Blood Regulator Herbs: Tonics

Tonics which facilitate blood circulation, dissolve clots and keep the blood vessels soft and supple are called “blood regulators.” This category also includes hemostatic herbs which stop or prevent internal and external hemorrhage. They are used in ailments due to poor circulation —”blood stagnation” — blockages in the circulatory system, or uncontrolled hemorrhage.

Clot-dissolving and circulation-promoting drugs should only be used when the symptoms indicate stagnation or blockage in the bloodstream. The opposite acting hemostatic herbs are used in cases of hemorrhage, seepage, or other “leaks” in the circulatory system. The same drug, however, can have both effects, depending upon the dosage. These drugs have a strong affinity for the heart and/or liver, which are the two vital organs controlling blood. They are among the most useful and effective of all Chinese herbs.

SALVIA MILTIORRHIZA

    SALVIA MILTIORRHIZA

Natural distribution: Northeastern China, Manchuria, Japan.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Bitter; slightly cold.

Affinity: Heart, pericardium.

Effects: Promotes circulation; dissolves clots; refrigerant to blood; tonic to blood; sedative.

Indications: Amenorrhoea; metrorrhagia; mastitis; post-natal abdominal pains; bodily pains due to poor circulation; acute pains in chest and abdomen; blood clots; heart palpitation; insomnia.

Dosage: 5-6 g.

Remarks: The drug is most commonly used in blood-related dis- orders in women; it is also anti-phlogistic to the liver; excellent for coronary diseases.

LIGUSTICUM WALLICHII

        LIGUSTICUM WALLICHII

Natural distribution: Sichuan, Yunnan, Guangdong.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Pungent; warm

Affinity: Liver, gall bladder, pericardium.

Effects: Promotes circulation; regulates energy; emmenagogue; analgesic; sedative.

Indications: Amenorrhoea; dysmenorrhoea; post-natal abdominal pain; traumatic injury; painful abscesses; “wind-damp” discomfort; headaches due to colds.

Dosage: 4-11 g.

Remarks: The drug dilates the capillaries and other blood vessels and thus lowers blood pressure.

PEACH

           PRUNUS PERSICA

Natural distribution: China, Europe, North America.

Parts used: Kernel of the pits.

Nature: Bitter and sweet; neutral.

Affinity: Heart, liver, large intestine.

Effects: Promotes circulation; dissolves clots; laxative; emollient; antitussive.

Indications: Amenorrhoea; dysmenorrhoea; post-natal abdominal pain; accumulated blood clots; blood seepage; traumatic injuries; pain and pressure in rib-cage; constipation due to dry intestines.

Dosage: 5-10 g

Remarks: Also effective against high blood pressure and chronic appendicitis; high doses are toxic.

SAFFLOWER

      CARTHAMUS TINCTORIUS

Natural distribution: China, Indochina, Tibet.

Parts used: Rowers.

Nature: Pungent; warm.

Affinity: Heart, liver.

Effects: Promotes circulation; dissolves clots; emennagogue; astringent.

Indications: Amenorrhoea; dysmenorrhoea, post-natal abdominal pain; clots or seepage’s of blood in abdominal region; traumatic in- juries; stiffness and pain in joints.

Dosage: 2-5 g.

Remarks: The extracted oil of the herb is used in tui na massage; pregnant women should avoid the drug.

ACHYRANTHES BIDENTATA

    ACHYRANTHES BIDENTATA

Natural distribution: China, Indochina, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Bitter and sour; neutral.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Promotes circulation; dissolves clots; emmenagogue; tonic to liver and kidneys; nourishes sinews and bones; diuretic.

Indications: Amenorrhoea; dysmenorrhoea; traumatic injuries; stiffness and pain in lower back and loins; weak legs and feet; blood in vomit, sputum and nosebleeds; painful or bleeding gums; urethritis.

Dosage: 5-10 g.

PANGOLIN

        MANIS PENTADACTYLA

Natural distribution: Southern China, Vietnam, Taiwan.

