Part One Begins Here – Herbs That Quiet the Shen and Nourish the Heart

Herbs in both parts of this category (nourishing herbs that quiet the shen and heavy/anchoring herbs that quiet the shen) are commonly combined with:
A. Herbs that nourish blood and Yin when there is Yin or blood deficiency of the heart.
B. Herbs that clear heat from the heart when there is excess heart heat or fire.
C. Herbs that subdue liver Yang when there is liver Yang rising.
D. Herbs that clear heat from the Stomach, when there is Stomach heat/fire disturbing the Shen.


Also Consider, When Appropriate, Herbs From Other Categories That Nourish and Quiet or Anchor the Shen:
Bai He [Nourish Yin], Da Zao [Tonify Qi], Dai Zhe Shi [Subdue Liver], Dan Shen [Move Blood], Fu Ling/Shen [Drain Damp], Fu Xiao Mai [Astringent], Lian Zi [Astringent], Long Yan Rou [Nourish Blood], Mu Li [Subdue Liver], Ren Shen [Tonify Qi], Shi Chang Pu [Open Orifices], Tian Zhu Huang [Resolve Phlegm], Wu Wei Zi [Astringent], Xi Xian Cao [Expel W-D], Xi Jiao [Cool Blood], Zhen Zhu [Subdue Liver],  Zhen Zhu Mu [Subdue Liver].

Bai Zi Ren – Biota seed = Thuja orientalis = Platycladus – Chinese Arborvitae

Nature: sweet, neutral

Enters: Kidney, Large Intestine, Heart, Spleen

Actions: Nourishes heart blood; quiets the Shen; moistens the large intestine, promotes bowel movement.

• Heart blood deficiency: insomnia, palpitations, forgetfulness, anxiety, irritability (most effective herb for heart blood deficiency insomnia).
• Large intestine dryness due to Yin or blood deficiency: constipation, especially in the elderly, debilitated, and in post-partum women.
• Yin deficiency: night sweats.
• More oily than Suan zao ren – caution with loose stools, phlegm.
• This herb must be crushed before cooking.
• When used topically, it is dry-fried until the oil seeps out.
DY: Supplements heart Qi and blood; quiets the Hun, Po, and Shen; boosts the intelligence.
• With Suan zao ren for mutual reinforcement, to effectively nourish both the liver and the heart, tranquilize the heart, and quiet the spirit. For indications such as:
– 1. Palpitations, profuse dreams, and insomnia due to heart blood (and Qi) deficiency. (Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan) Defatted Bai zi ren and stir-fried Suan zao ren should be used.
– 2. Constipation with dry stools due to blood deficiency and intestinal fluid insufficiency.

Dose: 6-18g

He Huan Pi – Albizzia bark – Mimosa tree – “Collective Happiness Bark”

Nature: sweet, neutral

Enters: Heart, Liver

Actions: Quiets the Shen; relieves mental stress and depression; relieves constraint; promotes blood circulation; dissipates swelling; alleviates pain; calms the five organs and promote happiness.

• Anger, restlessness, insomnia, poor memory, constrained emotions, irritability (when using it for insomnia, it is especially indicated when due to Qi problems [usually constraint]).
• Blood stasis: trauma, carbuncle, internal abscess, pain and swelling.
Li: Nourishes heart blood.
Hsu: Tonic, stimulant, analgesic, anthelmintic, diuretic, oxytocic action.

Dose: 9-30g

He Huan Hua: the flower
• Sweet, neutral.
• Same functions as the bark, though generally stronger overall, more moving to the Qi, and promotes the free flow of stagnant liver Qi.
• Primarily for depression, constrained emotions, irritability, insomnia, especially when accompanied by epigastric pain and feelings of pressure in the chest.
• There are at least four different plants used as this herb, including albizzia flower, which consists of many pink hairs when fresh and becomes brown when dry, and several unrelated others. Many practitioners prefer the substitute species to the “true” herb.

Dose: 6-15g

Ling Zhi – (Chi Zhi, Dan Zhi) – Ganoderma mushroom – Reishi

Nature: bitter, sweet, warm

Enters: Heart, Liver, Lung

Actions: Chen: Nourishes the heart and calms the Shen; stops coughing and arrests wheezing, dispels phlegm; tonifies Qi and nourishes blood.

