vomits).
• With Huang bai, Huang qin, Da huang (4 yellows) for cancer.
PFGC: For heat in the upper Jiao: meningitis, cerebral hemorrhage, occasional dizziness, eye diseases with swelling and pain, canthus outcrop creeping over the eye (not for nebulous eye screen), bright red and rapidly spreading erisypelas.
• Damp-heat stagnating below the heart causing epigastric discomfort and fullness.
• Damp-heat: inflammations and ulcerations in the vagina.
• Contains the nutritive essence of fire and the functional nature of water - can resolve disorders that involve a chaotic interaction between fire and water: damp-heat in all three Jiaos.
• For eye disorders, coptis tea can be applied to the eyes with a cotton ball until the patient feels a bitter sensation in the throat.
• For red, swollen, painful eyes, coptis can be ground and mixed with sesame oil. The patient should then sniff its scent.
Hsu: Same antibiotic efficacy as sulfa drugs; stimulates gastric secretions (including from the pancreas); inhibits gastric ulcer formation; anti-inflammatory.
DY: Thickens the intestines, stops diarrhea; cools the blood; clears heat generated by dampness; treats vomiting and acid regurgitation caused by liver-stomach disharmony.
• The patient can take Huang lian with a slice of ginger on the tongue or eat ginger after taking it, if he or she is very sensitive to the bitterness. The herb can also be ginger-processed, wine-processed, or stir-fried until yellow to alleviate its bitterness.
• With Ban xia to harmonize upbearing and downbearing, Yin and Yang, to clear heat, dry dampness, transform phlegm, and stop vomiting. For indications such as nausea, vomiting, chest and epigastric fullness and distention, thick, yellow phlegm, yellow, slimy tongue fur, and a wiry, slippery pulse due to damp-heat, turbid phlegm, and/or mixed cold and heat causing stomach disharmony. Huang Lian Tang is typically used. For these indications, ginger-processed Ban xia and ginger mix-fried Huang lian should be used.
• With Gan jiang to eliminate cold accumulation and depressive heat, drain mixed cold and heat, in order to stop vomiting and diarrhea. The pair allows one to regulate upbearing and downbearing, to harmonize Yin and Yang, and to treat mixed cold and heat. The ratio of the two herbs can be adjusted (3-10g each) depending on whether heat or cold is predominant (use equal doses if heat and cold exist in equal proportion). For indications such as:
- 1. Vomiting, acid regurgitation, belching, epigastric pain or distention, and clamoring stomach (a feeling of hunger, burning, emptiness, unease, and sometimes pain in the stomach with nausea and acid regurgitation) due to a mixture of cold and heat in the stomach. (Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang) Use stir-fried Huang lian unless heat is severe.
- 2. Diarrhea, dysentery, and stomach rumbling due to mixed heat and cold and/or disharmony between the stomach and intestines. (Use stir-fried Huang lian unless heat is severe.)
- 3. Glossitis, stomatitis, and chronic, recalcitrant mouth ulcers due to spleen Yang deficiency and stomach fire.
• With E jiao to drain fire and enrich Yin according to the method of draining the south (i.e. fire) and supplementing the north (i.e. water), reestablish the interaction between the heart and kidneys, quiet the spirit, and treat dysentery damaging Yin. For indications such as:
- 1. Vexation, agitation, and insomnia due to febrile disease which has damaged Yin, deficiency fire, or heart and kidneys not communicating. (Huang Lian E Jiao Tang) Unprepared, or, even better, wine-processed Huang lian should be used.
- 2. Dysentery which damages Yin with pus and blood in the stools due to damp-heat in the large intestine.
- This is a key pair for heart-kidney disharmony, with symptoms mentioned above, plus many psychological disorders, loss of memory, profuse dreams, and tendency to wake up easily and frequently
• With Huang qin to effectively clear heat and dry dampness, drain fire, and resolve toxins from the upper, middle, and lower burners. For indications such as:
- 1. Red, swollen, painful eyes, toothache with red, swollen gums, oral ulcers, and glossitis due to full heat in the upper and middle burners. (Xie Xin Tang) Both herbs should be wine mix-fried. (The alcohol directs the action of these two herbs toward the upper burner.)
- 2. Vexation and agitation in warm disease with full heat or due to a breakdown in communication between the heart and kidneys. (Huang Lian Jie Du Tang or Huang Lian E Jiao Tang)
- 3. Diarrhea and dysentery due to damp-heat. (Shao Yao Tang)
- 4. Hematemesis and epistaxis due to heat in the blood. (Xie Xin Tang) Both herbs should be wine mix-fried.
• With Mu xiang to rectify the Qi, drain heat, dry dampness, and treat dysentery. This combination is used in Xiang Lian Wan for indications such as diarrhea, bloody and purulent dysentery, abdominal pain, and tenesmus due to damp-heat and Qi stagnation in the large intestine. Roasted Mu xiang should be used.
• With Rou gui (3-6g each) to harmonize Yin and Yang, drain the south (heart fire) and supplement the north (kidney Yang), and re-establish the interaction between the heart and kidneys. For indications such as:
- 1. Insomnia, vexation, and agitation due to heart and kidneys not communicating. (Such as for kidney Yang deficiency which cannot move and upbear kidney water, which then becomes dead and stagnant, and fails to nourish heart Yin and control heart fire which rises upward. Use Jiao Tai Wan.)
- 2. Glossitis, oral ulcers, heart palpitations, together with fear of cold, copious clear urination, impotence, and seminal emission due to simultaneous heart fire and kidney Yang deficiency.
• With Wu zhu yu to effectively drain liver fire, harmonize the stomach, downbear counterflow, and stop pain, acid regurgitation, and vomiting. For indications such as:
- 1. Lateral costal pain and distention, nausea, vomiting, acid regurgitation, belching, clamoring stomach, and a bitter taste in the mouth due to liver depression transforming into fire which disturbs the stomach. (Zuo Jin Wan - Huang lian:Wu zhu yu :: 6:1)
- 2. Diarrhea and dysentery due to damp-heat.
- The usual dosage for this pair is 3-10g Huang lian and 2-5g Wu zhu yu. Traditionally, the combination is for liver fire causing liver-stomach disharmony which, in turn, leads to nausea, vomiting, and acid regurgitation. In this case Huang lian should be prescribed in a larger quantity and Wu zhu yu in a lesser amount. However, this pair can also be used in patterns where cold and heat are mixed. In this case, if heat is predominant, the dosage of Huang lian should be proportionately more. If there is concomitant stomach Yin deficiency, add Shi hu. If cold is predominant, the dosage of Wu zhu yu should be proportionately more. If there is concomitant Qi deficiency, add Dang shen. If cold and heat are present in identical proportions, the quantities of both herbs should be equal.
• With Zi su (the leaves [Zi su ye] and stems [Zi su geng] of Perilla) to clear stomach heat, dry dampness, rectify the Qi, and stop vomiting. For the following indications, ginger mix-fried Huang lian should be used:
- 1. Vomiting and nausea due to stomach heat or damp-heat in the middle burner along with Qi stagnation in the middle burner.
- 2. Vomiting during pregnancy due to heat or damp-heat along with Qi stagnation in the middle burner.
Huang lian is incompatible with pork or cold water.
• From Michael Moore (via internet): Goldthread (coptis), in my opinion, is possibly the queen of remedies for stomatitis and slowly healing mouth sores (Myrrh and Anemopsis being preferable for acute problems). If you ever get a chance to gather some, be sure to use the leaves and stems as well... all parts of the plant are active. The constant reference to Goldthread Roots is a clumsy remnant of the crude drug trade of a century ago... the dried roots could be stored in burlap bags for a DECADE, the foliage lasted but a year or two. With drastic loss of wild places in the last century, we need to revamp our often wasteful use of herbs, gathered according to standards set in greener (and profligate) times.
1.5-9g (0.5g promotes digestion and improves the appetite)
Huang Qin
Scutellaria
   baicalensis root
Baical Skullcap root
Scute

(S. amoena or S. viscidula also used)




































bitter
cold
Lu
GB
St
LI
Lv
Clears heat; dries dampness; reduces fire; eliminates toxicity; stops bleeding; calms the fetus; sedates liver Yang rising.

• Heat patterns (especially of the upper Jiao, but also of the middle and lower): high fever, irritability, thirst, cough, expectoration of thick, yellow sputum, hot sores and swellings (internal or topical). This herb is particularly useful for clearing Lung (and liver) heat. Also (as with Chai hu) can be used for Shaoyang syndrome.
• Damp-heat: jaundice, diarrhea, dysentery, carbuncles, boils, high fever, restlessness, thirst, rapid pulse.
• Damp warm-febrile disease: fever, stifling sensation in the chest, thirst but inability to drink. Also for Qi level heat.
• Damp heat in the lower Jiao: painful urinary dysfunction.
• Disturbance of fetus by heat (especially excess liver heat): restlessness or excessive kicking of the fetus, threat of miscarriage.
• Heat in the blood: bleeding problems such as hemoptysis, hemafecia, epistaxis, hematemesis, uterine bleeding.
• Liver Yang rising: headache, irritability, red eyes, flushed face, bitter taste in the mouth.
• Among the three "huang" herbs in this category, Huang qin is often thought of as being generally useful for upper Jiao (damp-) heat.
• This is a major herb for damp-heat in the stomach and intestines.
• Doctrine of signatures: the herb's resemblance to lung tissue conveys its affinity for the Lungs.
• Dry-fry it to make it less cool and to help it enter the blood. This form is used for heat in the lower Jiao and restlessness of the fetus.
• Wine-fry it (Jiu huang qin) to enhance its ascending properties. This form is more effective for treating damp-heat in the upper Jiao, including lung heat, makes it easier on the spleen, and also conducts it to the blood.
• Char it to enhance its hemostatic properties.
• Beneficial in bacillary dysentery; inhibits intestinal movement.
• Broad spectrum antibiotic, antifungal.
• Antihypertensive, probably due to vasodilation; diuretic; cholagogue.
• Anti-allergic action: the component baicalein inhibits the release of enzymes from mast cells, probably by inhibiting receptors. Baicalein and baicalin have been shown to have a bronchodilatory effect in animal studies.
• The constituent baicalin is anti-inflammatory and analgesic. It is a COX-2 inhibitor, it inhibits TNF-α, and reduces PGE2. Baicalin, baicalein, and wogonin act synergistically as anti-inflammatories and are strong antioxidants.
• The constituent wogonin has been shown in one study to have anti-anxiety (though non-sedating) effects on mice.
MLT: Also has antiviral properties.
Hsu: Prevents (antigen/antibody) allergic response - for dermatitis, asthma, tracheal constriction.
DY: During pregnancy, Yang becomes stronger and easily produces heat because the creation of the fetus is a warm transformation and because the child's Qi is added to the mother's. As a result, it is frequent to see a restlessly stirring fetus due to Qi stagnation, Qi and/or blood deficiency, or kidney deficiency associated with heat - Huang qin can almost always be prescribed for this type of problem.
• Downbears turbid Yin.
• With Bai zhu to clear heat stirring the fetus, dry dampness, and fortify the spleen to contain the blood and the fetus. For uterine bleeding during pregnancy, threatened miscarriage, nausea and vomiting during pregnancy caused by heat or damp-heat associated with spleen deficiency which is incapable of containing the blood within the vessels. For these indications, the Bai zhu should be bran stir-fried, and the Huang qin should be stir-fried until scorched.
• With Ban xia to harmonize and re-establish the interaction between Yin and Yang, to effectively clear heat, drain fire, harmonize the stomach, stop vomiting, and scatter nodulation. For such indications as:
- 1. Vomiting and nausea due to a Shaoyang pattern. (Xiao Chai Hu Tang) Use ginger-processed Ban xia. When Huang qin is removed from Xiao Chai Hu Tang, the pain and distention of the chest and lateral costal regions disappear, but the alternating fever and chills persist. When Chai hu is used alone, the fever does not abate, but if Huang qin is added, the fever recedes efficiently.
- 2. Phlegm-heat. (Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan) Use lime-processed Ban xia and wine mix-fried Huang qin.
- 3. Lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and distention and sensation of fullness in the stomach, diaphragm, and chest caused by a pattern of mixed cold and heat. (Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang) Use ginger-processed Ban xia and bran stir-fried, ginger mix-fried or stir-fried-until-scorched Huang qin.• With Chai hu to harmonize the interior with the exterior, the Shaoyang, and liver and gallbladder. Together, they also clear the liver and resolve depression as well as clear and eliminate dampness and heat, particularly in the liver and gallbladder. Chai hu dispels evils (heat) limited to the superficial part of the Shaoyang. Huang qin drains evil heat limited to the internal part of the Shaoyang. For indications such as:
- 1. Alternating fever and chills, a bitter taste in the mouth, dry throat, pain and fullness in the chest and lateral costal regions, nausea, and lack of appetite due to a Shaoyang pattern. (Xiao Chai Hu Tang)
- 2. Malaria due to a Shaoyang pattern.
- 3. Liver depression transforming into fire.
- This combination is remarkably effective for hepato-biliary disorders, such as acute or chronic hepatitis, biliary lithiasis, cholecystitis, and hepatomegaly due to liver-gallbladder heat.
• With Huang lian to effectively clear heat and dry dampness, drain fire, and resolve toxins from the upper, middle, and lower burners. For specific indications of this combination, see Huang lian in this category.
• There are two kinds of Huang qin:
- Ku Qin ("Withered Scutellaria"): light weight, hollow body, dark color, floating, tropism to the Lung channel, drains Lung fire, clears the upper Jiao, drains heat from the muscles and the exterior.
- Zi Qin ("Young Scutellaria") / Tiao Qin ("Scutellaria Sticks"): dense, full, hard body, yellow and slightly green, sinking, tropism to the large intestine channel, drains large intestine fire, clears the lower Jiao, treats hot dysentery.
3-15g
Ku Shen
Sophora flavescens root

"Bitter Root"




bitter
cold
Ht
Lv
SI
LI
BL
Clears heat; dries dampness; eliminates wind, stops itching; kills parasites; mildly promotes urination.

• Damp-heat: jaundice, itchiness of the genitalia, leukorrhea, dysentery, sores.
• Wind, fungus, worms or other parasites, damp-heat-toxicity: skin problems, especially itchiness, and also seepage, bleeding. Used both internally and topically. A key herb for skin problems.
• Damp-heat in the lower Jiao (including small intestine damp-heat): painful urinary dysfunction, hot edema.
• Palpitations, arrhythmia: combine appropriately based on the diagnosis (e.g. when due to heart blood and Qi deficiency, add tonics).
• Often used in pills, powders, tinctures, ointments, and washes.
• Contraindicated in combination with Li lu
• Asthma: with Gan cao and Ling zhi in the simplified ASHMI formula.
HF: A Sha Chong (kill worms or parasites) herb, important in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas
Li: For chronic sinusitis: kills persistent microorganisms in the sinuses which promote an ongoing inflammatory process (if no results within a month, discontinue).
3-15g (Or more for a strong topical wash)
Long Dan Cao
Chinese Gentian root

"Dragon Gallbladder Herb"

(Gentiana scabra, G. triflom, G. manshurica, G. regescens)

























bitter
cold
Lv
GB
St
Clears heat and dries dampness from the liver and gallbladder; reduces liver fire.

• Liver/gallbladder heat or damp-heat: costal or hypochondriac pain, headache, bitter taste in the mouth, red eyes, diminished hearing, jaundice, leukorrhea, eczema, herpes, itchiness and swelling of the external genitalia. For all damp-heat disorders of the external genitalia.
• Damp-heat in the upper gallbladder channel: red, swollen sore throat and eyes, swollen and painful ears, sudden deafness.
• Liver fire: headache, red eyes, flank pain.
• Liver wind-heat: fever, spasms, convulsions, flank pain.
• Taken (a half hour) before a meal, it increases gastric secretions, taken after a meal, it reduces them.
MLT: Cholecystitis, inflammatory pain, testicle swelling.
• Also for liver wind: spasms, dizziness, fever, convulsions, moving pains and sores on the liver channel.
Hsu: Antiphlogistic, antipyretic.
Yoga: Kirata, Katuki, Trayamana: bitter/cooling/pungent; P, K-; V+
• Bitter tonic, antipyretic, alterative, antibacterial, anthelmintic, laxative.
• For fever, debility after fever, jaundice, hepatitis, enlarged liver or spleen, genital herpes, acne, rashes, obesity, ulcers, venereal sores, diabetes, cancer.
• One of the best anti-Pitta herbs.
• Not to be used when there is no fever or inflammation or high Pitta or excess fat.
• Not for Vata-type debility, nervousness, muscle spasm, hypoglycemia.
RW: (various Euro-Asian species) A pure bitter (the bitter taste is detectable even at a dilution of 1:20,000). Contains no tannin - no astringent or irritant effect. Stimulates gastric secretions and motility and improves tone. It is active as soon as it is absorbed through the mouth's mucus membranes.
• Caution with a sensitive stomach with excess acid - it can aggravate hyperacidity. Mainly indicated for achylic and atonic conditions.
JC: (G. lutea) Tonic, stomachic, febrifuge, emmenagogue, anthelmintic (vermifuge), antiseptic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, emetic (large dose), sialogogue, antibilious, antiperiodic, antivenemous.
• One of most valuable bitter tonics and best strengtheners of the human system. Gentian stores vast quantities of condensed oxygen in its roots - the source of its bitterness and exhilarating tonic action. It is a revitalizing tonic and stomachic for physical exhaustion from chronic ailments, general debility, female weakness, digestive weakness, lack of appetite. Intensely bitter, but generally easily received by stomach, wherein it tones the liver without influencing the secretion of bile.
• For atonic gout, amenorrhea, anemia, bites, bruises, cancer (early), chills, chronic indigestion, colds, diarrhea, dizziness, dyspepsia, exhaustion, fainting, fevers, general debility (especially digestive), hysteria, infections, intermittent fevers, jaundice, lameness, liver troubles, malaria, scanty urine, scrofula, side aches, sprains, suppressed menstruation, worms, wounds.
• Common dose for the above indications: 1-2 teaspoons of a strong decoction in a small amount of water, an hour before meals.
• When possible, combine it with an aromatic herb, such as mint.
MW: Can be used for either a lack or excess of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
• Mental state of the gentian patient: self doubt, depression, lack of good instincts or lack of trust in one's instincts, panic (as in anaphylactic shock) - pale, sweaty, scared.
3-12g


Herbs That Clear Heat And Eliminate Toxicity

Herbs in this category are commonly combined with:
A. Herbs that strengthen the spleen and stomach, when there is deficiency of these organs.
B. Herbs that nourish Yin, when there is injury of body fluids by heat or the patient has pre-existing Yin deficiency.
C. Herbs that clear heat and cool the blood, when there is heat and toxicity in the blood.
D. Herbs that dry or drain dampness when there is associated dampness.
Bai Hua She She Cao
Hedyotis
= Oldenlandia

"White-Patterned Snake's Tongue Herb"
sweet
sl bitter cold
St
LI
SI
Lv
Drains dampness, promotes urination; clears heat; eliminates toxicity; relieves stagnation of heat and toxicity; reduces abscesses.

• Lower Jiao damp-heat: hot, painful urination. Also for damp-heat jaundice.
• Heat and toxicity: acne, carbuncles, boils, swollen, painful throat, intestinal abscess, appendicitis, sores, ulcerations, snake bite, ulcerative colitis. Used internally and topically.
• Cancer: stomach, esophagus, rectum (take 60g daily, long term, while monitoring digestion for cold damage). Usually combined with other herbs, such as Ban zhi lian.
• Strongly relieves fire-toxicity.
15-60g
Bai Jiang Cao
Patrinia
or Sonchus
or Thlaspi

acrid
bitter
sl cold
St
LI Lv
Clears heat; eliminates toxicity; relieves stagnation of heat and toxicity; drains pus; dispels blood stasis, relieves pain.

• Heat and toxicity: carbuncles, abscesses in organs, surface sores and swellings. Used internally and/or topically.
• Blood stasis (especially heat-induced): pain, especially in the chest and abdomen. Also for postpartum and postoperative pain.
• Prostatitis - drains pus out of the prostate.
• Mumps: one study of over 200 cases showed Bai jiang cao to effectively treat mumps (used with Shi gao, internally plus applied topically as a paste), providing relief to 90% of cases within 24 hours.
MLT: Specific for colitis/intestinal heat. Anti-inflammatory.
Hsu: Antibacterial; protects the liver: stimulates regeneration of liver cells, prevents denaturalization.
9-15g (to 30g)
Bai Lian
Ampelopsis
bitter
acrid
sl cold
Ht
St Lv
Promotes tissue regeneration, heals wounds; clears heat; eliminates toxicity.

Heat and toxicity: carbuncles, boils, burns
Topical: for wounds. Also works cosmetically on wrinkles - temporarily tightens the skin.
5-10g
Bai Tou Weng
Pulsatilla root
Chinese Anemone

"White-Headed Old Man"


bitter
cold
LI
Lv
St
Cools the blood; clears heat; eliminates toxicity.

• Key herb for dysentery (bacterial or amebic) due to damp-heat or heat-toxicity: fever, abdominal pain, loose stools with pus and blood, tenesmus. Can be used alone for this.
• Effective in treating scrofula after it has ulcerated and when healing is slow.
Hsu: Anti-trichomonas; antiamebic; cardiotonic effects, dilates peripheral vessels.
K&R: (P. vulgaris - Pasque flower) Antispasmodic, emmenagogue, sedative, estrogen antagonist, sympatholytic. Wood yang.
• One of the best plants to drain repletion of Liver Yang, the whole plant is used to treat symptoms of Liver fire, hyperthyroid symptoms, tachycardia, neuralgia, migraines, bronchial spasms of pertussis, allergic rhinitis and asthma, spasms of colonopathy on the right side, colitis, dysmenorrhea, liver congestion, symptoms of depression with the sudden mood swings of menopause, pain in the pelvic and genital area, pelvic congestion, hysteria, phobias, anguish.
• Also has diaphoretic and diuretic properties.
• All parts of the fresh plant are dangerous, causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal spasms, skin inflammation, and asphyxiation.
RW: (P. vulgaris) Take internally for inner eye conditions: iritis, scleritis, disease of the retina, and above all, grey or senile cataract and glaucoma. (More effectiveness in glaucoma than cataract.)
IBIS: Affinities: female reproductive tract.
• Sedative, analgesic, antispasmodic, antibacterial.
[Western] dosage: tincture: 0.1 - 10 gtt. t.i.d.; up to 60 gtt. t.i.d. (Hoffman).
• Therapy: toothache, insomnia, headache, depression/irritability, nervous conditions; dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, leukorrhea, spasm in reproductive system; skin infections, respiratory tract infections, asthma.
• Contraindicated for use in pregnancy; uterine stimulant and gastrointestinal irritant (De Smet, Farnsworth).
• Contraindicated for nursing mothers because of its gastrointestinal irritant effect (Brinker, Brooks).
6-15g
Bai Xian Pi
Dictamnus root bark
Chinese dittany

"White Fresh Bark"
bitter
cold
Sp St Dries dampness; eases itching; clears heat; eliminates toxicity; expels wind.

• Damp-heat: carbuncles, eczema with copious yellow discharge or pus and itching. Also for wind-heat skin conditions.
• Damp-heat: jaundice or Bi syndrome (used in combination with other herbs).
MLT: For fungal diseases associated with itching, especially effective when combined with Ku shen.
Hsu: Antipyretic, antifungal.
6-9g
Ban Bian Lian
Chinese Lobelia

"Half-Edged Lily"





acrid
cold
Ht SI Lu Helps the Lungs descend fluids to the bladder, promotes urination, relieves edema; disperses the Lungs; clears heat; eliminates toxicity; cools the blood.

• Heat and toxicity, poisons and venoms: snake bite, bee or wasp sting; also for swelling and pain from furuncles; fire toxin patterns including tonsilitis. Herb of choice for bites and stings - may be used internally or topically.
• Retention of harmful fluid: edema (often floating edema), ascites, mid- or end-stage schistosomiasis.
• Bensky/Gamble classifies with herbs that drain dampness.
• Not to be confused with the North American herb Lobelia inflata.
MLT: Cancer: anti-neoplastic properties.
Hsu: Diuretic, hypotensive, hemostatic.
15-30g
Ban Lan Gen
Isatis root
or Baphicacanthus















bitter
cold
Ht
Lu
St
Clears heat; eliminates toxicity; cools the blood; benefits the throat; strongly relieves swelling and disperses stagnation.

• Warm febrile diseases, warm epidemic disorders.
• Swelling: painful, swollen, sore throat, mumps.
• Damp-heat: jaundice.
• Very broad spectrum and powerful antiviral and antimicrobial effects.
• Viral infections: quite effective for encephalitis B, hepatitis A, B and C, EPI's.
MLT: Ban lan gen and Da qing ye are the most powerful anti-viral herbs in all of herbal medicine.
• Good for skin blotches from heat in the blood.
• Agent Orange disease.
• Similar to Western Baptisia tinctoria (Wild Indigo).
SD: May help antidote lead poisoning.
DY: With Shan dou gen for mutual reinforcement, to clear heat, eliminate toxicity, and strongly disinhibit the throat. For such indications as:
- 1. Painful, red, and swollen throat due to replete heat. This combination is usually sufficient to treat severe throat inflammations (including strep throat, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, etc.) due to heat-toxins or replete heat. However, when this combination needs further reinforcement, add She gan, Jin yin hua, Lian qiao, Xuan shen, and Gan cao.
- 2. Toothache and painful, swollen gums due to replete heat.
- 3. Oral ulcers due to replete heat.
• With Xuan shen to clear heat, resolve toxins, cool the blood, nourish Yin, downbear fire, disinhibit the throat, disperse swelling, and stop pain. For painful, red, swollen throat with dry, red tongue, and a fine, rapid pulse due to Yin deficiency generating a deficiency fire or replete fire which damages Yin. For heat-toxins, add Shan dou gen and Gan cao. For deficiency fire, add Mai men dong and Sheng di huang.
15-30g
Ban Zhi Lian
Scutellaria barbata
Barbat Skullcap
Bearded Scute

"Half-Branch Lotus"
acrid
cold
Lu SI
St
Lv
LI
Promotes urination to relieve edema; clears heat; eliminates toxicity; invigorates the blood, promotes movement and disperses in the course of clearing.

• Cancer (heat and toxicity): Lung, stomach, intestines. (One study seemed to indicate that this herb alone is not a cure.)
• Heat and toxicity: carbuncles, snake bite, abscesses, furuncles, sores, trauma.
• Retention of harmful fluid: ascites.
• Chronic hepatitis.
15-60g
Chuan Xin Lian
Andrographis
Green Chiretta
Kariyat

"Thread-the-Heart Lotus"
bitter
cold
SI
LI Lu St
Dries dampness; clears heat; eliminates toxicity.

• Damp-heat: dysentery, painful urination, eczema.
• Early stage warm-heat pathogenic invasion: fever, swollen, painful throat, headache.
• Lung heat: cough
• Lung heat and toxicity: abscess.
• Fire-toxin manifestations on the skin: sores, carbuncles.
• Topical: for eczema, snake bite (used fresh for snake bite). Often used in ointment for eczema.
• May be useful for prostate enlargement.
• Upregulates TH1 immunity (i.e., Wei Qi) - useful in acute infection.
• Recent use for loptospirosis.
• For common cold, one study indicated that 3-6g a day shortened duration of infection and mitigated symptoms.
Chuan xin lian can be used as an inexpensive substitute for Huang lian (in some cases).
• Exceedingly, overwhelmingly bitter. Can injure stomach Qi. Over 15g can cause nausea and/or vomiting. When taking it directly as a powder, it is often encapsulated.
PPP: Stimulates the immune system, especially phagocytic activity; stimulates bile production and flow; protects the liver from toxins; counters the damaging effects of free radicals; antiinflammatory; antiplatelet; abortifacient [contraindicated in pregnancy, though Chinese sources do not corroborate this].
• Used in Ayurveda for bitter tonic, stomachic, antipyretic, and laxative properties. Said to increase appetite, strengthen digestion, and diminish flatulence, hyperacidity and biliousness [probably in very small doses].
• Traditional uses include: loss of appetite, atonic dyspepsia, flatulence, diarrhea, dysentery, gastroenteritis, bowel complaints of children, liver infections, diabetes, general debility and convalescence after fevers, respiratory and skin infections.
• Indications supported by clinical trials: bacterial and viral infections including the common cold and pharyngotonsilitis, enteric infections; for prevention of urinary tract infections following shock wave lithotripsy, prophylaxis of common cold.
6-15g
Da Qing Ye
Isatis leaf
or Baphicacanthus or Clerodendron or Polygonum tinctorium

"Big Bluegreen Leaf"


bitter
very cold
Ht Lu St Cools the blood, relieves skin eruptions; clears heat; eliminates toxicity.

• Any warm-febrile disease or epidemic febrile outbreak.. Especially for epidemic toxin or any severe febrile disease that affects people regardless of their constitution, such as severe contagious disease.
• Heat and toxicity in the blood: swollen and painful throat, erysipelas, mouth ulcers.
Xue level heat and toxicity: coma, skin eruptions, high fever, restlessness.
• Heat in the blood: skin blotches, rashes, and other skin eruptions. Often used in cases with intense fever, irritability, and changes in consciousness.
• May be used for fire-toxicity anywhere in the body, especially the throat and Lungs.
• Very effective in treatment of encephalitis B; commonly used for meningitis.
• Acute dysentery, gastroenteritis.
• Antiviral, antimicrobial.
• Caution with spleen/stomach cold from deficiency.
SD: May help antidote lead poisoning.
9-30g
Gui Zhen Cao
Bidens

"Demon/Ghost Spike/Needle Plant"














    SD: It is said that the nature of the herb is sweet and bland, with a neutral property, though other sources list it as bitter. Its actions are to expel pathogenic factors from the surface of the body, clear up heat, remove toxin, and eliminate stagnancy. The applications listed include influenza, swollen and sore throat, enteritis, dysentery, jaundice, intestinal carbuncle, epilepsy in children, malnutrition in infants, and hemorrhoids.
In Chinese Medicinal Herbs of Hong Kong, the indications for Bidens pilosa (the only species listed) are: influenza, colds, fever, sore throat; acute appendicitis; acute infectious hepatitis; gastroenteritis, dyspepsia; rheumatic arthralgia; malaria; and hemorrhoids, pruritis.
Oriental Materia Medica reports it to have the functions of removing wind-dampness, dispersing stagnant blood, and invigorating blood. Applications of the herb include rheumatoid arthritis, sprain, insect and scorpion sting, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis, acute nephritis, stomach ache, and sore throat.
The substitute Desmodium species are similar to the standard herb known either as hulucha or longshehuang (Desmodium triquetri), which is applied to treat common cold, sore throat, enteritis, dysentery, jaundice, rheumatic arthralgia, and other disorders; the overlap in applications between bidens and desmodium is evident. A review of uses of Bidens bipinnata (the only species mentioned) is presented in Anticancer Medicinal Herbs, including:
Internal Medicine: "It is recorded in Handbook of Chinese Medicinal Herbs that: The decoction of the drug cures dysentery, laryngalgia, dysphagia, vomiting, cardiac spasm and esophageal dilatation, and is effective in
removing toxic materials, stopping diarrhea, and clearing away heat. The drug has been used to treat cecitis in the recent years." For cancer therapy, 15"“30 grams per day is decocted and taken orally for esophageal cancer;
for gastric cancer, 15 grams of bidens is combined with a complex formula for daily administration.
External Medicine: "It is said in Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Gold that "˜External application of bidens with arctium and blended with pig fat can cure finger cut.' It is recorded in Dictionary of Chinese Materia Medica that "˜The drug, bitter in taste, mild in nature, and non-toxic mainly cures spider and fly bites through internal and external application.' It is reported in Materia Medica that "˜Scorpion sting can be cured by external application of the drug.'"
In Chinese-English Manual of Common-Used Herbs, under guizhencao, Bidens bipinnata, B. pilosa, and B. biternata are all listed as the source materials; the applications are: 1. clear away the superficial heat: for common cold of wind-heat type and prevention of influenza; 2. clear away heat and toxic materials: for sore throat, appendicitis, snake bite, and centipede bite; and 3. clear away dampness and heat from the gastrointestines [gastro-intestinal tract]: for diarrhea, dysentery and stomach ache of heat type.
The herb, along with others, is included in the Chinese Patent Gan Mao Qing, a remedy for common cold and influenza. For topical use, the fresh herb is crushed and applied locally or boiled in water to produce a wash for boils, eczema, and tinea.
Based on the traditional claims, bidens would be expected"”from the modern perspective"”to show infection-inhibiting and anti-inflammatory properties: these actions have been investigated and shown to exist. In fact, bidens extracts are shown to inhibit bacteria, fungi, and viruses and to have potent anti-inflammatory effects in laboratory animal experiments with induced gastric ulcer, liver inflammation, or arthritis-type swelling. In Anticancer Medicinal Herbs, the anticancer potential of the herb is said to be implied by its bacteria inhibiting actions (since many antibacterial substances also inhibit cancer).
Bidens tripartita (lang ba cao), which has been known for many centuries as a remedy for chronic dysentery, was used in a clinical trial to treat 500 cases of dysentery, 65 cases of acute enteritis, 248 cases of chronic enteritis.
In 500 cases of dysentery, 387 cases were reported cured; with 13 not responding in 3 days. In 313 cases of enteritis all were cured (12 chronic cases relapsed later). The authors of the study pointed out that there had been an epidemic of dysentery in Shandong Province for many years and that practitioners at village clinics and the county hospital in Jianan County had used bidens as a remedy for about 10,000 patients.
ITM Formulary: A dried hot water extract of bidens with other herbs has been prepared in tablet form under the name Bidens 6 (Seven Forests). The formula is: Bidens 25%, Hu zhang 20%, Zi hua di ding 15%, Ban lan gen 15%, Ju hua 15%, Gan cao 10%. All the herbs in this formula have anti-infection activities.
9-60g (60-120g for acute appendicitis)
Hong Teng
Sargentodoxa vine

"Red Vine"
bitter
neutral
LI
Lv
Promotes blood circulation, disperses stasis, alleviates pain; clears heat; eliminates toxicity; reduces abscesses.

• A key herb for appendicitis. For appendicitis, it is often used in high doses (60g) and is combined with herbs such as Pu gong ying, Da huang, and Hou po.
• Blood stasis: dysmenorrhea, trauma, joint pain.
• Wind-dampness: joint pain.
• Heat-toxicity: abscesses, skin lesions with heat, swelling, and pain.
• Prostatitis.
• Antibacterial.
15-30g
Jin Yin Hua
Honeysuckle flower
Lonicera

"Gold Silver Flower"

























Ren Dong Teng
Honeysuckle vine/stem
sweet
cold
Lu St
LI
Clears heat; eliminates toxicity; expels wind-heat; clears lower Jiao damp-heat.

