Shui Zhi – Leech – Hirudo

Nature: bitter, salty, slightly toxic, neutral

Enters: Liver, Bladder

Actions: Strongly dispels blood stasis; reduces immobile masses.

• Blood stasis: amenorrhea, traumatic injury, masses.
• Wind-stroke.
• Hypercholesterolemia.
• Coronary heart disease.
Shui zhi eyedrops are very effective for acute conjunctivitis. (May cause transitory pain upon application, but no other side effects.)
• Hirudin (a component): anticoagulant (especially in ethanol extract) – is denatured by heat. Therefore, the herb should not be cooked long, if at all. Leech extracts (hirudin) are tremendously popular in Chinese hospitals, used for everything Warfarin (Coumadin) is prescribed for.
• Leech secretes a histamine-like substance that acts as a vasodilator.
• Contraindicated in pregnancy.
• Some say the herb should be toasted until yellow, then powdered and taken directly.
• Guohui Liu says: Much stronger than Tu bie chong. Bensky/Gamble say: More moderate than Tu bie chong but with a more sustained effect.
MLT: Hirudin interferes with the clotting effect of thrombin on fibrinogen.

Dose: 1.5-6g

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