Antipyretic, Refrigerant, Fever Reducing Herbs

Antipyretics and refrigerants are those drugs which “clear up internal heat.” They are used against all ailments and symptoms caused by excess internal heat: dysentery ulcers, abscesses, carbuncles, sore and swollen eyes, hot throat and parched mouth, heat-rash, liver and gland inflammations, dizziness, delirium, jaundice, insomnia, and others The Internal Book of Huang Di instructs, “If it’s hot, cool it down.”

Chinese herbal manuals distinguish six sub-categories of fever reducing herbs:

  1. “Purge-fire” types are used when the body is literally “over-heated” from excess “hot” and “full” conditions.
  2. “Clear liver, brighten eyes” herbs are used against liver inflammations and attendant symptoms, such as sore, swollen, and red eyes, blurry vision, headaches, etc
  3. “Clear heat, cool blood” medicines go directly to the blood to “cool” down side-effects of heat excess in that vital bodily humor.
  4. “Clear heat, expel poison” type herbs eliminate natural toxins, such as pus, produced in the body due to heat excess; they are also general antidotes.
  5. “Clear heat, dry dampness” drugs are used against symptoms of “damp-full” and “damp-hot” excess, such as summer colds, aching joints and muscles, leukorrhoea, jaundice, etc
  6. “Clear empty-heat” items are used in cases of “dry-hot” excess and in heat injuries caused by blood or energy deficiency.

These drugs are all “cold” or “cool” yin medicines. Those with yang-energy deficiency and/or weak stomach and spleen should use these items sparingly.

GYPSUM

      GYPSUM FIBROSUM

Natural distribution: Common world-wide

Parts used: Crystal

Nature: Pungent, sweet; very cold

Affinity: Lungs, stomach

Effects: Antipyretic; antiphlogistic- astringent

Indications: Physical and emotional symptoms of heat excess: body heat, thirst, heat rash, headache, toothache; heat excess in stomach and lungs; coughs due to asthma and bronchitis; external application to abscesses and burns

Dosage: 10-35 g

ANEMARRHENA ASPHODELOIDES

  ANEMARRHENA ASPHODELOIDES

 

Natural distribution: Northern China

Parts used: Rhizomes and stems

Nature: Bitter; cold

Affinity: Lungs, stomach, kidneys

Effects: Antipyretic; demulcent; tonic to kidneys

Indications: Body heat, irritability thirst, insomnia, etc due to heat excess; pneumonia and chronic bronchitis; “yin-empty” ailments

Dosage: 3-7 g

Remarks: This drug is incompatible with iron preparations.

GARDENIA

      GARDENIA JASMINOIDES


Natural distribution:
China, Taiwan, Japan

Parts used: Mature fruit Nature: Bitter; cold

Affinity: Heart, liver, lungs, stomach

Effects: Antipyretic; refrigerant to blood; antidote; antiphlogistic; hemostatic

Indications: Heat excess ailments: fever, restlessness, irritability, nosebleeds, blood in urine and sputum, swollen and sore eyes, abscesses

Dosage: 5-10 g

Remarks: A paste of the herb with flour and wine is used as poultice on twists, sprains, strains, bruises, and abscesses; very effective in injuries to tendons, ligaments, joints, and muscles.

REED GRASS

        PHRAGMITES COMMUNIS


Natural distribution:
Common world-wide

Parts used: Roots and stems

Nature: Sweet; cold

Affinity: Lungs, stomach

Effects: Antipyretic; demulcent; refrigerant to stomach and lungs

Indications: Body heat, thirst and parched throat due to heat excess; vomiting due to excess stomach heat; coughing and thick, dark phlegm due to excess lung heat

Dosage: 20-40 g

Remarks: The herb is an antidote in food poisoning, especially from seafood.

 

VARIOUS SPECIES OF BAMBOO

   PHYLLOSTACHYS [genus]
Natural distribution: Central China, Japan

Parts used: Leaves

Nature: Sweet; cold

Affinity: Heart, small intestine

Effects: Antipyretic; diuretic; anti-spasmodic

Indications: Body heat, thirst, irritability, abscesses in mouth, dark and scanty urine due to heat excess

Dosage: 10-15 g

Remarks: The fresh leaves are more effective for heat excess symptoms in stomach, heart, and parts above; the dried leaves are better for diuretic purposes.

SELF-HEAL or HEAL-ALL

PRUNELLA VULGARIS

Natural distribution: Northern China, northern Europe, North America

Parts used: Rowers and kernels (inflorescence)

Nature: Pungent and bitter; cold

Affinity: Liver, gall bladder

Effects: Antipyretic; refrigerant to liver; diuretic; reduces swelling of lymph glands

Indications: Jaundice: sore and swollen eyeballs; over-sensitivity to light; headache and dizziness; gout; scrofula; high blood pressure

Dosage: 5-7 g

Remarks: This drug is highly effective in all symptoms of jaundice.