• Wind-heat or early stage of warm-heat pathogenic invasion: fever, slight aversion to cold, slight sensitivity to wind, sore throat, headache. This herb can be applied to Wei, Qi, or Ying level heat invasion.
• Heat and toxicity: carbuncles, boils, dysentery, hot painful sores and swellings, arthritis, intestinal abscess. Especially useful for affections of the breast, throat, or eyes.
• Lower Jiao damp-heat: dysenteric disorder or painful urinary dysfunction.
• Externally contracted summer-heat.
• Tuberculosis.
• Chronic conjunctivitis, keratitis, corneal ulcers.
• By IM injection or injection into acupoints, Jin yin hua has proven useful in treating severe acute pneumonia and bacillary dysentery.
• Also for many purulent diseases including appendicitis with perforation, mastitis, erysipelas.
• Broad antimicrobial, antiviral. Anti-inflammatory.
• Not for yin-type ulcers or for sores due to Qi deficiency.
DY: For severe heat-toxicity, dysentery, or pyogenic skin infections, use 30-60g per day. High doses can be used without side effects.
• With Lian qiao to strongly and effectively clear heat and resolve toxins. For indications such as:
- 1. Colds and influenza due to wind-heat. (Yin Qiao San)
- 2. Warm diseases with internal heat. (Yin Qiao San)
- 3. Headache, eye pain, toothache, sinusitis, and painful, swollen throat due to wind-heat.
- 4. Skin eruptions with pruritis due to wind-heat.
- 5. Skin inflammation due to heat toxicity.
- Neither herb is acrid. They are often included in formulas for dispelling wind-heat to prevent the production of heat toxins or to prevent heat from entering deeper into the interior. They are able to limit the worsening of colds, influenza, and other illnesses due to wind-heat.HF: A Sha Chong (kill worms or parasites) herb, important in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas.
K&R: Water yin, fire yin. Diuretic, antiseptic, sudorific, febrifuge, oxytocic.
• Tonsilitis, strep, pyelonephritis, acute articular rheumatism.
• The leaf may accelerate childbirth.
9-60g

Ren Dong Teng: the stem - "Stem that Resists Winter"
• Similar functions Jin yin hua, but does not disperse wind-heat.
• Also clears wind, heat, and dampness from the channels.
• Wind-damp-heat in the channels: hot, swollen, painful joints that are difficult to move (arthritis).
• Doctrine of signatures: the stem resembles a meridian - clears the meridians, treats the extremities.
15-30g
Lian Qiao
Forsythia fruit

























Lian Qiao Xin
Forsythia seed

bitter
sl. cold
Ht
Lu GB
Lv
Disperses internal stagnant heat (from Qi stagnation); clears heat; eliminates toxicity; can separate a mixture of Yang pathogenic factors.

• Wind-heat or early stage attack of warm-heat pathogen: fever, headache, thirst, sore throat, slight chills.
• Heat and toxicity: various kinds of carbuncles, nodules, boils, lymph swellings, all hot sores.
• Some benefit in acute nephritis and macular hemorrhage.
• May possess antiemetic properties.
• Doctrine of signatures: resembles the heart and, like the heart, it is light when open.
• Broad spectrum antimicrobial like Jin yin hua. Lian qiao is better against Shigella and Staphylococcus aureus, while Jin yin hua is better against Salmonella and hemolytic Streptococcus.
HF: A San Du, scattering toxin medicinal, typically found in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas.
Hsu: Antiviral, cardiotonic, diuretic.
DY: Clears heat from the whole body; clears the heart and upper burner fire; treats skin inflammations; scatters nodulation and disperses swelling.
• Do not exceed 15g/day - can damage the stomach Yang (sometimes 30g per day can be tolerated for a short time).
• With Jin yin hua to strongly and effectively clear heat and resolve toxins. See Jin yin hua above for specific indications of this combination.
Lian qiao is superior to Jin yin hua for clearing heat-toxicity, but (unlike Jin yin hua) Lian qiao does not reinforce the expelling actions of herbs which disperse wind-heat.
6-15g

Two types of Lian qiao: (B&G, DY)
• Qing lian qiao or Qing qiao: the blue-green fruit which has just begun to ripen. It is superior for clearing heat, resolving toxins, and treating warm diseases, fever, and erysipelas.
Huang lian qiao or Lao qiao: the ripe, yellow fruit - called "Old" qiao. It is superior for dispersing abscesses and swelling, scattering nodulation, and treating goiter, subcutaneous nodules, skin inflammations, and carbuncles.

Lian Qiao Xin: the seed
• Clears heat-toxicity which have entered the pericardium causing vexation, agitation, irritability, insomnia, high fever with delirium, mental confusion, loss of consciousness.
Ma Bo
Lasiosphaera or Calvatia
Puffball mushroom
acrid
neutral
Lu Eases the throat; stops bleeding; clears Lung heat; disperses wind-heat.

• Lung heat: swollen, painful throat, cough, aphonia; hemoptysis, epistaxis.
• Topical: for bleeding (most often in the oral cavity and lips), sores, wounds, epistaxis. Also for bleeding gums associated with frostbite.
• For hemorrhage from surgery (prostate, liver, spleen, kidneys) and trauma. In one series of 467 cases, it was successful 98% of the time.
• Can easily induce sweating and vomiting in its unprepared form. The herb should be honey-fried except when used to stop bleeding.
• Large doses can induce nausea.
• Possesses antimicrobial properties.
• Wrap in cheesecloth or a tea bag while cooking.
Hsu: Antiphlogistic, antipyretic, astringent.
1.5-4.5g
Ma Chi Xian
Purslane
Portulaca

"Horse's Teeth Amaranth"



sour
cold
LI
Lv
Relieves fire toxicity; cools the blood; clears damp-heat; treats sores; antidotes wasp and snake poison.

• Damp-heat or fire toxicity: dysenteric disorders; hot or bloody painful urinary dysfunction. In clinical studies involving thousands of subjects, decoctions of Ma chi xian reduced the incidence of bacillary dysentery in those exposed during epidemics. The herb is about as effective as sulfa drugs in treating acute and recurrent bacillary dysentery - over 90% effective in acute cases and less than 60% effective in chronic cases.
• Carbuncles, sores, red-and-white vaginal discharge. Applied topically or taken internally.
• Wasp stings, snake bites: for pain and swelling.
• Recently used for post-partum bleeding.
• Hookworm: when juice or tablets of Ma chi xian were taken by 192 subjects, 80% had a negative stool sample in one month.
• Appendicitis: A decoction of Ma chi xian and Pu gong ying was used in treating 31 cases of clinically diagnosed appendicitis. Of these, only one needed surgery; all others recovered uneventfully.
• Contractile effect on the uterus.
• Often prepared as a wash for skin problems.
15-60g (The fresh used is often used at double the dry dosage)
Niu Huang
Cow, Ox, or Water Buffalo Gallstone
(Bezoar)

"Cattle Yellow"



bitter
cold
Lv Ht Clears the heart, strongly opens the orifices, awakens the Shen by resolving phlegm; extinguishes liver wind, relieves tremors; clears heat; eliminates toxicity.

• Heat-toxicity: painful, red, swollen or ulcerated throat, canker sores, boils, carbuncles, ulcers, sores, herpes lesions, and a wide variety of hot swellings.
• Liver wind (due to extreme pathogenic heat): spasms, tremors, (infant) convulsions.
• Heat or phlegm-heat blocks the heart in wind-stroke or epilepsy: coma, difficulty speaking, delirium, seizures.
• Note: this herb should not be used alone for phlegm, as its cold nature may congeal the phlegm.
• Not as strong as She xiang at opening the orifices.
• The genuine article is expensive and difficult to find. The lab produced variety (Ren gong niu huang) is available, which is comparable to the true herb for treating heat-toxicity, but is weaker than the true herb at opening the orifices.
• Bensky/Gamble classifies with herbs that open the orifices.
MLT: Due to its rarity and expense, it is mostly used in the patent Niu Huang Jie Du Pian.
• With rhinoceros or water buffalo horn: for legionnaire's disease, meningitis, encephalitis.
Hsu: Sedative to the CNS, respiratory, and circulatory systems; cardiotonic; raises blood pressure; stimulates RBC and hemoglobin production.
0.15-1g (used only in pills and powders)
Pu Gong Ying
Taraxacum
Dandelion
































sweet bitter
cold
Lv St Drains dampness; clears heat; eliminates toxicity; promotes lactation; reduces abscesses; dissipates nodules.

• Heat-toxicity: inflammation - mastitis, appendicitis, prostatitis; carbuncles, boils, abscesses, nodules (especially when firm and hard). Used internally and topically.
• Damp-heat: jaundice, painful urination.
• Insufficient lactation: especially when due to heat.
Pu gong ying clears heat without the risk of damaging the stomach.
• The leaves are better at draining dampness than the root. The root is generally regarded as better at eliminating toxicity than the aerial parts.
• Antibacterial; anti-inflammatory.
K&R: Cholagogue, laxative, diuretic. Wood yang, metal yin, water yang.
• Wood: biliary dyskinesia, vesicular calculi, constipation, obesity, cellulitis, urea, gout, hypercholesterolemia, varices, acne, herpes, eczema.
Metal: acne, chronic rheumatism.
Water: excess uric acid, urinary calculi, urea, renal insufficiency.
• Also for various states of congestion of the liver and pancreas.
• Use as an eyewash for acute conjunctivitis.
Yoga: Bitter, sweet/cooling/pungent. P, K-; V+
• Alterative, diuretic, lithotriptic, laxative, bitter tonic.
• Detoxifies Pitta and Ama conditions.
• For swollen lymph nodes, tumors, suppressed lactation, breast problems.
• Similar to the Indian herb Bhringaraj - may substitute.
• Detoxifying for over-consumption of fat, fried foods, and meat.
MLT: For cirrhosis, hepatitis; all breast disorders.
• The whole herb is strongly diuretic, especially the leaves.
Joe: Rich in potassium. Therefore, when used as diuretic, it should not deplete potassium in the body.
RW: Rich in vitamins, especially C.
• Contains substances which act like enzymes, stimulating the function of the large glands - especially the liver and kidneys - and stimulating cell metabolism as a whole.
• Diuretic and cholagogue: encourages kidney function and promotes secretory function in the liver. Good for gall and kidney stones.
• For a tendency to form gallstones: must take dandelion for 4-6 weeks (best done in the spring, and repeated in the fall if necessary).
• One of the best herbs to use in chronic rheumatic complaints, chronic degenerative joint disease, and arthritis (requires repeated, consistent courses of treatment).
MW: The root focuses more on the (Western) liver - for stagnant metabolism, waste products/fluids building up. The leaf focuses more on the (Western) kidneys.
• Will stop infections in bones (e.g., infected tooth and jaw).
• Good when the tongue has a geographic coat.
• For mental illness: manic depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders (generally takes time to work - 6-12 weeks - not usually for acute disease).
9-30g (up to 100g fresh)
Qin Pi
Fraxinus branch bark
Korean Ash











bitter
cold
Lv GB LI Clears heat, drains liver fire; drains dampness; disperses wind-dampness; eliminates toxicity; benefits the eyes.

• Stagnant liver heat: red, swollen, painful eyes or superficial visual obstruction.
• Damp-heat or large intestine heat and toxicity: dysentery (not amebic) with pus and blood.
• Wind-dampness: Bi syndrome, mainly hot.
• Bensky/Gamble classifies Qin pi with herbs that clear heat and dry dampness.
Hsu: Antiphlogistic; analgesic; suppresses arthritis; diuretic.
4.5-15g

Excelsior species: Similarity to Qin pi (Fraxinus rhynchophylla, F. bungeana, F. chinensis) unknown. However, studies done in Russia would seem to indicate that Eastern species possess the same (or similar) properties as Western species.
K&R: (Ash - F. excelsior) Laxative, purgative, febrifuge, astringent.
• Moves the bowels, relieves the pain of constipation.
• Stimulates sluggish metabolism, stimulates secretions of the Islets of Langerhans.
• In Russia it is used as a circulatory stimulant to warm the hands and feet (warms the entire body).
• For intermittent fevers. Once used in place of quinine for malaria.
• Uremia (Cheynes-Stokes), arteriosclerosis, hypercholesterolemia.
• Metal, water, fire, and earth yang:
Metal: arterial hypertension, arteriosclerosis, hypercholesterolemia, uremia.
Fire: urinary calculi, gout, rheumatism.
Water: oliguria, urinary calculi, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, promotes longevity.
Earth: arthritis, arteriosclerosis, rheumatism, stimulates sluggish lymph.
Qing Dai
Indigo
(A preparation of Shi Gao and Da Qing Ye)

salty
cold
Lv St
Lu
Cools the blood; relieves swelling; clears heat; eliminates toxicity.

Heat or heat and toxicity in the blood: epistaxis, hemoptysis, hematemesis.
Heat and toxicity in the liver: infant convulsions, fever.
Heat in the Lungs: cough, sticky sputum, difficulty breathing.
Heat and toxicity: mumps, carbuncles, acne. Used both internally and topically.
Topical: inflammation of oral cavity and throat (often combined with Bing pian).
One component (Dian yu hong) is effective for treating leukemia, raises RBC count, decreases abnormal cells.
1.5-3g directly in pills or powders (to 9g or more when cooked)
Shan Dou Gen
Sophora root
(S. tonkineenis or S. subprostata)

"Mountain Bean Root"







bitter
cold
Lu
LI
Benefits the throat; relieves swelling, alleviates pain; clears heat; eliminates toxicity.

• Heat and toxicity: swollen, sore, painful throat; carbuncles. A key herb for sore throat due to heat and toxicity.
• Lung heat: cough.
• Damp-heat: jaundice.
• Topical: use the powder for pain, redness, and swelling of the oral cavity or cervix.
• Anti-neoplastic effects.
• Doses over 10g may cause nausea and/or vomiting.
Hsu: Anti-cancerous effects against malignant carcinomas; antimicrobial.
DY: Shan dou gen is the most efficient Chinese medicinal for treating throat inflammations due to heat-toxins or replete heat.
• With Ban lan gen for mutual reinforcement, to clear heat, eliminate toxicity, and strongly disinhibit the throat. For such indications as:
- 1. Painful, red, and swollen throat due to replete heat. This combination is usually sufficient to treat severe throat inflammations (including strep throat, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, etc.) due to heat-toxins or replete heat. However, when this combination needs further reinforcement, add She gan, Jin yin hua, Lian qiao, Xuan shen, and Gan cao.
- 2. Toothache and painful, swollen gums due to replete heat.
- 3. Oral ulcers due to replete heat.
3-9g
She Gan
Belamcanda rhizome

"Arrow Shaft"










bitter
cold
Lu Powerfully eliminates phlegm; eases the throat; clears heat; eliminates toxicity.

• Phlegm-heat or fire excess or fire-toxicity: swollen, painful throat. Sometimes used alone for sore throat.
• Phlegm accumulation: cough, asthma, wheezing.
She gan's powerful ability to eliminate phlegm makes it valuable for cold- phlegm patterns also, for which it should be combined with warm herbs.
• May be useful for uterine fibroids.
• Increases secretion of saliva.
• Liu: Not recommended for treating wind-heat. Since it is bitter, not acrid, it may drive the pathogen to the interior.
• The exquisite cultivated flower of this plant is sometimes called Blackberry Lily or Leopard flower.
MLT: Anti-hyaluronidase activity, especially useful to control inflammation; topical: for sores, dermatitis.
Gargle: with a little salt and lemon juice in water for severe sore throat.
Hsu: Antifungal, hypotensive.
1.5-9g
Tu Fu Ling
Smilax
Sarsaparilla








sweet bland
neutral
Lv St Clears heat; eliminates toxicity; resolves dampness; relieves joint pain and muscle spasm.

• Damp-heat (including with toxicity): joint pain, turbid and painful urination, jaundice, genital problems (liver channel).
• Dampness and toxicity: skin problems including acne, carbuncles, boils, herpes.
• Syphilis: pain and spasms of the muscles around joints (use with Jin yin hua and Wei ling xian)
• Lupus.
• Lyme disease.
• Treats and prevents leptospirosis.
SD: May help antidote arsenic and mercury poisoning.
K&R: Depurative, diuretic, stimulates LH secretion.
• Water yang, metal yin.
Water: nephritis, edema, gout, arthritis, rheumatism.
Metal: skin problems, flatulence; mild diaphoretic.
• Also for leukorrhea with inguinal lymphatic swelling.
• Eliminates urea for uremia; psoriasis.
• Contains hormone precursors.
• Traditionally used as a tonic.
BII: Binds to gut endotoxins for conditions associated with high levels of toxins: psoriasis, eczema, arthritis, ulcerative colitis.
• Possibly beneficial in cancer treatment.
Hall: For reproductive hypofunction, difficulty conceiving/sterility.
• May eliminate the inherited traces of unresolved disease (particularly syphilis).
• Teenage acne.
Yoga: Dwipautra: P, V- (does not increase Kapha)
• Alterative, diuretic, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, antisyphilitic, anti-rheumatic.
• Purifies the genitourinary tract - dispels infection and inflammation.
• Purifies the blood, improves Agni.
• Helps dispel accumulated Vata from the intestines.
• Cleanses the mind of negative emotions, useful in many nervous disorders.
• Tonic action on the sexual organs.
• Topical: As a wash for genital sores or herpes.
• Use as a hot fomentation for painful, arthritic joints.
MLT: Lymph cleanser.
• Able to penetrate the blood-brain-barrier: useful for spirochete-type microbes - syphilis, Lyme disease.
• Also useful for herpes.
JC: Alterative, diuretic, tonic, stimulant, relaxant, demulcent, diaphoretic, cathartic, anti-arthritic, anti-syphilitic, depurant, deobstruent, anti-scorbutic, carminative, poison antidote.
Hsu: Anti-tumor effect - use 500-750g.
15-60g
Ya Dan Zi
Brucea fruit

"Crow Gallbladder Seed"







bitter
cold
toxic
LI
Lv
Treats dysenteric disorders; treats intermittent fever and chills; topically treats corns and warts.

• Topical: for warts and corns. For warts, the wart can be seen as a parasite and Ya dan zi as an antiparasitic herb which feeds the parasite and then kills it. Ya dan zi is broken open and the white seed inside is applied to the wart. Usually requires continuous application for at least 10 days. For the first 10 days, nothing may appear to be happening. By 14 days, the wart should suddenly be gone.
• Chronic or recurring dysenteric disorders. An important herb for chronic cold stagnation dysenteric disorders that wax and wane, or alternating hard and soft stool. Particularly useful for dysentery due to protozoa.
• Malarial disorders: alternating fever and chills. Yan dan zi's antimalarial effect is stronger than that of Chang shan and equal to quinine. In experiments the dosage required for an antimalarial effect was quite high and side effects of nausea and vomiting sometimes occurred.
• Generalized inhibitory effect on the CNS.
• Kills Entamoeba histolytica and the malarial parasite, but has no effect against Shigella or Salmonella. The herb has a success rate from 72-94% against amebic dysentery with a recurrence rate of approximately 6%.
• Antiparasitic against a number of intestinal parasites.
• Extremely bitter taste, stimulates the stomach to the point that it may cause nausea, pain, and diarrhea. It is therefore not used in decoctions. It is either placed in capsules or inside Long yan rou.
10-15g for malarial disorders; 10-30g for dysenteric disorders
Ye Ju Hua
Wild Chrysanthemum flower





acrid
bitter
sl cold
Lu Lv Drains fire; relieves toxicity.

• Heat and toxicity: furuncles, carbuncles, sores, sore swollen throat.
• Wind-fire: red eyes.
• Topical: for chronic cervicitis.
• Hypertension: used either alone as an infusion or with Pu gong ying and Jin yin hua in a decoction.
• Antibiotic effects.
• Lowers blood pressure: the flower alone is less toxic and more effective than the entire plant.
• Helps prevent common cold.
• In patients with acute bronchitis, Ye ju hua reduces the number of acute attacks.
MLT: More detoxifying than Ju hua.
• Use internally or externally for all inflammations.
• May be very similar to (Western) Feverfew.
6-15g
Yu Xing Cao
Houttuynia

"Fishy-Smelling Herb"

acrid
sl cold
Lu
LI
Drains pus; clears heat; eliminates toxicity; reduces swelling and abscesses; drains damp-heat, promotes urination.

• Heat and toxicity in the Lungs: cough with sticky sputum, including extreme Lung phlegm-heat with green phlegm or Lung abscess with pus and blood. A key herb for Lung abscess. Also for bacterial pneumonia, COPD, bronchitis.
• Damp-heat: painful, burning urination, colitis, diarrhea.
• Heat and toxicity: carbuncles, sores, pus. Used internally or topically.
• Topical: for skin problems, especially herpes.
• Cook with sesame oil and soy sauce and eat to promote digestion, improve the appetite.
• Antimicrobial.
• Should not be cooked long.
MLT: Good for treating the adverse effects of tobacco addiction. Use in a formula with Ren shen, Sang bai pi, Gua lou, Jie geng: take two 00 capsules of this powdered mixture every 1-2 hours to lessen cravings, and support detoxification. Lower the dose after 3-4 days.
Hsu: Strengthens capillary walls; antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, diuretic.
15-60g
Zao Xiu
(Qi Ye Yi Shi Hua)
Paris Rhizome
bitter
sl cold
Lv Clears heat; eliminates toxicity; relieves swelling and pain; subdues liver wind to relieve convulsions; mildly moves blood.

• Heat and toxicity: snake bite, carbuncles, boils.
• General herb for any kind of pain.
• Liver wind stirring: epilepsy, convulsions.
• Warm-heat pathogen: coma, convulsions.
• Blood stasis: pain after trauma (inferior to San qi for this).
• Particularly good for early stages of heat and toxicity.
5-10g
Zi Hua Di Ding
Viola yedoensis
Violet

"Purple Flower Earth Spike"
bitter
acrid
cold
Lv Ht Clears heat; eliminates toxicity; clears hot sores.

• Heat-toxicity: inflammation, swelling - erysipelas, boils, mastitis, appendicitis, mumps, other hot swellings; red, swollen eyes; swollen, painful throat and ears. Especially useful for boils. Weaker than Pu gong ying for mastitis.
• Hot sores and abscesses - especially of the head and back. Used internally and topically (usually fresh).
• Snake bite: chew and apply topically.
MLT: Softens lumps, including cancer.
• As a syrup: use as an expectorant and to ease sore throats.
9-15g

It has not been clearly established as to which of the Western species - Viola odorata (Sweet Violet) or V. tricolor (Wild Pansy) - is most similar to the Chinese species, and to what degree.
Hall: (V. odorata) Its root system resembles chains of lymph nodes: clears lymph blockage, lymph cancer (throat), lymph stasis, blood-component changes.
• This herb is a symbol of death of one kind and rebirth in a different dimension.
RW: (V. odorata) Expectorant: chronic bronchitis.
(V. tricolor) Skin conditions: Excellent results with eczema in infants, milk crust and other chronic skin complaints. In adults, chronic eczema will at times respond very well. However, it is necessary to take it for a long time.
• Topical: gauze soaked in the tea can be used for skin complaints, including for tuberculous skin conditions.
K&R: (V. tricolor) Wood yang, metal yin.
Diuretic (volumetric), laxative, depurative, diaphoretic, anticoagulant, antipruritic; tonic to the venous system; anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties.
• Skin problems (juvenile acne, herpes, hives, eczematous varicose ulcers, chronic psoriasis, eczema).
• Hemorrhoids, phlebitis, constipation.
• Arthritis, rheumatism with oliguria.


Herbs That Clear Deficiency Heat

• Also consider, as appropriate: Ze xie, Zhi mu, Huang bai, Mu dan pi, Han lian cao, Tian men dong, etc.
• Bensky & Gamble, second edition, has a similar category - Herbs for Steaming Bone Disorder - which includes Di gu pi, Hu Huang lian, Mu dan pi, Qing hao, and Yin chai hu.
• Herbs in this category are commonly combined with:
A. Herbs that nourish Yin.
B. Herbs that strengthen the spleen and stomach, when there is deficiency of these organs.
Bai Wei
Cynanchum root
Swallowwort
bitter salty
cold
St Lv
Lu
K
Clears heat; cools the blood; promotes urination; eliminates toxicity.

Ying or Xue level heat, or Yin deficiency, or blood deficiency (especially postpartum or after a febrile disease): fever.
• Heat in the blood: painful, hot or bloody urination. Especially before or after giving birth.
• Heat and toxicity: carbuncles, swollen, painful throat, snake bite, toxic sores. Can be used internally or applied topically for these indications.
• Some say this herb can conduct heat in the blood out of the vessels.
• Bensky/Gamble classifies Bei wei with herbs that clear heat and cool the blood.
MLT: Important in gynecological problems: postpartum inflammation, septicemia and/or accompanying restlessness.
• Urinary tract infection caused by Yin deficiency (use with Ren shen and Dan zhu ye).
6-15g
Di Gu Pi
Lycium/Wolfberry root bark






















sweet bland
sl cold
Lu
K
Lv
Clears heat; cools the blood; drains Yin deficiency fire, including floating fire in the kidney channel; stops coughing.

• Yin deficiency heat: tidal fever, night sweats, irritability, thirst, steaming bone disorder with sweating (if no sweating, use Mu dan pi).
• Lung heat (deficiency or excess): cough, asthma, wheezing.
• Kidney Yin deficiency fire: toothache.
• A strong decoction can be used as a dental analgesic. In one study of 11 patients with pulpitis, concentrated decoctions of Di gu pi effectively reduced the pain and inflammation in a mean time of one minute.
• Food retention and Yin deficiency: fever in children.
• Heat in the blood: hemoptysis, epistaxis, hematuria, hematemesis.
• Antipyretic. Less effect than aspirin.
• Lowers blood pressure. Especially for hypertension in classes I and II.
• Eczema and juvenile verruca plana: Di gu pi was shown to be beneficial when injected (no mention of the effect of oral administration).
• Malaria: in one study, Di gu pi and tea leaves given to malaria patients 2-3 hours before the onset of fever had a significant effect in 145 of 150 cases.
• Bensky/Gamble classifies this with herbs that clear heat and cool the blood.
Li: Can astringe sweats.
MLT: Topical: for fungal infection - use as a wash with Ye jiao teng, Ming fan, She chuang zi, Zi cao, Ku shen for genital itching, poison oak and ivy, and other rashes.
DY: Eliminates evils from the Yin division.
• With Sang bai pi to clear the Yin and Qi divisions, to effectively clear heat and drain fire from the Lungs, eliminate deficiency fire damaging the Lungs, stop cough, and calm asthma. For the following indications, the combination is found in Xie Bai San:
- 1. Cough and asthma with expectoration of yellow, sticky, and thick phlegm, fever and thirst due to Lung heat.
- 2. Cough accompanied by evening fever or low but persistent fever with skin which is warm to the touch due to deficiency heat damaging the Lungs.
- For the above indications, honey mix-fried Sang bai pi should be used. This combination can treat both full and deficiency heat. The Lungs are a delicate viscus and are easily damaged by heat. Full heat easily damages Lung Yin, causing both full and deficient heat simultaneously. This pair addresses this situation very well. In case of full heat, add Huang qin, Pi pa ye, and Zhe bei mu. In case of deficiency heat, add Zhi mu and Mai men dong.
Hsu: Hypotensive (vasodilator); hypoglycemiant; antibacterial; antipyretic.
6-15g
Hu Huang Lian
Picrorhiza rhizome

"Barbarian Yellow Link"
bitter
cold
Ht Lv St
LI
Clears damp-heat; clears Yin deficiency heat; reduces fever due to parasites; treats childhood nutritional impairment.

• Large intestine damp-heat: diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhoids. For these disorder, Hu huang lian is much weaker than Huang lian and should be used when Huang lian would be too strong for the patient.
• Digestive disorder with nutritional impairment in children: fever, abdominal distention, dysenteric diarrhea.
• Yin deficiency heat: tidal fever, night sweats, etc.
• Damp-heat: sores.
• Often used as a substitute for the more expensive Huang lian.
• Bensky/Gamble classifies this with herbs that clear heat and dry dampness.
3-9g

BII: (P. kurroa) Extensive Ayurvedic use in the treatment of hepatic and respiratory disorders.
• Bronchial asthma: May prevent allergen-, histamine-, and PAF- induced bronchial obstruction.
Qing Hao
Artemisia annua or A. apiacea

Sweet Annie









bitter acrid
cold
Lv GB K Clears summer-heat; cools the blood, stops bleeding; treats malaria; clears Yin deficiency heat; guides interior heat out to the exterior.

• Summer-heat: fever, headache, dizziness, stifling sensation in the chest, with or without sweating.
• Yin deficiency, blood deficiency, or febrile disease: fever. Especially for unremitting fever or night fever and morning coolness with an absence of sweating.
• Yin deficiency: fever, hot sensation in the soles and palms.
• Heat in the blood: purpuric rashes, epistaxis.
• Malaria: alternating fever and chills (do not mistake for Shaoyang syndrome, do not use Xiao Chai Hu Tang). Liu: The extract of this herb - Qing Hao Su - is very strong at killing the malaria parasite (much stronger than Western medicines), and has no side effects.
• Induces sweating.
• The leaves are the most potent part of the plant.
• Short cook.
• Bensky/Gamble classifies with herbs to clear summer-heat.
HF: A Sha Chong (kill worms or parasites) herb, important in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas.
BF: Anti-amoebic and anti-giardia effects.
• Very effective herb when there is deficiency heat above and damp-heat below.
MLT: This is the only heat clearing herb which is aromatic, bitter, and cold. It clears heat and dampness, while its aromatic quality protects the spleen from its bitter, cold nature. Though it is bitter, it will not injure the Yin. Though it is cold, it will not aggravate dampness. Its fragrant Qi is able to decongest turbidity. Being light and clear, it is able to rise upward and release evil through the surface.
• Useful for all four levels of Wenbing as either the primary or secondary herb in the formula.
• More neutral than Huang qin and Huang lian.
3-10g (up to 24g for strong heat-clearing)
Yin Chai Hu
Stellaria root*

"Silver Barbarian Kindling"






Stellaria media
Chickweed








sweet
sl cold
Lv St Clears Yin deficiency heat; clears fever due to parasites; cools the blood, stops bleeding; reduces childhood nutritional impairment.

• Yin deficiency: tidal fever, night sweats, steaming bone disorder.
• Accumulation with heat or parasites: digestive disorders in children with malnutrition, fever, abdominal bloating, thin muscles.
• Heat in the blood: epistaxis, uterine bleeding, bloody cough, hematuria.
• Bensky/Gamble classifies with herbs that clear heat and cool blood.
* Arenaria juncea, Silena jenissensis, and Gypsophila oldhamiama are also used as this herb.
3-9g

The ubiquitous Western species - Stellaria media, Chickweed - is used in Western herbalism (aerial parts or whole plant):
Grieve: Refrigerant, demulcent.
K&R: General tonic, cardiotonic. Fire, water, and metal yin.
• Fire: asthenia, hypotension, palpitations, anemia, excellent tonic for convalescents.
Water: edema, glomerulonephritis, nephrotic syndromes, asystole, cardiac weakness, acute articular rheumatism, scarlatina, anemia.
Metal: bronchitis, pleurisy, cough, colds, atonic bowel, strengthens Lung and bronchial tubes, topical for skin conditions, especially burns, hemorrhoids, ulcers.
• A cholesterol cleanser, can be used long term to clear out cellulite for obesity, lipomas and other tumors.
• Also for arrhythmias, depression.
PCBDP: (herb) Antipruritic, vulnerary, emollient, antirheumatic.
• Poultice for eczema, psoriasis, ulcers, boils.
JC: (herb) Demulcent, emollient, nutritive, resolvent, pectoral, alterative, refrigerant, mucilage, discutient.
• Excellent for pulmonary complaints, any form of internal or external inflammation of the membranes or skin, and weakness of the stomach and bowels, especially bleeding of the Lungs or bowels.
• Topical: for wounds, skin diseases, inflamed surfaces, etc.
• Also used as a weight loss aid.


Herbs That Dispel Wind-Dampness

• Use caution with cases of Yin or blood deficiency, since these herbs tend to be acrid, warm, and drying.
• Since the dispersing effect of some of the more aromatic herbs in this category is dependent on their volatile oils, they are often decocted only for a short time (or are infused only).
• Herbs in this category are frequently combined with:
A. Herbs that eliminate wind and relieve exterior syndromes when the disease is located on the body surface or in the upper part of the body.
B. Herbs that promote blood circulation and remove obstruction from the channels and collaterals when there is associated blood stasis.
C. Herbs that warm the channels when there is cold associated.
D. Herbs that tonify Qi and nourish blood when there is Qi and/or blood deficiency.
E. Herbs that tonify the kidneys and liver when there is deficiency of these organs.
Bai Hua She
Agkistrodon snake or
Bungarus snake

"White-Patterned Snake"
sweet
salty
warm
Lv
Sp
Eliminates internal and external wind; activates the collaterals; relieves convulsions; powerfully unblocks the channels.

• Wind-related disorders:
• Wind-damp: Bi syndrome, numbness and weakness of the limbs, cramping of the sinews.
• Wind-stroke: facial paralysis, hemiplegia.
• Wind in the skin: itching, tinea, numbness of the skin, any kind of rash.
• Liver wind stirring: infant convulsions and tetanus.
• Wind in the sinews: spasms, tremors, seizures.
• Doctrine of signatures: the movement and pervasiveness of a snake: can go anywhere, deep or superficial, even to the bones, to eliminate wind.
Hsu: Tranquilizer, hypotensive.
3-10g (1-1.5g directly as powder)
Du Huo
Angelica pubescens root**

"Self-Reliant Existence"


















acrid
bitter
warm
Lv
K
BL
Eliminates wind-dampness, alleviates pain; releases the exterior, disperses wind-cold-dampness.

• Wind-damp: Bi syndrome, body pain - especially lower back and legs - can be used for both acute and chronic conditions. Gout.
• Exterior wind-cold together with dampness.
Shaoyin headache radiating to the teeth.
• A small dose (3-6g) can lift spleen Yang and treat internal dampness.
• Tranquilizing effect.
• **As with numerous Chinese herbs, several different species are used as this herb. In some parts of China A. dahurica (Bai zhi) is used, and species of the Heraclelum and Aralia genera are also used.
• May cause skin photosensitivity with topical application.
• It is said that when the wind blows, this plant is still.
• Compared to Qiang huo, Du huo is more for the lower body (while Qiang huo is stronger & more for the upper body), Du huo is milder at eliminating exterior syndromes but is more effective at eliminating dampness than Qiang huo.
MLT: Promotes Qi and blood circulation, similar to Western (A. archangelica) species.
Hsu: Sedative, analgesic, antiarthritic, hypotensive.
DY: Moderate in action; treats hidden wind or wind which is more internal and fixed; tropism: the lower part of the body, lumbar area, knees, legs, feet, and Shaoyin.
• With Qiang huo to dispel wind, cold, dampness, and treat Bi over the whole body. For indications such as:
- 1. Moving rheumatic pains all over the body. (Juan Bi Tang)
- 2. Common cold with fever, back pain, and joint pain due to wind, cold, and dampness. (Qiang Huo Sheng Shi Tang)
- 3. Joint running wind due to wind, cold, and dampness penetrating the channels and network vessels. Li jie feng or joint running wind refers to acute arthralgia which is severe and movable with loss of joint mobility, swelling, and intense joint pain which is worse at night. This affection can transform itself into heat and then cause redness, pain, swelling, and heat.
3-15g
Fang Ji
(Han Fang Ji)
Stephania root



Guang Fang Ji (Mu Fang Ji) - Aristolochia fangchi is also referred to simply as Fang Ji. It contains aristolochic acid, which has been associated with kidney damage when misused (though no historical sources of Chinese medicine recorded any detrimental effects when properly used). Its use is prohibited by the FDA in the United States.
bitter
acrid
cold
BL
K
Sp
Eliminates wind-dampness; drains dampness by promoting urination; relieves pain; reduces edema.

