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Chinese Medicine Health

Anthelmintic Herbs and Tonics

Drugs which kill and expel worms are called “anthelmintic”. Worms enter the body through the skin or as ova in contaminated foods. Some can only be detected by examining the faeces for ova. Other types are indicated by such symptoms as abdominal pain and pressure, loss of weight, loss of appetite, eating without satisfying hunger, desire for strange foods or materials, yellow complexion, body swelling, and itchy anus. Treatment of intestinal worms should always be followed up with appropriate preventive care to prevent recurrence of contamination.

Anthelmintic herbs should be used with the following points in mind:

  • Prolonged worm infestation with attendant symptoms of abdominal stagnation should be treated in combination with digestives.
  • Anthelmintics are most effectively administered on an empty stomach, to insure direct contact with the worms. If patients also suffer from chronic constipation, combine treatment with cathartics or laxatives to insure thorough elimination of worms and their ova.
  • Dosages of anthelmintics should be carefully regulated, especially with highly poisonous herbs, to prevent toxification
  • When fever or acute abdominal pain is displayed, use of anthelmintics should be temporarily halted
  • These drugs should be used sparingly in pregnant women, the weak, and the elderly.

 

RANGOON CREEPER

QUISQUALIS INDICA

Natural distribution: China, India, Indochina.

Parts used: Fruits.

Nature: Sweet; warm.

Affinity: Spleen, stomach.

Effects: Anthelmintic; digestive.

Indications: Pains and pressure in abdomen due to stagnation caused by tapeworms; abdominal swelling and swollen limbs in children due to intestinal parasites.

Dosage: 4-8 g (1 fruit per year of age in children.)

Remarks: This is an important drug in treating parasitic contamination in children Natural.

BETEL PALM

         ARECA CATECHU

Natural distribution: Indochina, India, Taiwan.

Parts used: Betel Nuts.

Nature: Pungent and bitter; warm.

Affinity: Stomach, large intestine.

Effects: Anthelmintic; digestive; diuretic.

Indications: All types of intestinal worms; stagnant accumulations of undigested food; irregular bowel movements; swelling in feet and legs.

Dosage: 4-10 g.

Remarks: Also used in malaria.

PUMPKIN

    CUCURBITA MOSCHATA

Natural distribution: World-wide.

Parts used: Seeds.

Nature: Sweet; warm.

Affinity: (Natural affinities not determined.)

Effects: Anthelmintic.

Indications: Intestinal worms; swelling and pain in abdomen.

Dosage: 30-50 g.

Remarks: The herb is relatively new in Chinese medicine, which is why its affinities have not yet been established; usually followed up with cathartics.

DRYOPTERIS CRASSIRHIZOMA

DRYOPTERIS CRASSIRHIZOMA

Natural distribution: World-wide.

Parts used: Rhizomes.

Nature: Bitter; slightly cold.

Affinity: Liver, stomach.

Effects: Anthelmintic; antipyretic; antidote; hemostatic.

Indications: All types of intestinal worms; pain and pressure in abdomen; inflamed and infected abscesses due to heat excess; thyroid inflammations; menorrhagia.

Dosage: 8-15 g.

Remarks: Mildly poisonous; effective preventive against contagious colds.

GARLIC

      ALLIUM SATIVUM

Natural distribution: World-wide.

Parts used: Bulbs.

Nature: Pungent, warm.

Affinity: Stomach, large intestine.

Effects: Anthelmintic; antiseptic; antidote; stomachic; tonic.

Indications: Hookworm, pin-worm; diarrhea and dysentery; tuberculosis; coughing fits; external application to early stages of abscesses and ringworm on the head.

Dosage: 3-5 cloves (fresh).

Remarks: Extracts of this family of herbs have recently become popular remedies in the West; it has been often noted that countries which consume large quantities of garlic have a lower incidence of cancer than others; the herb is by far more effective when used fresh.

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Chinese Medicine Health

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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Chinese Medicine Health

Yin Tonics

Yin tonics are applied in “yin-empty” ailments. They nourish kidney-yin, lung-yin, stomach-yin, and liver-yin and are used against ailments of deficiency (“empty”) in those organs. Major symptoms of such ailments are as follows:

  1. Lung-yin deficiency: dry coughs, blood in sputum, “empty” body-heat, thirst, irritability.
  2. Stomach-yin deficiency: red lips, dark red tongue, peeling tongue fur, fluid deficiency, thirst, lack of hunger.
  3. Liver-yin deficiency: dry eyes, blurry vision, dizziness, headaches.
  4. Kidney-yin deficiency: afternoon heat spells, nocturnal sweats, spermatorrhoea.

Most yin-tonics are sweet, cold, moist, and “sticky” by nature. Patients with spleen-yang and kidney- yang deficiencies (for symptoms see “Yang Tonics“) should use yin-tonics sparingly and in combination with other appropriate herbs.

Causes of Disease – Excesses and Emotions

ADENOPHORA TETRAPHYLLA

  ADENOPHORA TETRAPHYLLA

Natural distribution: China, Japan.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Sweet; slightly cold.

Affinity: Lungs, stomach.

Effects: Demulcent to lungs; antitussive; stomachic; expectorant.

Indications: Lung-yin deficiency: dry coughs, chronic coughs, body-heat, faint and feeble voice; stomach-yin deficiency: thirst, insufficient salivation, red lips.

Dosage: 8-15 g.

CREEPING LILY-TURF

         LIRIOPE SPICATA

Natural distribution: China, Japan.

Parts used: Root-tubers.

Nature: Sweet and slightly bitter; slightly cold.