• Restless Shen, spleen Qi and heart blood deficiency: insomnia, forgetfulness, fatigue, listlessness, poor appetite.
• Cough and asthma, difficulty sleeping due to dyspnea, profuse sputum. With Ku shen and Gan cao in the simplified ASHMI formula for asthma.
• Qi and blood deficiency, weak digestion: poor appetite, listlessness, loose stools, fatigue, dizziness, soreness of lower back. Can be used alone.
• Antineoplastic activity: by enhancing immune function. Increases monocytes, macrophages, and T-lymphocytes. Increases production of tumor necrosis factor, interleukin, and interferon.
• Cardiovascular: increases cardiac contractility, lowers blood pressure, increases resistance of cardiac muscle to hypoxia.
• Antibiotic properties, broad spectrum, and inhibits E. coli, B. dysenteriae, Pseudomonas spp., pneumococci, streptococci (type A), staphylococci, and others.
• Hepatoprotective, antidiabetic, antitussive, expectorant, sedative, analgesic, and anti-asthmatic effects.
Hsu: Nourishes, supplements, tonifies, eliminates toxicity, astringes, disperses accumulation.
• For deficiency fatigue, neurasthenia, insomnia, bronchial cough in elderly, cancer.
SNBCJ: The six colors of Ling zhi are the first six herbs listed in the superior class section of the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing. [only red and black are commonly available in the U.S.] The color of the mushroom indicates its flavor and affinities, based on five element correspondences.
• Of all varieties, the SNBCJ says, “Protracted taking may make the body light, prevent senility, and prolong life so as to make one immortal.”
Qing zhi (green/bluegreen) is sour and mainly affects the liver.
Huang zhi (yellow) is sweet and mainly affects the spleen.
Bai zhi (white) is acrid and mainly affects the Lungs.
• Purple also exists (Zi zhi), which is not associated with any single element.
Hei zhi (black) is salty and balanced. It mainly treats urinary dribbling block, it disinhibits the water passageways, boosts kidney Qi, frees the nine orifices, and sharpens the hearing
Chi zhi (red) [the most common form available, and the one which is used to calm the Shen] is bitter and balanced. It mainly treats binding in the chest, boosts the heart Qi, supplements the center, sharpens the wits, and [causes people] not to forget. Its other name is Dan zhi (Cinnabar Ganoderma).
GIRI: Enhances the immune system; contains carcinostatic component (β-(1-3)-D-Glucan); antitumor (interferon-inducing) activity; reduces blood pressure; lowers serum cholesterol; lowers serum glucose; inhibits platelet aggregation; treats hepatitis; promotes robustness.
• Historical reputation as a cancer cure.
• Appearance varies tremendously, based on culture conditions – six major colors, four major shapes.
• Once extremely rare. Now mass cultivated on bed logs or sawdust.
Amato: Anti-inflammatory. May reduce the inflammation which is a critical factor in Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease.
CHA: (Karen S Vaughan, 8-26-2000): The ganodermas (black G. lucidum, red G. lucidum, G. oregonense, G. tsuga, G. adspersum and G. applanatum) are tonic, immune strengthening, protect against cancer, have anti-tumor properties, calm the spirit, protect and clear heat from the central nervous system, open the heart, lower serum cholesterol and are good for adrenal fatigue and for depression and anxiety. They enter all five zang organs. They have anti-allergic effects, inhibiting histamine production and stabilizing immunoglobulin levels. They lower blood pressure, are antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial. Combining with astragalus, atractylodes and Ren shen increase phagocytosis, promote immune globulin formation, promote lymphocyte transformation, and induce the generation of interferon. Chinese mountain climbers use Ling zhi to alleviate altitude sickness by oxygenating the blood.
I learned from a Thai doctor with a cancer practice, Santi Rosswong, to make a water decoction of Ganoderma lucidum (Ling zhi) with 10% cordyceps [Dong chong xia cao] for stamina. But since the polysaccharides in ganoderma are quite long, it has been shown to be more effective if the decoction is taken with not less than 500 mg of vitamin C, and 5 mg of folic acid each time. (The vitamin C is based upon Japanese research by Morishige and the folic acid is based upon Santi’s clinical experience.) Take several tablespoons (or more) every three hours. The most important dose is just before retiring, which should be larger. Take the folic acid and vitamin C with each dose.
There are two types of tinctures. One uses a concentrated decoction and adds alcohol to stabilize it. When I make it, I learned from Chris Hobbs to shoot for 25% alcohol to protect the polysaccharides, to ensure that I got between 22% and 28%, the lower number for spoilage and the upper number being a maximum for the polysaccharide protection. This appears to be the best formulation for immune system effects. The other way is to use a high alcohol formation to get the triperetenes, but I understand that this destroys the polysaccharides and differs significantly from the constituents extracted in traditional uses or from powdered extracts. It may have stronger CNS effects however. I know several herbalists who make a high alcohol tincture and add it to the subsequently decocted marc to get the best of both (and they understand that the high alcohol just makes the polysaccharides clump together but does not destroy them). There is not a consensus.
Ling zhi has various steroidal compounds, long chain polysaccharides, bitter triperetenes such as ganodermic acid and some volatile oils. Unlike Echinacea which activates macrophages, ganoderma is not believed to stimulate the immune system directly. It is probably an immune regulator rather than an immune stimulant. Ling zhi mushrooms get to the bone marrow and induce the marrow to put on more nucleated marrow cell mass, according to Jia. The marrow then increases B-cell production, which in turn increases antibodies. The DNA and RNA made in the bone marrow increases production of lymphocytes. This very deep immune nourishing means that it may be appropriate for AIDS patients although the patient should not suffer from undue dampness. For cancer therapy, combined with other fu zheng herbs, Ling zhi can be quite useful, even for patients undergoing chemo and radiation. Hobbs recommends low dose decocted ganoderma with cinnamon bark and orange peel as a tonic drink (for those not suffering from undue dampness) and I find that preparation, with roasted dandelion or chicory, combines well with coffee, helping neutralize coffee’s negative effects.
PLB: Some sources (including Subhuti Dharmananda of ITM) indicate that when ethanol is introduced to a water extract of Ling zhi (at greater than 25% by volume) the polysaccharides are not destroyed, but precipitated. Therefore, in a bottle of Ling zhi extract with over 25% ethanol, the polysaccharides are likely to be stuck to the sides of the bottle or settled at the bottom (or they are still stuck in the manufacturer’s vessels). When attempting to deliberately concentrate the polysaccharides, this is a useful phenomenon. Water extracts may be treated with up to 99% ethanol so polysaccharides – a greyish-white powder – can be claimed. For normal use, hot water extracts are best, and should be preserved with less than 25% ethanol (or as much glycerine as you like).
Weng Weiliang, et al.:

Effects on central nervous system
ling zhi preparation could reduce spontaneous activity of mice, strengthen the inhibitory effects of reserpine and chlorpromazine on nerve center, antagonize the excitatory function of benzedrine on nerve center, prolong the pentobarbital sodium induced sleep time, strengthen hypnogenesis effect of pentobarbital sodium at sub-threshold dose, antagonize electrical convulsion. Besides, it also had analgesic effect.
Effects on respiratory system
ling zhi had obvious antitussive effect, it could prolong the latent period of cough induced by ammonia stimulation, or decrease the times of cough significantly. chi zhi preparation had spasmolytic effect on smooth muscle contract of isolated trachea induced by histamine, and the effect was directly proportional to the medicine concentration.
Effects on cardiovascular system
ling zhi could significantly increase the cardiac contraction, decrease the heart rate in isolated toad heart, increase the contraction force of in situ rabbit heart. chi zhi liquid (3g/kg) could antagonize acute myocardial ischemia caused by hypophysin, significantly lower the high T wave in ECG.
Hot water extract of ling zhi could lower blood pressure, this effect was the most obvious 3 hours after oral administration. Initial clinic test also proved its blood pressure lowering effect and fat lowering effect. The blood pressure lowering effect of mycelin extracted from the mycelium of ling zhi had the characteristics of taking effect quickly, short action time, and dosage dependence.
ling zhi could also antagonize blood coagulation, prevent the thrombus formation, inhibit the platelet aggregation, and increase the deformability of aged RBC.
Effects of improving anoxia tolerance
chi zhi preparation could increase the anoxia tolerance of normal mice and mice pre-treated isoprenaline under lower pressure and normal pressure circumstance. Dried powder of fermented ling zhi could also increase the anoxia tolerance ability of mice, particularly the ability of cardiac muscle, and lower the oxygen consumption whole animal, improve the cardiac metabolism of anoxic animals.
Effects of lowering blood sugar
Ethanol extract of chi zhi had no influence over the increase of insulin secretion 10 minutes after oral administration of glucose, but had inhibitory effect on the continuous decrease of plasma insulin 30 minutes after the administration. It could also inhibit the increase of blood sugar induced by injection of adrenalin or oral administration of glucose. Polysaccharides of ganoderans A, B, C and heteroglycan isolated from ling zhi were injected intraperitoneally to mice at the dosage of 100mg/kg, the results showed that it could blood sugar.
Effects of protecting liver and detoxification
The increase of serum GPT and accumulation of liver triglyceride in mice induced by CCl4 injection could be obviously improved by oral administration of ethanol and ether extract of fruit body onload=”highlight();” of zi zhi and chi zhi. Besides, the extract could also relieve fatty liver caused by ethionine, promote the liver regeneration and strengthen the detoxifying function.
Immune hepatic injury was markedly induced by BCG or BCG plus inflammatory cytokines in BALB/c mice in vivo and in vitro. Under BCG-stimulated condition, augment of the liver weight and increase of the serum/supernatant ALT level were observed, as well as granuloma forming and inflammatory cells soakage were observed by microscopic analysis within liver tissues. Moreover, NO production was also increased by BCG or/and CM stimuli in the culture supernatant, and a lot of iNOS positive staining was observed in BCG-prestimulated hepatic sections. Application of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide (GLP)significantly mitigated hepatic tumefaction, decreased ALT enzyme release and NO production in serum/supernatant, improved the pathological changes of chronic and acute inflammation induced by BCG-stimuli in mice. Moreover, the immunohistochemical result showed that GLP inhibited iNOS protein expression in BCG-immune hepatic damage model. The study indicates that NO participates in immune liver injury induced by Mycobacterium bovis BCG infection. The mechanisms of protective roles by GLP for BCG-induced immune liver injury may be due to influence NO production in mice.
Effects on smooth muscle
chi zhi preparation could inhibit the smooth muscle activity of isolated rabbit intestines and isolated ileum of Guinea pig, and the effect increased with the increase of medicine concentration. Concentrated solution of fermented chi zhi could also obviously inhibit the contraction of isolated rat uterine.
Effects of immune regulation
Extract of mycelium of bo gai ling zhi could significantly promote the phagocytosis rate of celiac macrophages and activity of lysosome in mice, obviously inhibit DNA synthesis in lymphocytes and T and B lymphocyte transformation induced by ConA and bacillus coli endotoxin. ling zhi polysaccharide had certain immunoenhancing effect.
The polysaccharide component with a branched (1–>3)-beta-D-glucan moiety from G. lucidum (PS-G) has shown evidence of enhancement of immune responses and of eliciting anti-tumor effects. Annexin V staining and MTT assays reveal that PS-G is able to inhibit spontaneous and Fas-induced neutrophil apoptosis, and this effect of PS-G is enhanced by the presence of zVAD (a caspase inhibitor) and GM-CSF. The antiapoptotic effect of PS-G is diminished by the presence of wortmannin and LY294002 (two PI-3K inhibitors), but is not altered by PD98059 (a MEK inhibitor). Western blotting indicates the stimulating effect of PS-G on Akt phosphorylation and its inhibition of procaspase 3 degradation, which occurs in neutrophils undergoing spontaneous apoptosis or triggered death by Fas. Taken together, PS-G elicitation of antiapoptotic effects on neutrophils primarily relies on activation of Akt-regulated signaling pathways.
A fucose-containing glycoprotein fraction which stimulates spleen cell proliferation and cytokine expression has been identified from the water-soluble extract of Ganoderma lucidum. Proteomic analysis of mouse spleen cells treated with this glycoprotein fraction showed approximately 50% change of the proteome. Further studies on the activities of this glycoprotein fraction through selective proteolysis and glycosidic cleavage indicate that a fucose containing polysaccharide fraction is responsible for stimulating the expression of cytokines, especially IL-1, IL-2 and INF-gamma.
Anti-allergic effect
ling zhi could obviously inhibit the allergic reaction of Guinea pig passively sensitized by egg albumen antiserum, tetanus toxoid antiserum on antigen attack, it could also significantly inhibit the release of allergic mediators such as histamine and SRS-A by lung tissue of Guinea pig actively sensitized by egg albumen antiserum or tetanaus toxoid antiserum on antigen attack. This effect would strengthen with the increase the dosage of ling zhi.
Anti-tumor effect
Water decoction of ling zhi could inhibit the growth of tumor. Hot water extract of mycelia of artificially cultured chi zhi had inhibitory effect on the growth of fibrosarcoma and metastasized focus of lung. Ganodenic acid, a kind of triterpene isolated from chi zhi, had cell toxicant on cultured liver carcoma in vitro.
The triterpene-enriched fraction, WEES-G6, was prepared from mycelia of G. lucidum by sequential hot water extraction, removal of ethanol-insoluble polysaccharides and then gel-filtration chromatography. It’s found that WEES-G6 inhibited growth of human hepatoma Huh-7 cells, but not Chang liver cells, a normal human liver cell line. Treatment with WEES-G6 caused a rapid decrease in the activity of cell growth regulative protein, PKC, and the activation of JNK and p38 MAP kinases. The changes in these molecules resulted in a prolonged G2 cell cycle phase and strong growth inhibition. None of these effects were seen in the normal liver cells. This findings suggest that the triterpenes contained in G. lucidum are potential anticancer agents.
A study was designed to investigate the protective effect of a dietary water-soluble extract from cultured medium of Ganoderma lucidum (Rei-shi or Mannentake) mycelia (designated as MAK) on the induction and development of azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon tumors in male F344/Du Crj rats. A total of 80 animals were divided into five groups at six weeks of age, groups 2, 3 and 4 being given weekly subcutaneous injections of AOM (15 mg/kg body onload=”highlight();” weight) for the initial 3 weeks to induce colon tumors. Rats in group 1 and 5 were injected with the vehicle, 0.9% (w/v) saline, following the same schedule. Rats in groups 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 were fed MF, MF, 1.25% MAK, 2.5% MAK and 2.5% MAK diets, respectively, starting 1 week before AOM treatment and throughout the six-month experimental period. There were no significant differences in number of ACF, total AC and AC per site among groups 2 to 4, but the tumor incidence was significantly lower, and tumor size was smaller in group 4 (AOM + 2.5% MAK) than in group 2 (AOM + MF). Additionally, beta-catenin positive tumor cell nuclei were significantly decreased in the MAK-fed rats (groups 3 and 4), which also demonstrated lowering of the PCNA labeling index and a shortened germinal region in the colon. The present results thus indicate that dietary MAK could act as a potent chemopreventive agent for colon carcinogenesis.
Spores or dried fruiting body onload=”highlight();” of G. lucidum inhibit constitutively active transcription factors AP-1 and NF-kappaB in breast MDA-MB-231 and prostate PC-3 cancer cells. Furthermore, Ganoderma inhibition of expression of uPA and uPA receptor (uPAR), as well secretion of uPA, resulted in the suppression of the migration of MDA-MB-231 and PC-3 cells. The data suggest that spores and unpurified fruiting body onload=”highlight();” of G. lucidum inhibit invasion of breast and prostate cancer cells by a common mechanism and could have potential therapeutic use for cancer treatment.
Different concentrations of Ganoderma lucidum(Leyss ex Fr) Karst Compound(GLC) (from 4 mg/ml to 12 mg/ml) could promote human bone marrow granulocyte-macrophage colony forming unit (CFU-GM) proliferation, but suppressed the growth of K562 leukemic cell colonies, and IC50 was 9.2 mg/.ml. The data from liquid culture demonstrated that GLC could suppress K562 cells proliferation in a dose-dependent(from 4 to 20 and time-dependent(from 1-5 days) manner. K562 cells could be induced to differentiate into more mature erythrocytic cells by 4 mg/.ml and 8 mg/ml GLC. It is concluded that GLC may be a good medicine for leukemia therapy.
Anti-aging effect
Water extract of chi zhi could prolong the average life span of drosophilas, but it could neither lengthen the maximum life time, nor inhibit the brain MAO-B activity in mice.
Antiviral effect
To investigate antiherpetic substances from Ganoderma lucidum, various protein bound polysaccharides, GLhw, GLhw-01, GLhw-02, GLhw-03, were isolated by activity-guided isolation from water soluble substances of the carpophores. These substances were examined for their antiviral activities against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) by plaque reduction assay in vitro. Among them, the acidic protein bound polysaccharide, GLhw-02 of a brownish substance, exhibited the most potent antiherpetic activity with 50% effective concentrations (EC50) of 300 approximately 520 microg/ml in Vero and HEp-2 cells, and its selectivity indices (SI) were more than 20. GLhw-02 was identified to consist mainly of polysaccharide (approximately 40.6%) and protein (approximately 7.80%) by anthrone test and Lowry-Folin test, and showed the usual molar ratio (C:H:O = 1:2:1) of carbohydrates by elemental analysis. These results suggest that GLhw-02 possesses the possibility of being developed from a new antiherpetic agent.
A new highly oxygenated triterpene named ganoderic acid alpha has been isolated from a methanol extract of the fruiting bodies of Ganoderma lucidum together with twelve known compounds. The structures of the isolated compounds were determined by spectroscopic means including 2D-NMR. Ganoderiol F and ganodermanontriol were found to be active as anti-HIV-1 agents with an inhibitory concentration of 7.8 micrograms ml-1 for both, and ganoderic acid B, ganoderiol B, ganoderic acid C1, 3 beta-5 alpha-dihydroxy-6 beta-methoxyergosta-7,22-diene, ganoderic acid alpha, ganoderic acid H and ganoderiol A were moderately active inhibitors against HIV-1 PR with a 50% inhibitory concentration of 0.17-0.23 mM.
Mucosal healing effect
Fruiting bodies of Ganoderma lucidum (GLPS) at 250 and 500 mg/kg by intragastric input caused ulcer-healing effect in the rat; this was accompanied with a significant suppression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha gene expression, but with an increased ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity. In RGM-1 cells, GLPS at 0.05, 0.25 and 1.0 mg/ml significantly enhanced [3H]thymidine incorporation and ODC activity in a concentration-dependent manner. However, these effects were abrogated by the addition of the ODC inhibitor, DL-alpha-difluoromethyl-ornithine (DFMO). GLPS at 0.25-1.0 mg/ml also increased mucus synthesis, as indicated by the increased D-[6-3H]glucosamine incorporation in RGM-1 cells. Furthermore, GLPS at 0.05-1.0 mg/ml increased the c-Myc protein expression. These findings indicated that GLPS produced a mucosal healing effect in the rat model, perhaps due partly to the suppression of TNF-alpha and induction of c-myc and ODC gene.
Antiperoxidative, antiinflammatory, and antimutagenic effects
The ethanol extract of the mycelium of Ganoderma lucidum occurring in south India showed significant inhibition of Fe2+-induced peroxidation of lipid in rat liver (IC(50) 510 +/- 22 micro g/ml) and 37% inhibition of croton oil-induced peroxidation on the mouse skin at 20 mg/0.1 ml/skin. Carrageenan-induced acute and formalin-induced chronic inflammatory edema were inhibited by 56 and 60%, respectively, by the extract at 1,000 mg/kg body onload=”highlight();” wt (i.p). The extract at a concentration of 5 mg/plate showed inhibition of mutagenicity elicited by direct acting mutagens, NaN(3) (55.5 and 75.7%) and MNNG (50.0 and 57.5%) for S. typhymurium strains TA100 and TA102, respectively. The extract at the same concentration also inhibited mutagenicity elicited by NPD (52.4 and 64.2%) and B[a]P (60.7 and 59.6%) for TA98 and TA100 strains, respectively. The B[a]P was activated in the presence of rat liver microsomal (S9) fraction. The results revealed that ethanol extract of Ganoderma lucidum mycelium possessed significant antiperoxidative, antiinflammatory, and antimutagenic activities. The findings suggest a medicinal use for the ethanol extract of the mycelium of G. lucidum occurring in South India.
Mice peritoneal macrophages were injured by reactive oxygen species (ROS), derived from tert-butylhydroperoxide (tBOOH). The survival rate of macrophages was measured by MTT assay, and the morphological changes of macrophages were observed under light and electron microscopes. It was found Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides peptide (GLPP) (50, 100, 200 mg/kg, ip for 5 d) could inhibit the foam cell formation and necrosis of macrophages. The survival rate of macrophages was increased. GLPP (3.125, 12.5, 50, 200 mg/L) given to the cultured macrophages brought the same protective effects. Under the electron microscope it was found that GLPP (100 mg/kg, ip, for 5 d) could protect the organelle such as mitochondria against injury by tBOOH. The results indicated that GLPP had significant scavenging ROS and antioxidant effects.
Hot water extract of Ganoderma lucidum dose-dependently exhibited antioxidative effect on mouse liver and kidney lipid peroxidation; this indicated that hepatic and renal homogenates have a higher malonic dialdehyde level in an ethanol administered group than in the Ganoderma lucidum treated group. It was concluded that the hepatic and renal protective mechanism of Ganoderma lucidum, might be due at least in part to its prominent superoxide scavenging effect. Ganoderma extract could protect the liver and kidney from superoxide induced hepatic and renal damages.
The amino-polysaccharide fraction (designated as ‘G009’) from Ganoderma lucidum was tested for the ability to protect against oxidative damage induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS). G009 significantly inhibited iron-induced lipid peroxidation in rat brain homogenates and showed a dose-dependent inactivation of hydroxyl radicals and superoxide anions. It also reduced strand breakage in phiX174 supercoiled DNA caused by UV-induced photolysis of hydrogen peroxide and attenuated phorbol ester-induced generation of superoxide anions in differentiated human promyelocytic leukaemia (HL-60) cells. These findings suggest that G009 from Ganoderma lucidum possesses chemopreventive potential.
Hot-water extract of Ganoderma lucidum had good radioprotective ability, as well as protection against DNA damage induced by metal-catalyzed Fenton reactions and UV irradiation. Water-soluble polysaccharide isolated from the fruit body onload=”highlight();” of Ganoderma lucidum was as effective as the hot-water extract in protecting against hydroxyl radical-induced DNA strand breaks, indicating that the polysaccharide compound is associated with the protective properties.