• Wind-damp-heat: Bi syndrome, fever, red, swollen, hot, painful joints.
• Damp accumulation in the lower Jiao: edema (facial, legs, or systemic, but especially good for the lower body), ascites, gurgling sounds in the intestines, abdominal distention, damp leg qi.
• Anti-inflammatory.
• Analgesic: 1/4 the strength of Yan hu suo, 1/1000 the potency of morphine, less effect in very high doses.
• Treats dampness in two ways (eliminates from the surface, promotes urination).
• Lowers BP by vasodilation.
• Antiparasitic: against Entamoeba histolytica (stronger than berberine).
DY: Quickens the channels; opens the pores of the skin; opens the nice orifices; disperses swelling; drains evil Qi.
• With Huang qi to simultaneously drain and supplement, to support the correct Qi and drain evil Qi at the same time, to regulate the upbearing and downbearing of the Qi mechanism and strongly promote diuresis. For the following indications, the combination is found in Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang:
- 1. Edema due to wind-water with fever, fear of wind, edema predominantly in the upper body and face, joint pain, scanty urination, and a floating pulse. If wind attacks the exterior and blocks the Lung Qi, this causes a disturbance in the Lungs' diffusing and downbearing function. Therefore, because the water passageways are not regulated, dampness is not moved downward. Thus, there is accumulation of dampness in the upper body and edema appears.
- 2. Rheumatic pain due to damp Bi with heavy limbs, joint numbness, and sometimes swollen joints.
- 3. Chronic nephritis and cardiac disease with edema due to Qi deficiency and accumulation of dampness.
Han fang ji is usually used for edema and accumulation of damp-heat in the lower half of the body. When combined with Huang qi, Han fang ji can then treat edema in the upper half of the body and of the wind type.
3-9g
Hai Feng Teng
Kadsura stem
Piper futokadsura

"Sea Wind Vine"

acrid
bitter
slightly
warm
Lv Eliminates wind-dampness; dispels obstructions from the channels and collaterals; disperses cold, relieves pain.

• Wind-damp: Bi syndrome with limited movement of joints, spasm of tendons, stiff joints, lower back pain, cramping of the muscles and sinews, sore knees.
• Pain due to trauma.
• Cold invading the spleen and stomach: epigastric and abdominal pain and diarrhea.
• Can be used for pain in either the upper or lower body.
• Some anti-neoplastic effects.
Hsu: Analgesic.
6-15g
Hai Tong Pi
Erythrina bark
Coral-bean bark
bitter
acrid
neutral
Lv
Sp
K
Eliminates wind-dampness; dispels obstruction from channels and collaterals; promotes urination, reduces edema; treats itching skin lesions and toothaches.

• Wind-damp (heat or cold): Bi syndrome with spasm of tendons (especially in the extremities), soreness of the lumbar region and knees.
• Dampness: superficial edema.
• Gout pain.
• Topical: itching skin lesions - scabies, etc.
• Gargle for toothache due to cavities.
6-15g
Luo Shi Teng
Trachelospermum
Star Jasmine stem

"Collateral Stone Vine"
bitter
sl cold
Ht
Lv
Cools the blood; relieves swelling; eliminates wind-dampness; unblocks the channels.

• Wind-damp: Bi, spasm of tendons (especially suitable for wind-damp-heat).
• Heat in the blood: sore and swollen throat, carbuncles, red, hot, painful abscesses, toxic sores.
• Can be used for pain in either the upper or lower body.
• One component, Arctiin, is vasodilatory and lowers blood pressure.
6-15g
Mu Gua
Chinese Quince Chaenomelis fruit

"Wood Melon"



sour
warm
Lv
Sp
St
Relaxes the muscles and tendons; unblocks the channels; resolves dampness; harmonizes the stomach, adjusts the stomach and spleen; reduces food stagnation.

• Spasm of calves due to diarrhea and vomiting (earth is weakened, [metal becomes weakened and cannot control wood] wood wind attacks earth's muscles of the limbs), also abdominal pain, and edema due to leg qi.
• Wind-damp: Bi with spasm of tendons, painful obstruction of the extremities, especially with severe, cramping pain, and weakness in the lower back and lower extremities.
• Cannot treat exterior syndromes (does not expel wind or cold) - only resolves dampness, has a more interior effect.
• Very effective at relaxing the sinews.
• Especially suitable for treating pain in the lower body.
• Anti-inflammatory.
• Bensky/Gamble: excessive use can harm the teeth and bones.
Hsu: Antispasmodic, antibacterial, diuretic.
4.5-12g
Qian Nian Jian
Homalomena rhizome

"Thousand Years of Health"
acrid
bitter
warm
K
Lv
Dispels wind-dampness; strengthens the sinews and bones.

• Wind-cold-damp: Bi syndrome with pain, spasms, or numbness wither perceived superficially (in the sinews) or deeply (in the bones).
• Weakness or softness in the sinews and bones: strong fortifying action.
• Traumatic injury: swelling, pain.
• Widely used in treating the elderly, both internally and as an external wash.
4.5-9g
Qin Jiao
Gentiana macrophylla root
bitter
acrid
sl. cold
St
Lv
GB
Relaxes the tendons and muscles; clears deficiency heat; eliminates wind-dampness; resolves dampness and relieves jaundice (damp-heat); moistens the intestines, unblocks the bowels.

• Wind-damp: Bi with muscle and tendon spasms.
• Yin deficiency: tidal fever, steaming bone disorder.
• Dryness of the intestines: constipation.
• Damp-heat: jaundice, especially in acute cases and in infants.
• Only herb in this category that is not very drying. Use in formulas with other wind-damp herbs to counteract their drying qualities. Safe with Yin or blood deficiency.
• Antibacterial/fungal.
• May treat meningitis (used successfully by IM injection in study).
MLT: Anti-inflammatory.
Li: Can astringe sweats.
Hsu: Hypotensive, antiarthritic, analgesic, increases secretions from adrenal cortex.
DY: Guides to the spine and lumbar area.
4.5-12g
Qing Feng Teng
Sinemenium

acrid
warm
Lv
Sp
Promotes urination; eliminates toxicity; eliminates wind-dampness; dispels obstructions from the channels and collaterals.

• Wind-damp: Bi syndrome with numbness of the skin.
• Accumulation of damp and harmful body fluids: edema.
• Heat-toxicity: carbuncles.
Hsu: Analgesic (increases pain threshold), tranquilizer, antitussive (one constituent is similar to codeine), hypotensive - fast acting and long lasting, antiphlogistic.
10-15g
Sang Zhi
Mulberry twig
Morus
bitter
neutral
Lv Eliminates wind and dispels obstructions from the channels and collaterals; benefits the joints.

• Wind-damp: Bi syndrome with spasm of the tendons - especially good for the upper extremities.
• Edema.
• May increase blastogenesis of lymphocytes.
• For lower body pain, can be combined with Du huo, Fang ji.
10-30g
Wei Ling Xian
Chinese Clematis root

"Awesome Spiritual Immortal" or "Temple's Sacred Root" or
"Strong and Very Effective"


acrid
salty
warm
BL Eliminates wind-dampness, alleviates pain; dispels obstructions from the channels and collaterals; dissolves fish bones lodged in the throat; powerfully promotes Qi circulation at the body surface and in the channels; reduces phlegm and pathogenic water.

• Wind-damp: Bi syndrome.
• Phlegm and pathogenic water: focal distention and accumulation in the middle Jiao.
• Useful in icteric infectious hepatitis.
• Fish bone lodged in the throat: use 15-30g, make a thick decoction with vinegar and brown sugar, swallow slowly (not for deeply lodged or very big bones).
• Can be used for pain in either the upper or lower body.
• While Liu translates Wei ling xian as "Strong, Very Effective," Bensky/Gamble interprets it as "Awesome Spiritual Immortal," and MLT says it translates as "Temple's Sacred Root" and refers to the ancient story of an old nun who lived in the "Temple of Powerful Spirits" atop a mountain and used this herb often and with great success.
Hsu: Antibacterial, antifungal, hypotensive, analgesic, antidiuretic; "anti-sprain action."
6-12g
Wu Jia Pi
Eleutherococcus gracilistylus root bark 
(formerly known as Acanthopanax)

"Bark of Five Additions"

(akin to Ci Wu Jia, Eleutherococcus senticosus root)





acrid
bitter
warm
Lv
K
Strengthens the tendons and bones; eliminates wind-dampness; transforms dampness and reduces swelling.

• Wind-damp: Bi syndrome with weakness in the lumbar region and knees (particularly when chronic deficiency of the liver and kidneys has led to weak or soft sinews and bones).
• Developmental delays in motor functions in children, especially retardation in walking.
• Urinary difficulty, edema, damp-cold leg qi.
• Good when the smooth flow of Qi and blood is obstructed.
• Especially effective for children and the elderly.
PLB: The genera Acanthopanax and Eleutherococcus are one and the same (with the latter now being the preferred name), as authoritatively confirmed at the taxonomic symposium Biological Nomenclature in the 21st Century (University of MD, 1996). While Wu jia pi and Ci wu jia come from different species - E. gracilistylus and E. senticosus, respectively - E. gracilistylus seems to possess some (if not all) of the tonic properties attributed to E. senticosus ("Siberian Ginseng"). However, since it is the bark of the root that is used from the former (Wu jia pi) as opposed to the whole root, which is used in the case of Ci wu jia, Wu jia pi's action is focused more on the surface (on dispersion of wind-dampness), than the interior (on tonification).
MLT: Often sold as a medicinal wine for neurasthenia, insomnia, excessive dreaming, forgetfulness, dizziness, poor appetite, palpitations, coronary heart disease, angina pectoris.
• Prolonged consumption can treat leukopenia from chemotherapy/ physiotherapy.
HF: A supplement with an anti-Gu nature, possessing acrid, toxin-resolving qualities, useful in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas.
BF: Good when wind-damp is accompanied by concomitant Qi and blood deficiency.
Hsu: Antiarthritic, antiphlogistic, analgesic, antipyretic, adaptogenic (increases the body's non-specific resistance to disease and stress), hypotensive.
4.5-15g
Wu Shao She
Zaocys snake
sweet
salty
neutral
Lv
Sp
Same actions and indications as Bai hua she, but not as strong, though neither does it possess any of Bai hua she's toxicity. Also easier to find in the United States. 
3-9g (3g directly as powder)
Xi Xian Cao
Siegesbeckia
bitter
cold
Lv
K
Clears heat; eliminates toxicity; eliminates wind-dampness; dispels obstruction from the channels and collaterals; strengthens the sinews; calms the Shen; pacifies the liver; transforms damp-heat; alleviates itching.

• Wind-damp: Bi syndrome with numbness and weakness in the limbs; facial paralysis, hemiplegia, numbness and weakness in the back and legs.
• Damp-heat-toxicity: carbuncles, boils, eczema, sores, itching.
• Wind-damp: rash, itching.
• Shen disturbance: irritability, insomnia, forgetfulness.
Liver Yang rising: headache, dizziness.
• Hypertension: lowers blood pressure.
• Acute malaria: use large doses (up to 60g per day).
• Topical: soak in this tea for numbness due to dampness.
• Use raw to clear heat and resolve dampness.
• Treat with wine for wind-damp Bi.
Hsu: Antibacterial, hypotensive, antiphlogistic.
6-15g



Aromatic Herbs That Transform Dampness

• Since the dispersing effect of some of the herbs in this category is dependent on their volatile oils, they are often decocted only for a short time (or are infused only) since heat causes volatization of these oils. Toasting them thus tends to moderate their effect. 
• These herbs should be used with caution in cases of Yin deficiency.
• Herbs in this category are frequently combined with:
A. Herbs that clear heat when there is heat associated.
B. Herbs that warm the interior when there is cold associated.
C. Herbs that tonify the spleen when there is spleen Qi deficiency.
D. Herbs that promote Qi circulation, since moving Qi can help in the elimination of dampness.
Bai Dou Kou
Cardamom fruit
Cluster
Amomum cardamomum or
A. kravanh
(syn: Elettaria cardamomum)

"White Cardamom"
acrid
warm
Lu
Sp
St
Warms the middle Jiao; promotes Qi circulation, transforms stagnation; stops vomiting; transforms dampness; descends rebellious Qi.

• Dampness and Qi stagnation in the spleen and stomach: distending pain in the epigastrium and abdomen, poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, fullness in the chest.
• Stomach cold, or cold from deficiency of the spleen and stomach: vomiting.
• Damp warm-febrile disease: stifling sensation in the chest, lack of appetite, very greasy tongue coat.
• Not too warm (cooler than Sha ren) alright for use with damp-heat.
• Smash before using.
• When decocting, add near the end.
MLT: Sha ren is better for the middle and lower Jiao, while Bai dou kou is better for the middle and upper Jiao.
Hsu: Stomachic, antiemetic, stimulates GI secretions and intestinal peristalsis, inhibits abnormal fermentation in intestines, dispels accumulated air in GI tract, prevents vomiting.
Yoga: Ela: pungent, sweet/heating/pungent; V, K-; P+ (in excess)
• Affects digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and nervous systems.
• Stimulant, expectorant, carminative, stomachic, diaphoretic.
• Awakens the spleen, kindles Agni, removes Kapha from the stomach and Lungs.
• Stops vomiting, belching, and acid regurgitation. Good, safe digestive stimulant.
• Stimulates the mind and heart, and gives clarity and joy.
Sattvic. Opens and soothes the flow of the Pranas.
• For colds, cough, bronchitis, asthma, hoarseness, loss of taste, poor absorption, indigestion.
• Nervous digestive upset in children or for high Vata (good with fennel for this).
• Add this herb to milk to neutralize milk's mucus-forming properties.
• Detoxifies the caffeine in coffee.
• Stimulates absorption from the small intestine.
3-6g in decoction, or, preferably, 1.5-4.5g directly as powder.
Cang Zhu
Red Atractylodes rhizome
(also known as Black Atractylodes)

acrid
bitter
warm
Sp
St
Strongly dries dampness and strengthens/activates the spleen; eliminates wind- dampness (and cold); eliminates dampness in the lower Jiao; induces sweating, releases exterior syndromes; improves vision.

• Accumulation of dampness in the middle Jiao: distention in the epigastrium and abdomen, poor appetite, diarrhea, epigastric distention and pressure, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, thick and greasy tongue coat.
• Wind-cold-dampness: Bi syndrome with swollen knees and feet, pain in the extremities.
• Wind-damp-cold EPI: headache, body aches, absence of sweating, and/or oozing yin sores.
• Damp skin disease: acute eczema, vitiligo.
• Night blindness or poor vision with a rough sensation in the eyes.
• Damp-heat pouring downward: leg qi, vaginal discharge, swollen, sore joints (use with heat-clearing herbs).
• Increases IgA, IgG, IgM in nose to enhance local immunity.
• Mix with Bai zhi, grind into powder, and hang over the chest to prevent EPIs. Also burn these two herbs as the weather gets warm - on the new moon about early May - to enhance immunity.
Li: 1/3 the strength of Bai zhu to tonify, 3 times the strength to resolve damp. Quite warm and very drying.
DY: One of the most drying substances in the whole Chinese pharmacopeia.
• Upbears the clear and downbears the turbid.
• Stops diarrhea.
• Can be used for damp-heat when combined with bitter, cold herbs.
Cang zhu is incompatible with black carp, peaches, plums, and Chinese cabbage.
• With Huang bai for mutual reinforcement, to clear heat, dry dampness, disperse swelling, and stop pain. For indications such as:
- 1. Wilting of the lower extremities with pain in the sinews and bones due to damp-heat pouring downward. (Er Miao San) Use salt mix-fried Huang bai.
- 2. Abnormal vaginal discharge, external vaginal itching, and cloudy, scanty urination due to damp-heat. (Use Cang zhu which has been stir-fried until scorched.)
- 3. Red, swollen, hot, painful joints due to wind, damp, heat impediment. (Cang Zhu San)
MLT: Possesses no significant diuretic properties despite its strong drying action (does increase secretion of urinary salts).
• Can dramatically lower blood sugar for some kinds of diabetes.
Hsu: Stomachic, diuretic, diaphoretic, tranquilizer, hypoglycemiant, tonic.
4.5-9g
Cao Dou Kou
Alpinia
katsumadai seed
Katsumada's Galangal seed

"Grass Cardamom"
acrid
very
warm
Sp
St
Warms the middle Jiao; promotes Qi circulation; dries dampness.

• Cold and dampness in the spleen and stomach: fullness, distention, and pain in the epigastrium and abdomen, accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea.
• This is the warmest herb in the category.
Cao dou kou is much warmer and much drier than Sha ren. For this reason, it is not usually a first choice. It is appropriate only for cold-dampness.
• When decocting, do not cook long.
1.5-6g
Cao Guo
Tsaoko fruit
Amomum tsaoko

"Grass Fruit"

acrid
warm
Sp
St
Warms the middle Jiao; strongly dries dampness; disperses cold; treats malaria; dissolves stagnation and distention.

• Cold and dampness in the spleen and stomach: distending pain and fullness in the epigastrium and abdomen, vomiting, diarrhea, very greasy tongue coat.
• Malaria: especially due to excess damp-cold or turbid dampness.
• Food stagnation: indigestion, especially due to meat.
• Cold from spleen and stomach deficiency: focal distention, nausea.
• Roasting the herb reduces the possible side effect of vomiting.
1.5-6g
Hou Po
Magnolia Bark














Hou Po Hua
Magnolia flower

bitter
acrid
warm
Sp
St
Lu
LI
Promotes Qi circulation; transforms dampness, resolves stagnation; relieves asthma; descends the Qi of the Lungs, stomach, and large intestine (directs upward-rebelling Qi downward); warms and transforms phlegm.

• Accumulation of damp or food causing stagnation of Qi in the middle Jiao: distention and fullness of epigastrium, abdomen, and chest, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea. This is a key herb for eliminating distention and fullness.
• Lung phlegm: wheezing, cough with difficult breathing, stifling sensation in the chest, copious sputum.
• Most effective herb to promote Qi circulation in this category.
• Binds to GABA receptors, produces calming effect.
• Reduces allergic and asthmatic reactions.
• Counters effects of excessive cortisol, beneficial for insomnia and anxiety with high cortisol.
MLT: Gently stimulates intestinal peristalsis - for damp stagnation with either diarrhea or constipation.
Antimicrobial (though significantly weaker than the yellow herbs/berberine).
PCBDP: Stimulant, tonic, aromatic, diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory.
Hsu: Antispasmodic, antibacterial, stomachic.
3-9g

Hou Po Hua: flower (different species than Xin yi hua, also magnolia flower)
• Acrid, warm, aromatic.
• Similar to, but weaker than the bark.
• Focuses more on the upper and middle Jiao, and regulates liver Qi.
• For a stifling sensation in the chest.
• Stomach ache due to liver/stomach disharmony.
3-6g
Huo Xiang
Patchouli
Agastache
or Pogostemon




acrid
sl. warm
Sp
St
Lu
Transforms dampness; releases the exterior, clears summer heat (and wind-cold); harmonizes the middle Jiao, stops vomiting; awakens the spleen.

• Damp accumulation in the middle Jiao: vomiting, distention in the epigastrium and abdomen, poor appetite, nausea, lethargy, weakness, white, moist tongue coat.
• Summer heat with dampness: fever, aversion to cold, headache, distended epigastrium, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting.
• Wind-cold EPI.
• Similar to Zi su ye, though Huo xiang is stronger at circulating Qi and Zi su ye is stronger at eliminating wind-cold. Zi su ye has a stronger focus on the Lungs than Huo xiang.
Li: Often adds to formulas for patients with digestive weakness, or when using difficult-to-digest herbs, (also in combination with Pei lan) to keep herbs from causing stagnation or upsetting or damaging the digestion.
Hsu: Antiemetic, antidiarrheal, tranquilizes GI nerves, antifungal, antipyretic, stomachic.
DY: Moves the Qi; strongly clears summer-heat (mainly summer-heat-dampness).
• The leaf (Huo xiang ye) is more powerful than the stem at draining the exterior. The stem (Huo xiang geng) is better for harmonizing the stomach and stopping vomiting.
• More powerful than Pei lan at resolving the exterior and eliminating summer-heat as well as for stopping vomiting.
• With Pei lan to effectively transform dampness and turbidity, harmonize the middle burner, stop vomiting, eliminate summer-heat (and dampness), and stop diarrhea. For indications such as:
- 1. Vertigo, head distention, fever with or without perspiration, chest oppression, epigastric distention, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea due to external attack of summer-heat-dampness.
- 2. Spleen pure heat. This refers to a rising upward of turbid Qi towards the mouth due to spleen heat generated by an excess of fatty and sweet foods. It is accompanied by a sticky, thick feeling in the mouth, a sugary taste in the mouth, abundant salivation, thick, slimy tongue coat, and a slippery pulse.
- This combination is very effective for its treatment of bad breath or a thick, sticky feeling in the mouth with a sugary taste due to turbid dampness accumulation or turbid dampness transforming into heat.
4.5-9g
Pei Lan
Eupatorium
(Eupatorium
fortunei, E. japonicum)

"Ornamental Orchid"
acrid
neutral
Sp
St
Transforms dampness; clears summer-heat; releases the exterior and transforms turbidity.

• Damp accumulation in the middle Jiao: distention in the epigastrium and abdomen, poor appetite, nausea, weakness, lethargy, vomiting, stifling sensation in the chest, white, moist tongue coat.
• Summer-heat with dampness: fever, aversion to cold, headache, distended epigastrium, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting.
• Spleen damp-heat: sweet, sticky taste in the mouth, copious saliva, foul breath.
• Early-stage of damp warm-febrile diseases.
• Topical: as powder on a sweaty, sour, smelly scalp (the synonym Xing tou cao relates to this use).
• Does not lead to dryness.
• Much weaker than Huo xiang at releasing exterior syndromes.
Hsu: Antiviral, antipyretic, stomachic, diuretic.
DY: With Huo xiang to effectively transform dampness and turbidity, harmonize the middle burner, stop vomiting, eliminate summer-heat (and dampness), and stop diarrhea. For specific indications and notes, see Huo xiang in this category.
Pei lan is more powerful than Huo xiang for transforming turbid dampness. In addition, it clears dampness which has transformed into heat and treats spleen pure heat. ("Spleen pure heat" refers to a rising upward of turbid Qi towards the mouth due to spleen heat generated by an excess of fatty and sweet foods. It is accompanied by a sticky, thick feeling in the mouth, a sugary taste in the mouth, abundant salivation, thick, slimy tongue coat, and a slippery pulse.)
4.5-9g
Sha Ren
Amomum villosum or A. xanthioides

"Sand Seeds"
acrid
warm
Sp
St
Warms the middle Jiao; promotes Qi circulation; transforms dampness; calms the fetus; stops vomiting; strengthens the stomach.

• Dampness and Qi stagnation in the middle Jiao: distending pain in the epigastrium and abdomen, nausea, vomiting, and especially poor appetite.
• Spleen Yang deficiency cold: diarrhea.
• Morning sickness or violent fetal movement.
• Often added to tonic herbs to keep them from causing stagnation.
• Crush before use.
• Short cook - add near the end of cooking a decoction.
• Liu: Sha ren is much warmer than Pei lan, Huo xiang, Cang zhu, and Hou po. Caution with heat conditions.
This herb consists only of the seeds inside the shell - the shell should be discarded unless its properties are intentionally desired. 
The shell - Sha ren ke - is better at promoting Qi circulation, is less warming, and is weaker overall.
Jin: Great herb for women, including in pregnancy.
• Good for liver invading the spleen.
Chen: Used successfully in one study for treating peptic ulcer.
1.5-6g (Sha ren ke is dosed at 3-4.5g)


Herbs That Drain Dampness

• Some herbs in this category only drain dampness, while others both drain dampness and clear heat.
• Some herbs in this category have the potential to damage Yin or Qi. Be cautious with Yin or Qi deficiency.
• Herbs in this category are frequently combined with:
A. Herbs that relieve exterior syndromes and promote sweating when there is edema and an exterior syndrome simultaneously.
B. Herbs that warm the kidneys and spleen when there is Yang deficiency of these organs.
C. Herbs that clear heat and reduce fire when there is both dampness and heat.
D. Herbs that stop bleeding when there is bleeding due to heat forcing blood out of the vessels.
Bi Xie
Tokoro rhizome
Fish-Poison Yam
Dioscorea hypoglauca or D. tokoro
(and other species)























bitter
neutral
Lv St BL Strongly drains damp; eliminates wind-dampness; clears damp-heat from the skin; separates the pure from the turbid; relaxes the sinews, unblocks the connecting channels.

• Dampness: painful urination with turbid urine (like rice porridge) or vaginal discharge (can be used for problems due to either deficiency or damp-heat).
• Wind-damp or damp-heat: Bi syndrome, lower back pain, numbness or stiffness of the lower extremities, muscle aches. (mild effect)
• Damp-heat accumulation at the skin: skin lesions such as eczema, pustular sores.
• In cases of damp-heat induced painful urinary dysfunction, this herb is most appropriate when dampness is predominant.
MLT: Antibacterial, antifungal, antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, antiparasitic.
• Similar to Western wild yam (D. villosa) - for damp-heat: jaundice, hepatitis, and gallbladder and rheumatic diseases.
SD: May help antidote lead poisoning.
9-15g

May bear some similarities to Western Wild Yam - Dioscorea villosa:
JC: Antispasmodic, relaxant, stimulant, antibilious, diaphoretic, expectorant, diuretic, hepatic, cholagogue, stomachic, tonic, anti-emetic, antirheumatic, anti-asthmatic, emetic (large dose).
Good for pain.
RW: Contains diosgenin - a precursor used in the synthesis of progesterone and other steroids.
PLB: Studies indicate that orally consumed diosgenin is not converted to progesterone in the human body. Does not have hormonal effects.
IBIS: Anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic.
• [Western] dosage: tincture: 1 - 2 mL. powder: 400 - 800 mg.
• Specific indications: bilious colic; skin and conjunctiva yellow, with nausea and colicky pain; tongue coated, stomach deranged, and paroxysmal pain in the abdomen; twisting or boring pain, radiating from the umbilical region, with spasmodic contraction of the belly muscles; colic with tenderness on pressure, which gives relief to the spasmodic action (Felter and Scudder, p. 344)
• Therapy: indigestion; dysenteric tenesmus; cholera morbus; ovarian neuralgia; spasmodic dysmenorrhea; nausea of pregnancy; after-pains; obstinate and painful vomiting; gastralgia (Felter and Lloyd, p. 660); intestinal colic; diverticulitis; rheumatoid arthritis; muscular rheumatism; cramps and intermittent claudication; cholecystitis; dysmenorrhea; ovarian and uterine pain (British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, p. 79)
• Contraindicated during pregnancy due to teratogenic potential (Brinker, p. 43)
• Contraindicated in peptic ulcers; long term use may potentiate ulcers and/or prevent their detection.
• Caution is advised in patients with history of recent surgery, diabetes, hypoglycemia, nephrotic syndrome, urinary tract infections, acute infectious hepatitis, leukemias, Graves' disease, or related genetic disorders (Langer and Greer, pp. 66 - 67); caution is also advised for those with thyroid problems, as studies indicate a possible goitrogenic response (Langer and Greer, p. 79).
• Large doses cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (Spoerke, p. 149; Felter and Lloyd, p. 661)
Bian Xu
Polygonum aviculare
Polygonum
Knotweed
bitter
sl cold
BL Stops itching; clears damp-heat; promotes urination; unblocks painful urinary dysfunction; kills parasites.

• Damp-heat in the lower Jiao: painful urination.
• Damp-heat: skin disorders with itching, including tinea.
• Intestinal parasites: tapeworm, hookworm, pinworm.
• Douche for trichomonas.
• Topical: wash for surface parasites.
• Also for bacillary dysentery.
• Increases the tension of the uterus - used to stop postpartum uterine hemorrhage.
• In cases of damp-heat induced painful urinary dysfunction, this herb is most appropriate when dampness and heat are equally severe.
MLT: Common weed around the world, used widely for urinary tract inflammation.
TS: The gravel remedy. Its chief influence is on the bladder and it has been known to remove stones from the bladder when all other treatment had failed. It will prevent the formation of gravel when there is a tendency, and it frequently dissolves stones already formed. It is desirable to combine it with Equisetum.
Hsu: Antibacterial, hypotensive, anthelmintic.
9-15g
Che Qian Zi
Plantago seed

"Before the Cart Seeds"



















Che Qian Cao
Plantago herb
sweet
cold
K Lv Lu
BL
Drains dampness and harmful body fluid by promoting urination (without damaging Yin); clears heat from the liver; brightens the eyes (mildly nourishes Yin); clears heat and resolves phlegm from the Lungs (mild); stops coughing; normalizes malpositioned fetus (at 8 months); mildly nourishes Jing; solidifies the stool (by promoting urination).

• Bladder damp-heat: scanty urination, painful urination, edema.
• Liver heat: red, painful, swollen eyes, photosensitivity.
• Liver and kidney Yin deficiency: blurry vision, cataracts, dry eyes.
• Summer-heat with dampness: diarrhea.
• Can be used alone for any diarrhea (usually does not address the root).
• Scanty milk after childbirth.
• Female infertility: strengthens the Jing of kidneys and liver.
• Lung heat: cough with copious sputum.
• Injection into joint spaces has the effect of tightening overly lax joint capsules. This effect has been used clinically in treating recurring dislocation of the temporomandibular joint.
• In one study, in which Che qian zi was used in treating 68 cases of malpositioned fetus diagnosed at eight months, 90% of the subjects had a normal presentation at birth.
• Often put into a bag for cooking, to keep it from floating or passing through the strainer.
• Often dry-fried when used to promote urination.
• Often fried in wine when used for kidney deficiency.
Hsu: Antitussive, expectorant.
4.5-9g

Che Qian Cao: entire plant
• Sweet, cold.
• Not as effective as the seed in promoting urination, but more effective at clearing heat and it also eliminates toxicity.
• Used internally and topically in the treatment of abscesses and swellings.
9-30g
   
K&R: (various parts of the plant): Astringent, diuretic, sympathomimetic, pituitary stimulant.
Wood yang, wood yin, earth yin, metal yin.
Inflammation of the kidneys, gonorrhea, associated low back pain, eye diseases, Lung Yang deficiency, bronchitis, laryngitis.
Wood: conjunctivitis, allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, allergic eye conditions.
Metal: emaciation, retarded development, bronchitis, laryngitis, tuberculosis, constipation, chronic diarrhea, leukorrhea, eczema, acne.
Earth: strengthens stomach and upper digestive functions; for malnutrition, retarded development, nephrotic syndromes.
JC: (root, leaves, flower spikes, seeds of Plantago major or P. lanceolata)
• Alterative, depurant, diuretic, emollient, mildly astringent, refrigerant, deobstruent, antiseptic, vulnerary, antivenomous, styptic, antisyphilitic, anthelmintic (vermicide).
• The roots and leaves have moderately diffuse and stimulating alterative effects on the circulatory system. They also assist the glandular system, healing lymph and epidermal areas in scrofulous and skin diseases.
• Excellent for kidney and bladder disorders.
• An effective remedy for poisonous bites and stings.
• The best herb for blood poisoning: reduces swelling and heals limbs where amputation seems imminent.
• Eases pain and heals the lower intestinal tract.
• Diarrhea, glandular swellings, hemorrhoids, piles, kidney and bladder disorders, lumbar pain, scanty urine, enuresis, edema, scrofula, syphilis, thrush.
• Douche for leukorrhea, menorrhagia.
• Topical: for bleeding, use as a poultice and drink. Use as a wash for malignant or bleeding ulcers, toothache, burns, scalds, erysipelas, inflamed eyes. Wash with a strong infusion for itching, ringworm, old wounds.
Chi Xiao Dou
Aduki bean
Phaseolus
"Little Red Bean"
sweet
sour
neutral
Ht SI Promotes urination to relieve edema; clears heat; eliminates toxicity; drains pus; dispels blood stasis; reduces swelling; clears damp-heat, treats jaundice.

• Retention of harmful fluid: edema with distended abdomen, urinary difficulty, leg qi edema.
• Blood stasis, fire toxicity: carbuncles, sores, furuncles.
• Damp-heat: jaundice.
• Topical: combine with egg white, vinegar, and honey, and apply to carbuncles and boils due to damp-heat.
9-30g
Deng Xin Cao
Rush pith
Juncus

"Lamp Wick Herb"
sweet
bland
sl. cold
Ht
Lu
SI
Drains dampness by promoting urination; clears heat from the heart channel - descends heart heat to the small intestine.

• Hot, painful or dark, scanty urine.
• Pediatric sleep disorders with dark, scanty urine and irritability, especially at night.
• Heart and kidney not communicating (due to heart fire with kidney Yin deficiency): insomnia or restless sleep.
MLT: Specific for urinary tract infections, sore throat, damp-heat, incessant crying of babies.
1.5-4.5g
Di Fu Zi
Kochia fruit

"Earth Skin Seeds"
bitter
cold
BL Stops itching; clears heat; drains dampness, promotes urination.

• Damp-heat: skin disorders such as eczema, scabies and other dermatological problems where itching is a major symptom. Also for damp-heat in the external genitalia. Good with Huang bai. Can be used both internally and topically for skin problems.
• Damp-heat in the lower Jiao: painful urination, dark, burning, scanty urine.
• Not to be used in combination with Hai piao xiao.
6-15g
Dong Gua Ren
Benincasa seed 
Winter Melon
Wax Gourd

"Winter Melon Seed"
Dong Gua Pi
Winter Melon peel
sweet
sl cold
Lu SI
St
LI
Clears heat; expels phlegm; promotes discharge of pus; promotes urination; drains dampness.

• Heat in the Lungs or intestines: expectoration of thick, yellow sputum, etc.
• Damp-heat with phlegm obstruction in the upper or lower Jiao: intestinal abscess, Lung abscess - when the patient is exhausted easily, scar tissue surrounds the abscess and antibiotics cannot get through.
• Especially useful in the treatment of damp-heat vaginal discharge.
• Topical: grind and use the powder as sunscreen.
3-12g

Dong Gua Pi:
• Sweet, slightly cold; Lung, small intestine.
• Promotes urination to relieve edema; clears heat.
• Retention of harmful body fluid, heat, or summer-heat: edema.
• For edema, it is often used with Zhu ling, Ze xie, Fu ling.
15-30g
Dong Kui Zi
(Dong Kui Guo)
Muskmallow seed
Malva verticalla
or
Abutilon seed
Velvetleaf
sweet
cold
LI
SI BL
Promotes lactation, benefits the breasts; moistens the intestines; drains dampness and heat; promotes urination, unblocks painful urinary dysfunction.

• Damp-heat in the lower Jiao: painful, hot, bloody, or stony urination.
• Retention of harmful body fluid: edema.
• Insufficient fluids in the intestines: constipation with dry and hard stool.
• Insufficient lactation, painful swollen breasts, early stages of breast abscess.
• Especially useful for urinary/edema disorders accompanied by constipation.
MLT: Similar to Western Althea/Marshmallow [mainly used for its soothing mucilaginous properties -PLB] - for irritated urination from dryness.
• Milder than Hua shi.
• Demulcent; increases richness of mother's milk.
6-15g
Fu Ling
Poria sclerotium
Hoelen
Tuckahoe

(includes Fu Shen, Fu Ling Pi, Chi Fu Ling, Fu Shen Xin)





































Fu Ling Pi




Chi Fu Ling





Fu Shen





Fu Shen Xin
Poria heart
sweet bland
neutral
Ht Sp
K
Lu
Drains dampness and harmful body fluid by promoting urination; tonifies spleen Qi; calms the Shen; transforms phlegm; harmonizes the middle Jiao.