QUAIL GRASS

         CELOSIA ARGENTEA

Natural distribution: Southern China, India, Sri Lanka, Africa, America

Parts used: Seeds

Nature: Bitter; slightly cold

Affinity: Liver

Effects: Antipyretic and antiphlogistic to liver; astringent in conjunctivitis

Indications: High blood pressure, all attendant eye problems

Dosage: 6-15 g

Remarks: A recent, effective new application of this drug is to mix it with Chrysanthemum and Prunella vulgaris for high blood pressure.

LOTUS

NELUMBO NUCIFERA

Natural distribution: Asia, Australia

Parts used: Leaves

Nature: Bitter; neutral

Affinity: Liver, spleen, stomach

Effects: Antipyretic; refrigerant

Indications: Summer-heat ailments; oppression in chest; pressure in head; thirst; dark and scanty urine

Dosage: Vi of a leaf per dose

Remarks: Every part of the lotus plant is used in medicine: the stem relieves congestion in chest due to “damp-heat” excess; the peduncle is used for stomach aches, to calm the
foetus, and leukorrhoea; the seeds are used for insomnia, spermatorrhoea, and diarrhea; the stamens are a preventive for premature ejaculation.

SICKLE SENNA

CASSIA TORA

Natural distribution: Southern China, Indochina, India, Southeast Asia

Parts used: Seeds

Nature: Sweet, bitter and salty; slightly cold

Affinity: Liver, gall bladder

Effects: Antipyretic to liver; laxative; promotes clear vision

Indications: All eye problems due to liver inflammation: swelling, soreness, over-sensitivity to light, etc Dosage: 5-8 g

Remarks: A very natural-acting laxative; safe and effective for chronic constipation; it also lowers blood pressure effectively

REHMANNIA GLUTINOSA

REHMANNIA GLUTINOSA

Natural distribution: Northern China

Parts used: Root

Nature: Sweet; cold

Affinity: Heart, liver, kidneys, small intestine

Effects: Antipyretic; “cools” and tonifies the blood; cardiotonic; demulcent; hemostatic; diuretic

Indications: Body heat and heat rash due to internal heat excess; yin deficiency due to heat injuries; diabetes Dosage: 5-8 g

Remarks: A strong cardiovascular tonic, excellent for patients with weak hearts; this drug effectively lowers blood sugar

LITHOSPERMUM ERYTHRORHIZON

LITHOSPERMUM ERYTHRORHIZON

Natural distribution: Northern China, Japan

Parts used: Roots

Nature: Sweet; cold

Affinity: Heart, liver

Effects: Antipyretic; “cools” the blood; antidote to body toxins induced by heat excess

Indications: Heat-rash, itchy skin, etc due to internal heat excess; measles

Dosage: 5-8 g Remarks: The drug is applied as an external emollient to eczema, abscesses, and burns; the oil is effective for diaper rash

RHINO HORN

RHINOCEROS UNICORNIS

Natural distribution: Africa, India

Parts used: Horn

Nature: Bitter, sour and salty; cold

Affinity: Heart, liver, stomach

Effects: Antipyretic; cardiotonicantispasmodic; hemostatic; antidote

Indications: Persistent and serious symptoms of internal heat excess: nosebleed, blood in sputum, dizziness, delirium, convulsions, heat rash, painful dark and scanty urine

Dosage: 1-2 g

Remarks: This drug is very expensive today; water-buffalo horn is often substituted, though it is not as potent and requires larger doses (10g)

GALL STONES FROM COW or WATER-BUFFALO

BOS TAURUS DOMESTICUS or BUBALUS BUBALIS

Natural distribution: Common world-wide

Parts used: Bezoar

Nature: Bitter and sweet; cool

Affinity: Heart, liver

Effects: Antipyretic; diuretic; cardiotonic; sedative; antispasmodic; antidote

Indications: Body heat, irritability, and delirium due to internal heat excess; spasms; sore, swollen, or infected throat; abscesses and sores of heat excess

Dosage: 0.2-0.4 g

Remarks: The genuine item is hard to find and very expensive; substitutes refined from the extract of cow’s or pig’s gall bladder fluid are common and also quite effective

TREE PEONY

PAEONIA MOUTAN

Natural distribution: Northern China

Parts used: Skin of the roots

Nature: Pungent and bitter; slightly cold

Affinity: Heart, liver, kidneys

Effects: Antipyretic; “cools” the blood; promotes circulation; anticoagulant; emmenagogue; antiseptic; diuretic

