Astringent Tonics

Medicines which contract and tighten tissues to impede uncontrolled seepage of fluids are called “astringent“. They are employed in ailments of fluid loss with such symptoms as profuse sweating, nocturnal sweats, chronic diarrhea and dysentery, chronic coughs, spermatorrhoea, premature ejaculation, urinal incontinence, chronic leukorrhoea, profuse bleeding, etc Chronic fluid loss is harmful to the body’s primordial energies, and if left unchecked, it can lead to far more serious, acute ailments.

The primary pharmacodynamic effects of astringents are to impede perspiration, stop diarrhea, strengthen and “solidify” the semen, retain urine, stop leukorrhoea, hemostatic, antitussive, and other fluid preserving actions. In cases of external and “full” ailments which have not been fully eliminated, and in the early stages of dysentery and hacking coughs, astringents should not be used, in order to prevent retention of “evil-qi” excess.

Yin Tonics

DOGWOOD TREE

      CORNUS OFFICINALIS

Natural distribution: Eastern China, Korea, Japan.

Parts used: Fruits.

Nature: Sour; slightly warm.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to liver and kidneys; astringent; hemostatic.

Indications: Kidney deficiency: impotence, spermatorrhoea, premature ejaculation, lumbago vertigo, nocturnal sweats, urinal incontinence; liver deficiency: dizziness, blurry vision, headaches.

Dosage: 5-10 g.

SCHISANDRA

  SCHISANDRA CHINENSIS

Natural distribution: Northeastern China, Manchuria, Japan.

Parts used: Dried berries.

Nature: Sour; warm.

Affinity: Lungs, kidneys.

Effects: Astringent; tonic to kidneys; demulcent; antidiarrhoeic; antitussive.

Indications: Chronic coughs; asthma; thirst; profuse perspiration due to “empty” ailments; spermatorrhoea; nocturnal emissions; profuse and frequent urination; chronic diarrhea.

Dosage: 2-5 g.

Remarks: The drug is both astringent and demulcent, depending on the condition of the patient’s fluid balance: in cases of fluid excess, it dries; in cases of fluid deficiency, it moistens.

MYROBALAN

  TERMINALIA CHEBULA

Natural distribution : Indochina, Malaysia.

Parts used: Fruits.

Nature: Bitter and sour; neutral.

Affinity: Lungs, large intestine.

Effects: Astringent, antidiarrhoeic; hemostatic.

Indications: Chronic diarrhea and dysentery; prolapse of rectum; asthma and coughs due to “empty” lungs; leukorrhoea; menorrhagia.

Dosage: 3-8 g.

Remarks: The drug is highly astringent, especially in the large intestine.

CHINESE NUT-GALL TREE

          RHUS CHINENSIS

Natural distribution: China.

Parts used: Hard, globular excretions on the leaves and stems induced by the larva deposited there by the aphid insect Melaphis chinensis.

Nature: Sour; cold.

Affinity: Lungs, kidneys, large intestine.

Effects: Astringent to lungs and large intestine; antipyretic; hemostatic.

Indications: Chronic coughs; chronic diarrhea and dysentery; profuse perspiration due to “empty’ ailments; bleeding hemorrhoids and stools; spermatorrhoea.

Dosage: 1-3 g.

Remarks: The drug has highly astringent action; contains 70% tannin.

OPIUM POPPY

PAPAVER SOMNIFERUM

Natural distribution: China, India, Mediterranean.

Parts used: The dried empty capsules from which the opium latex has already been extracted.

Nature: Sour; neutral.

Affinity: Lungs, large intestine, kidneys.

Effects: Astringent to lungs and large intestine; analgesic; antitussive.

Indications: Chronic cough; chronic diarrhea and dysentery; stomach ache; prolapse of rectum; asthma; opium withdrawal.

Dosage: 4-10 g.

Remarks: The extracted opium is also used in medicine: its action is narcotic, sedative, hypnotic anti- spasmodic, astringent and analgesic.

FOXNUT

             EURYALE FEROX

Natural distribution: China, Japan, India.

Parts used: Seeds.

Nature: Sweet and sour; neutral.

Affinity: Spleen, kidneys.

Effects: Astringent; analgesic; tonic to kidneys and spleen.

Indications: Kidney deficiency: spermatorrhoea, impotence, premature ejaculation, nocturnal emissions, urinal incontinence; spleen deficiency: chronic diarrhea, dyspepsia; leukorrhoea due to damp excess.

Dosage: 10-30 g.

PRAYING MANTIS

PARATENODERA SINENSIS

Natural distribution: World-wide.

Parts used: Egg-case.

Nature: Sweet and salty; neutral.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to kidney-yang; astringent.

Indications: Kidney-yang deficiency: impotence, spermatorrhoea, premature ejaculation, urinal incontinence, bed-wetting.

Dosage: 3-10 g.

BLACKBERRY

   RUBUS COREANUS

Natural distribution: Central China, Europe.

Parts used: Unripe berries.

Nature: Sweet and sour; slightly warm.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to kidneys; astringent.

Indications: Kidney deficiency: impotence, spermatorrhoea, premature ejaculation, urinal incontinence, bed-wetting.

Dosage: 5-10 g.

Remarks: The drug improves vision in liver and kidney deficient symptoms.

CUTTLEFISH

   SEPIA ESCULENTA

Natural distribution: World-wide.

Parts used: Cuttlefish bone.

Nature: Salty; slightly warm.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Astringent; hemostatic; neutralizes stomach acid; styptic to abscesses and sores.

Indications: Menorrhagia; bleeding abscesses, sores and wounds; spermatorrhoea; leukorrhoea; stomach ulcers; rising bile; pruritis.

Dosage: 4-10 g.

Remarks: Highly astringent: prolonged or excess use may induce constipation.

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