• Spleen Qi deficiency with dampness: loose stool, fatigue, poor appetite.
• Stagnation of fluids or dampness: edema, scanty urination, difficult urination, diarrhea.
• Retention of harmful body fluid in the spleen: dizziness, palpitations, cough, headache (The spleen Qi is prevented from lifting to the head: dizziness, headache; from lifting to the heart: palpitations; and from lifting to the Lungs: cough.)
• Shen disturbance: insomnia, palpitations, forgetfulness (Fu shen may be preferable).
• Said to promote longevity.
• Reduces blood sugar.
• Drains without harming the Qi or Yin.
• Weight loss: can be powdered and mixed 50/50 with powdered rice, then dry fried into a "cookie" with small amount of sweetener, eaten as main food.
• Compared to Yi yi ren, Fu ling's tonic effect is much stronger. But unlike Yi yi ren, Fu ling does not treat wind-dampness.
PFGC: Balances earth; transforms stomach phlegm-rheum into useful body fluids; can bank earth and engender metal - beneficial to both the stomach/spleen and Lungs; stops excessive sweat loss.
• "The Qi of the pine tree enters the earth, where, after a long time, it forms hoelen. the material quality of hoelen is formed by Yin Qi, while it has been conceived by Yang."
• Purely benevolent, always tonifying.
• Key herb for excessive sweats causing palpitations causing insomnia.
• Hoelen settles kidney water rushing up to fill the void of depleted heart fluid (use a large dose in critical situations).
Li: Commonly uses up to 30g/day for severe dampness. Combines large doses of Fu ling with non-greasy Yin tonics (such as Huang jing) when there is both dampness and Yin deficiency.
MLT: High in potassium salts, which may be responsible for its fluid regulating properties.
Frees interstitial fluid for excretion and regulates intercellular fluid - unlike most diuretics, it does not cause thirst.
PCBDP: Contains several acids shown to be cytotoxic to hepatoma in vitro.
DY: With Bai zhu, the two herbs reinforce each other to effectively supplement the spleen and dry dampness, percolate dampness, and disinhibit urination. For such indications as:
- 1. Edema due to accumulation of dampness, due in turn to spleen deficiency. (Bai Zhu San)
- 2. Fatigue, weakness in the limbs, lack of appetite, loose stools or diarrhea caused by spleen deficiency with accumulation of dampness. (Shen Ling Bai Zhu San)
- 3. Vertigo, blurred vision, and/or heart palpitations due to phlegm-dampness. (Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang)
- 4. Chronic cough due to phlegm-dampness and spleen deficiency. (Liu Jun Zi Tang)
• With Yi zhi ren to fortify the spleen, secure the kidneys, reduce urination, and stop diarrhea. For indications such as:
- 1. Strangury with chyluria, milky, turbid urine, and dysuria due to deficiency cold in the kidneys or kidney Qi not securing with imbalance in the function of transformation of the bladder. (Use salt mix-fried Yi zhi ren)
- 2. Diarrhea due to deficiency cold of the spleen and kidneys. Particularly watery diarrhea. Use Yi zhi ren which has been stir-fried until scorched.
9-15g (up to 60g for acute facial edema)
• Fu Ling is the generic term for the entire mushroom, which consists of:
• Fu Ling Pi: the blackish "bark."
- More diuretic, slightly tonic.
- Frees urination without affecting the Qi.
- Disperses swelling, treats edema and oliguria caused by severe accumulation of dampness due to spleen deficiency.
- Usual dosage: 15-30g.
• Chi Fu Ling: the pinkish flesh just beneath the blackish bark.
- Drains heat, frees urination.
- For strangury, oliguria, and red or dark urine due to damp-heat.
- Usual dosage: 5-15g
(Bai) Fu Ling: the white flesh which comprises most of the mushroom.
- Tonic and moderately draining.
- Frees urination, tonifies the spleen, quiets the Shen.
- For edema, oliguria, and phlegm due to spleen deficiency.
- For nausea and vomiting due to damp stagnation in the middle Jiao.
- For loss of appetite due to spleen deficiency.
- Usual dosage: 5-15g
Fu Shen: the flesh which surrounds the parasitized root.
- Stronger at quieting the Shen than Fu ling. Calms the heart, quiets the spirit.
- For insomnia, disturbed sleep, palpitations, loss of memory.
- Usual dosage: 5-15g
- HF: (Fu Shen) An An Shen (spirit calming) herb, important in Gu Zheng (Gu parasite) formulas because emotional disturbance is common in patients with Gu.
Fu Shen Xin: the parasitized pine root at the heart of the mushroom.
- Strongest at quieting the Shen.
- Tranquilizes the heart, calms the liver, drains wind and dampness.
- For insomnia, cardiac pain, spasms of the sinews.
- Usual dosage: 5-10g
Hai Jin Sha
Japanese Fern spores
Lygodium

"Sea Gold Sand"











Jin Sha Teng
Lygodium herb/vine
sweet
cold
BL SI Drains dampness and heat by promoting urination.

• Damp-heat and/or stones in the lower Jiao: painful urination with blood or turbidity.
• This herb is superior for pain relief (urinary).
• Often cooked in a bag to keep from floating to the surface.
DY: Frees strangury; clears heat from the small intestine, bladder, and blood division.
• With Ji nei jin to free strangury, transform stones, and, therefore, treat stone strangury. For stone strangury and urinary lithiasis due to damp-heat. This combination can be reinforced by combining it with Jin qian cao, Hua shi, Qu mai, and Che qian zi.
• With Jin qian cao for mutual enhancement, to strongly clear heat and eliminate dampness, disinhibit urination, free strangury, and expel stones. For indications such as:
- 1. Stone and/or sand strangury, renal lithiasis, bladder lithiasis. For these indications, the combination can be enhanced by adding Ji nei jin, Che qian zi, Dong gua ren, and Qu mai.
- 2. Gallstones due to damp-heat in the gallbladder. For this indication, the combination can be reinforced by adding Yin chen hao, Yu jin, Jiang huang, Qing pi, and Hu zhang.
6-15g

Jin Sha Teng: the herb - "Gold Sand Vine"
• Sweet, cold.
• Clears heat; promotes urination; relieves fire toxicity.
• Damp-heat: painful urinary dysfunction, especially with stones or blood.
• Painful, swollen throat or mumps.
• Bensky/Gamble: clear heat and relieve toxicity category.
Hua Shi
Talcum

"Slippery Stone"

sweet
bland cold
St BL Drains dampness and heat by promoting urination; clears heat and releases summer-heat; absorbs dampness.

• Damp-heat in the lower Jiao: scanty, dark, burning and painful urination; diarrhea.
• Summer-heat: restlessness, thirst, fever, urinary difficulty.
• Damp-heat: diarrhea, distention of the chest.
• Qi level heat with dampness: unremitting fever, a heavy feeling in the body, thirst, yellow tongue coat.
• Topical: for damp skin lesions, eczema, boils, itching.
• Doctrine of signatures: Use stone for stones. Hua shi's slippery quality frees the orifices and also helps kidney stones "slip" out of the body.
• Contraindicated for spermatorrhea due to kidney deficiency - this herb is too slippery and may exacerbate the problem.
• Place in a tea bag when decocting.
DY: Above, it clears the origin of water (i.e. the Lungs) and downbears Lung Qi; below, it frees the flow of the water passages and opens the bladder; eliminates evil heat in the six bowels.
• Since it is heavy and slippery and therefore favors descent, is not advisable in pregnancy (it might cause the fetus to slip), except to hasten delivery.
• With Gan cao: Gan cao can moderate the cold nature of Hua shi and protect the middle jiao, while Hua shi can prevent stasis due to the sweet flavor of Gan cao. As a pair, they clear heat, eliminate summer-heat, disinhibit urination without damaging the middle burner, and free strangury. For such indications as:
- 1. Fever, vexation, agitation, thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, and dysuria due to attack of summer-heat with internal and external heat. (Liu Yi San)
- 2. Turbid strangury.
- 3. Stone and/or sand strangury.
9-18g
Jin Qian Cao
Lysimachia*

"Gold Money Herb"
sweet
bland
neutral
Lv GB K BL Dissolves stones and discharges them; eliminates dampness; clears damp-heat from the liver and gallbladder, relieves jaundice; eliminates toxicity; relieves swelling; drains dampness and heat by promoting urination; unblocks painful urinary dysfunction.

• Damp-heat and/or bladder stones, kidney stones, or gall stones: painful urination.
• Liver/gallbladder damp-heat: jaundice and/or red, swollen eyes.
• Topical and/or internal: for carbuncles, boils, snake bite, abscess, traumatic injury.
• Very effective for acute mastitis.
• Often used alone as an infusion for stones.
*A diverse array of herbs that have similar functions are used as Jin qian cao. Besides Lysimachia christinae, these include:
Desdemodium styracifolium - known as Guang Jin Qian Cao, since it comes from Guangdong.
Glechoma longituba - (Ground Ivy) known as Lian Qian Cao, "Linking Gold Money Herb."
Dichondra repens - known as Xi Jin Qian Cao, as it comes from Jiangxi.
Hydrocotyle sibthorpiodes - known as Xiao Jin Qian Cao, "Little Gold Money Herb."
Hsu: Helps dissolve and excrete urinary calculi, stimulates bile production.
DY: Very effective in cases of biliary or renal lithiasis and may be used alone at a dose of 200-250g. Even when combined with other herbs, it should still be prescribed in relatively high doses of 50-150g daily.
• With Hai jin sha for mutual enhancement, to strongly clear heat and eliminate dampness, disinhibit urination, free strangury, and expel stones. See Hai jin sha in this category for specific indications and notes.
SD: May help antidote mercury and lead poisoning.
15-60g (or much more for stones)
Mu Tong
Akebia*

"Open-ended Wood"















Ba Yue Zha
Akebia fruit
bitter
cold
Ht SI BL Drains dampness and heat by promoting urination; clears heart heat - conducts heart heat out through the small intestine and the bladder to the urine; promotes lactation (by opening the channels); unblocks the blood vessels, promotes blood circulation.

• Heart fire pouring downward to the small intestine: irritability, mouth and tongue sores, restlessness, scanty, concentrated urine.
• Bladder damp-heat: scanty, yellow, painful urination, edema, leg qi.
• Damp-heat obstruction: Bi syndrome, joint pain, stiffness, amenorrhea.
• Insufficient lactation after childbirth.
• Regarding its ability to promote lactation, this refers to an ability to enhance the flow of milk, but not to produce it. In cases of insufficient lactation due to blood deficiency (milk is a product of the blood), you must nourish blood.
• This herb can easily injure the body fluids/Yin.
• Doctrine of signatures: this herb's highly porous form - a dense vascular network like pipes - is suggestive of its ability to conduct fluids (milk, urine).
* Though Akebia species were most commonly listed in classical pharmacopeias as this herb, this plant is rarely used in China today. Instead, Aristolochia manshuriensis and Clematis armandi or C. montana are used. Given the recent warnings about aristolochic acid as a possible cause of kidney damage, it is advisable to choose a reputable supplier to ensure you do not get Aristolochia.
MLT: For urinary dysfunction associated with or caused by irritability and emotional stress.
DY: One of bitterest substances in the Chinese materia medica (it may be worthwhile to mitigate its taste - with ginger, for instance).
3-9g

Ba Yue Zha: Akebia fruit - "Eighth-Month Sticker"
• Bitter, neutral; liver, stomach.
• Frees the liver Qi; dissipates clumps; promotes urination.
• Used mostly for hypochondriac or hernial pain, most commonly associated with liver/spleen disharmony.
• Scrofula and other nodular disorders.
• Urinary difficulty and stony, painful urination.
• Recent use: for tumors of the breasts and digestive tract.
6-12g
Qu Mai
Dianthus
Pink
bitter
cold
BL
Ht
SI
Clears damp-heat, promotes urination, unblocks painful urinary dysfunction; breaks up blood stasis; unblocks the bowels.

• Any type of painful urinary dysfunction, especially when bloody.
• Blood stasis: amenorrhea (an auxiliary herb).
• Constipation.
• In cases of damp-heat induced painful urinary dysfunction, this herb is most appropriate when heat is predominant.
• The flowers are the most diuretic part of the plant. (Not potassium sparing: in animal experiments, the herb had a more significant effect on potassium excretion than on that of sodium.)
MLT: Strong diuretic, also stimulates intestinal peristalsis.
Hsu: Increases intestinal peristalsis, hypotensive, anthelmintic.
6-12g (up to 24g)
Shi Wei
Pyrossia leaf

"Stone Reed"
bitter
sweet
sl cold
Lu BL Clears the Lungs, expels phlegm, stops coughing; drains dampness and heat by promoting urination; clears heat, stops bleeding.

• Damp-heat or stones in the lower Jiao: hot, stony, or painful urination with blood.
• Retention of harmful body fluid: edema.
• Heat in the blood: hematemesis, uterine bleeding, hematuria.
• Heat in the Lungs: cough, difficulty breathing, wheezing.
Hsu: Antibacterial; strong antitussive, expectorant, and antispasmodic.
3-9g (up to 30g)
Tong Cao
Tetrapanax
Rice Paper Pith

"Unblocking Herb"
sweet
bland
sl cold
Lu St Clears heat and mildly drains dampness by promoting urination; promotes lactation; conducts Lung heat out through the bladder.
 
• Damp-heat or damp warm-febrile disease affecting the lower Jiao: scanty, painful urination. Usually prescribed as an assistant or envoy.
• Insufficient or absent lactation.
3-6g
Yi Yi Ren
Coix seed
Job's tears




















sweet
bland sl cold
Sp St Lu
K
Drains dampness and harmful body fluid by promoting urination; expels wind-dampness, eliminates dampness from the channels; mildly tonifies spleen Qi, stops diarrhea; clears heat; drains pus; clears the eyes; expels phlegm, stops coughing.

• Retention of dampness and harmful body fluid, especially when due to spleen Qi deficiency: scanty urination, edema, diarrhea, damp leg qi.
• Damp-heat: any damp-heat disorder at any level characterized by a greasy tongue coating and digestive problems.
• Wind-damp: Bi syndrome with tendon spasms. Especially effective for increasing joint mobility and reducing spasms in chronic cases.
• Lung or large intestine heat: Lung abscess or appendicitis
• Soft, pustulated carbuncles.
• Lung phlegm-heat, cough.
• Can also be used for problems due to liver or kidney deficiency or liver channel heat.
• Despite its slightly cold nature, it does not hurt the stomach, and despite its sweet flavor, it does not block the Qi
• Weaker than Fu ling at tonifying the spleen. Milder at draining than Ze xie.
• Liu: Best herb for damp-heat with spleen Qi deficiency.
• For chronic spleen Qi deficiency with dampness, can be cooked into a porridge with rice, Da zao, Bai bian dou, etc.
• It is reported that Yi yi ren has an inhibitory effect on the growth of cancer cells.
• Should be cooked at least 30 minutes.
• Dry-fry to tonify the spleen.
Li: Good for generalized body aches due to damp accumulation.
MLT: Regulates fluid metabolism - drains dampness while it moistens the skin.
• Also for warts and fatty tumors, rheumatoid arthritis.
• Research shows anti-cancer properties.
Hsu: Hypoglycemiant.
9-30g
Yin Chen Hao
Capillaris
Artemisia capillaris
(or A. scoparia)












bitter
sl cold
Sp St Lv GB Drains dampness and mildly clears heat to relieve jaundice; descends stomach and gallbladder Qi; frees the liver Qi; helps the liver Qi and spleen Qi lift; clears heat and releases the exterior.

• Damp-heat or damp-cold in the liver and gallbladder: jaundice. Can be used alone for this. For damp-cold jaundice (greyer/duller color), add herbs such as Fu zi, Gan jiang.
• Heat patterns: intermittent fever and chills, bitter taste in the mouth, stifling sensation in the chest, flank pain, dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite.
• Also and important herb for hepatitis, especially icteric, including acute hepatitis B. In one study, subjects were effectively treated with administration of 30-45g of Yin chen hao 3 times a day.
Liu: Vents heat from Ying/Xue to Qi level, good for lurking heat.
• Promotes bile secretion.
• Lowers blood pressure.
• This herb is picked in early spring and contains the energy of the wood element.
• Bensky/Gamble: Compared to Chai hu, Yin chen hao is less drying and is "softer." It is especially useful when a patient with a Yin deficient or excessive fire constitution needs the heat-clearing action of Chai hu but is unable to tolerate its dry nature.
• In disorders of the anatomical liver, this herb may be more effective when combined with Da huang and Zhi zi.
Hsu: Antipyretic; lowers serum cholesterol and β-lipoprotein; antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal.
9-15g (up to 30g in very severe cases)
Yu Mi Xu
Cornsilk

"Jade Rice Whiskers"



sweet
neutral
BL
GB
Lv
Promotes urination; benefits the gallbladder, alleviates jaundice.

• Hot or stony, painful urinary dysfunction or edema.
• Can be used for either yin- or yang-type jaundice (depending on the other herbs with which it is combined).
• Wasting and thirsting disorder.
• For many disorders of the biliary system. Cholagogue.
• Relatively weak and safe diuretic.
• Reduces clotting time and increases prothrombin concentration in the blood.
• Intravenous administration of the infusion has been used for its marked hypotensive effect (which is not seen with oral administration, even over long periods of time).
K&R: Diuretic (volumetric, azoturic, uricosuric, natriuric), choleretic, cholagogue, TSH inhibitor, hypocholesterolemiant, hypoglycemiant.
• Earth yang and yin, water yang and yin.
• Extracts are diuretic and are used to relieve the pain of rheumatism and gout; as a diuretic, it treats: nephritis, cardiac insufficiency, edema
• Also for obesity, high cholesterol, arterial hypertension.
• Germ oil: inhibits development of arterial plaque, strong influence on pancreatic-duodenal junction, and is used to treat hepatitis and cholecystitis.
Hall: Mucilaginous, soothing demulcent. Acts especially on the urinary tract and kidneys.
• For cystitis, burning on intercourse.
MLT: Helps dispel and expel stones.
PCBDP: Also useful for prostatitis.
Hsu: Hypotensive, hypoglycemiant, cholagogue, decreases bile viscosity - good for chronic cholecystitis and difficulty in bile secretion due to cholangitis.
• Hemostatic - increases platelet count and prothrombin.
15-30g
Ze Xie
Alisma rhizome
Water Plantain

"Marsh Drain"






sweet
bland
cool
K BL Drains dampness and harmful body fluid by promoting urination; clears (excess and deficient) heat, including kidney fire.

• Retention of dampness and harmful body fluid, especially damp-heat in the lower Jiao: scanty urination, urinary difficulty, edema, diarrhea, leukorrhea, dizziness.
• Kidney Yin deficiency heat: dizziness, tinnitus.
• Classically: for wasting and thirsting disorder.
• In terms of strength at draining dampness, Ze xie is second to Zhu ling in this category.
• Doctrine of signatures: some say this herb resembles a kidney.
Ze xie's diuretic strength varies according to when it is harvested. Winter yields the most potent herb, and spring the least. The salt-prepared form is not an effective diuretic. Ze xie's diuretic effect causes an increase in the excretion of sodium and urea. The herb has a high concentration of potassium, which may be a factor in its diuretic effect.
Ze xie seems to lower serum glucose.
• Compared to other herbs which promote urination, Ze xie has less of a tendency to damage the Yin.
Li: Does not damage the Yin.
Liu: Must be combined with Shu di huang to avoid damage to the Yin.
Li Dong Yuan: Leads Yang Qi back down to its lower source.
Jin: Good for draining fluid from the ear.
MLT: Make into congee (stir fry the herb, powder it, add it to rice) and take for inhibited urination, edema, leukorrhea, obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, chronic liver disease.
DY: Drains fire from the liver, kidney, and bladder channels; clears damp-heat from the lower burner; clears heat from the Qi division.
With Huang bai to clear and drain fire due to Yin deficiency, and clear and eliminate dampness and heat. For indications such as:
- 1. Steaming bones, night sweats, and seminal emission due to deficiency fire. (Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan) Both herbs should be salt mix-fried.
- 2. Inhibited urination and pricking, painful urination due to damp-heat in the lower burner. (Salt mix-fried Huang bai and either unprepared or salt mix-fried Ze xie should be used.)
Hsu: Hypotensive, hypoglycemiant, antibiotic (TB).
6-15g
Zhu Ling
Polyporus
sclerotium
Grifola mushroom
sweet
bland
neutral
K BL
Sp
Strongly drains dampness and harmful body fluid by promoting urination.

• Retention of dampness and harmful body fluid: edema, scanty urination, diarrhea, vaginal discharge, cloudy, painful urination, jaundice.
• May be useful in hepatitis B. However, be cautious of damaging the Yin.
• Possible benefit in cancer.
• Much stronger at draining dampness than Fu ling. No tonic effect.
• Caution with Yin deficiency: may cause damage to the Yin (and, as a result, the vision).
• In normal dosage, Zhu ling has shown no significant diuretic effect. In slightly higher dosage, and increase in urine production of up to 62% has been shown. Its effect is thought to take place at the level of the glomeruli.
Hsu: 5g will cause a 62% increase in urine volume in 6 hours.
• Antibacterial.
6-15g



Herbs That Resolve Phlegm-Cold

The herbs in this category are neutral or warm. They are used mostly for cold phlegm, phlegm-dampness, or phlegm in a neutral environment, without the presence of heat. 
However, they are sometimes used even for the treatment of phlegm-heat (when combined with cooling herbs), because their acrid, warmer natures make many of them very powerful drying herbs for eliminating phlegm. Also consider, as appropriate: herbs the resolve phlegm-heat, herbs that drain dampness, herbs that warm the interior, herbs that promote Qi and blood circulation, herbs that release the exterior, herbs that stop coughing and wheezing, etc. 
Bai Fu Zi
Typhonium rhizome

"White Appendage"
acrid sweet
warm
toxic
Sp StLv

Eliminates both internal and external wind; relieves convulsions; dries dampness; resolves phlegm; eliminates toxicity; disperses stagnation of phlegm, dissipates nodules; stops spasms; expels wind-cold-dampness; alleviates pain.

• Wind-phlegm: Bell's palsy, migraine, tetanus, dizziness, deviation of the mouth and eyes in wind-stroke. Specific for phlegm problems of the face and head - enters the Yangming stomach channel.
• Phlegm and toxicity: snake bite, masses, scrofula or other nodules. Often used topically.
• Wind-cold-dampness: dizziness, severe lateral headaches, numbness, facial pain, facial weakness, or any head pain with signs of damp-cold or wind-dampness.
• Some effectiveness against tuberculosis.
• In Northern China, the root of Aconitum coreanum is used as this herb. It is known as Guan bai fu, and it should not be confused with Typhonium since it is very toxic.
Hsu: Analgesic, tranquilizer.
1.5-6g
Bai Jie Zi
White Mustard seed

















acrid
warm
Lu Warms the Lungs, eliminates phlegm; promotes Qi circulation, dispels Qi stasis; removes phlegm from the channels and collaterals; dissipates nodules, reduces swelling, alleviates pain.

• Phlegm-cold accumulation: Coughing copious and thin sputum, difficulty breathing, distention and pain in the chest and hypochondriac region, hydrothorax.
• Phlegm(-cold) obstruction in the channels and collaterals: multiple abscesses, carbuncles, lymphoma, joint pain, body aches, yin-type boils, bedsores, watery, oozing sores. A valuable herb for the treatment of any kind of pain when phlegm or dampness obstructs the channels and collaterals.
• Often applied as a plaster for asthma (on BL-13, 15, 17) - promotes local blood circulation.
• Topical: for lumps and pain. Long Western history of use in baths and plasters for pain. Caution: may cause blistering of the skin. Do not use on patients with skin sensitivities.
• Must be crushed before using.
• Compared to Su zi and Lai fu zi: All are capable of transforming phlegm, regulating the Qi, and alleviating wheezing. However, Bai jie zi warms the Lung Qi, Lai fu zi disperses the Lung Qi, and Su zi descends the Lung Qi.
Li: Very warming.
PCBDP: Rubefacient, counter-irritant, stimulant, diuretic, emetic.
• Externally used for rheumatic pains and bronchitis.
Hsu: Expectorant: the oil slightly irritates the gastric mucosa, causing slight nausea which reflexively increases the bronchial secretions needed to expel phlegm.
• Topical: decreases pain and inflammation.
3-9g
Bai Qian
Cynanchum root and rhizome

"White Before"
acrid sweet
neutral
Lu Strongly eliminates phlegm; descends Lung Qi, relieves coughing.

• Lung Qi stagnation and failure to descend: cough with thick, sticky sputum, gurgling in the throat, wheezing, difficulty breathing.
• Not drying.
• Combine with acrid herbs for wind-cold or wind-heat
Bai qian's ability to descend rebellious Lung Qi is similar to, but weaker than, Ma huang's. Bai qian can be used to treat wheezing and coughing in patients who are not strong enough to tolerate Ma huang.
DY: This herb "disperses" phlegm - xiao tan - close to the Western idea of expectorating phlegm.
• Can be used in the treatment of almost every type of cough. Due to its neutral nature, it can be used for coughs due to either cold or heat.
• With Qian hu, for mutual reinforcement in dispersion of phlegm. They complement each other to downbear (mainly via Bai qian) and diffuse (mainly via Qian hu) the Lung Qi in order to effectively treat cough. For such indications as: cough with abundant phlegm or phlegm which is difficult to expectorate, itchy throat, chest oppression due to blockage of the Lung Qi and Lung Qi counterflow. The combination can be used in the treatment of numerous respiratory diseases: chronic bronchitis, dyspnea, asthma, whopping cough, cough associated with a cold, etc.
• In case of cough due to wind-cold or wind-heat, the uncooked form of the herb should be prescribed.
• In case of cough caused by an accumulation of phlegm in the Lungs, the herb should be stir-fried until scorched.
• In case of chronic cough, dryness in the Lungs, or if the patient is old, use the honey mix-fried form of the herb.
3-9g
Ban Xia
Pinellia rhizome

"Half Summer"



















































































acrid
warm
slightly
toxic
Sp St Lu
GB
Ht
Resolves phlegm; dries dampness; descends rebellious stomach Qi, harmonizes the stomach, stops vomiting; dissipates lumps and distention, disperses swelling and relieves pain.

• Phlegm-damp (especially when originated in the spleen): cough with copious sputum.
• Rebellion of stomach Qi (including from stomach phlegm-damp): nausea, vomiting.
• Phlegm obstruction: pressure, distention in the chest or epigastrium, plum pit sensation, masses, carbuncles, phlegm nodules in the neck (including goiter, scrofula), or other obstruction caused by phlegm anywhere in the body.
• Compared to Bei mu, Ban xia is more effective for phlegm-damp, while Bei mu is more for phlegm-heat. Ban xia is better at transforming phlegm lodged in the stomach, while Bei mu is better at transforming phlegm in the Lungs. The two are often used together to mutually enhance each other's therapeutic properties.
• Tincture of Ban xia was effective in treating 95% of cases of acute toothache.
• Effective in acute suppurative otitis media.
Ban xia is always prepared for internal use with ginger, alum, or vinegar. Prepared Ban xia is called Fa ban xia. The ginger-prepared form is specifically referred to as Jiang ban xia. That prepared with alum is called Qin ban xia.
• Raw Ban xia is toxic and is only used externally to reduce ulcerations, deep-rooted sores, and carbuncles.
• Overdose can generally be cured with oral administration of raw ginger.
• Contraindicated in combination with aconite products.
• Must be crushed before use.
• Ban xia qu is powdered and fermented Ban xia with Gan cao. It promotes digestion and resolves phlegm. It is particularly good when food stagnation has led to phlegm accumulation.
Li: Ban xia is a nice addition when treating the Ren Mai (e.g. chronic UTI), as it opens all the channels. It is vital for lower Jiao problems.
• The Chong and Ren Mai connect with the Yangming. Therefore, moving stomach Qi with Ban xia helps unblock the Chong and Ren.
MLT: One of the strongest antitussives; stops post-nasal drip and excessive saliva.
• Avoid the form prepared with Ming fan (Alum) since it may have a cumulative toxic effect.
PFGC: Ban xia can open up coagulations; can revive accidental death victims when the powder is blown up the nose.
Ban Xia Tang can resolve insomnia by restoring proper communication between the body's Yin and Yang aspects.
Ban xia can be considered to open the orifices.
Ban xia contains the storing and descending momentum of autumn metal: can pull things down, can calm the Chong Mai
Ban xia can relieve paralysis caused by wind-cold-damp.
• Alum-processing destroys its pungency and can induce nausea rather than treating it.
• It is best to buy unprocessed Ban xia, soak it in hot water for 10 days changing the water daily, then cut it into halves, put it in fresh cold water, bring it to a boil, remove it from heat, let it cool, and then dry it.
CHA: (Karen S. Vaughan) While our materia medicas list about 10 functions of Ban xia, only about two of them apply to any given preparation. Fa ban xia, for instance (usual preparation) rectifies spleen deficiency, harmonizes the stomach, and deals with insubstantial phlegm leading to vertigo, insomnia or delirious speech. Jiang ban xia is needed to deal with nausea, vomiting, rebellious Qi and coughs due to colds with phlegm. Qing ban xia is necessary for coughs with damp, phlegmy Bi syndrome, especially with nodulations or long-standing conditions without nodulations. Zhu li ban xia is used for serious mental disturbances such as schizophrenia.
Hsu: Strong antiemetic - decreases excitation of the vomiting center in the brain. Ban xia also has an emetic component which is destroyed by heating it. Furthermore, this toxic compound is quite insoluble in water.
• Sedative.
• Slightly decreases pressure inside the eye.
Heiner Fruehauf and Chip Chace: Articles by Zhang Xi-chun indicate that Ban xia has a slippery nature that helps supplement both the spleen and kidney. By removing phlegm-damp, it helps restore the normal spleen qi, and by disinhibiting dampness, helps supplement the kidney. Zhang Xi-chun says that when the pungent nature of ban xia is used to counteract phlegm or damp, the normal moistening actions of spleen and kidney are benefitted. "Just as Cheng Wuyi has put it: "˜Pinellia is pungent and dispersing; it moves water and thus moistens kidney dryness. In other words, if dryness counteracts dampness, water becomes uninhibited, and if pungent flavors transform fluids, the dryness becomes moist.' He also says that it is used for vacuity constipation in the elderly, therefore, it is a mistake to say that it is excessively drying." [from Z'ev Rosenberg]
DY: Fortifies the spleen; disperses food accumulation.
• With Chen pi for mutual reinforcement, to fortify the spleen, rectify the Qi, dry dampness, transform phlegm, and stop vomiting. For such indications as:
- 1. Cough due to an accumulation of phlegm-dampness. (Use lime-processed Ban xia.)
- 2. Chest oppression, nausea, and vomiting due to stomach disharmony and phlegm-damp stagnation. (Use ginger-processed Ban xia and stir-fried Chen pi.)
- Both herbs are traditionally cured to reduce secondary effects and reinforce their therapeutic actions. The longer they are kept, the more effective they become.
• With Huang lian to harmonize upbearing and downbearing, Yin and Yang, to clear heat, dry dampness, transform phlegm, and stop vomiting. For indications such as nausea, vomiting, chest and epigastric fullness and distention, thick, yellow phlegm, yellow, slimy tongue fur, and a wiry, slippery pulse due to damp-heat, turbid phlegm, and/or mixed cold and heat causing stomach disharmony. Huang Lian Tang is typically used. For these indications, ginger-processed Ban xia and ginger mix-fried Huang lian should be used.
• With Huang qin to harmonize and re-establish the interaction between Yin and Yang, to effectively clear heat, drain fire, harmonize the stomach, stop vomiting, and scatter nodulation. For such indications as:
- 1. Vomiting and nausea due to a Shaoyang pattern. (Xiao Chai Hu Tang) Use ginger-processed Ban xia. When Ban xia is removed from Xiao Chai Hu Tang, the alternating fever and chills disappear, but the pain and distention of the chest and lateral costal regions persist.
- 2. Phlegm-heat. (Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan) Use lime-processed Ban xia and win mix-fried Huang qin.
- 3. Lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and distention and sensation of fullness in the stomach, diaphragm, and chest caused by a pattern of mixed cold and heat. (Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang) Use ginger-processed Ban xia and bran stir-fried, ginger mix-fried or stir-fried-until-scorched Huang qin.
• With Sheng jiang to transform phlegm, downbear counterflow, harmonize the stomach, and stop vomiting. For such indications as:
- 1. Nausea, vomiting with not thirst and slimy tongue fur due to phlegm-dampness stagnating in the middle burner. (Xiao Ban Xia Tang) Ginger-processed Ban xia should be used.
- 2. Enduring cough with white, watery, and profuse phlegm. Use lime-processed Ban xia.
• With Shu mi (Millet) to transform phlegm, harmonize the stomach, and quiet the spirit. For such indications as insomnia with heart palpitations, nausea, and cough with thin phlegm due to phlegm-dampness accumulation in the middle burner causing stomach disharmony. Ban xia and Shu mi are probably the best combination to treat insomnia due to stomach disharmony, i.e. stagnant food preventing the defensive Qi from entering the interior.
• With Zhu ru for mutual reinforcement, to effectively dry dampness, clear heat, transform phlegm, harmonize the stomach, and stop vomiting. For such indications as:
- 1. Hiccup, nausea, and vomiting due to counterflow of stomach Qi. (Use ginger-processed Ban xia and ginger mix-fried Zhu ru.)
- 2. Vertigo, agitation, and insomnia due to phlegm turbidity. (Use lime-processed Ban xia and ginger-processed Zhu ru.)
- 3. Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy due to disharmony of the stomach, phlegm-heat, or heat in the stomach. In cases of stomach disharmony, add Zi su geng and Sha ren. In cases of stomach cold, add Sheng jiang and Sha ren. In cases of phlegm-heat, add Pi pa ye. In cases of stomach heat, add Bai mao gen and Pi pa ye.
Ban xia is incompatible with mutton, sheep blood, and maltose.
4.5-12g
Jie Geng
Platycodon root
Balloon Flower




































Gan Jie Geng
Adenophora tracheloides

bitter acrid
neutral
Lu Disperses Lung Qi; eliminates phlegm; drains pus; benefits the throat; guides herbs upward.

