Xian Mao – Curculigo rhizome – Golden eye-grass – “Immortal Grass”

Nature: acrid, slightly toxic, hot

Enters: Liver, Kidney

Actions: Tonifies kidney Yang – can reach and tonify the Ming Men; eliminates cold and damp.

• Kidney Yang deficiency: impotence, nocturnal emission, urinary incontinence, cold in the chest and abdomen, infertility from cold Jing or cold womb.
• Cold-damp Bi: cold and pain in the lumbar region, knees, abdomen, a sense of weakness in the bones and sinews.
• Especially useful for cold abdominal or lower back pain.
• Often taken soaked in wine by itself.
• Compared to Ba ji tian and Yin yang huo, Xian mao is stronger and harsher. It should not be taken long term.
• Toxic reactions, such as swelling of the tongue, can occur. This can be alleviated with a decoction of Da huang, Huang lian, and Huang qin.
MLT: For menopausal symptoms from deficiency of both Yin and Yang.
• Use as an alternative to Fu zi and Rou gui when they would be too heating and stimulating.

Dose: 3-10g (10g for impotence)

7 comments on “Xian Mao – Curculigo rhizome – Golden eye-grass – “Immortal Grass”

  1. Angellia Gladston says:

    Where on earth do I purchase these herbs? I appreciate the information however, it would be quite awesome if you give direction on where we can find the herbs.. Please respond?

    • Peter Borten says:

      I don’t know where lay people get Chinese herbs, but you might try contacting the major suppliers for professionals – Nuherbs, Mayway, Asia Natural, Spring Wind. And if you Google “bulk Chinese herbs” I’m sure there are sites where you can buy these herbs (probably with a substantial markup). However, if you aren’t trained in Chinese herbal medicine, I don’t recommend treating yourself or anyone else. One of the greatest strengths of this system of medicine is its diagnostic framework and the seamless continuity between diagnostic terminology and therapeutic terminology. If you don’t have a clear diagnosis, but apply these herbs based on the symptoms of certain patterns which may or may not be present in yourself/your patient, your results are likely to be mediocre at best.

  2. jay says:

    CHINA TOWN. Every major city has a china town, and herbal shops. This is where you get herbs. Print out the chinese word of the herb from TCM sites.

  3. Yafit says:

    Hi, I have bought the herbs for the formula er xian tang, but I’m not sure how to prepare it. Would it be better to cook it or to make a tincture out of it? If cooking, then for how long and how much water? Thanks a lot.

  4. Francois Bouchard says:

    Can you please explain why the herb is slightly toxic? Is it only because it is hot and drying, in which case it can be balanced, with for instance, rehmannia, or rather because it contains toxic substances?

    • Peter Borten says:

      Regardless of how hot or dry an herb might be (or cold or moist), these characteristics never qualify as toxicity. We might say an herb is “harsh” in its nature and action, but are always cases when this harshness is appropriate. When the term “toxic” is used, it means there is something actually poisonous about the herb. In this case, it’s not recommended to use Xian Mao long term, though I don’t know the details of the particular nature of its toxicity. It is said to be capable of causing numbness or burning of the tongue (as an expression of its toxicity), which can supposedly be treated with Da Huang (rhubarb) and Huang Qin (Scutellaria baicalensis).

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