Xu Duan – Dipsacus – Teasel root – “Restore What is Broken”

Nature: bitter, sweet, acrid, slightly warm

Enters: Liver, Kidney

Actions: Promotes tendon and bone regeneration, generates flesh; tonifies the liver and kidneys; promotes blood circulation, alleviates pain; stops uterine bleeding; calms the fetus.

• Liver and kidney deficiency: weak lumbar region, knees and legs, stiff joints, seminal emission, uterine bleeding, threatened miscarriage with bleeding, restless fetus.
• Topical or internal: for trauma, sores, pain, swelling, Bi syndrome (especially of the lumbar region and limbs).
• Given its ability to control excessive menstrual bleeding, its Yang nature, and its ability to support a fetus, Kou believe this herb has a progesterone-supporting effect and in high doses (30-60g), he says it effectively treats estrogen dominance.
• Tonifies without causing stagnation.
• Much milder than Du zhong at tonifying the liver and kidneys.
• Compared to Du zhong, Xu duan is used more to treat lower back pain with significant aspects of both wind-damp and kidney deficiency, while Du zhong is more effective when the problem is due primarily to deficiency.
• Fry in vinegar to enhance its ability to promote blood circulation and alleviate pain.
• Roasting with salt facilitates its entry into the kidney channel.
• Dry-fry or char for excessive uterine bleeding.
• Powder for topical application.
Hsu: Induces eruption of pus, stops bleeding, promotes tissue regeneration, analgesic effect on patients with carbuncle dermatosis.
Dui Yao (Sionneau & Flaws): Stops metrorrhagia during pregnancy.
• With Du zhong for mutual reinforcement, to supplement the liver and kidneys, strengthen the sinews and bones, stop metrorrhagia during pregnancy, and quiet the fetus. For specific indications and notes, See Du zhong in this category.
Matt Wood: For torn, stretched or wrenched joints, especially in large people who throw joints out with force. Chronic muscle inflammation, limitation of movement, great pain. Widespread arthritis, stiffness, incapacitation.
• Nerve irritation, sciatica.
• Intermittent fever.
• Regarding its literal translation, “restore what is broken,” it can be used for anything “broken” in one’s life, so that a part of one’s path cannot become manifest. “For people who had a use but lost it.” Helplessness, loss of purpose.
• Powerful remedy for Lyme disease (“deer syphilis”) and Lyme-like diseases. Deer appreciate this plant for relieving a disease they carry the vector for.
• MW dosing: 1-3 drops tincture 1-3 times daily. If this produces an aggravation, the dose may be lessened. Caution: may cause a healing crisis first (perhaps syphilis-like, genital rash, etc.).
• Doctrine of signatures: The thorny stalks are a signature for tension and nerve irritation. The tall, hard stalks which remain strong through the winter seem to indicate an affinity for the bones. At intervals along the stem the opposite leaves merge to form a cup which holds water after a rain – a remedy for joints and the kidney essence.

Dose: 6-30g

12 comments on “Xu Duan – Dipsacus – Teasel root – “Restore What is Broken”

  1. linda Young says:

    I am interested in obtaining this herb I suffer with sciatica and back problem and I saw in a herbal magazine.

    • Sunny says:

      I saw Dr Berg on YouTube massage the sciatic nerve on the opposite side to relieve pain immediately. Maybe it will help till this does?

  2. kathy everett says:

    Great description and amazing herb. I would like to try it for kidney health. I have cysts and small, small bit of blood in urine. Sure it will heal.

    • Peter Borten says:

      Hi Kathy, it IS an amazing herb, though not the first thing I’d think of for cysts. You may want to consider a comprehensive formula and someone else’s perspective. Might be more a case for Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan or Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan or Zhen Wu Tang, etc.

  3. JC says:

    Is it safe/appropriate to take this with Tan Ma Gou Teng Wan?

    • Peter Borten says:

      I don’t what your personal health / presentation is like, so I can’t advise. However, Xu Duan is a pretty mild herb, and while it could be a little bit counter to the direction of the formula (which does, though, contain a relatively similar herb, Du Zhong), it’s probably unlikely to cause any problems.

  4. Laura says:

    My md wants me to take teasel for Lyme’s but I have a lot of allergies and find I cannot do drops (unless I make them myself). I have been making tea and using it in my kombucha. Is that acceptable? I have been unable to find instructions on making tea or on making a tincture and have been guessing. Can you help me with instructions? Thank you!

    • Peter Borten says:

      You can find instructions on making a maceration-type tincture online. Essentially, you will take a certain quantity of the dried, bulk herb, finely chopped or coarsely powdered, and mix this with 100 proof alcohol. You could use a 100 proof vodka or brandy, or you could make your own with a blend of pure grain alcohol (which is actually 95% alcohol) and distilled water. You can put the herb in a jar, add just enough liquid to cover the herbs by an inch, and then close the jar tightly. Or you can go with a traditional ratio of 1:5, which means 5 parts (in milliliters) of liquid to each 1 part (in grams) of herb. So, for 100 grams of the herb you could use 500 mL of liquid. Keep the jar in a dark, cool place and shake it vigorously every day for a minute. After two weeks, dump the liquid into a bowl with a few layers of cheese cloth laid over the top. Wrap up the wet herb in the cheese cloth and wring the rest of the liquid out. Then put all the liquid in a clean jar and let it sit for a day or two in the dark. Then pour it through a coffee filter (you can just toss the sediment at the bottom) into a new jar. This is your final tincture, which should keep for at least 3 years if stored well.
      – Peter

  5. Topical for psoriasis. I have used this agent topically on psoritic lesions with (+) effect on reducing lesions and plaques.

  6. Irisha says:

    I was intending to use teasel root tincture to prevent miscarriage.I am trying for a 3rd child after 11 years,I’m in my mid 30’s.I’m in very early stages of pregnancy now,this year suffered 2 miscarriages.Is it safe to have it throughout entire pregnancy ?
    Thank you in advance

    • Peter Borten says:

      Yes, it’s safe throughout pregnancy, though I would use it in a more personalized formula with other herbs that help prevent miscarriage.

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