• Cough with copious sputum or less, difficult-to-expectorate sputum, chest congestion, hoarse voice, sore throat. Combined appropriately, it can be used for both wind-cold and wind-heat coughs.
• Sore throat, loss of voice - especially when due to external heat, but also when due to other factors, such as phlegm-heat or Yin deficiency heat.
• Lung abscess or throat abscess: cough with a mixture of pus, blood, and yellowish, foul sputum.
• This is the premier herb for dispersing stagnant Lung Qi.
Hsu: Expectorant - promotes saliva and bronchial secretions; antitussive; antifungal; tranquilizer; analgesic; antipyretic; anti-inflammatory; vasodilator; hypotensive.
DY: Guides other herbs to the Lungs, chest, and the Lung channel. Jie geng can raise herbs which otherwise have a tropism for the lower burner towards the middle or upper burner. Loosens the diaphragm. Mainly upbears but also downbears.
• Can be used to treat the upper body (Lungs - the superior origin of fluids) for certain lower body problems (oliguria, dysuria, anuria).
• With Gan cao to clear heat, transform phlegm, disinhibit the throat and stop pain, evacuate pus, and resolve toxins.
- 1. Pulmonary abscess with cough, expectoration of profuse, purulent phlegm, and chest oppression and pain due to heat stasis in the chest. (Jie Geng Tang)
- 2. Pain, redness, and swelling of the throat due to heat (deficient or excess, external or internal).
- 3. Loss of voice and/or hoarse or husky voice.
- For indications 2 and 3, the combination can be reinforced by adding He zi, as in He Zi Tang. For these indications, in cases of Lung dryness, honey mix-fried Jie geng should be used.
• With Xing ren to effectively regulate the Lungs' function of dispersing and descending, to transform and disperse phlegm, stop cough, and calm asthma. For such indications as cough and/or asthma with chest oppression, profuse phlegm, sore throat, and aphonia due to an attack of external wind (wind-cold or wind-heat) that disturbs the diffusion and downbearing function of the Lungs.
- Both herbs have the function of dispersing and descending the Lung Qi, however, Jie geng mainly disperses while Xing ren mainly descends. Both herbs transform and disperse phlegm, however, Xing ren mainly transforms while Jie geng mainly disperses (promotes expectoration of) phlegm.
• With Zhi ke to effectively regulate upbearing and downbearing, regulate the upper and middle burners, diffuse the Lung Qi, and loosen the chest and diaphragm. For indications such as:
- 1. Chest and diaphragm oppression or distention or chest Bi due to accumulation of phlegm and Qi stagnation. (Jie Geng Zhi Ke Tang)
- 2. Epigastric distention, stomach rumbling, and difficult defecation due to disturbance of ascending and descending. Note: Zhi ke and Jie geng do not moisten the intestines, do not soften the stools, and do not precipitate the bowels. However, Zhi ke moves and descends the Qi in the large intestine in order to improve evacuation of the stools, while Jie geng disperses and descends Lung Qi. When the Lung Qi correctly descends, the large intestine Qi does the same. Therefore, although Zhi ke and Jie geng do not have a direct action on peristalsis, they can treat constipation due to Lung-large intestine Qi stagnation. Hence, this pair may be used to advantageously reinforce any formula that specifically treats constipation.
Jie geng is incompatible with pork, seaweed, and Chinese cabbage.
3-9g

Gan Jie Geng: Adenophora tracheloides - "Sweet" Jie geng
• Cold.
• Moistens the Lungs; clears heat; relieves fire toxicity.
• See its relative, Nan sha shen.
• When Jie geng is specified, Platycodon - Ku jie geng ("bitter" Jie geng) is implied. It is much more commonly used than Adenophora.
Xuan Fu Hua
Inula flower
Elecampane

"Revolved, Upturned Flower"





























(Western) Elecampane root







bitter
acrid
salty
slightly warm
Lu Sp St
LI
Lv
Descends the Qi of the Lungs and stomach, stops vomiting and burping; resolves phlegm and harmful fluids; promotes blood circulation, frees the connecting vessels; free the liver Qi and subdues the liver.

• Vomiting or burping, especially when due to spleen damp, spleen/stomach deficiency cold, or stomach phlegm.
• Lung phlegm accumulation: cough with copious sputum, wheezing.
• Retention of harmful fluid in the Lungs: distention in the chest and diaphragm.
• Qi and blood stagnation: distending pain in the costal or hypochondriac area.
• Liver Qi stagnation or liver invading the middle Jiao.
• Anti-emetic, anti-nauseant. Good for nausea after chemotherapy.
• Honey fry the herb for patients with Lung deficiency to ameliorate its warmth and prevent it from harming the Qi or Yin.
• Liu: this is the only flower in the Chinese pharmacopeia which does not disperse (it descends).
MLT: The root and flower are similar, but the root is probably more Qi tonic than the flower.
• Contains quercetin and isoquercetin - both useful for upper respiratory allergies.
DY: Usually flowers have an upbearing, floating nature. However, Xuan fu hua, on the contrary, downbears the Qi and disinhibits urination.
• The flower (Xuan fu hua) and stem (Xuan fu geng) of this plant have similar actions. However, Xuan fu geng is superior for downbearing the Qi and disinhibiting urination, while Xuan fu hua is superior for dispersing phlegm, downbearing the Qi, and calming asthma.
• With Dan nan xing to clear heat, transform phlegm, stop cough, calm asthma, extinguish wind, and wash away phlegm in the channels and network vessels. For indications such as:
- 1. Cough, asthma, and chest oppression due to phlegm-damp obstruction, phlegm-heat, or stubborn phlegm in the Lungs.
- 2. Numbness in the limbs due to (wind) phlegm in the channels and network vessels.
- In the absence of heat, and in the presence of cold or damp patterns, processed Tian nan xing may be favorably prescribed instead of Dan nan xing.
Yoga: Pushkaramula: (root and flower) K, V-; P+
• Expectorant, antispasmodic, carminative, analgesic, rejuvenative.
• For colds, asthma, cardiac asthma, pleurisy, dyspepsia, cough, nervous debility
• A rejuvenative tonic to the lungs. Promotes longevity of lung tissue, helps absorb water from the lungs, reduces swelling.
• Calms the mind, the digestive system, and the female reproductive system.
• Topical: apply as a paste for muscular pain.
MW: The plant told him, in a dream, that its flowers could be used for grief.
• It is said that where Helen of Troy's tears fell, this plant grew.
3-12g (flower)


K&R: (Elecampane root): Expectorant, alterative, choleretic, diuretic, pituitary stimulant, sympathomimetic, vagolytic.
• Water, wood, fire, earth, metal yin.
• Strengthens and cleanses the mucosa of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts.
• Good for glandular insufficiency, immune deficiency, renal insufficiency.
Metal: bronchorrhea, pertussis, copious expectoration, asthma, emphysema, tuberculosis, immunoallergic pneumopathies, sarcoidoses, anemia, leukorrhea, insufficient menses, amenorrhea, dermatoses, chronic diarrhea.
Water: oliguria, edema, glomerulonephritis, acute and chronic arterial hypertension.
Wood: choleretic, immune stimulant, hepatomegaly, herpes, insufficient bile secretion.
Fire: hypotension, lipothymia, syncope from vagotonia, stimulates pituitary and testicular activity, FSH and LH-like activity.
Earth: splenomegaly, gastroptosis, gastric atony, chronic diarrhea, hypothyroidism, insufficient hypophysial function, amenorrhea, impotence, frigidity.
Zao Jiao
Gleditsia fruit
Chinese Honeylocust

"Soap Thorn"






Zao Jiao Ci
Gleditsia spine/thorn
acrid
warm
slightly
toxic
LI Lu Powerfully dispels phlegm; opens the orifices, promotes resuscitation; dissipates clumps, reduces swellings; suppository: unblocks the bowels and expels roundworms

• Phlegm: obstruction, phlegm nodules, coughing or wheezing with copious, difficult-to-expectorate sputum.
• Excessive phlegm: sudden unconsciousness with facial paralysis or seizures.
• Initial stage of abscesses and boils, or abscesses with pus that is difficult to discharge.
• Suppository: for constipation and intestinal obstruction due to roundworms.
• Increases secretions in the stomach and respiratory tract. Significant expectorant effect, though not as strong as that of Jie geng.
Hsu: Strong hemolytic actions; antibacterial; antifungal; expectorant.
0.6-1.5g in pill and powder form only

Zao Jiao Ci: the spine of the plant
• Acrid, warm; enters liver, stomach.
• Reduces swellings; discharges pus; promotes blood circulation; reduces abscesses; expels wind; kills parasites.
• Used during early stages of swollen sores to encourage suppuration or to induce those that have already closed to burst. Not for use with ulcers that have already burst.
• Leprosy.
• Ringworm.
3-9g



Herbs That Resolve Phlegm-Heat

Several herbs in this category can be used for either hot or cold patterns when combined appropriately. Even when there is phlegm-heat, the warm and neutral herbs in the previous category (Herbs that Resolve Phlegm-Cold) are often used in combination with heat-clearing herbs. Also consider, as appropriate: herbs that promote Qi and/or blood circulation, herbs that drain dampness, herbs that clear heat (including damp-heat and heat-toxins), herbs that release the exterior, herbs that stop coughing and wheezing, etc. 
Bei Mu:

Chuan Bei Mu
Tendrilled Fritillaria bulb
"Shell Mother from Sichuan"

Zhe Bei Mu
Non-tendrilled Fritillaria bulb
"Shell Mother from Zhejiang"































Chuan:
bitter
sweet
slightly
cold

Zhe:
bitter
cold



















Lu
Ht
Both forms: clear heat; resolve phlegm; stop coughing; resolve masses and lumps.

• Phelgm-fire nodules, sores, swellings, scrofula, Lung or breast abscess.
• These herbs are always used in their processed form, since they are toxic in their raw state.
• Not to be used with Aconite products.
• Both forms can be very useful in the treatment of heartburn and GERD.
Hsu: Antitussive, expectorant.
• Alkaloids have atropine-like action - decrease secretions, stop contraction of bronchial smooth muscle, dilate pupils.
• Inhibits the CNS, stimulates heart muscle.

Chuan Bei Mu:
• Moistens the Lungs.
• Possibly the most effective herb for cough in the Chinese pharmacopeia. Useful for many types of cough, mainly chronic cough with Yin deficiency fire, cough with slight sputum that is difficult to expectorate, or cough with blood-streaked sputum.
• Lung yin deficiency: prolonged cough with little sputum and dry throat.
• Milder than Zhe bei mu and therefore more appropriate for children.
• More effective than Zhe bei mu at transforming phlegm and moistening the Lungs.
• Most effective in treating cough accompanied by constrained Qi, manifesting in a reduced appetite and a stifling sensation in the chest and upper abdomen.
• Quite expensive: therefore, it is generally powdered and taken uncooked along with a decoction.
• For dry Lungs: core an Asian pear and fill the center with powdered Chuan bei mu. Replace the top of the plug of pear flesh so the pear is sealed, steam lightly, then eat the whole thing.
DY: Moistens, treats enduring, chronic coughs - such as due to Yin deficiency or dry heat.
• With Zhi mu to clear and moisten the Lungs, enrich Yin, drain fire, transform phlegm, and stop cough. For such indications as:
- 1. Enduring dry cough with little phlegm and difficult expectoration, sometimes fever, dry mouth, and a dry, red tongue due to water deficiency causing rising fire or due to Lung Yin deficiency. (Use stir-fried Zhi mu)
- 2. Cough due to Lung heat which causes Lung dryness.
• With Xing ren to moisten while transforming phlegm, downbear the Qi, and stop cough. For indications such as:
- 1. Chronic cough and/or dry cough with little or no phlegm, difficultly expectorating, and dry throat due to Lung vacuity.
- 2. Relentless cough with expectoration of yellow phlegm due to external evils or an accumulation of phlegm-heat in the Lungs.
3-12g or 1-3g directly as powder

Zhe Bei Mu:
• Dispels stagnant heat and phlegm.
• Used more for acute Lung wind-heat/phlegm-heat: cough with yellow, sticky sputum.
• Stronger than Chuan bei mu at clearing heat and dissipating nodules, swellings, and difficult-to-expectorate phlegm.
• Clears hot phlegm from the ear, as in pediatric otitis media.
DY: More often used for acute, full, or external type coughs.
3-9g
Dan Nan Xing
Prepared Arisaema rhizome
Jack-in-the-Pulpit

(Dan Nan Xing is usually listed as subordinate to Tian Nan Xing, but it is  more commonly used)















Tian Nan Xing
raw Arisaema

"Star of the Southern Heavens"
Dan: bitter cold




















Tian: bitter acrid warm
toxic


Lu
Lv
Sp
Strongly resolves phlegm and dries dampness; disperses swelling, relieves pain; disperses wind-phlegm in the channels; eliminates both internal and external wind, relieves convulsions.

• Wind-phlegm obstructing channels: numbness, paralysis, convulsions, tremors, seizures, stroke, opisthotonos, lockjaw.
• Stubborn phlegm: cough, distended sensation in the chest.
• Good for stubborn phlegm. Treats phlegm over the whole body.
• Topical: for swelling and pain, deep-rooted sores, injuries, ulcers, carbuncles.
• Often used in pediatrics.
• Extremely drying in nature.
Dan nan xing is prepared by soaking Tian nan xing in Ming fan (alum), Sheng jiang (ginger), and ox/pig bile.
Li: Dan nan xing is one of the best herbs for phlegm-heat throughout the whole body.
MLT: Stimulant, expectorant, diaphoretic, irritant (Tian/raw).
Hsu: Sedative, antispasmodic, expectorant, antitumor activity (inhibits growth).
DY: With Xuan fu hua to clear heat, transform phlegm, stop cough, calm asthma, extinguish wind, and wash away phlegm in the channels and network vessels. For indications such as:
- 1. Cough, asthma, and chest oppression due to phlegm-damp obstruction, phlegm-heat, or stubborn phlegm in the Lungs.
- 2. Numbness in the limbs due to (wind) phlegm in the channels and network vessels.
- In the absence of heat, and in the presence of cold or damp patterns, processed Tian nan xing may be favorably prescribed instead of Dan nan xing.
3-9g

Tian Nan Xing:
• In its raw, unprepared form, is very toxic and is mainly used as a topical application for yin-type abscesses, trauma-induced swelling and pain, and swelling of the joints. When used internally, it is always treated (usually with fresh ginger) which greatly reduces its toxicity. If numbness of the tongue is experienced after ingestion, granulated sugar can be taken as an antidote.
Zhi nan xing, the treated form (not Dan nan xing), is somewhat less toxic than raw. It is used mainly for wind-stroke. If one simply asks for Tian nan xing, Zhi nan xing is the form that will be given at a pharmacy. It is not to be used internally if it still has its outer skin.
4.5-9g (treated); 0.3-1g (untreated, in pills and powders only)
Fu Hai Shi
(Fu Shi, Hai Fu Shi)
Pumice
or
Costazia skeleton
(an aquatic invertebrate similar to coral)

"Float on the Sea Stone"
salty
cold
Lu Softens and resolves hardness and masses; promotes urination; clears Lung heat; resolves phlegm.

• Lung heat: cough with thick, sticky sputum or coughing up blood.
• Phlegm: masses, nodules, scrofula.
• Hot or stony painful urinary dysfunction - urinary tract infection, kidney or bladder stones.
• Pumice is very light - some say it can slightly disperse Lung Qi.
• To promote urination, grind into a powder and take directly.
• When decocting, place it in a tea bag.
• History of use as an abrasive for softening skin, and more recently in spas as a powder as an exfolliant.
6-15g
Gua Lou Pi
Trichosanthes peel
sweet
cold
Lu
St
LI
Promotes Qi circulation in the chest; clears Lung heat; eliminates phlegm, moistens.

• Lung heat: cough with thick and sticky sputum, including dry coughs with difficult-to-expectorate sputum.
• Lung phlegm-heat: distention or pain in the chest.
• Qi accumulation in the chest: stifling or distended sensation, constriction, pain, diaphragmatic pressure.
• Painful obstruction of the chest, Lung abscess, breast abscess.
• May help break down granulomas.
Gua lou pi is less moistening than Gua lou ren.
• Not to be used with Aconite products.
Li: Stronger than Gua lou ren to open the chest.
MLT: Same energetics as the whole fruit (Gua lou), but better for dry throat, cough, and wind-heat-phlegm that is difficult to expectorate.
9-30g
Gua Lou Ren
Trichosanthes seed













Gua Lou
Whole Trichosanthes fruit
sweet
cold
Lu
St
LI
Moistens the Lungs and large intestine; promotes bowel movement; promotes healing of sores; clears phlegm-heat; expands the chest.

• Large intestine dryness: constipation - especially when accompanied by Lung heat with dry mouth, thirst, and irritability.
• Lung heat/phlegm-heat: cough with thick, sticky, difficult-to-expectorate sputum, chest pain.
• Accumulation of phlegm in the chest: stifling sensation, pain, diaphragmatic pressure.
• Adjunct herb for breast abscesses, swellings, and for sores that have not yet suppurated.
Gua lou - the whole fruit - is similar in effect to the seed, but is less effective at lubricating the intestines, transforming phlegm, and dissipating nodules.
• Not to be used with Aconite products.
MLT: Dry constipation associated with thirst.
Hsu: Antibacterial, anti-cancerous - mild inhibitory action on tumors.
10-15g


DY: Gua lou (Whole fruit):
• Sweet, cold, moistening, clearing, downbearing; clears the Lungs; transforms phlegm; loosens the chest, scatters nodulations; moistens dryness, moistens the intestines; promotes Qi circulation; loosens the chest and diaphragm and frees the flow of impediment.
• Though Gua lou is sweet and cold, it is used for chest Bi due to Qi stagnation and blood stasis and/or chest Yang deficiency. Though Gua lou is sweet, it does not supplement, nor produce Qi stagnation. Though it is cold, it does not cause obstruction. In cases of chest Yang deficiency or stagnation, Gua lou is combined with herbs that balance its cold nature, such as Xie bai, Bai jiu, Gui zhi, and Tan xiang.
• With Xie bai to effectively free the flow of Yang and move the Qi, loosen the chest and clear the Lungs, transform phlegm and scatter nodulation, stop pain, moisten the intestines, and free the flow of the stools. For indications such as:
- 1. Constipation due to fluid dryness of the large intestine and/or Qi stagnation.
- 2. Yin binding constipation. (Constipation due to spleen-kidney Yang deficiency or sometimes due to dryness in the large intestine caused by an essence-blood deficiency with pale lips, white tongue fur, and clear, copious urination.)
- 3. Chest Bi with oppression of the chest and epigastrium, cough, profuse phlegm, piercing pain in the chest radiating toward the back, and shortness of breath due to accumulation of turbid phlegm blocking the Qi and Yang of the chest. (Gua Lou Xie Bai Ban Xia Tang - which can be favorably combined with Er Chen Tang) Use Gua lou which has been stir-fried until scorched.
- 4. Chest Bi and cardiac disease with intense heart pain due to heart Qi and blood stasis and deficiency of heart Yang. (Gua Lou Xie Bai Bai Jiu Tang) For these indications, the combination can be favorably reinforced by adding Dan shen, San qi, Tan xiang, and Gui zhi. The Gua lou should be stir-fried until scorched.
10-20g
Hai Zao
Sargassum
Seaweed












salty
cold
Lv
St
K
Lu
Softens masses; resolves phlegm; promotes urination, reduces edema.

• Phlegm accumulation: masses, lumps, neck nodules - goiter, scrofula.
• Adjunct herb for edema due to leg qi or floating edema.
• Pain associated with hernial disorder.
• Stronger than Kun bu to promote urination.
• May soften atherosclerosis.
• Contains iodine - caution with hyperthyroidism (when due to iodine excess).
• May lower cholesterol.
Li: With Kun bu, also with Gui ban: for polycystic kidneys, all cysts and swellings, inner ear phlegm. Also for some thyroid problems.
MLT: Often used with Kun bu for swollen glands (especially the thyroid) and tumors.
SD: Heavy metal poisoning: has been shown to bind heavy metals.
Hsu: Anticoagulant [when decocted] (this component possesses same action as heparin [about half the strength]), antifungal, hypotensive, lowers serum cholesterol.
4.5-15g
Huang Yao Zi
Dioscorea bulbifera tuber


"Yellow Medicine"
bitter
neutral
toxic
Ht
Lv
Lu
Dissipates nodules, reduces masses; cools the blood, stops bleeding; reduces toxicity of toxic swellings.

• Masses: many kinds of cancer, especially those involving the esophagus, stomach, uterus, and colon; also for goiter.
• Bleeding: hematemesis, hemoptysis, uterine bleeding.
• Topical: sores, snake bite, dog bite.
• Thyroid tumors: tinctures and decoctions have been used in many clinical series for thyroid tumors, including endemic goiter and thyroid cancer. It has been most effective in treating nonmalignant tumors of short duration in relatively young patients. Side effects included nausea and vomiting that required cessation of treatment. There are also recorded cases in which tinctures led to significant liver dysfunction and jaundice.
• Esophageal and gastric tumors: in one series of 28 cases, tinctures of Huang yao zi improved symptoms in 18 cases. In a few cases there were adverse effects on the liver.
• Often taken in wine, or directly in pill or powder form.
• To avoid hepatotoxicity, the herb is given only for a few weeks at a time (while monitoring liver function). It may be resumed after a break.
6-15g
Kun Bu
Kelp thallus
Ecklonia
Kombu
or
Laminaria
(Hai Dai, which possesses nearly the same properties)













  
salty
cold
Lv
St
K
Softens masses and nodules; resolves phlegm; promotes urination, reduces swelling.

• Phlegm: swellings, masses, nodules in the neck, sensation of fullness and obstruction in the chest.
• Adjunct herb for edema and leg qi.
• Stronger than Hai zao at resolving phlegm and soften masses.
• Shown to have an anti-asthmatic and antitussive effect in many animals.
• Contains iodine - caution with hyperthyroidism (when due to iodine excess).
• Useful in treating both hyperthyroidism (temporarily improves the symptoms) and hypothyroidism (due to a lack of iodine).
• Extracts of this herb and Undaria have been used for their fucoxanthin content as a non-stimulating thermogenic supplement for weight loss.
SD: Heavy metal poisoning: has been shown to bind heavy metals.
K&R: Earth, metal, and water yin.
• Glandular stimulant, remineralizer.
• Treats obesity and cellulite by nourishing thyroid function.
• Rich in minerals and nutrients for various deficiencies.
• Retarded development, anorexia, emaciation, asthenia, anemia, frigidity, impotence.
• Strengthens a weak constitution for chronic problems like asthma, emphysema, sinusitis, arthritis, collagenoses, chronic dermatoses, amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, hypothryroidism, polyneuritis, paralysis.
• Adjunct herb for autoimmune disorders, degenerative disease, cancer.
MLT: Long Western tradition for regulation of the thyroid and for weight reduction (due in part to high iodine).
• Binds toxins to help their excretion.
Hsu: Antitussive, expectorant, hypotensive (slight, temporary).
4.5-15g
Meng Shi
Mica or
Lapis
Chlorite-Schist
sweet salty
neutral
Lu
Lv
Calms the liver, relieves convulsions and palpitations; descends the Lung Qi; resolves phlegm.

• Stubborn phlegm: cough and difficulty breathing with old, viscous, clumped phlegm.
• Liver wind stirring, phlegm-heat: convulsions, palpitations, seizures, mania-withdrawal.
• Severe food stagnation.
• Bensky/Gamble classifies as an herb to stop cough and wheezing.
Duan meng shi, the calcined form, is more easily absorbed then the raw form.
9-15g
Pang Da Hai
Boat Sterculia seed

"Fat Big Sea"
sweet
cold
Lu
LI
Clears heat and disperses Lung Qi; clears large intestine heat; promotes bowel movement; encourages the expression of rashes (topical use).

• Lung heat: hoarse voice, sore throat, tonsilitis.
• Lung phlegm-heat: cough.
• Heat and dry feces in the colon: constipation with concurrent headache, red eyes, and feverish body.
• Good for the combination of hoarse voice with constipation.
• Use alone in hot water for hoarseness/sore throat and watch its metamorphosis.
• Topical: as an external wash for incomplete expression of rashes.
Hsu: Strongly inhibits influenza viruses; laxative (when eaten) by absorption of a large amount of water into colon; hypotensive; diuretic; analgesic.
4.5-9g
Qian Hu
Peucedanum root
Hogfennel

"Before Barbarians"

bitter
acrid
slightly cold
Lu Descends Lung Qi; eliminates phlegm; mildly disperses wind-heat.

• Lung heat or Lung Qi stagnation with failure of the Lung Qi to descend: cough with thick and sticky sputum, wheezing.
• Wind-heat or wind-cold: cough, copious sputum. Most often for wind-heat.
• Can be used with Chai hu for externally-contracted diseases presenting with cough, rebellious Qi, thick sputum, and/or malarial disorders.
DY: With Bai Qian, for mutual reinforcement in dispersion of phlegm. The two herbs complement each other to downbear (mainly via Bai qian) and diffuse (mainly via Qian hu) the Lung Qi in order to effectively treat cough. For such indications as: cough with abundant phlegm or phlegm which is difficult to expectorate, itchy throat, chest oppression due to blockage of the Lung Qi and Lung Qi counterflow. The combination can be used in the treatment of numerous respiratory diseases: chronic bronchitis, dyspnea, asthma, whopping cough, cough associated with a cold, etc.
• In case of cough due to wind-cold or wind-heat, the uncooked form of the herb should be prescribed.
• In case of cough caused by an accumulation of phlegm in the Lungs, the herb should be stir-fried until scorched.
• In case of chronic cough, dryness in the Lungs, or if the patient is old, use the honey mix-fried form of the herb.
Hsu: Dilates coronary artery; expectorant - stimulates secretions of the respiratory tract (effect similar to Jie geng, but weaker antitussive action); antihistamine action.
4.5-9g
Tian Zhu Huang
Siliceous Secretions of Bamboo
Tabasheer

"Heavenly Bamboo Yellow"
sweet
cold
Ht
Lv
GB
Clears heat and resolves phlegm to calm the Shen and ease convulsions; stabilizes fright.

• Lung phlegm-heat: difficult-to-expectorate sputum.
• Phlegm-heat: convulsions, spasms. Especially useful for childhood convulsions.
• Wind-stroke due to phlegm accumulation: gurgling sound in the throat.
• Mental disturbances due to fright.
• Compared to Zhu li, Tian zhu huang is gentler and less cold, and is therefore more appropriate for children.
• The fully natural product is rare. Heat is usually applied to the bamboo, the secretions are collected from a node and then crystallized.
Yoga: Vamsha-rochana (includes Zhu ru): P, V-; K+
• Demulcent, expectorant, tonic, rejuvenative, antispasmodic, hemostatic; nurtures the heart, soothes the nervous system.
• For colds, cough, fever, asthma, bleeding disorders, emaciation, debility, dehydration, palpitations, vomiting, consumption.
• Helps Lung weakness, helps recovery from chronic disease.
• Strong anti-Pitta herb.
3-9g (0.6-1.2g taken directly)
Ze Qi
Euphorbia helioscopia

"Marsh Lacquer"
acrid
bitter
cool
slightly
toxic
SI
LI
Lu
Transforms phlegm; stops cough, arrests wheezing; dissipates nodules; promotes urination, strongly reduces edema.

• Lung heat with phlegm and congested fluids: coughing, wheezing.
• Scrofula: used both internally and topically (as a wash, paste, or powder).
• Edema in the upper abdomen, face and eyes, and extremities.
• Bacillary dysentery: In one study of 79 cases, oral preparations markedly improved 44 cases and improved 13.
• Esophageal cancer: In one study of 64 cases (using IM injection of a 20% solution of neutral saponins), in terms of their ability to swallow, 10 cases were cured, 18 were markedly improved, 30 were improved. Results were generally noted within five days. The herb had no effect if the patient had previously undergone radiation therapy.
3-15g
Zhu Li
Dried Bamboo Sap





sweet
very cold
Ht
Lu
St
Clears heat, transforms phlegm, penetrates to and unblocks the channels; transforms phlegm-heat, stops coughing.

• Phlegm obstructing sensory (heart) orifices: fainting, paralysis of the hands or feet, hemiplegia, coma.
• Phlegm-heat: Cough. Used in small doses as powerful adjunct herb.
• Channel obstruction: spasms of the extremities.
• Take directly. May be mixed with ginger juice to offset its cold nature (as when used in a large dose for coma).
• Compared to Tian zhu huang, Zhu li is extremely cold and slippery in nature, and therefore is very effective in clearing heat and moistening excessive dryness. 
30-90g (9-15g for cough)

MLT: Important in the preparation of Sito Paladi Churna (Ayurvedic cold/cough remedy):
• Take 8 parts Zhu li, 16 parts raw brown sugar, 1 part cinnamon (Rou gui), 4 parts black pepper (Hu jiao), 2 parts cardamom (Sha ren).
• Grind into a powder.
• Take 1 teaspoon at a time with warm water or milk.
• Strongly warming, clears mucus, helps digestion.
Zhu Ru
Bamboo Shavings
sweet
sl. cold
Lu
St
GB
Descends gallbladder and stomach Qi and fire; clears heat; resolves phlegm; stops vomiting; cools the blood, stops bleeding; eases restlessness.

• Vomiting: especially due to stomach heat and rebellious stomach Qi; also for other patterns (including morning sickness), when appropriately combined.
• Lung phlegm-heat: cough with thick and yellowish sputum, stifling sensation in the chest, hemoptysis.
• Shen disturbance due to gallbladder and/or stomach heat: restlessness, insomnia.
• Stomach heat: bad breath, aversion to heat, yellow, greasy tongue coat.
• Epistaxis, hematemesis.
• Often fried in ginger juice to mitigate its slightly cold nature.
• Compared to Ban xia, Zhu ru has similar effects and the two are often used together, though Zhu ru is cooling and is better for calming the Shen and alleviating irritability.
Hsu: Strongly antibacterial.
DY: With Ban xia for mutual reinforcement, to effectively dry dampness, clear heat, transform phlegm, harmonize the stomach, and stop vomiting. For such indications as:
- 1. Hiccup, nausea, and vomiting due to counterflow of stomach Qi. (Use ginger-processed Ban xia and ginger mix-fried Zhu ru.)
- 2. Vertigo, agitation, and insomnia due to phlegm turbidity. (Use lime-processed Ban xia and ginger-processed Zhu ru.)
- 3. Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy due to disharmony of the stomach, phlegm-heat, or heat in the stomach. In cases of stomach disharmony, add Zi su geng and Sha ren. In cases of stomach cold, add Sheng jiang and Sha ren. In cases of phlegm-heat, add Pi pa ye. In cases of stomach heat, add Bai mao gen and Pi pa ye.
4.5-10g



Herbs That Stop Coughing And Relieve Wheezing

These herbs work predominantly by any of four major actions:
1. Descending Lung Qi. 2. Astringing Lung Qi. 3. Dispersing Lung Qi. 4. Moistening the Lungs.
As appropriate, consider combining with: herbs that resolve phlegm, astringents, herbs that warm the interior, yin tonics, Qi tonics, yang tonics, surface releasing herbs, herbs that clear heat, herbs that eliminate food retention, etc.
In my own practice, I have encountered some stubborn cases of cough that didn't respond satisfactorily to any/all the herbs in this category (administered, of course, in an appropriate formula based on the zangfu pattern). Perhaps my formulas were flawed. However, over the years I have grown to trust three herbs more than any others for difficult coughs: Chuan bei mu, the Western herb Mullein (leaf and fower), and the needles of evergreens (Pine, Spruce, and Fir). The Western herb Lobelia (inflata sp.) is also a powerful, if also enigmatic, herb in the treatment of respiratory complaints. While it is an emetic in moderate doses, small doses can be used as an "activator" of the respiratory tract in combination with an appropriate formula.
Bai Bu
Stemona root

"Hundred Parts"
sweet
bitter
neutral
Lu Moistens the Lungs, stops coughing; kills parasites.

• Acute or chronic cough: Especially useful for deficiency cough, including Yin deficiency. A key herb for tuberculosis. Pertussis: over 85% effectiveness rate in one clinical series of over 100 patients. In other studies a preventative function was also noted.
• Topical: as a tincture or decoction for lice, pinworms, fleas, bedbugs.
• For pinworms, Bai bu can also be used as an enema, 30-60g per day for 3 days.
MLT: For lice, apply a 20% alcoholic solution or strong decoction. Also can be used as a flea wash for animals.
Hsu: Pesticide, antitussive, antitubercular, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral.
3-9g
Bai Guo
Ginkgo nut

"Silver Almond"
sweet bitter
astringnt
neutral
sl. toxic
Lu
K
Astringes the Lungs to relieve wheezing; expels phlegm, softens stubborn phlegm; eliminates dampness; stops discharge; stabilizes the lower Jiao.

• Difficult breathing, wheezing, coughing, with copious sputum.
• Kidney or spleen Qi deficiency or damp-heat: vaginal discharge, turbid urine.
• Lower Jiao instability: frequent urination, incontinence, spermatorrhea.
• Use raw for treating phlegm and clearing heat.
• Use prepared to stop wheezing and restrain urine.
• May aid in alcohol withdrawal by causing a distaste for alcohol.
• Because of its greater toxicity, when the raw herb is used, its dosage is usually reduced.
• Usually the husk is removed and the seed is crushed before use.
• Cautiously used for coughs with thick and sticky sputum, and in cases of excess.
• Symptoms of overdose include vomiting, headache, fever, tremors, irritability, dyspnea. The antidote is 60g of boiled Gan cao or 30g of boiled ginkgo shells. This reaction may be avoided by including the hard shells and thin linings of the seeds when using this herb.
• Bensky/Gamble classifies this herb as an astringent.
Hsu: Antibacterial, antiviral effects.
4.5-9g
Kuan Dong Hua
Coltsfoot flower Tussilago

"Welcome Winter Flower"










acrid
warm
Lu Descends (and disperses) Lung Qi; moistens the Lungs; resolves phlegm; stops coughing.

• A key herb for many types of cough. Can be used alone for damp-phlegm or cold-phlegm. For phlegm-heat, combine with cool herbs.
• Fry in honey to enhance its ability to moisten the Lungs.
• Often combined with Zi wan since Zi wan is superior for resolving phlegm while Kuan dong hua is superior for stopping coughs.
K&R: Emollient, expectorant, antitussive, vagolytic, slightly diaphoretic and tonic.
• Metal yin: cough, acute bronchitis, laryngitis, tracheitis, lymphadenitis, postinfectious fatigue, emphysema, silicosis.
• Contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids - may damage the liver with excessive use.
RW: The combination of its bitter and mucilaginous qualities gives it expectorant/demulcent plus tonic properties.
• The choice remedy in chronic respiratory problems, especially chronic emphysema and silicosis: have a cup of the tea immediately upon waking, while still in bed.
• Reports of carcinogenicity may be disregarded if the herb used properly.
MLT: Pertussis.
PCBDP: Recent research: anti-inflammatory, immunostimulant, demulcent, antispasmodic.
MW: Good for deteriorating respiratory conditions, "incurables" - e.g. emphysema.
• Also for sore feet with respiratory conditions.
• Alcohol extracts its alkaloids - therefore, always take it as a tea rather than as a tincture.
1.5-9g
Ma Dou Ling
Aristolochia fruit
Birthwort

"Bell of a Horse's Hat"
bitter
sl. acrid
cold
Lu
LI
Resolves phlegm; clears Lung heat; stops coughing, relieves wheezing.

• Lung heat: cough with difficult breathing.
• Lung deficiency: prolonged cough.
• Bleeding hemorrhoids.
• Hypertension with lightheadedness and flushing: lowers blood pressure an average of 15 mm Hg diastolic.
• Very bitter. May make some patients vomit. Gua lou is often substituted.
• Honey-frying this herb makes it less cold and bitter, and reduces the side effects of nausea and vomiting.
• Contains aristolochic acid [only slightly soluble in water - Merck Index], which has been associated with renal damage when misused. Some authorities therefore discourage the use of this herb; its use may be prohibited in places.
Hsu: Strong expectorant (stronger than ammonium chloride).
3-9g
Mu Hu Die
Oroxylum seed

"Wood Butterfly"
sweet
bland
cool
Lv
Lu
Moistens the Lungs, clears the voice, stops coughing; comforts the liver, regulates Qi; topically promotes healing of sores.

