Zhi Mu – Anemarrhena rhizome – “Know About Mother”

Nature: bitter, sweet, cold

Enters: Lung, Stomach, Kidney

Actions: Mildly nourishes Yin, moistens dryness; clears heat and reduces fire from the Lungs, stomach, and kidneys.

• Extreme heat in the Lungs and stomach, Yangming stage or Qi level: high fever, restlessness, irritability, thirst, big, rapid, forceful pulse.
• Lung heat (including Yin deficiency): cough, including with thick, yellow sputum.
• Kidney (and Lung) Yin deficiency: tidal fever, night sweats, restlessness, steaming bone disorder, irritability, warmth in the five centers, bleeding gums.
• Also for kidney heat signs such as spermatorrhea, nocturnal emissions, and an abnormally elevated sex drive.
• Lung, stomach, and kidney Yin deficiency: excessive thirst, hunger, and urination – diabetes (often used with Tian hua fen).
• Treats both excess and deficiency heat.
• For excess Lung heat, it is often combined with Huang qin. For Lung Yin deficiency heat, it is often uses with Mai men dong. For excess stomach heat, it is commonly combined with Shi gao. For stomach Yin deficiency heat, it is used with Tian hua fen. For kidney Yin deficiency heat, it is often used with Huang bai and Shu di.
• Fry it in salt water to strengthen its ability to nourish the kidneys and to direct the actions of a formula downward.
Li: Can lower the body temperature.
DY: Treats all three Jiaos; clears the Qi division; drains deficiency fire from the lower burner, drains [aberrant] ministerial fire.
• If thirst is predominant, bran stir-fried or honey mix-fried Zhi mu should be used.
• If dry cough is predominant, Zhi mu should be stir-fried until scorched.
• With Bai he to moisten the Lungs and clear heat, nourish the heart and quiet the spirit. For such indications as:
– 1. Vexation and agitation, insomnia, vertigo, thirst related to a warm disease which has damaged Yin or due to Yin deficiency with deficiency heat.
– 2. Dry cough, vexation and agitation after a warm disease.
– 3. Lily disease.
• With Chuan bei mu to clear and moisten the Lungs, enrich Yin, drain fire, transform phlegm, and stop cough. For such indications as:
– 1. Enduring dry cough with little phlegm and difficult expectoration, sometimes fever, dry mouth, and a dry, red tongue due to water deficiency causing rising fire or due to Lung Yin deficiency. (Use stir-fried Zhi mu)
– 2. Cough due to Lung heat which causes Lung dryness.
• With Huang bai to clear heat, enrich Yin, drain deficiency fire, resolve toxins, and eliminate dampness in the lower burner. For such indications as:
– 1. Evening fever, steaming bones, and night sweats caused by Yin deficiency. – 2. Seminal emission, premature ejaculation, easy erection, excessive thinking about sex, sexual hyperexcitability, erotic dreams, nymphomania due to deficiency fire and hyperactive ministerial fire.
– 3. Dysuria due to Yin deficiency and to Yang losing its ability to transform (at the level of the bladder). For all these indications, both herbs should be salt mix-fried to guide their action toward the lower burner and kidneys.
• With Shi gao to strongly clear and drain replete heat (from the Lungs and stomach) while protecting fluids and Yin. For such indications as:
– 1. Persistent high fever, great thirst and desire for cold drinks, dry tongue, vexation, profuse perspiration, and a surging, big pulse due to heat in the Qi division. (Use Bai Hu Tang.)
– 2. Upper thirsting and wasting with polydipsia, a dry mouth and tongue, and great thirst due to replete Lung heat damaging fluids. (Use stir-fried Zhi mu.)
MLT: Broad spectrum antibiotic; has a downward energy, helps lubricate the kidneys.
• For heat with thirst unrelieved by drinking.
Hsu: Reduces blood sugar; antibacterial.

Dose: 6-12g

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