Parts used: Scales.

Nature: Salty; slightly cold.

Affinity: Liver, stomach.

Effects: Promotes circulation; emmenagogue; promotes lactation and secretion; reduces swelling; dispels pus.

Indications: Amenorrhoea; insufficient lactation; discomforts of “wind-damp”; tight, painful joints and sinews; promotes suppuration in skin ailments.

Dosage: 5-10 g.

Remarks: This drug promotes growth of white blood cells, which have been shown to produce the potent curative agent interferon.

 

MASTIC TREE

       BOSWELLIA CARTERII

Natural distribution: Mediterranean area.

Parts used: Solid, resinous exudation beneath the bark.

Nature: Pungent and bitter; warm.

Affinity: Heart, liver, spleen.

Effects: Promotes circulation; analgesic; antitussive; promotes growth of muscle.

Indications: Amenorrhoea; dysmenorrhoea; traumatic injury; lower abdominal pains; “wind-damp” dis- comforts; externally applied to stub- born abscesses, boils and carbuncles.

Dosage: 3-6 g.

Remarks: Used as gargle to eliminate bad breath.

WILD TURMERIC

   CURCUMA AROMATICA

Natural distribution: India, Indochina, Taiwan.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Pungent and bitter; cold.

Affinity: Heart, lungs, liver.

Effects: Hemostatic; dissolves clots; refrigerant to blood; nourishes the gall-bladder; stimulant to gall-bladder.

Indications: Pressure and pain in chest; semi-conscious states; traumatic shock; hysteria; acute, sharp pains in rib-cage; amenorrhoea; dysmenorrhoea; blood in vomit, urine and nosebleeds; jaundice.

Dosage: 5-10 g.

Remarks: This is one of the drugs which both stop hemorrhage and dissolve clots.

AGRIMONY

         AGRIMONIA PllDSA

Natural distribution: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Europe.

Parts used: Leaves and stems.

Nature: Bitter; cool.

Affinity: Lungs, liver, spleen.

Effects: Astringent; hemostatic.

Indications: All forms of hemorrhage.

Dosage: 10-30 g.

Remarks: The drug increases the number of thrombocytes (blood- clotting cells), which improves coagulation capacity by 40-50 percent; it strengthens osmotic resistance of blood vessel walls; it is cardio-tonic.

BLETILLA

     BLETILLA STRIATA

Natural distribution: China, Indochina.

Parts used: Tubers.

Nature: Bitter, sweet and sour; slightly cold.

Affinity: Liver, lungs, stomach.

Effects: Astringent; hemostatic; reduces swelling; promotes healing of flesh.

Indications: Blood in vomit, sputum and nosebleeds; external application to traumatic injuries, skin infections and abscesses.

Dosage: Pure powder —1-3 g; brewed —3-8 g.

Remarks: For external use, the drug is powdered and mixed with sesame oil; it is astringent and emollient to burns, abscesses and other skin irritations; it is highly hemostatic in bleeding wounds; internally, it is most effective in stomach and lung hemorrhages.

MUGWORT

  ARTEMISIA VULGARIS

Natural distribution: China, Asia, Europe.

Parts used: Leaves.

Nature: Bitter and pungent; warm.

Affinity: Liver, spleen, kidneys.

Effects: Hemostatic; astringent; warms the meridians; analgesic; dispels internal cold.

Indications: Blood in vomit, sputum and stool; nosebleeds; menorrhagia (vaginal bleeding): excess menses, bleeding during pregnancy; dysmenorrhoea.

Dosage: 5-10 g.

Remarks: This herb is the main source of moxa used in moxibustion.

TIGER THISTLE

     CIRSIUM JAPONICUM

Natural distribution: China, Japan, Vietnam.

Parts used: Whole plant.

Nature: Sweet; cold.

Affinity: Liver.

Effects: Hemostatic; refrigerant to blood.