• Hoarseness, cough, sore throat.
• Qi constraint: flank and epigastric pain.
• Topical: ulcerated, suppurative sores.
Hsu: Anti-inflammatory, decreases capillary permeability.
Li: Often uses to free constrained liver Qi.
1.5-9g
Pi Pa Ye
Loquat leaf
Eriobotrya




bitter
neutral
Lu
St
Descends stomach and Lung Qi; harmonizes the stomach, clears stomach heat; resolves phlegm; stops coughing; clears Lung heat.

• Wind-heat, dryness, or fire in Lung: cough with sticky sputum. Especially suitable for dry coughs.
• Stomach heat: vomiting, belching, hiccups, nausea.
Pi pa ye's expectorant action is very mild.
• Hairs on the leaf may cause throat irritation, belching, or vomiting. The leaves are therefore usually scrubbed to remove the hair. These side effects can also be avoided by honey frying the herb, which additionally gives the it the ability to moisten the Lungs.
• Frying in ginger juice enhances its ability to stop nausea and vomiting.
Hsu: Antitussive, expectorant, antiviral.
4.5-12g
Su Zi
(Zi Su Zi)
Perilla seed
acrid
warm
Lu
LI
Descends Lung Qi; stops coughing, eases difficult breathing; mildly resolves phlegm; moistens the large intestine, promotes bowel movement.

• Lung Qi fails to descend: coughing, wheezing, including patterns with copious phlegm. Used mainly for cold patterns. Especially indicated when the exhale is more labored than the inhale and there is a stifling sensation in the chest.
• Dryness of the large intestine: constipation.
• Compared to Bai jie zi and Lai fu zi: All are capable of transforming phlegm, regulating the Qi, and alleviating wheezing. However, Bai jie zi warms the Lung Qi, Lai fu zi disperses the Lung Qi, and Su zi descends the Lung Qi.
• Usually ground before use.
4.5-9g
Sang Bai Pi
Morus bark

"Mulberry White Bark"
















sweet
cold
Lu
Sp
Drains Lung heat (to the bladder); stops coughing, eases difficult breathing; promotes urination, reduces edema.

• Lung heat: cough with copious phlegm and difficult breathing.
• Edema related to an excess syndrome.
• Lung heat obstructs the descent of Lung Qi, preventing water from moving and cutting off perspiration: floating edema, facial edema, swelling of the extremities, fever, thirst, difficulty in urination, floating pulse.
• Hypertension: moderately lowers blood pressure.
• Honey fry when using the herb for coughing and wheezing.
Hsu: Diuretic, sedative, hypotensive.
DY: Disinhibits urination and disperses swelling without damaging Yin; eliminates evils from the Qi division.
• With Chen pi to clear the Lungs and transform phlegm, rectify the Qi, stop coughing and calm asthma. For cough and asthma due to Lung heat with abundant yellow phlegm.
• With Di gu pi to clear the Yin and Qi divisions, to effectively clear heat and drain fire from the Lungs, eliminate deficiency fire damaging the Lungs, stop cough, and calm asthma. For the following indications, the combination is found in Xie Bai San:
- 1. Cough and asthma with expectoration of yellow, sticky, and thick phlegm, fever and thirst due to Lung heat.
- 2. Cough accompanied by evening fever or low but persistent fever with skin which is warm to the touch due to deficiency heat damaging the Lungs.
- For the above indications, honey mix-fried Sang bai pi should be used. This combination can treat both full and deficiency heat. The Lungs are a delicate viscus and are easily damaged by heat. Full heat easily damages Lung Yin, causing both full and deficient heat simultaneously. This pair addresses this situation very well. In case of full heat, add Huang qin, Pi pa ye, and Zhe bei mu. In case of deficiency heat, add Zhi mu and Mai men dong.
6-15g
Ting Li Zi
Descurainia or Lepidium seed
bitter
acrid
very cold
Lu
BL
Strongly promotes urination, moves water, relieves edema; resolves phlegm; clears heat; descends Lung Qi; calms wheezing.

• Lung phlegm accumulation or Lung heat: cough with copious sputum, difficulty breathing, gurgling sound in the throat.
• Lungs fail to dominate the water passages or excess-type obstruction of Lung and bladder Qi: facial edema, fluid accumulation in the chest or abdomen, urinary difficulty.
• For hydrothorax, combine with Xing ren and Mang xiao.
• Large doses have produced a cardiotonic effect in various animals (positive ionotropic effect and negative chronotropic effect - increases cardiac output and reduces venous pressure).
Liu: Not for deficiency. Its purgative function is as strong as rhubarb - can damage the Qi.
Hsu: Purgative; expectorant, alleviates pharyngitis, facilitates removal of phlegm from throat.
DY: With Da zao to powerfully drain the Lungs, disinhibit urination, and drastically evacuate phlegm without damaging Yin or the stomach. Together, they downbear Qi and calm asthma. For indications such as asthma, cough with stertor, wheezing, a swollen face, and oliguria due to accumulation of phlegm in the Lungs. (Ting Li Da Zao Xie Fei Tang)
• There are two types of Ting li zi:
- Tian ting li is sweet and comes from the south. Its draining and dispersing properties are moderate. It drains the Lungs and expels phlegm without damaging the stomach.
- Ku ting li is bitter and comes from the north. This is the most currently prescribed in clinical practice and the most effective. Its draining action is strong. It strongly drains the Lungs and expels phlegm and can damage the stomach. In order to slow down the drastic action of this herb, it can be stir-fried until scorched. Also, its combination with Da zao is essential.
3-9g
Xing Ren
Apricot seed
Prunus








bitter
sl. warm
sl. toxic
Lu
LI
Descends the Lung Qi, stops coughing, eases difficult breathing; moistens the large intestine, promotes bowel movement.

• Lung fails to descend its Qi: cough, difficulty breathing. Appropriately combined, this herb can be used for either hot or cold patterns. It is the especially useful for externally contracted dry coughs, and coughs which are accompanied by wheezing.
• Dryness of the large intestine: constipation
• Topical: grind to a powder and mix with water to form a paste. Apply locally for acne, dog bites, trichomonas vaginitis.
• Forms a cyanide compound (hydrocyanic acid) in the body: lethal dosage for adults is approximately 50-60 kernels, and in children about 10 kernels. Cooking it, removing the outer coating, and mixing it with sugar all reduce its toxicity. Overdose can be treated with administration of activated charcoal and syrup of ipecac [Cephaelis ipecacuanha]. The bark of the apricot tree and the cortex of its root have also been used traditionally as antidotes. Use cautiously with infants.
• The type most often used are the bitter kernels which grow in northern China, called "bitter apricots" - Ku xing ren - or "northern apricots" - Bei xing ren. Sometimes, especially in the treatment of dry or deficient coughs, the sweet apricots grown in southern China are used. These are called "sweet apricots" - Tian xing ren - or "southern apricots" - Nan xing ren.
DY: The slight toxicity of Xing ren is located in the superficial skin and the tip of the seed. The preparation of Dan xing ren (scalded apricot seed) by removing the tip and skin, considerably reduces the risk of toxicity.
Tian/Nan xing ren (the sweet, southern type) is sometimes used - it is not toxic, and is favored for asthma and cough of the deficiency type and dry constipation.
• With Chuan bei mu to moisten while transforming phlegm, downbear the Qi, and stop cough. For indications such as:
- 1. Chronic cough and/or dry cough with little or no phlegm, difficultly expectorating, and dry throat due to Lung vacuity.
- 2. Relentless cough with expectoration of yellow phlegm due to external evils or an accumulation of phlegm-heat in the Lungs.
• With Jie geng to effectively regulate the Lungs' function of dispersing and descending, to transform and disperse phlegm, stop cough, and calm asthma. For such indications as cough and/or asthma with chest oppression, profuse phlegm, sore throat, and aphonia due to an attack of external wind (wind-cold or wind-heat) that disturbs the diffusion and downbearing function of the Lungs.
- Both herbs have the function of dispersing and descending the Lung Qi, however, Jie geng mainly disperses while Xing ren mainly descends. Both herbs transform and disperse phlegm, however, Xing ren mainly transforms while Jie geng mainly disperses (promotes expectoration of) phlegm.
Hsu: Expectorant, antitussive, emollient, laxative.
3-9g
Zi Wan
Purple Aster root
bitter
sweet
sl. warm
Lu Resolves phlegm; stops coughing; descends Lung Qi.

• Coughs of various etiologies - including phlegm or Lung deficiency: sticky sputum that is difficult to expectorate, difficulty breathing, or coughing of blood-streaked sputum. Especially for chronic cough or cold-induced cough.
• Can be combined with Bai bu for phlegm that is difficult to expectorate.
• Stronger than Bai bu at resolving phlegm.
• Fry in honey to strengthen its action of moistening the Lungs and stopping coughs.
MLT: Expectorant; antibiotic against E. coli, Shigella sonnei, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, more.
Hsu: Expectorant (increases secretions in respiratory tract), antibacterial (especially against tuberculosis), antiviral, diuretic.
3-9g


Herbs That Promote Bowel Movement By Moistening The Intestines

Also consider, as appropriate, these herbs from other categories which also moisten the intestines: Bai Zi Ren [Calm Shen], Dang Gui [Nourish Blood], Dong Kui Zi [Drain Damp], Feng Mi  [Tonify Qi], Gua Lou Ren [Resolve Phlegm-Heat], He Shou Wu [Nourish Blood], Hei Zhi Ma [Nourish Yin], Hu Tao Ren [Tonify Yang]Jue Ming Zi [Subdue Lv/Exting Wind]Lu Hui [Purge to Eliminate Pathogens], Mai Men Dong [Nourish Yin], Mang Xiao [Purge to Eliminate Pathogens], Niu Bang Zi [Acrid, Cool], Qin Jiao [Dispel Wind-Damp], Rou Cong Rong [Tonify Yang], Sang Shen  [Nourish Yin], Su Zi [Stop Cough], Suo Yang [Tonify Yang], Tao Ren [Promote Blood Circulation], Xing Ren [Stop Cough], Zi Cao [Clear Heat/Cool Blood].
In addition, consider herbs that generate body fluids, herbs that moisten the Lungs, herbs that nourish Yin and Blood. 
Huo Ma Ren
aka Ma Zi Ren
Cannabis seed

"Fire Hemp Seeds"
sweet
neutral
Sp
LI
St
Slightly nourishes blood/Yin; moistens the large intestine to promote bowel movement; clears heat; promotes healing of sores.

• Blood deficiency, Yin deficiency, or body fluid deficiency: constipation, especially in the elderly, postpartum, or after febrile disease.
• This herb must be ground before use.
• An auxiliary herb for sores and ulcerations. Taken orally or applied topically.
• Mildly lowers blood pressure.
• Doses over 60g may cause nausea, vomiting, restlessness, diarrhea.
• Sometimes the name Ma Zi Ren is used to refer to flax seed.
9-30g (to 45g when used as the principal herb in a prescription)
Yu Li Ren
Bush Cherry pit
Prunus japonica or P. humulis

"Constrained Plum Pit"
acrid
bitter
neutral
LI
SI
Sp
Moistens the large intestine to promote bowel movement; promotes urination to treat edema.

• Dryness or Qi stagnation in the intestines: constipation.
• Edema with abdominal distention or leg qi with difficult urination and constipation.
• Stronger than Huo ma ren at moistening the intestines and promoting bowel movement.
• For stubborn insomnia after a frightening event, this herb is taken as a folk remedy: Decoct it in yellow wine for 10 minutes, then add the drained seeds to an appropriate prescription based on the diagnosis.
• Some patients may get slight cramps in the intestines from this herb.
• Crush before use.
MLT: Contains 60-75% oils which give it its lubricating properties.
Hsu: Emollient laxative, stronger purgative than cannabis; diuretic.
3-9g


Herbs That Purge Accumulation And Stagnation By Promoting Bowel Movement

• Da huang, Lu hui, and Fan xie ye all contain anthraquinone glycosides which make them stimulant laxatives (as well as having some antibiotic effect) - increasing peristalsis. (The common Western herbal purgatives Cascara sagrada and Frangula are also stimulants containing anthraquinones.)
• Other common laxatives include citrus seed extracts and castor oil (the latter is a strong stimulant). Psyllium seed husk (a Plantago species), flax seed meal, and Pang da hai, when eaten, are high-fiber bulk-forming laxatives, which retain water and stimulate peristalsis by forming a mass in the intestines.
• All but the fiber (bulk-forming) laxatives are generally contraindicated in pregnancy.
• The herbs in this category are commonly combined with:
A. Herbs to clear heat and toxicity, promote Qi and blood circulation.
B. Herbs to warm the interior, when there is constipation due to Yang deficiency (e.g. Da huang + Fu zi).
C. Herbs that release the exterior, when there is an EPI associated.
D. Herbs that support Zhen Qi, when the patient has a weak constitution.
Chief Applications:
1. Dry and hard stool due to excess heat or fire in the large intestine.
2. High fever, coma, delirium due to blockage of the heart by excess heat.
3. Headache, red and painful eyes, toothache, hemoptysis, hematemesis due to flare up of fire from the liver, Lungs, stomach, or large intestine.
4. Tong Yin Tong Yang: Purgation when there is leakage (incontinence) due to blockage.
Da Huang
Rhubarb root and rhizome
Rheum

"Big Yellow"




bitter
cold
St LI Lv Ht Sp Clears heat, reduces fire; eliminates toxicity; promotes blood circulation, dispels blood stasis; drains accumulation and stagnation; drains damp-heat; drains heat from the blood, clears heat obstructing the blood level.

• Any accumulation or stagnation of heat or damp-heat in the large intestine, including Yangming stage invasion: high fever, profuse sweating, thirst, constipation, abdominal distention and pain, delirium, yellow tongue coat, full pulse.
• Stomach fire: hematemesis, epistaxis.
• Blood stasis: amenorrhea, lochioschesis, masses, trauma, hemorrhage, fixed pain, stasis due to intestinal abscess.
• Damp-heat: jaundice, painful urination, acute hot dysentery.
• Heat and toxicity: carbuncles, boils, furuncles, burns. Use internally and/or topically.
• Blood in the stool due to bleeding hemorrhoids or heat accumulation in the intestines.
• Excess heat obstructing the blood level: fever, hot, swollen, painful eyes, or fire toxin sores.
• Antineoplastic, antifungal, and antibacterial effects.
• May lower cholesterol.
• Also for schistosomiasis.
• Topical: for dermatitis, stomatitis, oral ulcers/canker sores.
• As a paste with vinegar on K-1 for abdominal distention. Change every 2 hours.
• Local application of a decoction has been shown to be effective in the treatment of stomatitis, oral ulcers, and folliculitis, especially those caused by Staphylococcus aureus.
• Ecthyma: a powder made of Da huang and Gan cao, used with a multilayered soybean plaster, was applied in 12 cases of ecthyma of up to 13 years duration. All cases healed within 1-4 weeks.
• A 1g dose has a mild effect to stimulate the appetite.
Da huang's purgative effect takes 6-8 hours.
Da huang has astringent tannin which has a constipating effect that outweighs the purgative effect when taken in small doses (<0.3g).
• For strong purgation, cook only 5 minutes. The longer the cook time, the milder the purgative effect.
• The wine or vinegar treated form has a stronger effect of promoting blood circulation, and is a milder purgative.
• To stop bleeding, use the charred form.
• The alcohol-prepared form can direct to the face.
• When using Da huang, the sweat and urine may be notably yellow.
• Contraindicated for nursing mothers because components are excreted in breast milk.
• One of four herbs in Essiac tea, a cancer formula.
• Anti-inflammatory: a COX inhibitor
Li: "Dissolves fat" - for obesity, high cholesterol, etc. (including with Dan shen, Shan zha, San Qi).
K&R: Metal and wood yang.
• Metal: constipation, dyspepsia, dysentery.
Wood: biliary dyskinesia, gallstones, high cholesterol, blood stasis.
• Anti-inflammatory.
• Has bacteriacidal action against Bacerioides fragilis, which has been found in large quantities in the gallbladders of patients with hepatic or gallbladder disease.
BII: Reduces bleeding of duodenal and gastric ulcers.
Yoga: Amla-vetasa: P, K-; V+
• Purges Pitta, Ama, and stagnation.
DY: To moderate Da huang's purgative effect, combine it with Gan cao.
• Can be used for any type of constipation, when combined with other herbs specific for the pattern.
• Up to 3g Da huang is lightly purgative and stimulates digestion. Over 3g, the higher the dose, the purgative its effect is. There is a wide variability in the degree of sensitivity of patients to the purgative effects of Da huang. Profuse diarrhea can occur with only 3g in one patient, while constipation can resist a 12g dose in another patient.
• Wine mix-fried Da huang is very slightly purgative. Carbonized Da huang is not purgative.
• With Fu zi to warm the interior, precipitate accumulation of cold, and evacuate the stools. For constipation, abdominal pain, fear of cold, and cold limbs due to accumulation of internal full cold. (Da Huang Fu Zi Tang).
When this pair is combined with Xi xin, it has shown an interesting action in the treatment of cold-damp Bi or impediment with Yang deficiency and blood stasis (use wine mix-fried Da huang for this) as well as for Bi with an accumulation of heat in the stomach and intestines with persistent constipation.
• It is noteworthy to mention that some practitioners believe that small doses (1-3g) of Da huang can have supplementing effects and that this medicinal can be integrated into any formula that supplements the middle burner. However, this is probably an indirect effect. As it is said, the bowels function when they are freely flowing. The spleen cannot be fortified and healthy if the stomach and intestines are not free flowing. In addition, when the spleen becomes weak and, therefore, loses its control over transportation and transformation, the stomach typically becomes hot due to accumulation and depression. Therefore, a small amount of Da huang can address this accumulation and heat even if the main symptoms are those of spleen deficiency and there is no marked constipation.
• With Mang xiao for mutual reinforcement, to effectively precipitate full heat and internal accumulation, and free the flow of stools. (Dose of each: up to 15g) For indications such as:
- 1. Constipation with dry, hard stools and abdominal pain which worsens with pressure due to heat accumulation in the Yangming bowels. (Da Cheng Qi Tang)
- 2. Constipation with dry, hard stools, high fever, delirium and mental confusion, and dry, yellow tongue fur due to full heat in the Yangming bowels. (Da Cheng Qi Tang)
- 3. Chronic or severe constipation due to heat.
MLT: For burns (not open sores) soak Da huang in vinegar for 1-3 days and apply locally.
• Use the charred form for diarrhea and to stop bleeding.
PFGC: Enters the blood layer, cracks all forms of stagnant blood. Since its Qi is fragrant, it can also enter the Qi layer - therefore, in small doses, Da huang can regulate Qi and treat Qi stagnation pain.
• Purges all kinds of masses and accumulations.
• Can treat mania by opening the epigastric region and resolving phlegm-heat. Use up to 60g when the pulse is clearly excess.
• Its fragrant orifice-opening effect can disinhibit urination.
• Can also clear heat in the upper Jiao - for all pain in the eyes and oral cavity.
• Descends stomach heat and "entices stomach Qi to move downwards" - excellent for hematemesis.
• Can "drain the old and generate the new."
Hsu: Stimulates bile and pancreatic secretions; broad antibacterial; anti-carcinogenic effect.
JC: Cathartic (aperient to brisk purgative, depending on dosage), hepatic, cholagogue, astringent, tonic, stomachic, antibilious, sialogogue, vulnerary, anthelmintic, peristaltic.
• Given in small doses, it is a valuable stomach tonic, increasing saliva and gastric juices, improving the appetite, promoting the action of the liver and the flow of bile (without astringing the intestines), and facilitating absorption throughout the system.
• Increases circulation in the glands by the GI tract and increases peristalsis by stimulating the muscular layer of the bowel.
• In larger doses (2-3g), it produces copious yellow, pultaceous stools in 6-8 hours, with considerable hepatic stimulation and some griping (although the larger doses may produce severe griping, the herb will never inflame the digestive mucous membrane).
• Highly esteemed as a laxative tonic for children and infants because of the milk-like quality of its action. It acts chiefly on the duodenum, and generally does not clog or produce an after-constipation. The tonic and astringent action following evacuation makes it a valuable remedy for diarrhea due to irritating matter in the bowel - it removes the irritating substance, its astringent properties check the diarrhea, and then it tones and corrects the accompanying atonic indigestion.
• Particularly useful for hemorrhoids with constipation, atonic dyspepsia, infantile digestive and intestinal disorders, and both constipation and diarrhea.
3-12g
Fan Xie Ye
Senna leaf
Cassia angustifolia or C. acutifolia

"Purgative Leaf of the Foreigners"

sweet bitter
cold
LI Purges accumulation and stagnation.

• Excess heat in the large intestine: constipation.
• Do not cook too long (over 10 minutes) or at too high a temperature - just add to water at 95°-100° C and let it steep. Water temperatures under 75° C will not be hot enough to extract the purgative constituents of this herb. Cooking over 1 hour will completely eliminate any purgative properties.
• Doses over 10g may cause nausea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting (can be combined with Huo xiang to prevent these side effects).
Fan xie ye's purgative effect takes 2-6 hours.
• Sources conflict on Fan xie ye's strength and nature:
Liu: Milder purgative than Da huang.
Li: Stronger purgative than Da huang.
BII: Probably the best-tolerated laxative.
MLT: Can cause griping - combine with a warming herb to counteract this side effect (e.g. Sheng jiang, Chen pi).
K&R: Metal yang, water yang.
• Inhibits resorption of water from the colon.
• Contraindicated with intestinal inflammation, pelvic congestion, or pregnancy.
JC: Cathartic (pods: laxative; leaflets: simple purgative), slight stimulant, antibilious, anti-periodic, tonic.
• A somewhat prompt cathartic that acts on nearly the entire intestinal tract, especially the colon. Suitable for chronic constipation. Acts locally on the intestine wall, increasing peristalsis and secretions, to produce copious yellow stools. Does not constipate afterwards.
• The leaves cause griping and flatulence (the pods do not), and the odor is nauseous to many persons. The griping and nausea may be alleviated by adding some corrective herb, such as: cloves, ginger, cinnamon, coriander, fennel, manna, etc. Often given with licorice.
• Two main varieties, Alexandrian or Nubian senna (Cassia acutifolia, C. senna, C. lenitive, C. officinalis, C. aethiopica) and East Indian or Tinnevelly senna, are used. The former is preferred by most herbalists since it is milder, but equally certain in its action.
• Should not be used when there is an inflamed condition of the GI tract.
• Shortly after administration (2-30 minutes) it may dye the urine reddish.
IBIS: Drug interactions:
• Sennosides aggravate nephropathy from analgesics associated with dehydration (DeSmet).
• Decrease in absorption of oral drugs due to decrease in bowel transit time (DeSmet).
• Aggravates loss of potassium associated with use of diuretics (DeSmet).
• Overuse or misuse can cause potassium loss leading to increased toxicity of cardiac glycosides (Wichtl, DeSmet) such as those in Adonis, Convallaria, Urginea, (Brinker, DeSmet) Helleborus, Strophanthus, and Digitalis (Brinker).
1.5-3g for mild purgation. 5-10g for strong purgation.
Lu Hui
Aloe
(dried concentrate)

A. vera or A. ferox






























Aloe (various forms)
bitter
cold
Lv LI
St
Clears liver heat; kills parasites (especially roundworms) and strengthens the stomach; purges accumulation and stagnation; drains fire.

• Heat accumulation (liver and/or large intestine): constipation, dizziness, headache, tinnitus, irritability, fever. Also used for chronic constipation.
• Roundworms. Also for ringworm.
• Childhood nutritional impairment, especially when due to roundworms: abdominal pain, sallow face, thin muscles.
• Stronger than Da huang, but can be mild when dosed appropriately.
• Very bitter. Often encapsulated.
• As effective in enema form as when taken orally.
Liu: Less likely to cause griping than Da huang.
Hsu: Low doses are a cholagogue, stimulate intestinal peristalsis.
• High doses induce abdominal pain and congestion of the pelvic cavity.
• Anti-carcinogenic effect.
• Aloe ulcin inhibits histamine synthesis.
IBIS: Note: The leaf gel, commonly consumed as a cleansing juice preparation, is a different product. (McGuffin, p.7).
• Affinities: intestines, skin.
• Actions: laxative on lower gastrointestinal (slow acting 10-15 hours), can also be a purgative; cathartic; bitter tonic, stomachic, hepatic; vermifuge/ anthelmintic; emmenagogue; vulnerary, demulcent, and emollient.
• Dosage: tincture: 1 - 4 mL. resin [Lu hui]: 100 - 300 mg.
• Therapy: atonic constipation; burns; to increase menstrual flow; insect bites; asthma.
• Toxicity varies between different species and varieties of Aloe; barbaloin can be very griping (especially in dried form) and cause severe intestinal irritation; Aloe vera [Lu hui], which has very little, if any, barbaloin, is usually considered non-toxic.
• Contraindicated in pregnancy and cases of menorrhagia or metrorrhagia; also in patients with gastrointestinal inflammation, irritable plethoric conditions and hemorrhoids; not to be used by patients with chronic constipation (Felter and Lloyd, pp. 151-152; Morton, pp. 47-50; U.S. Dispensatory, pp. 46-50).
• Produces catharsis in nursing child (Morton, pp. 47-50).
• May cause or potentiate kidney irritation (Brooks).
• Contraindicated in children younger than 12 due to depletion of electrolytes and water (De Smet).
• Extended use of more than 8-10 days may cause loss of peristalsis from intestinal smooth muscle and mesenteric plexi damage (De Smet).
• Drug interactions: Aloe can cause potassium loss which may lead to increased toxicity of cardiac glycosides such as those in Adonis, Convallaria, Urginea, Helleborus, Strophanthus, and Digitalis (De Smet; Wichtl). Aloe can reduce the absorption of oral drugs and increases potassium loss caused by diuretics (De Smet).
0.3-3g (usually taken directly as powder or in capsules)

Aloe in various forms (fresh gel, extract, powder):
BII: Cancer: contains a potent immunostimulant polysaccharide - acemannan - especially effective for leukemia, but also should be considered for: HIV, bronchial asthma, diabetes mellitus, immunodepression.
• May have an anti-ulcerative effect on the GI tract.
Yoga: Kumari: A young girl/virgin, called so because it imparts the energy of youth and brings about the renewal of the female nature.
• Bitter, astringent, pungent, sweet/cooling/sweet.
• VPK= (gel). The powder, except in very low doses, will aggravate Vata.
• Alterative, bitter tonic, rejuvenative, emmenagogue, purgative, vulnerary.
• Regulates sugar and fat metabolism.
• Tonifies all Agnis. Reduces Pitta.
• Fever, constipation, obesity, inflammatory skin diseases, swollen glands, conjunctivitis, bursitis, jaundice, hepatitis, enlarged liver or spleen, herpes, venereal disease, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menopause, vaginitis, tumors, intestinal worms.
• The powder is a strong purgative. Caution: take with a carminative (turmeric, rose, etc.).
DH: For a dry person/constitution. Doctrine of signatures: Aloe retains moisture, even in extremely dry environments.
Mang Xiao
Mirabilite
Sodium sulfate
Glauber's salt
(Na2SO4)












Xuan Ming Fen
salty bitter
cold
St LI Softens masses; clears heat; moistens dryness; purges stagnation and accumulation; reduces swelling.

• Excess heat in the large intestine and stomach: constipation (only when the stool is dry and hard).
• Heat: painful, swollen, ulcerated mouth or sore throat, canker sores, red, swollen, painful eyes, carbuncles, swellings, skin lesions, breast swellings - yang type mastitis.
• Use large doses (carefully) to purge the intestines of toxicity for the treatment of all cancers.
• Purgative effect usually takes 4-6 hours.
• Should not be cooked - add to the strained decoction.
• Drink large quantities of fluids when taking this substance.
DY: Drains fire; disperses swelling, stops pain, disperses food accumulation (external use).
• With Da huang for mutual reinforcement, to effectively precipitate full heat and internal accumulation, and free the flow of stools. For specific indications and notes, see Da huang in this category.
• With Ji nei jin to strongly and effectively soften hardness, disperse accumulation, clear heat, and transform stones. For renal, urethral, or bladder lithiasis. Neither substance should be cooked. For greatest efficacy, the two herbs should be ground to a powder (6-10g Ji nei jin and 3-10g Mang xiao) and taken, 6g at a time, twice daily, dissolved in hot water.
3-9g

Xuan Ming Fen: a purer form of sodium sulfate
Less effective as a purgative than Mang xiao, but superior in topical preparations for ulcers of the oral cavity / canker sores.


Herbs That Aggressively Purge Accumulation (Cathartics)

These herbs powerfully eliminate pathological factors (chiefly harmful fluid) by drastically promoting bowel movement.
The effect of these herbs is generally milder when they are roasted or dry fried.
Caution with use on weak patients. The results can be quite bad.
Contraindicated in pregnancy.

Commonly combined with:
A. Herbs that clear heat and nourish Yin when Yin is damaged by excess heat.
B. Blood tonics when there is blood deficiency.
C. Herbs that promote Qi circulation.
D. Herbs that release the exterior, when there is an EPI associated.
E. Herbs that support the Zhen Qi when the patient has a weak constitution.
Ba Dou
Croton seed

"Clinging Bean"
acrid
hot
toxic
St
LI
Lu
Unblocks cold accumulation and vigorously purges the bowels; drives out water and reduces edema; dispels clogged phlegm, benefits the throat; promotes healing of abscesses and ulcers.

• Severe cold accumulation in the interior: constipation, abdominal fullness, distention, pain.
• Phlegm clogging the throat: difficult breathing, wheezing, severe fullness and distention in the chest and diaphragm.
• Phlegm misting the sensory orifices.
• Ascites.
• Topical: for abscesses that have suppurated but not yet ulcerated, to accelerate the ulcerating process. Also for severe ulcers such as phagedena.
• Bowel obstruction: The prepared herb (see below) was used in 50 cases of intestinal obstruction. The adult dosage was 150-300mg; a lower dosage was used for children. When necessary, the dosage was repeated every 3-4 hours. 40 cases were cured. When there is severe obstruction or no response to this treatment within 48 hours, immediate surgery is required.
• This herb is extremely harsh and should always be used with caution. It is said to be able to "chop through the gate and open the door."
• When taking this herb, one should avoid drinking hot liquids, as this may severely aggravate its laxative effect.
• If the herb causes unremitting diarrhea, one should take cold rice congee or a tea made from Huang lian and Huang bai.
• The herb is mainly used in its de-fatted form, Ba dou shuang.
• The oil: Oral administration of ½ to 1 drop of the oil causes a burning sensation in the mouth, gastric mucosa, and vomiting, then multiple episodes of watery diarrhea within 30-40 minutes, together with severe abdominal pain and tenesmus, and inflammation of the oral mucosa and GI tract. External application of the oil stimulates the skin and causes redness which may progress to blisters.
0.1-0.3g in pills
Da Ji
Euphorbia pekinesis 
or Knoxia valerianoides
Peking spurge root

"Big Lance from the Capital"
bitter
acrid
cold
toxic
Lu K
LI
Strongly eliminates harmful body fluid by purging the bowels; relieves swelling, dissipates nodules.

• Retention of harmful fluid: relatively moderate accumulation of fluid in the chest and flanks with such symptoms as labored breathing, dull pain in the lateral aspect of the chest, expectoration of thick sputum, a thick, greasy tongue coat; ascites, hydrothorax, edema.
• Phlegm and fire: lumps.
• Heat and toxicity: carbuncles and boils, red, swollen, painful, toxic, sores. Also used topically for sores and scrofula.
• Acute or chronic nephritis.
• Ascites due to schistosomiasis.
• Milder than Gan Sui.
• Cooking it with honey and Da zao reduces its harsh properties.
• Frying it in vinegar reduces its toxicity.
• Traditionally forbidden in combination with Gan cao. Recent animal studies have shown that a mixture of the two herbs has a much lower LD50 (i.e much higher toxicity) than Da ji alone.
MLT: Very similar to Gan sui. The two are often combined.
1.5-3g (1g in powders)
Gan Sui
Euphorbia kansui root

"Sweet Process"
bitter
sweet
cold toxic
Lu K
LI
Violently purges the bowels to strongly eliminate harmful body fluid; clears heat; reduces swelling.

• Retention of harmful body fluid: severe accumulation of fluid in the chest and abdomen - ascites, hydrothorax; also for generalized edema, facial edema, abdominal distention. May be combined with Zhu ling to simultaneously promote urination.
• Internal wind and phlegm: epilepsy (uncommon use).
• Topical: for swollen, painful, nodular skin lesions due to damp-heat. This herb is most appropriately used during early stages of this disorder. Herbs that clear heat and eliminate toxicity should be given orally simultaneously.
• Within 30 minutes following administration, borborygmus and cramps will begin.
• The use of this herb is generally limited to robust patients with severe patterns of excess.
• May be given in alternation with Ren shen to avoid causing depletion.
• Frying in vinegar reduces its purgative function.
• Roasting it reduces its tendency to cause vomiting.
• Rarely used in decoctions. The active ingredients may not be water soluble.
• Traditionally forbidden in combination with Gan cao. Animal studies have not produced any conclusive data on this combination.
MLT: The juice can be used topically as a counterirritant to clear warts and other skin nodules.
0.3-1g taken directly as power or in pill form
Qian Niu Zi
Morning Glory seed
Pharbitis (Ipomoea)

"Cowherd Seeds"
acrid
bitter
cold
toxic
K
LI Lu SI
Drives out harmful fluid by promoting bowel movement and urination; dispels accumulation; expels phlegm and fluids; expels intestinal parasites, reduces food stagnation.


• Heat accumulation in the stomach or intestines: severe constipation, abdominal distention, urinary difficulty, leg edema.
• Damp-heat accumulation in the stomach and intestines: constipation. (Lower dosage for this indication than the previous indications.)
• Fluid congestion obstructing the Lungs: cough, wheezing, fullness in the chest and abdomen.
• Roundworm or tapeworm infestation.
• Food stagnation.
• Dry-fry the herb for a milder effect.
• Contains d-lysergic acid amide, similar hallucinogenic effect to LSD in large doses.
MLT: Mildest herb in this category.
4.5-9g (or 1.5-3g alone as powder)
Shang Lu
Poke root Phytolacca

"Commerce Continent"


























bitter
cold
toxic
Lu K
LI
BL
Sp
Eliminates harmful fluid by promoting bowel movement and urination; relieves swelling, reduces sores and carbuncles.

