Ze Xie – Alisma rhizome – Water Plantain – “Marsh Drain”

Nature: sweet, bland, cool

Enters: Kidney, Bladder

Actions: Drains dampness and harmful body fluid by promoting urination; clears (excess and deficient) heat, including kidney fire.

Indications:
• Retention of dampness and harmful body fluid, especially damp-heat in the lower Jiao: scanty urination, urinary difficulty, edema, diarrhea, leukorrhea, dizziness.
• Kidney Yin deficiency heat: dizziness, tinnitus.
• Classically: for wasting and thirsting disorder.
• In terms of strength at draining dampness, Ze xie is second to Zhu ling in this category.
• Doctrine of signatures: some say this herb resembles a kidney.
Ze xie’s diuretic strength varies according to when it is harvested. Winter yields the most potent herb, and spring the least. The salt-prepared form is not an effective diuretic. Ze xie’s diuretic effect causes an increase in the excretion of sodium and urea. The herb has a high concentration of potassium, which may be a factor in its diuretic effect.
Ze xie seems to lower serum glucose.
• Compared to other herbs which promote urination, Ze xie has less of a tendency to damage the Yin.
Li: Does not damage the Yin.
Liu: Must be combined with Shu di huang to avoid damage to the Yin.
Li Dong Yuan: Leads Yang Qi back down to its lower source.
Jin: Good for draining fluid from the ear.
MLT: Make into congee (stir fry the herb, powder it, add it to rice) and take for inhibited urination, edema, leukorrhea, obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, chronic liver disease.
DY: Drains fire from the liver, kidney, and bladder channels; clears damp-heat from the lower burner; clears heat from the Qi division.
With Huang bai to clear and drain fire due to Yin deficiency, and clear and eliminate dampness and heat. For indications such as:
– 1. Steaming bones, night sweats, and seminal emission due to deficiency fire. (Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan) Both herbs should be salt mix-fried.
– 2. Inhibited urination and pricking, painful urination due to damp-heat in the lower burner. (Salt mix-fried Huang bai and either unprepared or salt mix-fried Ze xie should be used.)
Hsu: Hypotensive, hypoglycemiant, antibiotic (TB).

Dose: 6-15g

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