Indications: All symptoms of heat excess: blood in sputum and urine, nosebleeds, irritability and others; yin-deficiency due to heat excess damage; amenorrhoea; ulcers; infections in intestinal tract

Dosage: 5-10 g

Remarks: The drug has highly effective antiseptic action against a broad range of germs

CHINESE WHITE PEONY

PAEONIA LACTIFLDRA

Natural distribution: China, Manchuria, Siberia, Japan

Parts used: Roots

Nature: Bitter; slightly cold

Affinity: Liver

Effects: Antipyretic; hemostatic; antiseptic; emmenagogue

Indications: All symptoms of heat excess; heat rash; amenorrhoea; ulcers; intestinal infections

Dosage: 5-10 g

Remarks: Two varieties are distinguished: white and red; white variety is tonic to blood and yin-energy; red variety is hemostatic and promotes circulation

WOAD

ISATIS TINCTORIA

Natural distribution: China, Japan

Parts used: Leaves

Nature: Bitter; very cold

Affinity: Heart, stomach

Effects: Antipyretic; antiphlogistic; antidote; antiseptic

Indications: Delirium, fainting spells, heat rash, dry and sore throat, abscesses, and swelling due to internal heat excess; erysipelas

Dosage: 7-15 g

Remarks: Effective preventive in chronic encephalitis; suppresses or kills a broad range of germs

SCROPHULARIA NINGPOENSIS

SCROPHULARIA NINGPOENSIS

Natural distribution: Northern China, Japan

Parts used: Roots

Nature: Bitter and salty; cold

Affinity: Lungs, stomach, kidneys

Effects: Antipyretic, antiphlogistic; refrigerant; tonic to yin-energy; antidote

Indications: All heat excess symptoms: delirium, insomnia, red sore and swollen eyes, abscesses and carbuncles, thirst, inflamed tongue, etc.; laryngitis; tonsillitis

Dosage: 7-10 g

Remarks: Small doses are cardiotonic; large doses impede cardiac functions; the drug also lowers blood sugar

WOOLLY GRASS

IMPERATA CYLINDRICA

Natural distribution: South China, India, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Africa

Parts used: Roots

Nature: Sweet; cold

Affinity: Lungs, stomach

Effects: Antipyretic; diuretic; demulcent; hemostatic

Indications: All symptoms of heat excess; nausea or vomiting due to dry stomach; cough due to dry lungs; blood in sputum and urine

Dosage: 10-35 g

Remarks: Strong hemostatic action; promotes immediate coagulation in bleeding wounds; suppresses bruising and other forms of internal bleeding

JAPANESE HONEYSUCKLE

IONICERA JAPONICA

Natural distribution: China, Japan, Korea

Parts used: Rowers

Nature: Sweet; cold

Affinity: Lungs, stomach, heart, spleen

Effects: Antipyretic; antidote; refrigerant

Indications: Heat-injury moving from external to internal areas: sore, inflamed and swollen throat, blood in stool and sputum; ulcers

Dosage: 10-17 g

Remarks: The entire plant is used in medicine; and infusion of the fresh flowers is applied externally to skin sores and infections.

WEEPING GOLDEN BELL

FORSYTHIA SUSPENSA

Natural distribution: Northern China, Japan

Parts used: Fruit

Nature: Bitter; slightly cold

Affinity: Heart, gall bladder

Effects: Antipyretic; antidote; antiphlogistic

Indications: Heat-injury moving from external to internal areas: excess body heat, thirst, irritability, heat rash; swelling of lymph glands; erysipelas; breast tumors

Dosage: 5-10 g

Remarks: Similar action as Lonicera japonica; used in combination, their efficacy is greatly enhanced.

DANDELION

TARAXACUM OFFICINALE

Natural distribution: Temperate zones of the world

Parts used: Whole plant

Nature: Bitter and sweet; cold

Affinity: Liver, stomach

Effects: Antipyretic; antidote; reduces swelling

Indications: Breast tumors; abscesses; tumors and clots in lungs

Dosage: 10-30 g

Remarks: The juice squeezed from the fresh plants is applied directly to poisonous snake-bites as antidote

WILD CHINESE VIOLET

VIOLA YEDOENSIS

Natural distribution: China, Indochina, Japan, India

Parts used: Whole plant

Nature: Bitter and pungent; cold

Affinity: Heart, liver

Effects: Antipyretic; antidote; antiphlogistic

Indications: Abscesses; carbuncles; boils; ulcers

Dosage: 5-10 g

Remarks: Juice of the fresh root is applied externally to abscesses; juice of the fresh whole plant is applied directly to poisonous snake-bites as antidote.

