Nature: bitter, cold, very toxic
Enters: Liver, Spleen
Actions: Unblocks the channels, disperses clumps, reduces swelling, alleviates pain.
• Internal or external for abscesses, sores, yin-type ulcers, and swelling and pain due to trauma.
• Wind-damp Bi, paresthesias, spasms.
• Recently used in the treatment of various types of tumors.
• Facial paralysis: the herb was applied locally as a paste in over 15,000 cases, with effective results in 80% of the cases.
• Contains strychnine. Overdoses in humans have been recorded with as little as 50 mg of the herb. Overdosage presents with a crawling sensation in the cervical area, difficulty in swallowing, and irritability. The progresses to convulsions of great force.
• Used externally in powders for local application, including insufflation into the throat.
Rudolf Weiss (Herbal Medicine): In small doses, the herb is a bitter tonic. This herb is the leading nervous system stimulant. Indispensable as a major nerve tonic. The drug of choice when one needs powerful and lasting stimulation of the nervous system. Often used for the elderly, and for pale children lacking an appetite (good with galanga). For nervous stomach conditions, it also reduces sensitivity to pain.
• According to Weiss, this herb is safer than stated. “Really good results are achieved only with relatively large doses: 10-20 drops of the tincture in a glass of water three times daily.”
[Other sources (Potter’s Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations) are much more cautionary – strychnine can be fatal.]
Hong-Yen Hsu (Oriental Materia Medica): Promotes blood circulation and breathing; can induce muscular tetany; increases intestinal peristalsis.
Dose: 0.3-0.9g internally in pills and powders