Nature: sweet, neutral
Enters: Lung, Spleen, Kidney
Actions: Nourishes Lung Yin; tonifies spleen Qi, nourishes spleen Yin; mildly nourishes kidney Yin and Jing, generates marrow; relieves Xiao Ke (wasting and thirsting syndrome).
• Lung Yin (and Qi) deficiency: dry cough; maybe streaks of blood in sputum; possible flushed cheeks and irritability to due heat.
• Kidney Jing deficiency: weakness and soreness in the lumbar region and knees, dizziness, weakness in the lower extremities, lightheadedness, blurred vision, prematurely grey hair.
• Spleen and stomach Qi deficiency: poor appetite, fatigue, weak pulse, lassitude.
• Spleen and stomach Yin deficiency: dry mouth, poor appetite, loss of taste, dry stool, dry, red tongue.
• Lung, stomach, and kidney Yin (and Qi) deficiency: diabetes / xiao ke / wasting and thirsting disorder (whether in upper, middle, or lower jiaos, or a combination): polyuria, polyphagia, polydipsia, emaciation, irritability, fatigue.
• Very safe, will not trap an EPI in the body, not greasy. Liu: “Typical Taoist herb.”
• Can be taken long-term.
• May lower blood pressure.
• Beneficial in tuberculosis.
• Adaptogenic effects.
• Topical (alcohol tincture) for fungal infections.
• The raw form (less used) is more of a Yin tonic than a Qi tonic.
• The prepared form (common), which is wine-steamed, is more of a Qi tonic than a Yin tonic.
• Bensky/Gamble classify this herb as a Qi tonic.
• Michael Tierra compares this herb, rather than Yu zhu, to American Solomon’s Seal (an error?), and considers American Polygonatum to be as good or better than the Chinese variety.
Li: Good non-warming immune tonic.
Chen & Chen: “The ideal herb to treat yin-deficient cough, nourish the lung, and benefit Qi. In combination with other herbs or alone.”
Hsu: Antifungal, antibacterial, hypotensive, hypoglycemiant.
HF: An An Shen (spirit calming) herb, important in Gu Zheng (Gu parasite) formulas (because of emotional disturbance common in patients with Gu).