BLACKBERRY LILY, LEOPARD FLOWER

BELAMCANDA CHINENSIS

Natural distribution: Southern China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Laos

Parts used: Rhizomes and stems

Nature: Bitter; cold

Affinity: Lungs, liver

Effects: Antipyretic; antidote, expectorant; antiphlogistic to upper respiratory tract

Indications: Upper respiratory inflammations; excess phlegm, sputum due to asthma or bronchitis; coughs

Dosage: 3-6 g

Remarks: Slightly poisonous.

PIGEON PEA

SOPHORA SUBPROSTRATA

Natural distribution: Southern China, Indochina, India

Parts used: Roots

Nature: Bitter; cold

Affinity: Heart, lungs

Effects: Antipyretic; antidote; antiphlogistic to respiratory tract

Indications: Throat inflammations and infections

Dosage: 3-8 g

Remarks: Excellent antidote for natural internal toxins produced in body due to heat excess.

PUFF BALL

LYCOPERDON PERLATUM

Natural distribution: Common world-wide

Parts used: Spore dust

Nature: Pungent; neutral

Affinity: Lungs

Effects: Antipyretic; antidote; antiphlogistic to respiratory tract; antitussive; hemostatic

Indications: Respiratory problems due to extreme heat excess; excess heat in lungs

Dosage: 1-2 g

Remarks: This drug is also applied externally to bleeding wounds to promote coagulation.

CHINESE OLIVE

CANARIUM ALBUM

Natural distribution: Southeastern China, Indochina

Parts used: Fruits

Nature: Sweet and sour; neutral

Affinity: Lungs, stomach

Effects: Antipyretic; antidote; antiphlogistic; astringent

Indications: All symptoms of heat excess in stomach and lungs; pharyngitis

Dosage: 5-10 g

Remarks: The fruits are slowly chewed and swallowed to dissolve fish-bones lodged in the throat; the drug is a good antidote for seafood poisoning and allergic reactions.

CHINESE ANEMONE

PULSATILLA CHINENSIS

Natural distribution: Northern China, Japan, Korea

Parts used: Roots

Nature: Bitter; cold

Affinity: Stomach, large intestine

Effects: Antipyretic; antidote; refrigerant; antidysenteric

Indications: Amoebic dysentery

Dosage: 5-10 g

Remarks: One of the most effective of all drugs for amoebic dysentery; can be used singly in decoction.

PURSLANE

PORTULACA OLERACEA

Natural distribution: China, Europe, North America

Parts used: Whole plant

Nature: Sour; cold

Affinity: Liver, large intestine

Effects: Antipyretic; antidote; refrigerant; antidysenteric; antiphlogistic

Indications: Amoebic dysentery; hemorrhoids; abscesses due to heat excess

Dosage: 10-30 g

Remarks: The Chinese eat this plant as a vegetable; may be used safely in high dosages; the fresh herb is best for all therapeutic purposes.

BRUCEA JAVANICA

BRUCEA JAVANICA

Natural distribution: Southern China, India, Sumatra

Parts used: Fruits Nature: Bitter; cold

Affinity: Large intestine

Effects: Antidysenteric; anthelmintic; antipyretic

Indications: Chronic amoebic dysentery; intermittent dysentery; malaria; corns

Dosage: Malaria—7-12 fruits 3 times a day for 5-7 days; dysentery—10-15 fruits 3 times a day for 7 days

Remarks: The drug has strong antiseptic action against amoebic and malarial germs, intestinal parasites, and vaginal infections.

SCUTELLARIA BARBATA

SCUTELLARIA BARBATA

Natural distribution: China, Japan

Parts used: Whole plant

Nature: Bitter; cold

Affinity: (Affinity not determined)

Effects: Antipyretic; antidote; diuretic; hemostatic; reduces swellings Indications: Abscesses and boils due to heat excess; poisonous snake-bites; ulcers in stomach and lungs; cancer in lungs, stomach and intestines

Dosage: 10-30 g

Remarks: This herb was discovered after Li Shizhen’s time (Ming); its natural affinities have not been determined; it has been found effective in treating certain forms of cancer.

MISHMI BITTER

COPTIS SINENSIS

 

Natural distribution: Central China, northern India

Parts used: Rhizomes

Nature: Bitter; cold

Affinity: Heart, liver, stomach, large intestine

Effects: Antipyretic; drying; antidote; refrigerant

Indications: Ailments of “full” and “hot” excess: oppression in chest, jaundice, dysentery and diarrhea, abscesses, heat stroke, nosebleeds

Dosage: 3-5 g

Remarks: Juice of the fresh root is used as eye wash for sore, red and swollen eyes and as gargle for abscesses in mouth; strong suppressive action against broad range of germs and toxins.

