Wu Bei Zi – Gall of Chinese Sumac (caused by the insect Melaphis)

Nature: sour, salty, cold

Enters: Kidney, Lung, Large Intestine

Actions: Astringes Lung Qi; stops coughing; astringes the large intestine, stops diarrhea; controls leakage of fluids; absorbs moisture; reduces swelling; relives fire toxicity.

Indications:
• Lung deficiency: chronic cough.
• Chronic diarrhea, dysenteric disorders, chronic blood in the stool, rectal prolapse.
• Leakage: nocturnal emission, spermatorrhea, excessive sweating, bleeding.
• Topical: as a powder or wash for sores, ringworm, toxic swellings, damp and ulcerated skin.
• Topical: for scar tissue.
• Topical: apply as a paste to the navel for night sweats (from tuberculosis in one study) or asthma.
• Antibiotic against a wide range of bacteria and some viruses.
Hsu: Hemostatic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, stimulates the CNS, regulates the cardiovascular system – improves blood circulation, hypotensive.
JTCM: It was recorded in Ben Cao Gan Mu that Wu bei zi can astringe the Lungs, drain fire, transform phlegm, dissipate red swellings, eliminate toxicity, astringe non-healing ulcers, and lift prolapse of the anus, uterus and intestines. Modern scientific research shows that Wu bei zi contains tannic acid which has can coagulate proteins and blood locally, promoting the healing of ulcers.
• Mouth Ulcers:
Recurrent mouth ulcers are difficult to treat. Dry Wu bei zi powder often produces results within a week. Apply the powder 5 to 6 times a day. Usually the pain will be reduced and ulcers will heal in 7 days.
• Hemorrhoids and Prolapse of the Anus or Uterus:
Wu bei zi can astringe kidney Qi. The kidney opens to the external genital area. So, Wu bei zi can be used for kidney deficiency causing prolapse in the genital area.
For hemorrhoids, after the patient moves their bowels, clean the anus with warm water. Put 5g Wu bei zi powder on gauze and gently apply to the anus. Usually hemorrhoids will heal within a week.
For uterine prolapse mix Wu bei zi powder with sesame oil to make a paste. Apply the paste to gauze, insert into the vagina at night before bed, and remove it in the morning. Recovery will usually occur within 2 weeks.
For anal prolapse, break 60g Wu bei zi into small pieces. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and cook for 30 minutes. While the decoction is still steaming, let the steam bathe the anus. Then wash the anus with the decoction, or sit in a basin of the fluid for 30 minutes. The prolapse will usually be reduced after three washes, with total recovery in a week.
• Spontaneous Sweats and Night Sweats:
It was recorded in Ben Cao Bei Yao that Wu bei zi has a strong function to astringe the Lung. With its cool nature it can clear heat, transform phlegm and stop coughing, and it can also stop bleeding and sweating. Sweating is related to the Lungs. The umbilicus is the key point on the Ren Mai, and the Ren Mai can adjust all the Yin meridians in the body. When Wu bei zi enters this point, it can help the Ren Mai adjust all the Yin meridians in order to astringe sweating.
Traditional Chinese medical theory states that spontaneous sweats are a symptom of Yang deficiency and that night sweats indicate Yin deficiency, but in the clinic this is not always true – we still need to differentiate. However, either type can be treated with topical herbs. The combination known as Long Bei San is comprised of equal parts Wu bei zi powder and calcined Long gu. Mix Long Bei San with a small amount of water, apply to the umbilicus, and cover with an adhesive bandage. Change the application every other day. Usually it takes 2 to 6 applications to arrest the sweating.
• Eneursis and Seminal Emission:
Wu bei zi secures the essence of the kidney and the Qi of the bladder. Accordingly, it is a good herb for the treatment of enuresis and seminal emission caused by kidney deficiency.
For children’s bed wetting, the use of Long Bei San provides good results. For patients with seminal emission, combining Long Bei San on the umbilicus while simultaneously administering an internal formula yields better results.
Modern research shows that Wu bei zi contains tannic acid which can coagulate protein and form a thin membrane to strengthen the filtration capacity of the nephron tubule and increase resorption from the nephron. As a result, it can prevent proteinuria.
• Chronic Diarrhea and Dysentery:
Wu bei zi powder and white pepper powder can be mixed with a few drops of white wine, applied to the umbilicus, and covered with an adhesive bandage. A hot water bottle can be used to warm the abdomen simultaneously. The powder should be changed every other day.
• Toothache:
Zhao Pin Su liked to use Wu bei zi as a topical herb to treat all kinds of toothaches including those caused by wind-heat, stomach fire, tooth decay, etc. Dosage ranged from 10 to 30g. He said Wu bei zi was the best herb for the treatment of toothache, especially when caused by tooth decay. Wu bei zi powder can be applied to the painful spot or it can be decocted and gargled with. Sometimes the toothache stops immediately. Afterwards, the decayed area can be filled with Ru xiang to prevent inflammation.
• Chronic Cough due to Lung and Kidney Qi Deficiency Caused by Excessive Dispersion of the Lung:
(Because Wu bei zi has very strong astringent action, it is not indicated for acute cough caused by an EPI.) Prepare a formula of 100g each of Wu bei zi, Hu tao rou, Mai men dong, and Wu wei zi, grind to a powder, and give 6g twice a day, morning and night. Two to eight weeks of treatment with the above combination produces good results in every case.

Dose: 4.5-9g

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