Indications: Blood in sputum, vomit, urine and nosebleeeds; menorrhagia.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

Remarks: Effective remedy for high blood pressure; externally, the pulverized leaves are applied to scaly skin diseases.

ARBOR-VITAE

          THUJA ORIENTALIS

Natural distribution: China, Japan, India.

Parts used: Leaves and stems.

Nature: Bitter and sour; slightly cold.

Affinity: Lungs, liver, large intestine.

Effects: Hemostatic; astringent; refrigerant to blood; emmenagogue; antipyretic.

Indications: All forms of hemorrhage.

Dosage: 5-10 g.

Remarks: The seeds are used as sedative in insomnia, heart palpitation and nervous disorders; the fresh leaves steeped for 7 days in 60 percent alcohol solution produce a potion which is rubbed on bald spots 3 times a day to promote hair growth.

 

PAGODA TREE

       SOPHORA JAPONICA

Natural distribution: China, Korea, Vietnam.

Parts used: Flowers or flower buds.

Nature: Bitter, slightly cold.

Affinity: Liver, large intestine.

Effects: Hemostatic; refrigerant to blood; dissolves clots and cholesterol.

Indications: Blood in stool; bleeding dysentery; bleeding hemmorrhoids; menorrhagia; blood in vomit, sputum and nosebleeds.

Dosage: 9-15 g.

Remarks: Recent new uses for the flowers are to lower blood pressure and as preventive in cerebral hemorrhage (10-15 g infusion per day); the drug strengthens and tonifies the walls of capillaries to prevent seepage; the seeds are effective against bleeding hemorrhoids and bloody stool.

GARDEN BURNET

SANGUISORBA OFFICINALIS

Natural distribution: China, northern Asia, northern Europe.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Bitter and sour; slightly cold.

Affinity: Liver, large intestine.

Effects: Hemostatic; astringent; refrigerant to blood.

Indications: Blood in stool and urine; bleeding dysentery; bleeding hemorrhoids; menorrhagia.

Dosage: 3-10 g

Remarks: The fresh root is pulverised, mixed with sesame oil and applied to burns, pruritus and eczema.

INDIAN MADDER

     RUBIA CORDIFOLIA

Natural distribution: China, India, Africa.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Bitter; cold.

Affinity: Liver.

Effects: Hemostatic; refrigerant to blood; dissolves clots and cholesterol; emmenagogue.

Indications: All types of hemorrhage; amenorrhoea; post-natal bleeding; traumatic injuries.

Dosage: 5-10 g.

Remarks: The drug has hemostatic properties in small doses (5-10 g) and clot-dissolving properties in high doses (over 20 g); its hemostatic action is greatly enhanced if the herb is first dry-fried in a hot pan with lumps of charcoal.

COMMON CATTAIL

TYPHA LATIFOLIA

Natural distribution: Northern China, northern Europe, North America.

Parts used: Pollen.

Nature: Sweet; neutral.

Affinity: Liver, pericardium.

Effects: Hemostatic; astringent; promotes circulation and dissolves clots; diuretic.

Indications: Blood in vomit, urine and stools; coughing blood; nosebleeds; menorrhagia; traumatic injuries; pain and pressure in heart region; post-natal abdominal pain; dysmenorrhoea.

Dosage: 4-8 g.

Remarks: The plain herb promotes circulation and dissolves clots; dry- fried with lumps of charcoal, it be- comes highly hemostatic.

NOTOGINSENG

     PANAX NOTOGINSENG

Natural distribution: Yunnan, Sichuan, Japan.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Sweet and slightly bitter; warm.

Affinity: Liver, stomach.

Effects: Hemostatic; promotes circulation; dissolves clots; analgesic.

Indications: Coughing blood; blood in stool; nosebleeds; traumatic injuries.

Dosage: Pure powder—1-2 g; brewed —5-10 g.

Remarks: Extremely effective styptic action when applied directly to traumatic wounds; heals without leaving clots and scars; internally and externally, best drug for serious bleeding; can be used safely in large doses.

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