Ku Shen – Sophora flavescens root – “Bitter Root”

Nature: bitter, cold

Enters: Heart, Liver, Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Bladder

Actions: Clears heat; dries dampness; eliminates wind, stops itching; kills parasites; mildly promotes urination.

• Damp-heat: jaundice, itchiness of the genitalia, leukorrhea, dysentery, sores.
• Wind, fungus, worms or other parasites, damp-heat-toxicity: skin problems, especially itchiness, and also seepage, bleeding. Used both internally and topically. A key herb for skin problems.
• Damp-heat in the lower Jiao (including small intestine damp-heat): painful urinary dysfunction, hot edema.
• Palpitations, arrhythmia: combine appropriately based on the diagnosis (e.g. when due to heart blood and Qi deficiency, add tonics).
• Often used in pills, powders, tinctures, ointments, and washes.
• Contraindicated in combination with Li lu
• Asthma: with Gan cao and Ling zhi in the simplified ASHMI formula.
HF: A Sha Chong (kill worms or parasites) herb, important in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas
Li: For chronic sinusitis: kills persistent microorganisms in the sinuses which promote an ongoing inflammatory process (if no results within a month, discontinue).

Dose: 3-15g (Or more for a strong topical wash)

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