BAICAL SKULLCAP

SCUTELLARIA BAICALENSIS

Natural distribution: Northern China, Manchuria, Siberia

Parts used: Roots

Nature: Bitter; cold

Affinity: Heart, lungs, gall bladder, large intestine, small intestine

Effects: Antipyretic; antidote; refrigerant; drying; sedative to restless foetus Indications: Ailments of “full” and “hot” excess: oppression in chest, thirst with no desire for water, dysentery and diarrhea, jaundice, body heat, irritability, blood in stool and sputum, nosebleeds

Dosage: 5-8 g

Remarks: The drug also lowers blood pressure, has sedative effects on the central nervous system, and is antiseptic against a broad range of germs.

SIBERIAN CORK TREE

PHELIDDENDRON AMURENSE

Natural distribution: Northern China, Japan, Siberia

Parts used: Bark

Nature: Bitter; cold

Affinity: Kidneys, gall bladder, large intestine

Effects: Antipyretic: drying, refrigerant; antidote

Indications: Ailments of “dampheat” excess: diarrhea, jaundice, painful urination, dark leukorrhoea, vaginal swelling and pain, arthritic and rheumatic pain; skin diseases; yin-deficiency; nocturnal emissions

Dosage: 5 g

Remarks: Strong antiseptic action in dysentery, enteritis, cystitis, urethritis; also lowers blood pressure and blood sugar.

GENTIAN ROOT

GENTIANA SCABRA

Natural distribution: China

Parts used: Roots

Nature: Bitter; cold

Affinity: Liver, gall bladder

Effects: Antipyretic; drying; refrigerant; stomachic

Indications: “Damp-heat” excess ailments: jaundice, dark leukorrhoea, pain and swelling in scrotum, headaches, sore eyes, chest pains; tantrums in children

Dosage: 3-8 g

Remarks: Taken in small doses half an hour before meals, the drug promotes digestion by inducing secretion of digestive juices in stomach; taken after meals, it will impair flow of digestive juices and impede digestion.

NORTHERN ASH

FRAXINUS BUNGEANA

Natural distribution: Northern China

Parts used: Bark

Nature: Bitter and sour; cold

Affinity: Liver, gall bladder, large intestine

Effects: Antipyretic; drying; promotes vision

Indications: Dysentery; painful bowel movements; swollen, aching and red eyes

Dosage: 5-8 g

Remarks: A decoction of this herb is used as antiphlogistic eye wash.

SOPHORA FLAVESCENS

SOPHORA FLAVESCENS

Natural distribution: China

Parts used: Roots

Nature: Bitter; cold

Affinity: Heart, liver, large intestine, small intestine, stomach

Effects: Antipyretic; drying, anthelmintic

Indications: “Damp-heat” ailments: dysentery and diarrhea, jaundice, leukorrhoea, vaginal infections, sores and itchy skin, allergic reactions; leprosy

Dosage: 4-7 g

Remarks: Used internally and externally, the drug is an excellent remedy for sores, pruritus and other skin ailments.

CHINESE WOLFBERRY

LYCIUM CHINENSE

Natural distribution: China, Japan

Parts used: Skin of the roots

Nature: Sweet and plain; cold

Affinity: Lungs, kidneys

Effects: Antipyretic; refrigerant; antitussive

Indications: Ailments of heat excess in lungs: asthma, coughs, blood in sputum; blood in urine; body heat, fevers due to yin-deficiency

Dosage: 10-15 g

Remarks: The fresh root lowers blood pressure and blood sugar.

SWEET WORMWOOD

ARTEMISIA ANNUA

Natural distribution: China, Vietnam, Siberia, India

Parts used: Stems and leaves

Nature: Bitter; cold

Affinity: Liver, gall bladder

Effects: Antipyretic

Indications: Summer colds; sweatless fevers; malaria; nocturnal sweats; heat excess

Dosage: 5-10 g

Remarks: An excellent refrigerant remedy in ailments of “empty-hot” excess.

CYNANCHUM ATRATUM

CYNANCHUM ATRATUM

Natural distribution: Northern China, Japan

Parts used: Roots

Nature: Bitter and salty; cold

Affinity: Liver, stomach

Effects: Antipyretic; refrigerant to blood; diuretic

Indications: Extreme and prolonged ailments of heat excess: coughs due to excess heat in lungs; heat excess due to yin-deficiency; painful, hot, and scanty urine

Dosage: 4-7 g

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