• Coronary heart disease: ling zhi preparation had therapeutic effects on angina pectoris and increased blood fat in coronary heart disease to a certain degree, it could lower serum cholesterol, triglyceride and b-lipoprotein. 20% Ling Zhi Tincture, 10ml tid was used to treat 30 cases of angina pectoris for consecutive more than half a year, the results were 17 markedly effective, 18 effective, 4 ineffective.
• Arrhythmia: Ling Zhi Injection was used to treat 53 cases of various types of arrhythmia, the results showed that arrhythmia disappeared completely in 20 cases, 13 improved, 7 had a relapse, and 13 were ineffective.
• Chronic bronchitis: ling zhi preparation had quite good therapeutic effect on chronic bronthitis, but it took effect slowly, usually 1~2 week after administration. It also had good long-term therapeutic effect.
• Bronchial asthma: Infantile patients with bronchial asthma were treated with Ling Zhi Injection im 1~2 ml for consecutive 1 month. 27 cases were treated, and 9 were markedly effective, 14 effective, and 4 ineffective.
• Viral hepatitis: ling zhi preparation was used to treat hepatitis of various types, the total effective rates were 73.07%~97%, markedly effect rates were 44%~76.4%. Generally speaking, it had better effects on acute hepatitis than on chronic hepatitis.
• Leukopenia: Artificially cultured ling zhi was used to treat 52 cases of leukopenia caused by various reasons, the results: 11 cases were markedly effective, 12 effective, 21 improved, the near-term effective rate was 84.6%, the total number of WBC increased by 1088/mm3.
• Malignant hemopathy: Lao Jun Xian (ling zhi) Oral Liquid combining chemotherapy was used to treat 26 cases of malignant hemopathy, the total effect rate was 88.9%.
• Impotence: Sliced ling zhi, 6g per day, was decocted with water to get concentrated juice. The juice was taken when getting up early with empty stomach, or 1 hour before meals. 36 cases were treated, the total effective rate was 93.94%.
• Infantile idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura: Ling Zhi Syrup (each ml contained 0.175g raw drug), 10~15mg, tid, a course of treatment consisted of 2 weeks ~ 2 months. 30 cases were treated, and 27 cases had an over half year follow-up survey, among them, 19 markedly effective, 3 effective, 1 improved, and 4 ineffective. The increase of platelet increase by more than 100,000/mm3 in 12 cases, 6~90,000/mm3 in 6 cases, 4~50,000/mm3 in 8 cases and 2~30,000/mm3 in 1 cases.