• Retention of harmful body fluid: edema, scanty urination, urinary difficulty, constipation.
• Heat and toxicity: carbuncles, sores. Also used topically.
• For skin lesions, it is ground up and applied as a paste with petroleum jelly, honey, or egg white.
• When used internally, it is generally stir-fried with vinegar, which reduces its toxicity.
• The root must be dried, aged more than 3 months, and cooked long to neutralize its toxic elements.
• The traditional antidote for poisoning from the herb (particularly from the berries) is fresh Gan cao and Lu dou (Mung bean).
JC: Powerful alterative, relaxant, cathartic, emetic, resolvent, deobstruent, detergent, anti-syphilitic, antiscorbutic, nutritive.
• Cancer, skin problems, hardened liver, scanty flow of bile, hard, swollen, or enlarged glands (especially the thyroid, spleen, lymph, breast), abnormal growths, bony enlargements from direct injury, rheumatism, dyspepsia, inflamed kidneys.
• Slow but persistently powerful action.
MW: For the stagnant person: lazy, flabby, tired, flops down after work, apathetic (especially teenagers), lack of personal delicacy, disregard of surrounding objects, indifferent to life, "For the person who eats, sleeps, and shits in the same place." (A few drops of the tincture)
• Has definitely cured cancer. As a cancer preventative, boil it twice.
• For stagnant Qi, blood, and fluid.
NAH: Powerfully stimulates the lymphatic system: tonsilitis, swollen glands, mastitis (poultice).
IBIS: (fresh root, berries)
• Affinities: skin; glandular structures of the buccal cavity, throat, and sexual system; mammary glands; fibrous and serous tissues and mucous membranes of the digestive and urinary tracts; heart; spinal cord; bowels (Felter and Lloyd, p. 1473).
• Alterative, antirheumatic, anticatarrhal, cathartic, emetic, fungicide, narcotic, parasiticide.
• [Western] dosage: tincture of fresh root: 0.2 - 1 mL. tincture of berries: 0.2 - 1 mL. dry powder: 60 - 300 mg.
• Appearance: tongue hurts upon protrusion (Wood).
• Pulse: dull stroke with tremulous or vibratile wave (Scudder, 1903, p. 154).
• Specific indications: pallid mucous tissues with ulceration; sore mouth with small blisters on tongue and mucous membranes of cheeks; sore lips; hard, painful, enlarged glands; mastitis; orchitis; parotitis; aphthae; soreness of mammary glands, with impaired respiration; faucial, tonsillar, or pharyngeal ulceration; pallid, sore throat, with cough or respiratory difficulty (Felter and Lloyd, p. 1475).
• Internal: acute inflammations of the throat; adenitis; acute inflammations of the breast; children's glandular and skin disorders; sciatic rheumatism; syphilitic disorders with ulceration; long-standing ulcers in psoriasis, dermal abscesses, fissures, boils, and carbuncles (Ellingwood, p. 375); chronic rheumatism; chronic respiratory catarrh; tonsillitis; laryngitis; mastitis (British Herbal Pharmacopoeia p. 157).
• External: as ointment in scabies, tinea, sycosis, acne; as poultice in abscess, mastitis (British Herbal Pharmacopoeia p. 157).
• Contraindicated in pregnancy.
• Laboratory test results: agglutination of red and white blood cells is promoted by pokeweed mitogen (Tedeschi, Eckart and Tedeschi, p. 1524); pokeweed mitogen has been found to stimulate both B and T lymphocytes (Kinghorn, p. 84-90; Von Oettingen, p. 500)
3-9g
Yuan Hua
Genkwa flower
Daphne genkwa
bitter
acrid
warm
toxic
Lu K
LI
Eliminates phlegm, stops coughing; strongly eliminates harmful body fluid by purging the bowels and promoting urination; kills fungus (topically).

• Premier herb for fluid retention in the chest. In China, 500-1000mg capsules are given 2-3 times daily.
• Retention of harmful fluid: congested fluid in the chest, abdomen, or flanks, edema, ascites, hydrothorax.
• Lung cold and phlegm: cough. Shown to be 91% effective for chronic bronchitis.
• Topical: fungal infection, including ringworm.
• Traditionally forbidden in combination with Gan cao. Recent research suggests that there is in fact an increase in toxicity when these two herbs are combined.
• Fry with vinegar to reduce its toxicity.
1.5-3g (generally in powder)


Herbs That Promote Digestion And Relieve Food Retention

Commonly combined with:
• A. Herbs that promote Qi circulation.
• B. Herbs that warm the interior, when there is interior cold associated.
• C. Herbs that transform dampness, when there is dampness in the middle Jiao.
• D. Herbs that clear heat when there is heat associated. (Lian qiao is most commonly used.)
• E. Herbs that tonify the spleen and stomach when there is deficiency of either organ.
Gu Ya
Rice sprout
Oryza
sweet
neutral
Sp St Promotes digestion (mainly of starch); adjusts the middle Jiao; slightly tonifies the spleen and stomach; promotes the appetite.

• Food retention, including when due to spleen or stomach deficiency: indigestion - especially with accumulation of undigested starchy foods (contains amylase). Also appropriate in cases of hot food stagnation.
• Spleen or stomach deficiency: poor appetite, weak digestion.
• Will not damage stomach Qi - very safe.
• The raw form is mainly used to aid digestion.
• The dry-fried form is stronger at tonifying the stomach and spleen.
• This herb's potency is greatly diminished by cooking or prolonged toasting. It is best taken powdered and added to a prepared decoction.
9-15g
Ji Nei Jin
Chicken Gizzard Lining

"Chicken Inner Gold"
sweet
neutral
Sp St SI BL Slightly strengthens the spleen; promotes digestion; strongly eliminates food retention; controls Jing and urine; transforms hardness and dissolves stones.

• Food retention: malnutrition in children or distention of the epigastrium, poor appetite. Can be used alone in mild cases of food retention.
• Seminal emission, incontinence, enuresis, frequent urination. Especially for children.
• Stones in the urinary or biliary tract.
• Usually considered more effective when taken directly as a powder.
Hsu: Increases gastric secretions, promotes motor activity in the stomach, increases the rate of expelling air, stimulates the nerves and muscles of the GI tract.
DY: Frees strangury.
• With Hai jin sha to free strangury, transform stones, and, therefore, treat stone strangury. For stone strangury and urinary lithiasis due to damp-heat. This combination can be reinforced by combining it with Jin qian cao, Hua shi, Qu mai, and Che qian zi.
• With Mang xiao to strongly and effectively soften hardness, disperse accumulation, clear heat, and transform stones. For renal, urethral, or bladder lithiasis. Neither substance should be cooked. For greatest efficacy, the two herbs should be ground to a powder (6-10g Ji nei jin and 3-10g Mang xiao) and taken, 6g at a time, twice daily, dissolved in hot water.
3-9g (1.5-3g directly as powder)
Lai Fu Zi
Radish seed
Raphanus

acrid sweet
(bitter)
neutral
Sp St Lu Descends the Lung Qi; resolves phlegm; promotes digestion, eliminates food retention; slight function to promote bowel movement.

• Food retention: bloating, fullness, distended epigastrium and abdomen, belching with fetid odor, acid regurgitation, abdominal pain, or diarrhea with hesitant elimination.
• Food retention leading to dampness/phlegm in the Lungs: coughing, wheezing.
• Lung phlegm accumulation: cough with copious sputum.
• The raw form is used for food stagnation.
• The dry-fried form is used for productive coughs.
• The fried form is used for promoting bowel movement.
• Antimicrobial, antifungal properties.
• Reduces serum triglycerides.
• Compared to Su zi and Bai jie zi: All are capable of transforming phlegm, regulating the Qi, and alleviating wheezing. However, Bai jie zi warms the Lung Qi, Lai fu zi disperses the Lung Qi, and Su zi descends the Lung Qi.
JTCM: For abdominal distention after surgery: fry 200g Lai fu zi, grind to a powder, wrap in cloth or a tea bag, heat it, and apply it to the navel until the distention abates (can also apply a TDP lamp to keep the bag hot).
• For eczema and prevention of viral and fungal growths: fry the herb for 30 minutes, let it cool, grind it to a powder, mix it with vinegar, and apply it topically once a day.
PLB: For respiratory conditions with phlegm (allergies, asthma, etc.) which are exacerbated by food sensitivities.
Hsu: Antibacterial, antifungal, stomachic, expectorant.
6-12g
Mai Ya
Barley sprout














sweet
neutral

(warm if fried)
Sp St Lv Promotes digestion (mainly of starch); mildly frees the flow of liver Qi; adjusts the middle Jiao; strengthens the stomach and spleen; inhibits lactation.

• Food retention: distended epigastrium and abdomen, poor appetite. Particularly useful for over-consumption of starch and for cold food stagnation. Also for poorly-digested milk in infants.
• To stop nursing or for stagnant milk with distending pain in the breasts, use a large dose (to 60g).
• Liver Qi stagnation: stifling sensation and distention in the epigastrium or costal region, belching, poor appetite.
• Spleen deficiency: weak digestion, poor appetite.
• Treats hepatitis, especially acute.
• When using herbs which strongly subdue the liver, add a small amount of Mai ya - a sprout which possesses the "springing-forth" nature of wood - so as not to insult the proud general - to let it still rise upward.
• The raw form is neutral, and is used mainly to reduce and guide out.
• The dry-fried form is warm, and is better at strengthening the spleen, improving the appetite, and inhibiting lactation.
• The powdered form is better for aiding in the digestion of grains.
Hsu: Slightly stimulates secretion of pepsin and gastric acid.
• Treats painful and swollen mammary glands and milk stagnation due to cessation of breast feeding.
MLT: For blocked lactation with distended breasts, take 25g raw sprouts and 25g fried, in decoction, each day.
BF: I have lots of experience using Mai Ya to stem lactation, both in China and the U.S. To achieve this effect, the med must be used in large doses (30-60g) and lightly stir-fried till aromatic. I have found this med to be very dependable for this effect, and there is quite a lot of published research on this med's effect on PRL. I have used Mai Ya for women who had lost their babies during birthing, for women with galactorrhea due to hyperprolactinemia, and for women with galactorrhea-amenorrhea syndrome, and it has always worked.
12-30g (6-15g directly as powder)
Shan Zha
Crataegus fruit
Hawthorn
(C. pinnatifida or C. cuneata)



















Crataegus oxycantha
Western Hawthorn








































sour sweet
slightly warm
Sp St Lv Promotes blood circulation and dispels blood stasis and clumps; promotes digestion, eliminates food retention, digests fat. The partially charred form stops diarrhea (and is superior for moving blood).

• Food retention: distended epigastrium, abdominal pain, diarrhea. Particularly for over-consumption of meat or fatty foods.
• Blood stasis: abdominal pain (including post-partum), clumps, testicular pain and hernial disorders.
• Chronic diarrhea/dysentery: use the partially-charred form.
• Breast lumps: use the seeds.
• Hypertension; coronary artery disease; elevated serum cholesterol.
• This herb's combination of sweet and sour flavors give it the potential to nourish Yin.
• The herb is used commonly used raw for dispelling blood stasis and is dry-fried for food stagnation.
Li: Softens hardness: clots, etc.
Jin: Add to phlegm-resolving formulas to treat phlegm due to food sensitivity.
• For acne: pimples are deposits of oil (fat) and this herb helps digest fat (see Jin's acne formula.
• For weight loss: digests fat.
MLT: Reduces hypertension, cholesterol, blood lipids; also for murmurs, enlarged heart.
Yoga: V-, P+; K+ (in excess)
• Not for Pitta-type (hot) heart conditions.
• Especially good for Vata heart conditions like nervous palpitations, or the heart problems of old age (the age of Vata) like cholesterol and arteriosclerosis.
Hsu: Increases secretion of digestive enzymes; antibacterial, vasodilator.
9-15g (to 30g)

Western Hawthorne, C. oxycantha and many other species (in Western herbalism, the leaves and flowers are also often used):
K&R: Cardiac sedative, hypotensive, sympatholytic, febrifuge, diuretic and astringent, coronary dilator, chronotrope negative (strong), bathmotrope negative, antispasmodic.
• Fire and wood yang:
Fire: slows and reinforces the heart's contractions, treats tachycardia, extrasystoles, arrhythmia, promotes vasodilation of the coronaries and treats sequela of infarctus, increases oxygen supply to the heart, stimulates venous walls (varices, varicose ulcer), diminishes arterial tension, treats arterial hypertension, can reverse arteriosclerosis; diuretic.
• Diminishes diarrhea from full heat in the small intestine, inhibits the sympathetic tonus.
• Precordial pain or oppression, dyspnea, rapid and weak heart contractions, cardiac hypertrophy, endocarditis.
• Also for such Fire yang symptoms as: vertigo, dizziness, anguish, insomnia, night terrors, enuresis, hot flashes of menopause.
Wood: disperses liver and gallbladder channels, calms sympathetic nervous system, calms sympathotonic spasms, CNS sedative.
• The flowers and berries are astringent - use in decoction for a sore throat.
• East Asian uses: for blood stasis, menstrual pain, postpartum lower abdominal pain, intestinal bleeding, lower abdominal distention.
• Increases stomach acidity to help digest meats and fats.
• Treats bacterial dysentery and chronic enteritis.
• Chinese research has shown that its flavones can alleviate myocardial ischemia. Its flavones also can reinforce the crosslinking of collagen that forms connective tissue, and can prevent the release of pro-inflammatory substances such as prostaglandins, leukotrienes and histamine, and thus prevent tissue destruction in inflammatory diseases of the soft tissues.
• Potentiates the action of barbiturates.
• Topical: for angina.
• Not for acute cardiac insufficiency (use Lily of the Valley [Convallaria] or Foxglove [Digitalis]) - Hawthorn should be taken over time to improve the functional tone of the myocardium and prevent arteriosclerosis.
• Contraindicated for stomach ulcers with hyperacidity.
BII: Beneficial in: atherosclerosis, cardiac arrhythmia, CHF, hypertention, peripheral vascular disease, vascular fragility.
• Reduces angina attacks, lowers blood pressure and serum cholesterol.
IBIS: (berries, flowers, leaves)
• Qualities: sweet, slightly bitter, cool, dry, astringent.
• Affinities: heart, arteries, blood.
• Actions: cardiotonic, myocardial trophorestorative; coronorary and peripheral vasodilator, anti-arrhythmic, antioxidant, hypocholesterolemic, hypotensive, positive inotrope.
Dosage:
• Tincture (flowers & leaves) : 1 - 2 ml T.I.D.
• Tincture (berries) : 2 - 4 ml. T.I.D.
• (Preparations may vary, some are 50/50 Flower/Berries.)
• Dried herb : Infusion (flowers & leaves) Decoction (berries) Two teaspoons per cup (30gm/500ml) One cup T.I.D.
• Powdered dried herb : 500 - 1000 mg T.I.D.
• Standardized Extract : 100-250mg T.I.D. (Standardized to 1.8% vitexin or 10% total flavonoids as hyperoside)
• Therapy: coronary artery disease; angina pectoris; myocardial hypoxemia; Cardiac insufficiency (NYHA Stage I and II), arrhythmias; senile degeneration of the heart and atherosclerosis; post-infectious weakening of myocardium (Weiss pp. 164-65); paroxysmal tachycardia; Buerger's disease, (British Herbal Pharmacopoeia), synergist to reduce dosage of cardiac glycoside herbs (or drugs).
• Specific indications: hypertension with myocardial weakness, angina pectoris (British Herbal Pharmacopoeia).
Pharmacology:
• Cardioactivity: It is established that Crataegus oligomeric procyanidins and flavonoids increase myocardial and coronary blood flow, that it is positively inotropic and and hypotensive, but the mechanism of action is unclear. Crataegus flavonoids inhibit cAMP Phosphodiesterase, and myocardial Na+/K+ ATP'ase. The same compounds exhibit high antioxidant free radical scavenging activity, and are hypolipidemic via an action on hepatic LDL receptors and increased bile secretion. Crataegus also inhibits TXA2 (Thromboxane) formation, while stimulating prostacycline. Crataegus prolongs rather than reduces the myocardial refractory period, unlike most positive inotropes, hence reducing risk of arryhthymia. Animal studies have confirmed the abilty of Crataegus to lower blood pressure, increase myocardial perfusion, minimize ischemic damage (reduces post infarct LDH by 50%).(Literature Review see American Herbal Pharmacopoeia).
Clinical trials:
• Several controlled studies have been performed with Crataegus extracts and NYHA stage I and II cardiac insufficiency patients. Crataegus increased exercise tolerance, decreased systolic BP and heart rate (Schmidt 1994), decreased severity of symptoms subjectively as well as HR, BP (Leuchtgens, 1993). In another group (n=1476) Crataegus decreased symptom severity by 66%, and was associated with systolic drop of 10mm and diastolic drop pf 5mm average blood pressure. (Loew, 1996)
Drug interactions:
• Crataegus will synergize with the cardiac glycoside containing plants such as Convallaria, Digitalis, Strophanthus, Urginea, Apocynum, Asclepias etc., as well as the hypotensive alkaloids of Veratrum and Rauwolfia. Western clinical herbalists use Crataegus as an adjuvant to lower the dose of these more toxic herbs required for effective action.
• Crataegus potentiates the activity of cardiac glycosides including digitoxin, digoxin etc. Patients using these medications should be monitored by a herbalist or physician since the dose of pharmaceutical drug will need to be reduced during intercurrent therapy.
Joseph Coletto (OCOM): Extract of the berry (e.g. Scientific Botanicals' solid extract) is both tasty and excellent for oral lesions and irritation (administer repeatedly and hold in the mouth).
Shen Qu
Medicated Leaven
(Usually composed of 6 herbs)

"Divine Fermented Mass"
acrid
sweet
warm
Sp St Promotes digestion and eliminates food retention; harmonizes the stomach.

• Any type of food retention, including minerals, metals, bones: fullness, distention in the epigastrium and abdomen, poor appetite, borborygmus, diarrhea. Also appropriate for overindulgence in alcohol and starches.
• Especially effective for stomach cold with food stagnation.
• Can be dry-fried to enhance its effect on food stagnation.
• Added to pills that contain minerals to aid in their digestion and absorption.
• Bensky/Gamble: The ingredients vary - usually a fermented combination of wheat flour, bran, Qing hao, Xing ren, Cang er zi, Chi xiao dou. Liu: Wheat, Xing ren, Chi xiao dou, Qing hao, plus varying local herbs.
MLT: Rich in digestive enzymes.
• Also good for stomach flu.
6-15g


Herbs That Warm The Interior

Commonly combined with:
• A. Acrid, warm herbs that relieve exterior syndromes when there is exogenous cold attack.
• B. Herbs that promote Qi circulation when there is Qi stagnation associated.
• C. Herbs that tonify spleen and/or kidney Yang when there is Yang deficiency of either organ.
• D. Herbs that tonify source Qi when there is Yang collapse.

• These herbs are to be used with caution for patients with heat, Yin deficiency, or in pregnant women.
Bi Ba
(Bi Bo)
Long Pepper fruit
Pippali
acrid
hot
Sp
Lu
K
St
LI
Warms the middle; disperses cold from the stomach and intestines (middle and lower Jiaos); alleviates pain.

• Stomach cold: nausea, vomiting, belching, acid regurgitation, rumbling, abdominal pain.
• Topical: as a powder for pain, especially toothache.
• Antibiotic effect.
• Usually taken directly in powder or pill form.
• Contains piperine - used as a carrier to increase absorption of other substances through digestive tract (e.g., curcumin) and slow metabolism of certain drugs.
MLT: Reverses the flow of rebellious Qi.
• The Ayurvedic mixture Trikatu (the main stimulant compound of Ayurveda) consists of equal parts Bi bo, Hu jiao and Gan jiang. Powder the herbs and mix with honey. Take for cold digestion, allergies with clear/whitish discharges, abdominal and other pains caused by cold.
Yoga: Pippali: V, K-; P+
• Stimulant (digestive and respiratory systems), expectorant, carminative, aphrodisiac, anthelmintic, analgesic.
• Colds, coughs, asthma, bronchitis, laryngitis, arthritis, rheumatism, gout, dyspepsia, abdominal distention, flatulence, abdominal tumors, lumbar pain, sciatica, epilepsy, paralysis, worms.
• Strongly heating, dispels cold, congestion, and Ama, revives weakened organ functions.
• Unlike black pepper, it is a rejuvenative, mainly for the lungs and for Kapha.
• Use as a milk decoction for degenerative lung diseases like asthma.
• Strengthens reproductive functions.
• Take 3 pods with a little honey each morning to control excess secretions, mucus, and Kapha.
Trikatu (mentioned in MLT above) rejuvenates Agni, burns away Ama, allows for the assimilation of other medicines and foods.
Hsu: Analgesic, stomachic, antibacterial.
1.5-4.5g (usually taken directly as a powder or pill)
Chuan Jiao
(Hua Jiao)
Szechuan Pepper fruit
Chinese Prickly Ash
Zanthoxylum bungeanum






























Jiao Mu
Sichuan Pepper seed
acrid
hot
sl.
toxic
Sp
St
K
Warms the middle Jiao, disperses cold, relieves pain; kills parasites.

• Yang deficiency with cold in the spleen and stomach: epigastric and abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea.
• Roundworms: abdominal pain, vomiting.
• Pinworms: can be used as an enema.
• Schistosomiasis: Chuan jiao can be useful, increases appetite, reduces organomegaly. (Given in capsules in study.)
• Topical: as a poultice or compress for pain.
• Can reduce or stop lactation within 1 or 2 days postpartum.
• Overdose can cause paralysis of the diaphragm.
• Good quality Chuan jiao should cause numbness of the lips when eaten.
• Not to be combined with Li lu. Not to be used for Yang rising headaches.
• Farong Zhang: The seed inside "“ Jiao mu "“ is safe; its toxicity is in the fleshy covering.
Yoga: Tamburu: V, K-; P+
• Powerfully destroys toxins (Ama), kills worms and candida.
• Good for Sama Vata and arthritis; anti-rheumatic, increases peripheral circulation.
JC: (Z. americanum, Z. clava-herculis, Z. faxineum bark and berries. Berries are considered more effective, as they contain a volatile oil.)
• General stimulant (including cardiac), tonic, alterative, pungent, deobstruent, diuretic, antiseptic, diaphoretic, sialogogue, nervine. Plus, the volatile oil (found in the fruit) is stimulant, antispasmodic, carminative, acts principally upon mucus membranes.
• Dispels obstruction from all parts of the body.
• Asthma, cholera, cold extremities, colds, colic, diarrhea, dropsy, dyspepsia (atonic), female problems (chronic), flatulence, hepatic problems, lumbago, paralysis (including of tongue), pharyngitis, syphilis, rheumatism (chronic), scrofula, skin disease, poor circulation, mouth sores, toothache, ulcers, wounds. Can be chewed for mouth sores and toothache.
• Rheumatism liniment: mix 1 ounce [28.4g] of the herb in 4 ounces olive oil. Use with massage.
NAH: (Z. americanum, Z. clava-herculis)
• Stimulating to the circulation (the berries are reputedly more powerful than the bark, which is also used in Western herbalism) - causes blood to flow to the periphery, promotes sweating (helps reduce fevers).
• One common name is "toothache tree" since it can be chewed as a counter-irritant for toothache pain.
• Warms the stomach, stimulates the salivary glands and mucous membranes, reduces colic and flatulence, strengthens debilitated digestion, especially if the pulse is weak and the tongue is pale and flabby.
• Considerable reputation for allaying rheumatic pain.
• Reputed to have anti-cancer activity - the isolated benzophenanthridene alkaloids are reported to be destructive to cells, however, there are no accounts of adverse side-effects from medicinal doses.
1.5-6g

Jiao Mu: the seed
• Bitter, acrid, cold; enters the bladder and spleen channels.
• Moves water; calms wheezing.
• Edema with fullness and distention or wheezing and cough due to congested fluids.
1.5-6g
Ding Xiang
Clove flower bud
 
"Spike Fragrance"































Clove Essential Oil

acrid
warm
Sp
St
K
Warms the middle Jiao; descends stomach Qi; warms the kidneys, tonifies kidney Yang.

• Stomach cold: hiccups, vomiting, poor appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea.
• Kidney Yang deficiency: impotence (Fu zi is superior), clear vaginal discharge (usually accompanied by weakness in the legs).
• Spleen or stomach cold from deficiency: lack or appetite, vomiting, diarrhea.
• Topical: fungal infections. (Treatment should not be interrupted.)
• Use as a powder locally or a rinse for toothache. Long history as a dental anaesthetic.
• Male cloves are preferred, as they provide a faster onset of action.
• Increases secretions of sputum from the gastric mucosa without increeasing acidity.
• Contraindicated in combination with Yu jin.
Hsu: Broad antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal; tranquilizing; adrenaline-antagonizing action - inhibits excitory transmission of the AV nodes of the heart; vasodilator; stimulates the uterus.
HF: A Sha Chong (kill worms or parasites) herb, important in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas.
BF: The Ben Cao Zai Xin says this herb opens the nine orifices, soothes depressed Qi, eliminates wind, and moves water.
DY: Scatters cold, stops pain.
• Male flowers, Gong ding xiang ("Spike Fragrance Father"), is reputed to be more powerful than the female flowers, Mu ding xiang ("Spike Fragrance Mother").
• With Shi di to effectively warm the middle burner and scatter cold, downbear Qi counterflow, and stop hiccups. For indications such as:
- 1. Hiccups due to cold in the stomach.
- 2. Nausea and vomiting due to deficiency cold in the spleen and stomach.
- For these indications, this pair is present in Shi Di Tang. For hiccups, add Chen xiang.
Ding xiang you, the aromatic oil extracted from cloves, warms the stomach and scatters cold. Applied externally, it treats epigastric pain, rheumatic pain, and toothache due to cold.
Yoga: Lavanga: K, V-; P+
Rajasic.
• Analgesic, stimulant, expectorant, carminative, mild aphrodisiac.
• Topical: administer the oil in the ear for tinnitus.
JC: Stimulant; the most powerful aromatic/carminative; stomachic; expectorant; anti-emetic; antispasmodic; astringent; rubifacient; antiseptic; digestive; increases circulation, stimulates excretory organs, stimulates and disinfects the kidneys, skin, liver, and bronchial mucous membranes.
• Toothache (use the oil), vomiting (especially in pregnancy), cholera, ague, infant convulsions (use a poultice on the nape of the neck), colic/flatulence (use a poultice on the abdomen), neuralgia, diarrhea, griping, hypotension, palsy, rheumatism, zygotic disease, nausea, epilepsy.
1.5-4.5g (0.5-1g directly as powder)

K&R: Essential oil (topical):
• Key for fatigue, memory loss, depression, colitis, weak libido.
• Oxytocic, aphrodisiac, parasympathomimetic, sympatholytic.
Water: severe fatigue, anergy, depression, melancholia, memory loss, impotence, frigidity, diarrhea from chronic intestinal disease, Crohn's disease, hemorrhagic rectocolitis, headache, UTI, edema, renal insufficiency, dental cavities, deafness.
Metal: pulmonary infection, tuberculosis, anorexia, parasites, chronic diarrhea, aerocolitis.
• Strong topical antiseptic/antifungal.
Fu Zi
(Zhi Fu Zi)
Prepared lateral (daughter) root of Aconite

"Appendage" or "Attached Son"

















































































Wu Tou
Aconite main root
acrid
hot
toxic
(ALL)
Ht
K
Sp
Restores collapsed Yang; tonifies heart fire, unblocks the vessels, and improves circulation; tonifies kidney Yang; disperses cold, warms the channels, relieves pain; reaches the 12 channels.

• Yang collapse: cold sweats, cold extremities, feeble pulse, diarrhea with undigested food (often after severe vomiting, diarrhea, or sweats). In these cases, Fu zi assists the heart Yang to unblock the vessels and improve circulation, and tonifies kidney Yang to augment fire and avoid loss of the source Yang.
• Heart, spleen, or kidney Yang deficiency: any associated patterns.
• Wind-cold-dampness: Bi syndrome, especially when cold is predominant. Also for cold blocking the organs, channels, sinews, bones, or blood vessels.
• Congestive heart failure.
• Lowers heart rate and slightly lowers blood pressure.
• Anti-inflammatory.
• Guohui Liu uses higher doses on Americans - up to 45g (so far) - and often begins with 10g.
• Guohui Liu recommends cooking Fu zi for at least 2 hours, until it no longer numbs the tongue, while Bensky/Gamble says to cook it for 30-60 minutes before adding other herbs.
• Watch for development of heat symptoms: burning urination, canker sores, bleeding, hard, dry stool.
Gan cao, Gan jiang, and honey substantially diminish Fu zi's toxicity (as do Xi jiao, Jin yin hua, and Lu dou).
• Symptoms of poisoning: vomiting, diarrhea, palpitations, drooling, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, blurry vision, numbness in the mouth and extremities, premature atrial contractions, dyspnea, tremors, incontinence, stupor, reduced temperature and blood pressure, death.
• Atropine and lidocaine have been used successfully in treatment of overdose.
• Contraindicated in pregnancy or Yin deficiency.
• One form of processing renders the herb black, called Hei fu pian or Hei fu zi ("Black Appendage"). Its action is focused on the kidneys.
• Another form of processing renders the herb white, called Bai fu pian or Bai fu zi ("White Appendage"). It is used by some for treating painful obstruction (Bi syndrome).
Sheng fu zi, the untreated herb, is used - rarely - when the full force of the herb is required - usually for emergencies and topical use.
PFGC: Enters and tonifies Ming Men; is pure Yang, moves without being confined, can reach any part of the body.
• For severe cold disorders causing: cold extremities, hiccups, nausea, regurgitation of food, diarrhea, cramps, wind obstruction, masses and accumulations, disorders of the Du Mai with stiffness and rigidity of the spine, chronic infant convulsions, greyish papules, skin ulcerations that do not heal with dispersing herbs.
• Aconite opens the pores to expel wind and cold from inside.
• Some books say that in combination with blood tonics, it can moisten deficiency of original Yin (not for complete water exhaustion).
• In extreme Yin syndromes with signs of false Yang, take the decoction cool.
• Though its action is opening, it also has a strong astringing effect: for profuse sweats from Yang collapse (cold body), diarrhea from intestinal cold, Yang deficiency in the lower Jiao with escaping Yin, cold excess syndromes with spontaneous seminal emission.
• Though all Yang things have the tendency to float upwards, aconite has ability to entice fire downward.
• Boosts both the imperial and ministerial fires.
• When the surface Yang of the Taiyang system floats precariously on the outermost surface, producing fever, aconite has ability to link it with the astringing energy of the Shaoyin system and heat symptoms will naturally disappear.
• If the inner core of the Shaoyin network is diseased, aconite can entice the energy to come up from below and make the pulse reappear.
Wu tou represents the mother Yin which is already depleted of the procreative force.
Tian xiong (an aconite root which does not spread laterally, but just grows fatter) represents the solitary Yang which is unable to procreate by itself.
Fu zi is the seedling of Wu tou and Tian xiong and thus contains both Yin and Yang.
MLT: Main herb for tonifying the Ming Men.
• Antidote to poisoning: mung bean congee (also Atropine).
Hsu: (Fu zi and Wu tou) Cardiotonic - increases contraction of the heart and improves circulation to the whole body; analgesic; antiphlogistic; stimulates the adrenocortical system of the pituitary, benefits patients with dysfunction of the adrenocortical system through adrenocortical hormone-like actions.
DY: Operates within the Qi division; returns Yang and stems counterflow; strongly supplements Yang; in the exterior, it is directed to the skin to drain cold; in the interior, it is directed to the three burners to drain cold; invigorates Ming Men fire; assists Yuan Yang; acts mainly on heart Yang (upper Jiao), spleen Yang (middle Jiao), and kidney Yang (lower Jiao).
• With Gan jiang for mutual reinforcement, to return Yang and stem counterflow. For indications such as:
- 1. Loss of consciousness, cold spontaneous perspiration, cold limbs, and a minute pulse due to Yang desertion. (Si Ni Tang) Use bland Fu zi.
- 2. Pain and a feeling of cold in the stomach and abdomen, vomiting, and diarrhea due to spleen vacuity cold. (Fu Zi Li Zhong Wan) Use blast-fried Fu zi.
• With Da huang (which operates within the blood division) to warm the interior, precipitate accumulation of cold, and evacuate the stools. For constipation, abdominal pain, fear of cold, and cold limbs due to accumulation of internal full cold. (Da Huang Fu Zi Tang).
When the pair of Da huang and Fu zi is combined with Xi xin, it has shown an interesting action in the treatment of cold-damp Bi or impediment with Yang deficiency and blood stasis (use wine mix-fried Da huang for this) as well as for Bi with an accumulation of heat in the stomach and intestines with persistent constipation.
• With Huang qi for mutual reinforcement, to supplement the Qi and warm the Yang, return Yang, secure the exterior, and stop perspiration. For indications such as cold spontaneous perspiration accompanied by aversion to cold, cold limbs, lassitude of the spirit, a pale tongue with white fur, a fine, weak pulse, and in severe cases, profuse sweating, loss of consciousness, and a minute pulse due to Yang deficiency or Yang collapse.
Fu zi is incompatible with soy sauce and millet.
RW: (part of root not specified) Neuralgia (facial/ trigeminal): 5-10 drops tincture (1:5::herb:menstruum) 3 times daily (increase dosage slowly).
IBIS: Actions: sedative, anti-inflammatory, synergist.
• Dosage: Tincture: 0.5 - 8 gtt., up to t.i.d.; Root: 0.06 g.
• Therapy: irritation of mucous membranes, facial neuralgia, fever and inflammation (especially with sudden onset), acute disease with restlessness.
• Toxic amounts of alkaloids have been absorbed through the skin. (Duke, pp. 12-13)
• Internal use may result in immediate oral burning, tingling, numbness, and throat constriction; followed by salivation, gastritis, nausea and vomiting. Characteristic tingling may spread over the entire body surface. Dysarthria, ataxia, vertigo, blurred vision, paresthesias and general weakness can follow. Myotoxic effects include stimulation followed by depression of cardiac, smooth and skeletal muscle. Alkaloidal effects on CNS and peripheral nerves produce a curare-like paralysis with labored respirations spreading from upper extremities to lower. Death from cardiac arrhythmia and respiratory failure occurs within 1-8 hours. (A.M.A., p. 20; Dreisbach, p. 434; Levy and Primack, p. 120; Theines and Haley, p. 24)
• The odor has a narcotic effect and can lead to eye irritation and swelling (Tedeschi, Eckert, and Tedeschi, p. 1525).
• Treatment for overdose: body warming (internally and externally), administration of atropine 0.05 mg/kg body weight, 2 - 3 mg total dose, and a potassium permanganate (1:1000) gastric lavage (Levy and Primack, p. 120; Theines and Haley, p. 24; Cooper, et al; Turnball)
• Laboratory changes: hypocalcemia due to reduction in free Ca++ ions.


1.5-15g (to 45g or more)
HF: Some practitioners of the Warming Yang school use doses up to 150g a day. It has even been claimed that these high doses are less likely to produce "overheating"-type side effects than lower doses.

Wu Tou: main root
• Includes two types: Chuan wu, Sichuan aconite, the garden variety (the form that is commonly used), and Cao wu, the wild variety (even stronger and more toxic, rarely used internally).
• Acrid, bitter, warm, very toxic; enters the heart, liver, spleen, kidney.
• Expels wind-damp, disperses cold, alleviates pain.
• Cold-dampness: Bi syndrome, cold and pain in the chest and abdomen, intense headaches, pain from trauma.
• Severe migratory arthralgia.
• Heart pain that radiates toward the back.
• Better at dispelling cold, eliminating obstruction, and alleviating pain than Fu zi, but less tonifying and more toxic.
• Must be cooked at least 30-60 minutes before adding the rest of the herbs (some say 60-90 minutes).
• Frequently used topically for pain.
• Traditionally not to be combined with Bai mu, Gua lou, Bai ji, Ban xia, Bai wei.
1.5-9g
Gan Jiang
Dry Ginger rhizome



















































Pao Jiang
Quick-fried Ginger rhizome
acrid
hot
Sp
St
Ht
Lu
Warms the middle Jiao; rescues collapsed Yang; expels interior cold; warms the Lungs, resolves harmful body fluid, transforms phlegm; warms the channels, stops bleeding.

