Mu Tong – Akebia* – “Open-ended Wood”

Nature: bitter, cold

Enters: Bladder, Heart, Small Intestine

Actions: Drains dampness and heat by promoting urination; clears heart heat – conducts heart heat out through the small intestine and the bladder to the urine; promotes lactation (by opening the channels); unblocks the blood vessels, promotes blood circulation.

• Heart fire pouring downward to the small intestine: irritability, mouth and tongue sores, restlessness, scanty, concentrated urine.
• Bladder damp-heat: scanty, yellow, painful urination, edema, leg qi.
• Damp-heat obstruction: Bi syndrome, joint pain, stiffness, amenorrhea.
• Insufficient lactation after childbirth.
• Regarding its ability to promote lactation, this refers to an ability to enhance the flow of milk, but not to produce it. In cases of insufficient lactation due to blood deficiency (milk is a product of the blood), you must nourish blood.
• This herb can easily injure the body fluids/Yin.
• Doctrine of signatures: this herb’s highly porous form – a dense vascular network like pipes – is suggestive of its ability to conduct fluids (milk, urine).
* Though Akebia species were most commonly listed in classical pharmacopeias as this herb, this plant is rarely used in China today. Instead, Aristolochia manshuriensis and Clematis armandi or C. montana are used. Given the recent warnings about aristolochic acid as a possible cause of kidney damage, it is advisable to choose a reputable supplier to ensure you do not get Aristolochia.
MLT: For urinary dysfunction associated with or caused by irritability and emotional stress.

Dose: 3-9g

Ba Yue Zha: Akebia fruit – “Eighth-Month Sticker”
• Bitter, neutral; liver, stomach.
• Frees the liver Qi; dissipates clumps; promotes urination.
• Used mostly for hypochondriac or hernial pain, most commonly associated with liver/spleen disharmony.
• Scrofula and other nodular disorders.
• Urinary difficulty and stony, painful urination.
• Recent use: for tumors of the breasts and digestive tract.

Dose: 6-12g

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