Xu Duan – Dipsacus – Teasel root – “Restore What is Broken”

Nature: bitter, sweet, acrid, slightly warm

Enters: Liver, Kidney

Actions: Promotes tendon and bone regeneration, generates flesh; tonifies the liver and kidneys; promotes blood circulation, alleviates pain; stops uterine bleeding; calms the fetus.

• Liver and kidney deficiency: weak lumbar region, knees and legs, stiff joints, seminal emission, uterine bleeding, threatened miscarriage with bleeding, restless fetus.
• Topical or internal: for trauma, sores, pain, swelling, Bi syndrome (especially of the lumbar region and limbs).
• Given its ability to control excessive menstrual bleeding, its Yang nature, and its ability to support a fetus, Kou believe this herb has a progesterone-supporting effect and in high doses (30-60g), he says it effectively treats estrogen dominance.
• Tonifies without causing stagnation.
• Much milder than Du zhong at tonifying the liver and kidneys.
• Compared to Du zhong, Xu duan is used more to treat lower back pain with significant aspects of both wind-damp and kidney deficiency, while Du zhong is more effective when the problem is due primarily to deficiency.
• Fry in vinegar to enhance its ability to promote blood circulation and alleviate pain.
• Roasting with salt facilitates its entry into the kidney channel.
• Dry-fry or char for excessive uterine bleeding.
• Powder for topical application.
Hsu: Induces eruption of pus, stops bleeding, promotes tissue regeneration, analgesic effect on patients with carbuncle dermatosis.
DY: Stops metrorrhagia during pregnancy.
• With Du zhong for mutual reinforcement, to supplement the liver and kidneys, strengthen the sinews and bones, stop metrorrhagia during pregnancy, and quiet the fetus. For specific indications and notes, See Du zhong in this category.
MW: For torn, stretched or wrenched joints, especially in large people who throw joints out with force. Chronic muscle inflammation, limitation of movement, great pain. Widespread arthritis, stiffness, incapacitation.
• Nerve irritation, sciatica.
• Intermittent fever.
• Regarding its literal translation, “restore what is broken,” it can be used for anything “broken” in one’s life, so that a part of one’s path cannot become manifest. “For people who had a use but lost it.” Helplessness, loss of purpose.
• Powerful remedy for Lyme disease (“deer syphilis”) and Lyme-like diseases. Deer appreciate this plant for relieving a disease they carry the vector for.
• MW dosing: 1-3 drops tincture 1-3 times daily. If this produces an aggravation, the dose may be lessened. Caution: may cause a healing crisis first (perhaps syphilis-like, genital rash, etc.).
• Doctrine of signatures: The thorny stalks are a signature for tension and nerve irritation. The tall, hard stalks which remain strong through the winter seem to indicate an affinity for the bones. At intervals along the stem the opposite leaves merge to form a cup which holds water after a rain – a remedy for joints and the kidney essence.

Dose: 6-30g

3 comments on “Xu Duan – Dipsacus – Teasel root – “Restore What is Broken”

  1. linda Young says:

    I am interested in obtaining this herb I suffer with sciatica and back problem and I saw in a herbal magazine.

  2. kathy everett says:

    Great description and amazing herb. I would like to try it for kidney health. I have cysts and small, small bit of blood in urine. Sure it will heal.

    • says:

      Hi Kathy, it IS an amazing herb, though not the first thing I’d think of for cysts. You may want to consider a comprehensive formula and someone else’s perspective. Might be more a case for Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan or Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan or Zhen Wu Tang, etc.

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