• Yang collapse: very weak pulse, cold limbs, etc. Gan jiang alone cannot be counted on. Combine it with Fu zi.
• Yang deficiency cold: hemorrhage of various types, especially uterine bleeding - only when the bleeding is chronic, pale in color, with cold limbs, white face, and a soggy, thin pulse.
• Spleen and stomach cold (either Yang deficiency or externally-contracted excess cold): cold and pain in the epigastrium and abdomen, vomiting, diarrhea.
• Lung cold: cough with thin white sputum, difficulty breathing, cold in the back.
• Raises blood pressure (by acting on central sympathetic centers).
• Downregulates some detoxification genes "“ may prevent some drugs from working
DY: Gan jiang is often used to reinforce the action of Fu zi. As a pair, they are used to return Yang and stem counterflow. For specific indications and notes on this combination, see Fu zi in this category.
Gan jiang warms the spleen and stimulates its functions of transformation and transportation. This has the effect of promoting the upbearing of the clear toward the Lungs and the downbearing of the turbid toward the large intestine. Furthermore, it prevents development of phlegm which the spleen tends to discharge into the Lungs. It transforms cold phlegm (the Chinese word for transform literally means "to melt") in the Lungs by warming the Lungs. This then promotes diffusion and downbearing [by the Lungs]. In turn, this has the effect of regulating and freeing the flow of the water passageways in order to prevent the development of new phlegm, and downbearing the rebellious Lung Qi.
Gan jiang has clearly demonstrated its efficacy for cold-type asthma in clinical practice. It is, therefore, often systematically added to reinforce the impact of conventional treatments for this pattern of cough and asthma.
• With Wu wei zi: While Gan jiang treats the disease mechanism (see previous bullets), Wu wei zi treats the branch manifestations (i.e. cough and asthma) by securing the Lung Qi by its astringent nature. As a pair, Gan jiang andWu wei zi effectively warm the Lungs, transform phlegm, stop cough, and calm asthma. For indications such as cough and/or asthma with profuse, clear, and white phlegm due to cold in the Lungs, Lung Yang deficiency, or phlegm-cold. For these indications, the combination is used in Xiao Qing Long Tang accompanied by Xi xin.
• With Huang lian to eliminate cold accumulation and depressive heat, drain mixed cold and heat, in order to stop vomiting and diarrhea. The pair allows one to regulate upbearing and downbearing, to harmonize Yin and Yang, and to treat mixed cold and heat. The ratio of the two herbs can be adjusted (3-10g each) depending on whether heat or cold is predominant (use equal doses if heat and cold exist in equal proportion). For indications such as:
- 1. Vomiting, acid regurgitation, belching, epigastric pain or distention, and clamoring stomach (a feeling of hunger, burning, emptiness, unease, and sometimes pain in the stomach with nausea and acid regurgitation) due to a mixture of cold and heat in the stomach. (Ban Xia Xie Xin Tang) Use stir-fried Huang lian unless heat is severe.
- 2. Diarrhea, dysentery, and stomach rumbling due to mixed heat and cold and/or disharmony between the stomach and intestines. (Use stir-fried Huang lian unless heat is severe.)
- 3. Glossitis, stomatitis, and chronic, recalcitrant mouth ulcers due to spleen Yang deficiency and stomach fire.
Yoga: Sunthi, Nagara (dry), Ardraka (fresh): V, K-; P+
• Pungent, sweet/heating/sweet. The most Sattvic spice.
• With honey, it relieves Kapha.
• With rock candy, it relieves Pitta.
• With rock salt, it relieves Vata.
• Dry ginger is better than fresh as a stimulant and expectorant for reducing Kapha and increasing Agni.
• Fresh ginger is a better diaphoretic, better for colds, cough, vomiting and deranged Vata.
• The herb is also a heart tonic.
• Use as a paste for pain and headache.
BII: Carminative, intestinal spasmolytic.
• For all symptoms of motion sickness, and also for morning sickness in pregnancy.
• Some anti-inflammatory effects.
• Useful for migraines, arthritic conditions.
• Also useful in: atherosclerosis, headaches, inner ear dysfunction, nausea, vomiting, osteoarthritis, pain (rheumatic), rheumatoid arthritis.
Hsu: Raises blood pressure - reflexively stimulates the vasomotor center and stimulates the sympathetic nervous system.
• Anti-emetic, anti-diarrheal.
DY: This herb is specifically the older, more mature (dried) rhizome.
3-12g

Pao Jiang: Quick-fried Ginger (or fried until slightly blackened)
• Bitter, astringent, warm. Enters the liver and spleen.
• Stops bleeding associated with cold from deficiency; warms the channels.
• Less potent than Gan jiang at warming the interior, though may be better at treating lower abdominal disorders.
Gao Liang Jiang
Galanga rhizome
Alpinia officinarum

acrid
hot
Sp
St
Warms the middle Jiao, relieves pain.

• Cold in the spleen and stomach: pain in the epigastrium and abdomen, vomiting, diarrhea, hiccups.
DY: With Xiang fu to warm the stomach and drain cold, move the Qi, and stop pain. For indications such as pain in the epigastrium alleviated by warmth and pressure, chest and lateral costal distention, and nausea due to cold in the stomach and Qi stagnation. For these indications, the combination is used in Liang Fu Wan. Vinegar mix-fried Xiang fu should be used. In cases of severe cold, a larger dose of Gao liang jiang should be used. In cases of severe Qi stagnation (as evidenced by epigastric distention and pain aggravated by pressure), a greater quantity of Xiang fu should be prescribed.
Gao liang jiang is very acrid and drying. Its action is drastic, and it should not be prescribed over a long period of time, for fear of damaging stomach Qi and Yin.
PCBDP: Carminative, stimulant.
• Dyspepsia.
• In a paste with bloodroot [Sanguinaria] to treat periodontal diseases (including gingivitis) and skin cancer.
• Has anti-ulcer activity, possible anti-tumor activity.
Hsu: Stomachic, analgesic (stronger than Gan jiang), broad antibacterial.
1.5-9g
Hu Jiao
Black Pepper

"Barbarian Pepper"








acrid
hot
LI
St
Warms the middle; disperses cold; alleviates pain.

• Stomach cold: vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain.
• Diarrhea (chronic, non-infectious studied) - can be used orally or applied to the navel in a plaster.
• Nephritis: In one study, 10 patients were given two steamed eggs daily into which Hu jiao was placed prior to steaming. All but one patient (who had nephritis for 10 years) were cured.
• A large dose can be used for pain associated with malignancies.
• When prescribed in large doses (up to 30g), it must be cooked at least 2 hours.
• Contains piperine - used as a carrier to increase absorption of other substances through digestive tract (e.g., curcumin) and slow metabolism of certain drugs.
Yoga: Marich: The Sun, named because it contains large amounts of solar energy. Pungent/heating/pungent; K, V-; P+
• Stimulant, expectorant, carminative, febrifuge, anthelmintic.
• Chronic indigestion, toxins in the colon, degenerated metabolism, obesity, sinus congestion, fever, intermittent fever, cold extremities.
• Take nasally in ghee for sinus congestion, headache, seizures.
• Burns up Ama; energizes Agni.
• Good antidote for cold/raw food.
• With honey it is a powerful expectorant and mucus cleanser, dries up secretions.
• Excessive amounts can be an irritant - it is Rajasic in nature.
1.5-4.5g
Rou Gui
Inner bark of Vietnamese Cinnamon
(Cinnamomum loureirii)












































Guan Gui
Young Cinnamon bark





Rou Gui Xin
Cinnamon heart



Cinnamon Essential Oil
acrid
hot
K
Sp
Ht
Lv
Tonifies heart fire and kidney Yang; disperses cold to relieve pain; warms, activates, and unblocks the channels; conducts floating Yang back into kidneys; encourages the generation of Qi and blood.

• Kidney Yang deficiency, waning at the Ming Men: cold extremities, intolerance of cold, weak lumbar region and knees, impotence, frequent urination.
• Spleen and Kidney Yang deficiency: cold and pain in the epigastrium and abdomen, poor appetite, loose stools.
• Cold-dampness: low back pain, Bi syndrome.
• Failure of the kidneys to grasp the Lung Qi: wheezing.
• Yang deficiency: carbuncles.
• Qi and blood deficiency with cold: ulcers resistant to healing
• Floating Yang: flushed face, severe sweats, wheezing, weak and cold lower extremities, a deficient and rootless pulse (i.e. conditions of (false) heat above, cold below). Also used for other conditions where the upper part of the body is hot (e.g. dry mouth, sore throat, or toothache that become worse at night) and the lower part is cold (e.g. lower back pain, cold lower extremities, diarrhea, weakness in the proximal position of the pulse). To conduct floating Yang back to the kidneys, a tiny dose is used - 0.1 to 0.5g.
• Deep cold causing Qi or blood stasis: cold in the blood causing amenorrhea or dysmenorrhea; yin-type boils (concave, usually ooze a clear fluid), abscesses or sores that do not heal.
• With Qi and blood tonics as an auxiliary herb for chronic deficiency of Qi and blood.
• Injected into BL-13 for asthma. Clinical trials showed it to be very effective.
• Antibacterial and antifungal properties.
• Crush into small pieces before using.
• Weaker than Gui zhi at warming, activating, and unblocking the channels.
• Decoction causes loss of the volatile oils which are responsible for much of its effect. Usually taken directly as a powder, pill, or tincture (can also be added to a strained decoction).
• Recently used to treat blood sugar dysregulation and diabetes.
Yoga: Twak: pungent, sweet, astringent/heating/sweet; Sattvic; V, K-, P+
• Stimulant, diaphoretic, carminative, alterative, expectorant, diuretic, analgesic.
• Colds, sinus congestion, bronchitis, dyspepsia.
• Relieves pain of toothache, and muscular pain.
• Strengthens the heart, promotes Agni.
• Is less likely to aggravate Pitta than ginger is.
• Good general drink for Vata.
Hsu: Vasodilator, diaphoretic, alleviates pain due to GI spasms, inhibits abnormal fermentation processes in intestines.
DY: Supplements the source Qi.
• By supplementing source Qi, it assists in the engenderment of Qi, blood, and essence (as in Shi Quan Da Bu Wan [Ba Zhen Tang + Huang qi and Rou gui]).
• Real Rou gui is very expensive. Many importers sell the culinary quality - Gui pi - which has little medicinal value. It focuses on the middle burner. It does not reinforce kidney Yang or Ming Men fire.
• With Huang lian (3-6g each) to harmonize Yin and Yang, drain the south (heart fire) and supplement the north (kidney Yang), and re-establish the interaction between the heart and kidneys. For indications such as:
- 1. Insomnia, vexation, and agitation due to heart and kidneys not communicating. (Such as for kidney Yang deficiency which cannot move and upbear kidney water, which then becomes dead and stagnant, and fails to nourish heart Yin and control heart fire which rises upward. Use Jiao Tai Wan.)
• As a powder (Rou gui mo or Rou gui mian), some expense can be spared, as it needs only be prescribed at a dose of 1-2g daily, taken directly or added to a decoction within the last 5 minutes of cooking.
1.5-4.5g (to conduct floating Yang back to the kidneys, use 0.1-0.5g)

Guan Gui: the thinner bark of trees that are 6-7 years old
• This bark has less oil than Rou gui, and is considered to be drier.
• Weaker than Rou gui for supplementing the original Qi, but better for warming the middle and drying dampness. Guan gui is mainly for the middle burner and spleen.
• Less tonifying for Yang Qi than Rou gui.
4.5-9g

Rou Gui Xin (Gui Xin): the heart of Rou gui
• This is cinnamon bark which has been cleaned of its fine, superficial layer.
• It is believed to be superior for reinforcing heart Yang and for re-establishing the interaction between the heart and kidneys.


Essential Oil of Cinnamon 
K&R: Key for fatigue, weak digestion, weak libido.
• Sympathomimetic, adrenal cortex stimulant, carminative, astringent, antibacterial, oxytocic, antispasmodic.
Earth: flu, parasitosis, digestive mycosis, fatigue after infection, spastic colitis, obsessions, contracts uterus for labor, stimulates sexual appetite, stimulates CNS.
Metal: flu, hemoptysis, melancholy, stimulates psychic functions.
Wu Zhu Yu
Evodia fruit
acrid
bitter
hot
sl. toxic
Lv
Sp
St
K
Warms the middle Jiao, disperses cold, relieves pain; stops diarrhea; frees the liver Qi; redirects rebellious Qi, stops vomiting; warms the liver channel and organ; dries dampness; expels damp-cold; leads fire downward (topically).

• Yang deficiency cold in the middle Jiao: severe pain in the epigastrium and abdomen.
• Liver and/or stomach channel disorders from cold or phlegm: headaches, epigastric pain, nausea, drooling, reduced taste sensation, pale tongue, wiry or weak pulse.
• Cold in the liver channel: hernial disorders.
• Liver Qi stagnation, Qi rebellion, or Liver attacking the stomach: vomiting, acid reflux, flank pain, severe vertex headache. For liver/stomach disharmony (liver channel heat attacking the stomach), Zuo Jin Wan is commonly used - 6 parts Huang lian with 1 part Wu zhu yu. Indications: hypochondriac pain, indeterminate gnawing hunger, epigastric focal distention, vomiting, acid regurgitation, belching, bitter taste in the mouth, dry mouth, red tongue, yellow coat, wiry, rapid pulse.
• Topical: Grind the herb to a powder. Combine it with water or vinegar (vinegar is stronger) to form a mud. Apply it to the soles of the feet (covering K-1) and cover it with plastic wrap. Put socks on and walk on it for up to 6 hours. This tonifies/warms the kidneys for kidney deficiency; leads fire downward - for rising Yang, mouth or tongue sores, toothache; speeds up metabolism (helps weight loss); lowers blood pressure (in 12-24 hours). This method of application may lose efficacy (particularly for weight loss) after several consecutive treatments.
• Irritable bowel syndrome: powder the herb, mix it with vinegar, and apply it to the navel.
• Useful for early and subacute eczema, childhood eczema, and localized neurodermatitis.
• Antibiotic and antiparasitic effects; analgesic.
• Very drying. Can injure the Qi. Not for long term use.
• Administering a Gan cao decoction before this herb can reduce its side effects.
Hsu: Constricts the uterus; anthelmintic; antifungal; analgesic; stimulates blood circulation.
• Large doses cause CNS stimulation and hallucinations (contains DMT).
DY: This is one of six medicinals which have been traditionally aged for the purpose of reducing secondary effects and reinforcing their therapeutic actions. Generally, the longer it is kept, the more efficient it becomes.
• With Huang lian to effectively drain liver fire, harmonize the stomach, downbear counterflow, and stop pain, acid regurgitation, and vomiting. For indications such as:
- 1. Lateral costal pain and distention, nausea, vomiting, acid regurgitation, belching, clamoring stomach, and a bitter taste in the mouth due to liver depression transforming into fire which disturbs the stomach. (Zuo Jin Wan)
- 2. Diarrhea and dysentery due to damp-heat.
- The usual dosage for this pair is 3-10g Huang lian and 2-5g Wu zhu yu. Traditionally, the combination is for liver fire causing liver-stomach disharmony which, in turn, leads to nausea, vomiting, and acid regurgitation. In this case Huang lian should be prescribed in a larger quantity and Wu zhu yu in a lesser amount. However, this pair can also be used in patterns where cold and heat are mixed. In this case, if heat is predominant, the dosage of Huang lian should be proportionately more. If there is concomitant stomach Yin deficiency, add Shi hu. If cold is predominant, the dosage of Wu zhu yu should be proportionately more. If there is concomitant Qi deficiency, add Dang shen. If cold and heat are present in identical proportions, the quantities of both herbs should be equal.
3-9g
Xi Xin
Asarum root
"Wild Ginger"

"Thin Acrid"
acrid
warm
sl. toxic
Lu
K
Alleviates pain; releases the exterior, eliminates wind, disperses cold; warms the Lungs, resolves harmful fluid, transforms phlegm; opens the nose; mildly promotes sweating.

• Wind-cold or any exterior cold pattern, especially with the addition of dampness or underlying Yang deficiency: headache (especially Shaoyin, radiating to the teeth), toothache, body aches, Bi syndrome, other pain.
• Cold and harmful fluid in the Lungs: cough with thin, whitish sputum, difficulty breathing.
• Nasal congestion - various types.
Shaoyin syndrome, fever, deep pulse.
• Topical: in powder, mixed with water and glycerine, and applied to the navel (for at least 3 days) for oral lesions.
• Better at warming the interior than releasing the exterior.
• For nasal and oral problems, it is often powdered and sucked directly into the affected areas.
• Antipyretic; analgesic.
• Liu: Can be used in doses as high as 10g daily for body aches. Monitor the patient for signs of toxicity - not for prolonged use at higher doses.
• Bensky/Gamble classifies this herb with acrid warm herbs that release the exterior.
• Contains aristolochic acid. Caution in patients with renal problems. May be restricted by FDA. 
Hsu: Local anesthetic, analgesic; antitussive.
DY: Powerful analgesic. Despite its warm quality, it can be combined with appropriate herbs for any pain pattern.
• Toxic at doses over 5g per day.
IBIS: Carminative, diaphoretic.
• Avoid in stomach inflammation and/or intestinal inflammation due to its spicy stimulant effects (Brinker).
• Avoid during pregnancy due to its emmenogogue and abortifacient effects (Lewis & Elvin).
1-3g
Xiao Hui Xiang
Fennel seed




















acrid
warm
Lv
K
Sp
St
Disperses cold, relieves pain; regulates Qi, harmonizes the stomach; frees the liver Qi, warms and moves the liver channel and lower Jiao, warms the kidneys.

• Cold in the liver or kidneys: severe pain in the lower abdomen and testes, especially in cases of hernia. Useful for any kind of lower abdominal pain due to cold. In one study of 26 cases of incarcerated hernia, Xiao hui xiang was given orally and then patients were asked to lie supine with their knees bent. The hernia and symptoms were reduced in 22 cases, usually within a half hour. The longer the incarceration, the less effective the treatment.
• Stomach cold: vomiting, poor appetite, indigestion, distending pain in the epigastrium or abdomen. (Wu zhu yu and Ding xiang are superior.)
• Regulates intestinal peristalsis, reducing emptying time and increasing the passage of gas. It also relieves spasms of the intestines.
• Topical: powder the herb, heat it (under a TDP lamp, in a microwave, or by dry-frying it), put it in a tea bag, and place it over a hernia or an area with a sensation of cold or pain.
• Hydrocele of the tunica vaginalis: Xiao hui xiang was given (with salt and other ingredients) at bedtime with rice wine. 59 of 64 cases were cured at six weeks and 1 was improved.
K&R: Carminative, eupeptic, expectorant, antispasmodic, galactagogue, diuretic (azoturic), urinary antiseptic.
• Earth yin, water yin, metal yin.
Earth: digestive insufficiency, colic, pediatric abdominal pain.
Metal: intestinal colic, colitis, pediatric- expectorant for bronchitis, asthma.
Water: oliguria, renal calculi, amenorrhea, frigidity, impotence, urinary infection.
• Use with a laxative for constipation with poor intestinal tone.
• Sedative and carminative for excitable children with indigestion.
Yoga: Shatapushpa: sweet, pungent/slightly cooling/sweet; VPK=
• Carminative, stomachic, stimulant, diuretic, antispasmodic.
• Indigestion, low Agni, abdominal pain, cramps or gas, difficult or burning urination, children's colic.
• Stops griping from purgatives.
• Helps promote menstruation and lactation.
• Good for all constitutions. Strengthens Agni without aggravating Pitta.
• The aroma acts on the mind, produces alertness.
Hsu: Expectorant, stomachic.
3-9g



Herbs That Promote Qi Circulation

Commonly combined with:
• A. Herbs that disperse the Lungs and resolve phlegm when there is attack of the Lungs by an EPI.
• B. Herbs that clear heat and resolve phlegm when there is Lung phlegm-heat.
• C. Herbs that clear damp-heat when there is damp-heat in the middle Jiao.
• D. Herbs that warm the interior when there is spleen cold-dampness.
• E. Herbs that promote digestion when there is food retention.
• F. Herbs that tonify spleen Qi when there is spleen Qi deficiency.
• G. Herbs that nourish liver blood and Yin and promote blood circulation when there is liver Qi stagnation.
• Since these herbs disperse Qi and tend to be aromatic and drying, they are generally used with caution for patients with Yin or Qi deficiency.
• Since the dispersing effect of many of these herbs is dependent on their volatile oils, these herbs are generally decocted for no longer than 15 minutes.
• When using Chen pi, Ju hong, Ju He, Qing pi, Zhi shi, Zhi ke, Fo shou, Xiang yuan, and other citrus herbs, remember to consider the possibility of the patient's having a citrus sensitivity or allergy.
The term "adjusts the middle Jiao" refers to an herb's ability to re-establish the proper ascent and descent of Qi by the spleen and stomach.
• Also consider these Qi moving herbs from other categories, as appropriate: An Xi Xiang [Open Orifices], Bai Jie Zi [Resolve Phlegm], Bai Dou Kou [Aromatic Transform Damp], Bing Lang [Kill Parasites], Bo He [Acrid, Cool], Cao Dou Kou [Aromatic Transform Damp], Du Huo [Expel Wind-Damp], E Zhu [Move Blood], Gua Lou Pi [Resolve Phlegm], Hou Po [Aromatic Transform Damp], Jiang Xiang [Move Blood], Lu Lu Tong [Move Blood], Rou Dou Kou [Astringent], Ru Xiang [Move Blood], San Leng [Move Blood], Sha Ren [Aromatic Transform Damp], Yan Hu Suo [Move Blood], Yu Jin [Move Blood], Zi Su Ye [Acrid, Warm].
Chen Pi
(Ju Pi)
Citrus peel
(usually Tangerine or Mandarin Orange)

Citrus reticulata, C. tangerina, C. erythrosa

"Aged Peel"





















































Ju Hong
Red part of Citrus peel











Ju He
Citrus seed




Qing Ju Ye
Bluegreen Citrus leaf
acrid
bitter
warm
Sp
Lu
St
Regulates Qi; adjusts the middle Jiao (acrid lifts the spleen Qi, bitter descends the stomach Qi); dries dampness; resolves phlegm; helps the spleen to transport; relieves the diaphragm; directs Qi downward.

• Spleen/stomach Qi stagnation: distention in the epigastrium and abdomen, belching, bloating, fullness, nausea, vomiting. Also used for various other forms of nausea and vomiting.
• Accumulation of dampness in the middle Jiao: distention in the chest, epigastrium, and abdomen, stifling sensation in the chest, poor appetite, fatigue, loose stool, thick and sticky tongue coat. An important Qi-level herb of both the spleen and Lung channels, it is especially appropriate for disorders involving both channels.
• Phlegm-damp in the Lungs: cough with copious sputum, difficulty breathing, stifling sensation in the chest.
• Added to tonics to help keep their rich quality from stagnating the Qi.
• Some effectiveness as a transdermal carrier of other substances.
• Mastitis: Chen pi was used with Gan cao in one study to yield good results in 70% of the cases, usually within 2-3 days. The longer the duration of the mastitis, the less effective the treatment.
Chen pi is aged (cured) to eliminate secondary effects and reinforce its primary actions. Generally, the older the Chen pi, the higher the quality and the more effective.
• Use with caution when there is heat.
• Can be carried to guard against taking on patients' sicknesses.
• Compared to Qing pi, Chen pi has a more harmonious nature and tends to enter the Qi level of the spleen and Lungs. Its actions are primarily vertical and it is therefore used for both coughing and vomiting. Qing pi, on the other hand, has scattering and unblocking properties that are relatively harsh; it is accordingly prescribed for breaking up Qi stagnation. Its actions are more horizontal and it is therefore used primarily for pain.
DY: Moderately fortifies the spleen; harmonizes the stomach, stops vomiting; rectifies the Qi on the right side of the body; downbears stomach Qi counterflow.
• Three essential therapeutic methods are used to treat phlegm-dampness:
- 1. Transforming and drying existing phlegm or evacuating it through expectoration.
- 2. Moving Qi - if Qi moves with fluidity, phlegm is expelled through expectoration and stagnant dampness, which is the origin of the production of phlegm, is moved and does not accumulate - thus dampness does not congeal into phlegm.
- 3. Supplementing the spleen - to promote the transformation and transportation of water and food, and prevent the accumulation of dampness and the engenderment of phlegm.
- Chen pi possesses all three essential functions for the elimination of phlegm-dampness - it transforms phlegm, moves Qi, and fortifies the spleen.
• Zhang Zi-he of the (12th century) Southern Song dynasty, said: "Chen pi is upbearing and floating, goes to the Lungs and spleen, influences the upper (body) and frees the flow."
Chen pi is often added to formulas which supplement the Qi, blood, or Yin in order to ease the assimilation of rich herbs and to avoid Qi stagnation. It can be systematically added to these types of formulas whenever spleen deficiency is suspected.
• With Ban xia for mutual reinforcement, to fortify the spleen, rectify the Qi, dry dampness, transform phlegm, and stop vomiting. For such indications as:
- 1. Cough due to an accumulation of phlegm-dampness. (Use lime-processed Ban xia.)
- 2. Chest oppression, nausea, and vomiting due to stomach disharmony and phlegm-damp stagnation. (Use ginger-processed Ban xia and stir-fried Chen pi.)
• With He zi to effectively constrain the Lung Qi, rectify the Qi, and increase the voice. For hoarse voice, loss of voice, and chronic cough (deficiency type) with loss of voice and phlegm in the throat. (He zi is contraindicated in cases of phlegm-heat or full patterns.)
• With Qing pi to soothe the liver, regulate the stomach, harmonize the liver and spleen, harmonize the liver and stomach, rectify the Qi, and stop pain. For epigastric and abdominal distention and pain, chest and lateral costal region distention and pain due to disharmony of the liver and spleen, liver and stomach, or a liver depression Qi stagnation. For these indications, uncooked or stir-fried Chen pi and vinegar mix-fried Qing pi should be used. In cases of liver-spleen disharmony, add Bai shao, Chai hu, and Bai zhu. This pair is also sometimes used to treat food accumulation in the stomach, diarrhea with abdominal distention due to liver-spleen disharmony, and premenstrual syndrome due to liver-spleen disharmony.
• With Sang bai pi to clear the Lungs and transform phlegm, rectify the Qi, stop coughing and calm asthma. For cough and asthma due to Lung heat with abundant yellow phlegm.
• With Zhu ru to clear and warm simultaneously, eliminating mixed cold and heat in the stomach. They harmonize the stomach, downbear Qi counterflow, and stop vomiting. The combination can be used in the formula Ju Pi Zhu Ru Tang for indications such as:
- 1. Nausea, vomiting, and epigastric and abdominal distention due to spleen-stomach deficiency mixed with cold and heat. (In actuality, the spleen is deficient and cold or at least benefits from the use of warm ingredients, and the stomach is hot and requires clearing with cold medicinals.)
- 2. Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
Ju pi vs. Chen pi: Ju pi is the recent skin, while Chen pi is the aged skin. Ju pi is very drying and acrid, more draining and irritating to the stomach. Chen pi is moderate and more efficient. Chen pi is preferred for use in clinical practice.
Hsu: Stomachic; expectorant; anti-emetic; regulates the intestines; hemostatic - strengthens capillaries; antibacterial; increases blood pressure; stimulates the heart; inhibits GI and uterine activity; slightly inhibits urinary excretion.
HF: An important herb in anti-Gu therapy to move Qi (xing Qi) and break accumulation (po ji).
3-9g

Ju Hong: Just the red part of the peel
• Acrid, bitter, warm. Enters the Lung and stomach chanels.
• Similar to Chen pi, but more drying and aromatic than Chen pi and less effective at harmonizing the middle and regulating the stomach and spleen.
• Resolves phlegm, dispels wind-cold.
• Primarily used for vomiting, belching, phlegm-damp coughs.
DY: Scatters cold, rectifies the Qi; resolves the exterior; dries dampness, transforms phlegm; disperses food stagnation and distention.
• With Zi wan to effectively dry dampness and transform phlegm without drying the Lungs, rectify the Qi, and stop cough. For indications such as:
- 1. Cough with profuse phlegm and chest oppression due to accumulation of phlegm and Qi stagnating in the Lungs.
- 2. Cough with itchy throat, low grade fever, fear of cold, and profuse phlegm due to wind evils attacking the Lungs.

Ju He: The seed
• Liu: Shaped like a testicle: guides to and treats testicular problems.
DY: Moves the Qi; scatters nodulation; stops pain; directed toward the Jueyin channel and the Qi division, directed toward the lower burner, into the kidney channel and treats shan. See Li zhi he in this category for notes on shan.
• With Li zhi he, these two herbs are directed toward the liver channel and especially to the region of the pelvis. They effectively scatter cold and nodulation, and stop pain. For specific indications of this combination, see Li zhi he in this category.

Qing Ju Ye: Bluegreen citrus leaf
• Frees liver Qi.
Chen Xiang
Aquilaria sap
Aloeswood

"Sinking Fragrance"
or "Fragrant Dense Herb"
acrid
bitter
warm
Sp
St
K
Regulates Qi, relieves pain; descends stomach Qi, adjusts the middle Jiao; directs rebellious Qi downward, regulates the middle Jiao; warms the kidneys, aids them in grasping the Qi.

• Blood stasis or cold obstruction (including from deficiency) with Qi stagnation: distention, pain, or a feeling of pressure in the chest, epigastrium, or abdomen.
• Stomach or spleen cold (including from deficiency): rebellious Qi wheezing, vomiting, hiccups, belching.
• Kidney deficiency: asthma, wheezing, cough with difficulty breathing.
• Particularly useful for stagnation in the lower abdomen.
• The true herb is expensive, very aromatic, precious - do not cook it. It is usually powdered and taken directly.
• Powerfully inhibits M. tuberculosis, Shigella.
• Traditionally, this is not just the wood of this tree, but specifically very old wood, and, some say, wood that has been underwater for many years.
Hsu: Antibacterial - for typhoid, dysentery; analgesic, tranquilizing effects.
1.5-3g
Chuan Lian Zi
Melia fruit
Sichuan Pagoda Tree fruit
Sichuan Chinaberry























bitter
cold
sl toxic
Lv
St
SI
BL
Regulates Qi (especially liver Qi), relieves pain; kills parasites, treats fungal disease; clears heat; dries dampness.

• Liver Qi stagnation or liver attacking the stomach: costal, hypochondriac, epigastric, or abdominal pain. Also for hernial disorders. Especially useful when there are heat signs.
• Damp-heat Qi stagnation: epigastric, abdominal, flank, or hernial pain.
• Roundworms, tapeworms: abdominal pain. More effective at treating the pain than killing the parasites.
• Particularly useful for stagnation in the flanks and lower abdomen.
• Topical: for fungal infections on the scalp.
• May irritate the stomach - when given in a large dose for a long time, it injures the mucous membrane of the stomach.
• May cause elevation of liver enzymes.
• Must be broken up before using.
Jin: Safe to use in pregnancy (when indicated). Unlike some herbs in this category, this herb is not especially drying.
Li: When used for excess conditions, it will not irritate the stomach.
• Use as a sitz bath for yeast infections, and as a wash for other fungal diseases.
DY: With Yan hu suo to clear heat, eliminate dampness, course the liver, move the Qi and blood, and stop pain. This combination (Jin Ling Zi San) is used for indications such as:
- 1. Pain in the chest, epigastrium, abdomen, and lateral costal regions due to liver depression Qi stagnation sometimes associated with liver blood stasis. (Use wine mix-fried Yan hu suo and scorched Chuan lian zi.)
- 2. Liver depression Qi stagnation transforming into liver heat or fire.
- 3. Dysmenorrhea and menstrual irregularities due to Qi and/or blood stasis. (Use scorched Chuan lian zi and vinegar mix-fried Yan hu suo.)
- 4. Heart pain due to Qi and blood stagnation. (Use wine mix-fried Yan hu suo and scorched Chuan lian zi.)
- 5. Inguinal hernia or diseases of the scrotum or testicles due to Qi stagnating in the liver channel. (Use scorched Chuan lian zi and vinegar mix-fried Yan hu suo.)
- 6. Hepatitis, cholecystitis, and angiocholitis due to damp-heat in the liver and gallbladder. (Use scorched Chuan lian zi and vinegar mix-fried Yan hu suo.)
- This combination is a major analgesic which can be added to other prescriptions when pain is a key manifestation of the disorder and especially if this pain is due to Qi stagnation and blood stasis. If there is a headache, add Chuan xiong and Hong hua. If there is chest pain, add Jie geng, Zhi ke, and Xie bai. If there is lateral costal pain, add Chai hu and Yu jin. If there is stomach and epigastric pain, add Mu xiang and Dan shen. If there is lower abdominal pain, add Mu xiang and Tao ren. If there is lower abdomen pain occurring on both sides of the abdomen in the area traversed by the liver channel, add Wu yao and Xiao hui xiang.
3-9g
Da Fu Pi
Betel husk
Areca peel

"Big Abdomen Peel"
acrid
sl warm
LI
SI
Sp
St
Promotes the downward movement of Qi; reduces stagnation; expels dampness; promotes urination, reduces edema.

• Food stagnation, Qi obstruction: epigastric and abdominal distention, regurgitation of food, belching with acid regurgitation. Especially useful when these disorders are accompanied by constipation.
• Damp stagnation in the stomach and intestines.
• Abdominal distention with edema, especially superficial edema, or the symptoms of food stagnation. Also for damp leg qi.
• Strengthens the contractions and tension of the intestines.
6-9g
Fo Shou
Finger Citron

"Buddha Hand"







Fo Shou Hua
Finger Citron flower
acrid
bitter
warm
Lv
Sp
St
Lu
Frees the flow of liver Qi; regulates Qi; adjusts the middle Jiao; resolves phlegm; mildly dries dampness; harmonizes the stomach, strengthens the spleen.

• Liver Qi stagnation: costal, hypochondriac, or flank pain, distention in the chest, belching.
• Spleen/stomach Qi stagnation: distention and fullness in the epigastrium and abdomen, epigastric pain, poor appetite, belching, nausea, vomiting.
• Lung phlegm: cough with copious sputum. Especially useful for unrelenting coughs with chest pain. Because its phlegm-resolving function is mild, it is not used in treating the early stages of externally-contracted coughs.
• This herb is strong at moving Qi, but weak at alleviating pain.
3-9g

Fo Shou Hua: the flower
• Similar properties to the fruit, but milder.
• More effective than the fruit at directing Qi downward.
• Often used for cough and wheezing due to rebellious Lung Qi.
Li Zhi He
Litchee nut
(Leechee)




sweet
astringt
warm
Lv
St
Regulates Qi, relieves pain; eliminates cold obstruction (particularly in the liver channel).

• Cold obstruction of Qi in the liver channel: lower abdominal, genital, testicular, hernial pain, swelling (also for heat in the liver channel when combined with cold herbs).
• Liver Qi stagnation: epigastric pain; abdominal pain, particularly pre-menstrual or post-partum.
• Guides to the genitalia; can guide herbs to the prostate for prostatitis.
• Ringworm: powder the herb, mix with sesame oil, and apply topically.
• Must be broken up before use.
DY: Moves the Qi and blood; scatters cold; directed toward the Jueyin channel and the blood division; directed toward the lower burner, the kidney channel, and treats shan. (Shan: 1. A generic term for all disease of the scrotum and testicles. 2. Hernias, specifically inguinal hernias. 3. Severe abdominal pain associated with anuria and constipation. "Cold Shan" may indicated either of two pathologies: 1. Severe periumbilical pain and abdominal spasms together with spontaneous cold perspiration, fear of cold, cold limbs, a deep tight pulse, and sometimes, in severe cases, numbness of the limbs and generalized stiffness due to a stagnation and congelation of cold evils in the interior of the abdomen. 2. Scrotal or testicular disease due to stagnation and congelation of cold dampness in the liver channel with pain,