Dose: 1.5-15g or more (some say 15g is the minimum effective daily dose)

Suan Zao Ren – Zizyphus seed – Sour Jujube seed – “Sour Date Seed”

Nature: sweet, sour, neutral

Enters: Heart, Liver, Gallbladder, Spleen

Actions: Nourishes heart Yin and liver Yin/blood; quiets the Shen; astringes sweat.

• Heart and liver blood or Yin deficiency: insomnia, palpitations.
• Liver Yin deficiency with Yang rising: irritability.
• Weak constitution: spontaneous or night sweats.
• Sedative, hypnotic.
• Tolerance develops (abates with a break).
• Lowers blood pressure.
Raw: stronger sedative; can clear heat and treat insomnia due to Yin deficiency heat. May make some patients too sleepy.
Dry-fried: more effective for spontaneous sweats.
• Often combined with Hou po (Suan zao ren:Hou po ::2:1), Chen pi, or other herbs to counteract its greasiness.
• Can be taken alone, 4g 1-2 hours before bed for insomnia.
• Should be ground, or at least broken, before use.
Hsu: Stimulates the uterus, caution in pregnancy; inhibits the CNS.
BII: Suan Zao Ren Tang is as effective as some benzodiazepenes for nervousness, anxiety.
DY: Nourishes heart Yin and blood; quiets the Hun and Shen; supplements the liver and gallbladder; treats heart palpitations due to gallbladder deficiency.
• With Bai zi ren for mutual reinforcement, to effectively nourish both the liver and the heart, tranquilize the heart, and quiet the spirit. For indications such as:
– 1. Palpitations, profuse dreams, and insomnia due to heart blood (and Qi) deficiency. (Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan) Defatted Bai zi ren and stir-fried Suan zao ren should be used.
– 2. Constipation with dry stools due to blood deficiency and intestinal fluid insufficiency.

Dose: 9-20g

Shou Wu Teng (Ye Jiao Teng) Polygonum multiflorum vine (aerial portion of He Shou Wu) – “Vine to Pass Through the Night”

Nature: sweet, slightly bitter, neutral

Enters: Heart, Liver

Actions: Nourishes the heart and blood; unblocks the channels; quiets the Shen; alleviates itching.

