Xiang Ru – Elscholtzia – Aromatic Madder – “Fragrant Soft Herb”

Nature: acrid, slightly warm

Enters: Lung, Stomach

Actions: Releases exterior syndromes by promoting sweating (strong); expels summer-heat; adjusts function of the stomach to resolve dampness; promotes urination, relieves edema; reduces swelling.

• Wind-cold or summer-heat with dampness: fever, aversion to cold, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, lack of sweats, chills, body aches, diarrhea.
• Edema with scanty urination, urinary difficulty, especially when associated with an exterior pattern.
• Simultaneously expels summer-heat from the exterior and transforms turbid dampness in the interior.
• Mainly used in summer.
• For exterior disorders, cook only a short time.
• For edema, cook a long time into a concentrated decoction.
• So effective for summer-heat with dampness that it is sometimes called the “summertime Ma huang.”
• May cause vomiting if taken hot. Take at a room temperature or add Huang qin or Huang lian to reduce this effect.

Dose: 3-9g

4 comments on “Xiang Ru – Elscholtzia – Aromatic Madder – “Fragrant Soft Herb”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Can this herb be used for halitosis, especially when combined with Prunella (Xia Ku Cao) and Mint (Bo He)?

    • Peter Borten says:

      Perhaps, but other than bo he (mainly because of its flavor, not its actions) these wouldn’t be the first herbs that come to mind for halitosis. Being mainly a symptom of stomach heat, and possibly spleen dampness or phlegm, the herbs you mentioned don’t effectively address those patterns in a direct way. I recommend looking into the entries on Lu Gen, Zhu Ru, Pei Lan, and Huang Lian on this site. It’s possible that in some cases (Spleen Qi xu with dampness) herbs such as Bai Zhu, Fu Ling, and Yi Zhi Ren May be more effective.

      • Anonymous says:

        So, would Xiang Ru, combined with Bai Zhu, Xia Ku Cao, Huo Xiang, and Zi Su Ye, be a good formula for halitosis?

        Also, the flavor of Xiang Ru tastes very similar to thyme.

        • Peter Borten says:

          That might be fine, though again, (1) those wouldn’t all be among my first choices, and (2) I’m not sure whether you’re looking to treat a particular ROOT PATTERN (e.g., stomach heat) or – depending on the form of administration (e.g., spray, lozenge, etc) – just aim for masking the bad smell, or to approach it from more of a western antibacterial perspective. For instance, you have the fire-clearing herb xia ku cao included there, but it doesn’t enter the stomach, so again, it wouldn’t be my first choice. That’s why I recommended Lu Gen or Zhu Ru. If you wanted to include something to kill bacteria AND enhance the flavor, you might consider Ding Xiang, Rou Gui, etc., though of course, these are heating herbs and could exacerbate stomach heat if taken in large enough doses. My concern with a formula that’s simply a bunch of herbs that smell/taste good and fresh is that once they’re swallowed, their effect won’t last much longer if they don’t ALSO address the underlying pattern. Zhu Ru, for instance, has almost no taste at all, but if it effectively directed rebellious stomach qi downward and cleared present stomach heat, it could actually FIX the problem within a few doses.

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