Qiang Huo – Notopterygium root

Nature: acrid, bitter, warm

Enters: Bladder, Kidney

Actions: Releases the exterior and dispersing cold; eliminates wind; powerfully eliminates (external) dampness; unblocks obstruction to alleviate pain; guides to the Taiyang and Du Mai.

• Exterior obstruction (especially with dampness) causing pain, aversion to cold, fever, aches over the body and head, general feeling of heaviness, sleepiness, headache at the vertex or occiput.
• Wind-cold-damp: soreness and pain (Bi) over the limbs (especially upper limbs), shoulders, back.
• Reaches deeper than Jing jie and Fang feng: penetrates to bones and tendons.
• Compared to Du huo, Qiang huo is used more for the upper body while Du huo is used more for the lower body.
• Warm, dry, ascending, dispersing nature.
DY: Powerful in action; tropism: the upper part of the body, occiput, nape of the neck, shoulders, upper limbs, and Taiyang.
Qiang huo has a more powerful action than Du huo. Its nature is upbearing, draining, and vigorous. The ancients said that Qiang huo has a “masculine dispersing Qi.”
• With Du huo to dispel wind, cold, dampness, and treat Bi over the whole body. For indications such as:
– 1. Moving rheumatic pains all over the body. (Juan Bi Tang)
– 2. Common cold with fever, back pain, and joint pain due to wind, cold, and dampness. (Qiang Huo Sheng Shi Tang)
– 3. Joint running wind due to wind, cold, and dampness penetrating the channels and network vessels. Li jie feng or joint running wind refers to acute arthralgia which is severe and movable with loss of joint mobility, swelling, and intense joint pain which is worse at night. This affection can transform itself into heat and then cause redness, pain, swelling, and heat.

Dose: 6-15g

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