• Yin or blood deficiency: insomnia, irritability, and especially dream-disturbed sleep
• Blood deficiency (with channel blockage): general weakness, soreness, pain, numbness.
• Topical: use as a wash for itching and rashes.
• I have found it unusually effective, even as a single herb, for insomnia.
MLT: Sore, aching, tired limbs from blood deficiency with internal wind.

Dose: 9-30g

Yuan Zhi – Polygala root – Chinese Senega – “Profound Will” or “Long-term Memory”

Nature: acrid, salty, slightly warm

Enters: Lung, Heart, maybe Kidney

Actions: Quiets the Shen; relieves mental stress; resolves phlegm; opens the orifices of the heart; disperses swelling; reduces abscesses; improves the memory; supports the Jing; disperses stagnant heart Qi, helps the heart and kidney communicate.

• Insomnia, palpitations, disorientation, poor memory, mental stress, restlessness, especially with brooding or constrained, pent-up emotions.
• Blockage of orifices of the heart by phlegm: mental disorders, fuzzy- headedness, epilepsy, emotional and mental disorientation.
• Lung phlegm: cough with copious sputum, especially when difficult to expectorate.
• Carbuncles, boils, abscesses, sores, swollen and painful breasts: (uncommon use) – used in powdered form and applied topically or taken with wine.
• Stimulates animal uteri.
• Excessive amounts can cause nausea and vomiting.
• Caution with peptic ulcer, gastritis.
Li Shi Zhen: This herb reaches the kidneys, improves the memory, supports the Jing.
Li: Warm and drying – caution with Yin deficiency.
DY: Use honey-fried or licorice-processed to avoid irritation to gastric mucous membranes and nausea.
MLT: Similar to various Western species, including Western Senega Snake root.

Dose: 6-9g

Part Two Begins Here: Heavy Substances That Anchor the Shen

These substances are all minerals, with the exception of Hu Po (amber). Their “heavy” quality can be thought of through the doctrine of signatures as conferring an anchoring effect on the Shen. In the case of amber, although it’s not a mineral (instead, old, hardened sap), its qualities of being  old and very slow to form perhaps contribute to a similar quality.

These herbs are all somewhat difficult to digest and are minimally soluble in water. For this reason, it doesn’t exactly make sense to purchase them as granules. They are as potent as they can get in their raw form. Unlike a plant herb, where something can be extracted and potentiated, a decoction or granule is going to be much, much weaker than the raw substance. It’s like taking a 1 gram calcium tablet, boiling it in water, straining the liquid, and dumping out the calcium powder that’s at the bottom of the pan. How much do you think made it into the water? Just a fraction of what was in the pill. The only possible advantage to using any of these herbs as granules might be that they’re easier to digest than the raw powder, but this is only because they’re mostly starch and very little mineral. For much less money, you could have just used the raw powdered medicinal at a dose of something like 10-20% of what you would have used in granule form (you’ll have to figure out the actual math on this).

Ci Shi – Magnetite – (Oxides of Iron, also Magnesium and Aluminum) – “Magnetic Stone”

Nature: acrid, salty, cold

Enters: Heart, Liver, Kidney

Actions: Anchors and quiets the Shen; subdues liver Yang rising; nourishes the kidneys and liver; brightens the eyes and promotes hearing; brings Qi from Lung to the kidneys (aids the kidneys in grasping the Qi).

• Hyperactive liver Yang due to liver Yin deficiency: restlessness, insomnia, palpitations, dizziness, headache, convulsions, tremors.
• Fear: convulsions in children.
• Liver/kidney Yin deficiency: blurry vision, tinnitus, poor hearing or deafness.
• Kidney Qi deficiency: asthma.
• Caution for long term use: probably contains heavy metals.
• Very difficult to digest.
• Be cautious of damage to the (anatomical) liver and heart.
• Usually prepared by being fired, dipped in vinegar, then pulverized.
• Generally cooked 20-30 minutes longer than other herbs.
DY: Should be systematically combined with Shen qu (which “enables the digestion of metals”) so it can be digested.
• With Shi chang pu to enrich the kidneys, calm the liver, diffuse impediment, open the portals, and sharpen the hearing. For indications such as:
– 1. Tinnitus and/or deafness due to Yin deficiency or deficiency fire. (Use vinegar dip-calcined Ci shi.)
– 2. Headaches, vertigo, heart palpitations, vexation and agitation, and insomnia due to Yin deficiency causing Yang hyperactivity. (Use unprepared Ci shi. However, it is important to know this form can cause abdominal pain. Therefore, the dosage should be moderate [15g] and it should be combined with Shen qu.)
Hsu: Inhibits the CNS; stimulates formation of blood cells (hemopoietic).

Dose: 9-30g (1-3g directly as powder)

Hu Po – Amber – Succinum

Nature: sweet, neutral

Enters: Heart, Liver, Bladder

Actions: Anchors and quiets the Shen; relieves convulsions, tremors, and palpitations; promotes blood circulation; dispels blood stasis; promotes urination; reduces swelling and promotes healing.

• Shen disturbance: insomnia, palpitations, excessive dreams, forgetfulness, anxiety, seizures; also for childhood convulsions and seizures.
• Blood stasis: amenorrhea, pain from trauma, palpable immobile masses; coronary heart disease.
• Scanty, difficult urination or retention of urine, hematuria.
• Sores, carbuncles, ulcerations of the skin, swelling and pain around the scrotum or vulvular area.
• Generally not cooked.

Dose: 0.9-3g (directly as powder or pill)

SD: Not all amber is derived from pine resin, as other trees also release similar resins, but pines are considered a primary source. Pine resin contains a number of aromatic compounds: the terpenes, such as pinene, carene, sabinene, limonene, etc., which may be lost during the period of aging to become amber. There are also molecules that give the resin its sticky quality, such as those that make up the hardened pine resin product called colophonium (rosin), mainly abietic acid (image above) and pimaric acid.

These compounds found in pine resin are either pure hydrocarbon (pinene is an example of a pure hydrocarbon, containing only carbon and hydrogen), or hydrocarbons with small amounts of oxygen. There is very little of any other element in the resin (some resins may contain sulfur; a small amount of minerals might be present).

When the tree resin resides in the ground for millions of years, it hardens as moisture is lost and as some of the hydrocarbons cross-link (polymerize) to form longer chains. Pine resin has a relatively low cross-linking capability, so the process is slow and limited. The resulting amber is still chemically similar to the original resin, but it contains more of an essentially inert hydrocarbon mass, which is what gives it the hardness and glass-like nature that is appreciated when using amber for decorative items. Amber still contains some of the larger terpene molecules (4). In a single study of Baltic amber reported in 1877, but repeated by most modern authors, it was said to have 3-8% succinate (succinic acid), which is probably a derivative of the original simple terpenes.


