Nature: sweet, bitter, cold, toxic
Enters: Lung, Kidney, Large Intestine
Actions: 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.
Dose: 0.3-1g taken directly as power or in pill form