Nature: sweet, bland, cold
Enters: Stomach, Bladder
Actions: 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.
• NOTE: This herb should probably be made obsolete, since it likely contains asbestos and is a known cause of gastric cancer, and – when inhaled – of lung cancer.
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.