Chuan Bei Mu – Tendrilled Fritillaria bulb – “Shell Mother from Sichuan”

Nature: bitter, sweet, slightly cold

Enters: Lung, Heart

Actions: Moistens Lungs; clears heat; resolves phlegm; stops coughing; resolves masses and lumps.

Indications:
• Phelgm-fire nodules, sores, swellings, scrofula, Lung or breast abscess.
• 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.
• 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.
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.
Article by Eric Brand on differentiating Chuan Bei Mu from the mediocre substitute Ping Bei Mu.

Dose: 3-12g or 1-3g directly as powder

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