Nature: sweet, warm
Enters: Liver, Kidney
Actions: Tonifies the kidneys and liver, strengthens tendons and bones; holds and calms the fetus; promotes smooth circulation of Qi and blood.
• Kidney and liver deficiency: weak, sore lumbar region and knees, Wei syndrome, fatigue, frequent urination.
• Kidney and liver deficiency: threatened or habitual miscarriage, restless fetus; cold deficient kidney patterns with bleeding during pregnancy.
• Liver/kidney Yang deficiency cold: impotence, frequent urination.
• Lowers blood pressure: for hypertension, dizziness, lightheadedness from liver Yang rising.
• Compared to Xu duan, Du zhong is more effective when the problem is due primarily to deficiency, while Xu duan is used more to treat lower back pain with significant aspects of both wind-damp and kidney deficiency.
• Fry in salt water to increase kidney-tonification properties.
Hong-Yen Hsu (Oriental Materia Medica): Hypotensive – the fried herb is more potent, and the decoction is better than the tincture.
• Can decrease absorption of cholesterol.
Dui Yao (Sionneau & Flaws): Secures the Chong Mai.
• The major herb to treat lumbar pain. Can be used for all types – excess or deficiency, hot or cold – when combined appropriately with other herbs.
• With Xu duan for mutual reinforcement, to supplement the liver and kidneys, strengthen the sinews and bones, stop metrorraghia during pregnancy, and quiet the fetus. For indication such as:
– 1. Aches and pains, stiffness, lumbar pain, and weakness of the lower limbs due to kidney-liver deficiency. (Du Zhong Wan) Salt mix-fry both herbs.
– 2. Knee and lumbar pain due to wind-dampness.
– 3. Metrorrhagia during pregnancy and threatened miscarriage accompanied by lumbar pains due to kidney deficiency. (Salt mix-fry both herbs.)
– 4. Traumatic lumbar pain. (Qian Jin Bao Yun Dan) Use salt mix-fried Du zhong and wine mix-fried Xu duan.
• Du zhong is more powerful than Xu duan at supplementing the liver and kidneys, strengthening the sinews, bones, and lumbar area. But Xu duan promotes circulation within the vessels, dispels blood stasis, and knits together fractured bones and torn ligaments.