Succinum is classified in China as being sweet in taste (though, in fact, it has barely any taste, being only slightly bitter and sweet; it has no fragrance), and neutral in nature. It is useless in decoction because so little material is extracted in boiling water (there is some extraction into alcoholic media). Mainly, Chinese amber is ground to powder and swallowed down with water or, more commonly, with a decoction of herbs that make up a formula with the succinum. It is also combined into pills made with powder or extract of the other ingredients. Typical dosing for succinum is 1.5-3.0 grams for one day. Because the powder is very fine, to avoid getting it stuck in the throat or inhaled, it is common to stir the powder into the warm decoction and swallow it down; being soaked in the liquid, the powder won’t cause any problems.

In the Materia Medica (5), succinum is listed among the “settling” or “heavy” sedatives, which are mainly mineral materials; in fact, amber is organic and quite light weight. There is an ancient saying in China that “when the tiger dies, its soul enters the earth and transforms into stone,” referring to the droplets of amber. So the material is called tiger’s soul: hupo (the po is the bodily soul; there are also spirit souls, called hun, that can roam about, but the po goes into the ground). Another sedative used by the Chinese is called fu-shen (spirit of poria), which is a segment of pine root with a solid fungus, poria (also called hoelen), that grows on it. In terms of sedative effects, fu-shen and amber are attributed similar properties. The properties of amber are also shared with other, chemically unrelated, fossil materials such as dragon bone and dragon teeth (mainly fossilized remains of mastodons and other large animals from the ice age period; they are mainly composed of calcium carbonate and other mineral components).

The calming effect of succinum is only one of the claimed properties, which include these main areas:

Subduing fright, tranquilizing the mind, and relieving convulsion. Succinum is used in the treatment of palpitation, amnesia, dreaminess, insomnia, epilepsy, etc. According to Jiao Shude (6), it is mainly used to treat epilepsy; this is typically first diagnosed during childhood, so amber is used in pediatric formulas. According to the traditional Chinese viewpoint (which differs markedly from the modern medical interpretation in this regard), epilepsy is caused by children becoming frightened when they see a strange sight or hear a strange sound. An example of a Chinese treatment for epilepsy in babies and young children is the ancient Hupo Zhenjing Wan (Amber Fright-Settling Pill), a formula of 25 ingredients (7), including minerals (pearl, cinnabar, realgar; the latter two are based on heavy metals), animal parts from endangered species (rhino horn, musk), as well as ordinary herbs (mentha, angelica, uncaria, etc.). A smaller version of this formula is called Hupo San (Amber Powder), with 14 ingredients, but including the cinnabar and musk, as well as other substances of concern; several of its ingredients must be swallowed as powder, the others made into tea. A more suitable formula incorporating amber for modern use is Hupo Duomei Wan (Amber Sleep-improving Pill), made with just five ingredients: amber, codonopsis, hoelen, licorice, and antelope horn (an endangered animal species, that can be substituted by their domestic water buffalo horn); this formula is not indicated for epilepsy, however.

Alleviating water retention and relieving stranguria (difficult urination). Succinum is applied to the urinary disorders such as stranguria complicated by hematuria (blood in the urine), particularly when caused by pathogenic heat. Succinum is considered to be like hoelen, with which it is often combined, in promoting urination through its bland nature. A formula for kidney and bladder stones, with blood in the urine, is called Hupo San (Amber Powder; different than the formula by the same name mentioned above), with amber, plantago seed, juncus, and mentha (the three herbs are made as tea, which is then used to swallow down the amber powder). A modern formula, produced in Taiwan (Kaiser Pharmaceuticals) and sold worldwide, is Hupo Huashi Pian (Amber Stone-Transforming Tablets), which is used for kidney and bladder stones with blood in the urine; the formula includes imperata and san-chi (notoginseng; also called tien-chi ginseng) for stopping or preventing bleeding, and diuretic herbs for promoting the passage of stones. Some of the ingredients of the tablet, such as desmodium, lygodium spore, and orthosiphon, are reputed to shrink stones. In a Chinese clinical report (8), a formula called Paishi Decoction was given to 215 patients with renal, urethra, or bladder stones every four hours, resulting in elimination of stones in nearly 60% of the patients. The formula included amber, dianthus, plantago seed, gardenia, lysimachia, gallus (jineijin), rehmannia, achyranthes, lygodium spore, phellodendron, akebia, and licorice. A similar formula (9), called Rongshi Decoction (replacing dianthus, rehmannia, and phellodendron with malva, talc, bamboo leaf, and rhubarb), was given twice daily to 32 patients with stones in the urinary system. This method required an average treatment time of 45 days, but it was claimed that 30 patients had passed their stones. A third formula of similar nature (10), called Hupo Shiwei Decoction, using pyrrosia, talc, lysimachia, and lygodium spore as the main diuretic herbs, and with several blood vitalizing herbs (e.g., red peony, sparganium, zedoaria, and vaccaria) to accompany the amber, was given three times daily to 51 patients having urolithiasis. It was reported that 35 were cured, and that stones were found in the urine of many of the patients, the largest stone passed was 1.6 x 0.8 cm. In the Chinese clinical work, patients were told to drink plenty of water and also to do jumping exercises to try and help move the stones down.

Promoting blood circulation to remove blood stasis. Succinum is used in the treatment of amenorrhea and abdominal mass caused by blood stasis and stagnation of vital energy. Amber is also recommended for lower abdominal pains affecting the genitalia, such as pain of the testes, prostate, uterus, or vulvar region. Amber is included in the 28-ingredient formula Da Tiaojing Wan (Major Menstruation-Regulating Pill) for irregular and painful menstruation (7). A clinical report (11) described a formula for benign prostate swelling, called Bushen Sanjie Decoction, derived from the traditional Rehmannia Eight Formula with addition of tonic herbs, such as codonopsis, astragalus, and asparagus, and blood vitalizing herbs, including amber, pangolin scale, eupolyphaga. It was claimed that following treatment for 6-12 months, 25 of the 30 patients so treated showed some improvement. Recently, amber has been included in some formulas for treatment of heart disease, because of its claimed blood vitalizing effects; for example, it was combined with ginseng and notoginseng in the treatment of angina (12). Yang Yifan (13) also mentions the use for heart disease, saying: “In clinical practice, it is used for patients with heart diseases when the blood is not circulating properly, and at the same time the patient has palpitations and restlessness, such as seen in coronary heart disease.” The same formula with amber, ginseng, and notoginseng has been prescribed in cases of chronic liver disease to normalize the blood conditions (14). Jiao Shude (6) mentions that amber “frees the orifices” which is designation for treating conditions such as atherosclerotic blockage of the arteries and blood clots that can cause angina, heart attack, and stroke.

