Mu Zei – Equisetum hiemale – Horsetail – Scouring Rush – “Wood Thief”

Nature: sweet, bitter, neutral

Enters: Lung, Liver

Actions: Mildly disperses wind-heat; promotes vision, dispels nebulas; stops bleeding; clears heat.


• Wind-heat affecting the eyes: red eyes, excessive tearing, pain, swelling, cloudiness, blurred vision, pterygium.
• Heat in the blood: bleeding hemorrhoids, hemafecia (usually used as an auxiliary herb).
• Pulmonary disease: silicosis (improves symptoms).
• Also used externally as a powder.
• Compared to Ju hua, with regard to the vision, Mu zei is best for removing membranes from the conjunctiva (which Ju hua cannot do).
• Doctrine of signatures: the herb is a hollow tube – useful for clearing the tubes of the body – urinary tract, bile duct, air passages, vessels (not widely in this sense in TCM).
SD: May help antidote lead poisoning.
Yoga: Bitter, sweet/cooling/pungent; P, K-; V+
• Affects urinary, respiratory systems.
• Diuretic, lithotriptic, diaphoretic, alterative, hemostatic.
• Strong stone-removing action for the kidneys, bladder, gallbladder.
• Somewhat irritant, should not be taken for a long duration.
• Promotes healing of bones.
• Similar to Niu bang zi: as a paste/wash for inflammation.
• Clears Pitta and fiery emotions from the nerves and mind.
• For edema, nephritis, burning urethra, kidney stones, gall stones, stomach ulcers, broken bones, menorrhagia, venereal disease.
• Caution with patients with high Vata, constipation, dry skin; good for high Pitta.
NAH: Major source of silica – for lungs damaged by tuberculosis.
• Contains many minerals – good for anemia, debility, broken nails, lifeless hair, white spots on nails.
• Silicon encourages calcium absorption and helps guard against fatty deposits in the arteries.
• Astringent action stops bleeding, good for stomach ulcers.
• Mild diuretic, but its astringency makes it useful for children’s bed wetting.
• Also for inflamed/enlarged prostate, cystitis, urinary stones.
K&R: Remineralizing agent.
• Water deficiency, wood excess, water excess, metal deficiency, earth deficiency.
Water: edema, oliguria, ascites, glomerulonephritis, cystitis, nephrotic syndromes, osteoporosis, demineralization, pathological calcification, Paget’s disease, amenorrhea, diabetes.
Wood: hemorrhage, metrorraghia, epistaxis, hematuria, spasmophilia, tetany
Metal: immune deficiency, scrofula.
Earth: diabetes, chronic rheumatism, conjunctivitis, eyelid swelling.
MW: 35+% silica: its uses include almost the entire portrait of homeopathic Silicea: loss of nerve, nervousness to the point of nail-biting, hair-pulling, picking at the body or objects, slightly chilly constitution, problems with the hard sheaths and tissues of the body (strengthens tissue), thin, split hair, weak nails, lack of “grit” to the personality, no confidence to plunge into life, allergic to all sorts of things, chronic cystitis
• For all bleeding, ulcers.
• Brings matters to the surface, releases corrupted material.
• Doctrine of signatures: [see above on tubes] plus stem’s striking joints – for joints.
MLT: Cider vinegar extract of Mu zei: use topically for all fungus.
TS: Cleansing agent for the stomach.
• Reduces the suffering from gravel. For all bladder and kidney difficulties, especially stones in the bladder
• Painful urination.
• Hemorrhaging, hematemesis, epistaxis.
• As a compress for foul-smelling sores with pus.
Hsu: Appetite stimulant; diuretic; screening test shows it is effective against stomach, tongue, and liver cancers.

Dose: 3-9g

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