Other internal uses: Amber is used as an ingredient in tonic formulas, often along with pearl powder. A qi and blood tonic formula for lowering blood lipids-Jianyanling-is comprised mainly of amber, astragalus, pearl, rehmannia, ho-shou-wu, polygonatum root, and American ginseng; in addition to lowering lipids, it is used as an anti-aging formulation and a treatment to aid recovery for cancer patients after undergoing standard medical therapies (15, 16). Succinum is used in treating stomach ache, also in formulas with pearl. An example is the formula designated Weibao; the basic formula is comprised of pearl and amber with alisma, indigo (qingdai), mume, bletilla, licorice, san-chi, and rhubarb. To this, various additions would be made according to the presenting signs. In the study report of 100 patients treated with the Weibao formulas for chronic gastritis, about 80% of patients were said to show significant improvement of symptoms when using the herbs for 3-6 months (17).

Topical applications: Astringing ulcers and promoting tissue regeneration. Used externally, it is efficacious in the treatment of ulcers, boils, swellings, etc.

Since this fossil resin has ingredients in common with those of the original resin, a look at other Chinese pine materials that contain the resin may shed light on the actions of amber. Aside from fu-shen (mentioned previously), there are two of them still used today (5):

Colophonium (pine resin; rosin; originally called songzhi = pine teeth, and now called songxiang = pine fragrance) is said to be sweet and warm, and having the properties of drying dampness and dispelling wind and wind-damp (e.g., treats rheumatism). It is mainly used topically.

Pine Nodes (songjie = pine node) is described as bitter and warm, having the properties of dispelling wind, drying dampness, and strengthening tendons and muscles. It is often used for “rheumatism.”

Further, if one examines other resins, such as “dragon’s blood” (xuejie), used in Chinese medicine, they are typically recommended for vitalizing blood and alleviating pain, and applied topically to heal wounds.

Long Gu – Fossilized Bone (usually mammal vertebrae and extremities) – “Dragon Bone”

Nature: sweet, astringent, slightly cold

Enters: Heart, Liver, Kidney

Actions: Anchors and quiets the Shen; subdues the liver; suppresses liver Yang rising; astringes and controls any body fluids.

• Heart/shen agitation: insomnia, palpitations, epilepsy, depression, mania, anxiety.
• Liver Yang rising: dizziness, restlessness, irritability, easily angered, blurry vision, vertigo.
• Deficiency/weak body constitution: spermatorrhea, leukorrhea, uterine bleeding, night sweats, spontaneous sweating, vaginal discharge.
• Topical: powdered and calcined for non-healing carbuncles, furuncles, sores and ulcerations.
• Its sedative property is probably due, in part, to its richness in calcium.
• Drier than Mu li and stronger to settle the Shen, better for tremors.
• Often used with Mu li to harness rising Yang.
• Use Long gu raw to settle and calm the Shen.
• Use the calcined form as an astringent for preventing leakage of fluids and for non-healing sores.
• Cook 20-30 minutes longer than other herbs.
Hsu: Anti-inflammatory, expectorant, hemostatic, astringent.
DY: Quiets the Hun.

Dose: 15-30g

Long Chi: fossilized teeth
• Astringent, cool.
• Basically same as Long gu, but more sedating, and especially good for palpitations with anxiety, insomnia, and dream-disturbed sleep.

Dose: 9-15g

Sheng Tie Luo – Iron filings – “Raw Iron Leavings”

Nature: acrid, cool

Enters: Heart, Liver

Actions: Calms the liver; sedates the Shen.

• Withdrawal-mania, delirium from febrile disease, palpitations, insomnia, being easily startled or prone to anger.
• Decoct for an extra 60-90 minutes.
• Note high doses of iron are toxic, particularly to children. Even in adults, excess iron may contribute to an increased risk of heart disease and colon cancer.

Dose: 9-30g

Zhu Sha – Cinnabar – Mercuric Sulfide – “Vermillion Sand”

Nature: sweet, cold, toxic

Enters: Heart

Actions: Anchors and quiets the Shen; clears heat and eliminates toxicity from the heart; sedates the heart; prevents putrefaction; expels phlegm and clears heat.

• Shen disturbance / hyperactive fire in the heart: insomnia, hot sensation in the chest, palpitations, restlessness, anxiety, convulsions. Depending on the herbs with which it is combined, it can be used for treating patterns of heat excess, phlegm-heat, or blood deficiency.
• Heat and toxicity: carbuncles.
• Topical: mouth sores, sore throat, snake bite, carbuncles.
• Wind-phlegm dizziness and Lung heat
• Especially indicated in cases resulting from fright and anxiety.
• Antiseptic
• Use only the recommended dosage, take for a short time.
• Contraindicated in patients with a Western diagnosis of liver or kidney disease.
• To avoid mercury poisoning, DO NOT HEAT this herb.
Jin: Can substitute Hu po when Zhu sha is unavailable or inappropriate. [Or illegal]
Liu: Temporary use of appropriate dose when indicated is harmless.
Li: “[When overused] this herb makes people stupid.”

Dose: 0.3-2.7g (directly as powder or pill, or added to strained decoction)

Zi Shi Ying – Fluorite (Calcium Fluorite) – (Amethyst also used) – “Purple Stone Radiance”

Nature: sweet, warm

Enters: Heart, Liver

Actions: Sedates the heart; settles tremors and palpitations; warms the Lungs; directs Qi downward; warms the womb.

• Heart blood deficiency or liver Yang rising: disorientation, trauma, insomnia, anxiety, convulsions.
• Lung deficiency cold: cough, wheezing, copious sputum.
• Deficiency cold of the womb: excessive menstruation, uterine bleeding, infertility.
• Best herb in the category for palpitations and irritability due to Yang rising and excessive heart fire due to blood deficiency.
• Cook 20-30 minutes longer than other herbs.

Dose: 6-15g