Affinity: Heart, lungs, stomach.

Effects: Refrigerant to heart; demulcent to lungs; stomachic; emollient; antitussive.

Indications: Lung-yin deficiency: dry coughs, blood in sputum, irritability; thirst due to fluid deficiency.

Dosage: 4-10 g.

Remarks: Promotes lactation.

CHINESE WOLFBERRY

      LYCIUM CHINENSE

Natural distribution: China, Japan.

Parts used: Fruits.

Nature: Sweet; neutral.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to kidneys: nourishes semen; tonic to liver: improves vision.

Indications: Liver-yin deficiency: blurry vision, dizziness, headaches; kidney-yin deficiency: spermatorrhoea, lumbago.

Dosage: 4-10 g.

Remarks: The herb is also an effective remedy in mild forms of diabetes.

ECLIPTA PROSTRATA

   ECLIPTA PROSTRATA

Natural distribution: China, Japan, Taiwan, Indochina.

Parts used: Whole plant.

Nature: Sweet and sour; cold.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to yin; tonic to kidney- yin; refrigerant to blood; hemostatic; astringent.

Indications: Liver-yin deficiency: blurry vision, dizziness, headache; kidney-yin deficiency: spermatorrhoea, premature greying of hair; bleeding due to yin-deficiency: blood in sputum, urine and bile, menorrhagia.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

Remarks: An extract of the fresh herb applied to the scalp promotes hair growth; taken internally, it blackens the hair, beard and eyebrows.

TURTLE

    CHINEMYS REEVESII

Natural distribution: World-wide.

Parts used: Lower shell (underside).

Nature: Salty and sweet; neutral.

Affinity: Kidneys, heart, liver.

Effects: Tonic to yin; tonic to kidneys; nutrient to sinew, bone and cartilage.

Indications: Kidney-yin deficiency: faint and weak voice, afternoon heat spells, nocturnal sweats, lumbago, weak sinews, bone and cartilage; yin- deficiency due to heat injuries; failure of opening in top of baby’s scull to close; menorrhagia.

Dosage: 10-25 g.

Remarks: Promotes contractions in delayed or difficult childbirth; pro- motes growth of bone and cartilage in babies.

TORTOISE

   TRIONYX SINENSIS

Natural distribution: World-wide.

Parts used: Upper shell (topside).

Nature: Salty; neutral.

Affinity: Liver, spleen, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to yin; clears blockages and softens tumors; antipyretic.

Indications: Kidney-yin deficiency: afternoon heat spells, nocturnal sweats; yin-deficiency due to yang- excess; yin-deficiency due to heat excess; swollen or infected pancreas; pain in rib-cage; amenorrhoea; tumors.

Dosage: 10-20 g.

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Chinese Medicine Health

Blood Tonics

Blood tonics are used to “nourish the blood” in diseases caused by blood deficiency. Common symptoms of “empty” blood ailments are a sallow complexion, pale lips, colorless fingernails, dizziness, ringing in the ears, heart palpitations, absent- mindedness, insomnia, etc. Dysmenorrhoea is an additional symptom in women.

When blood deficiency appears together with energy deficiency, both energy and blood tonics should be applied in therapy. If yin-deficiency is also indicated, yin-tonics are used as well. Basically blood tonics and yin tonics have similar effects, the former being more specific to the blood and the latter generally affecting the entire body.

Blood tonics are generally moist and “sticky” by nature. Many have high oil and moisture content. Those patients suffering from stagnation, abdominal oppression, and poor ap- petite due to damp-excess should use them sparingly. If the spleen is “empty,” combine blood tonics with stomachic and digestive herbs.

Causes of Disease – Excesses and Emotions

REHMANNIA GLUTINOSA

   REHMANNIA GLUTINOSA

Natural distribution: Northern China.

Parts used: Roots (steamed).

Nature: Sweet; slightly warm.

Affinity: Heart, liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to blood; nourishes yin; hemostatic.

Indications: Blood deficiency: dizziness, heart palpitations, insomnia, dysmenorrhoea; menorrhagia; kidney-yin deficiency: nocturnal sweats, spermatorrhoea, diabetes.

Dosage: 10-30 g.

Remarks: The fresh root is refrigerant to blood and nourishes yin (see Antipyretics, page 00); the steamed root is exclusively used to tonify blood and nourish yin.

CHINESE CORNBIND

   POLYGONUM MULTIFLORUM

Natural distribution: Southwestern China, Japan, Taiwan.

Parts used: Roots, stems and leaves.

Nature: Bitter and sour; slightly warm.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to liver and kidneys; nourishes blood and semen; demulcent laxative; antidote.

Indications: Blood deficiency: sallow complexion, dizziness, insomnia, premature greying of hair; kidney deficiency: lumbago, weak bone, sinew and cartilage; constipation due to dry intestines; swelling of lymph glands; abscesses and ulcers.

Dosage: 7-15 g.

Remarks: Contemporary usage shows the drug to be effective against high blood pressure and hardening of the veins and arteries.

ANGELICA SINENSIS

       ANGELICA SINENSIS

Natural distribution: Central China.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Sweet and pungent; warm.

Affinity: Liver, spleen.

Effects: Tonic to blood; emennagogue; promotes circulation; analgesic; sedative; laxative.

Indications: Menstrual disorders: dysmenorrhoea, menorrhagia, amenorrhoea; blood deficiency: painful scarring in traumatic injuries, post- natal abdominal pain; rheumatic pains.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

Remarks: This is the most important drug for menstrual disorders.

ASS-HIDE GLUE

                  EQUUS ASINUS

Natural distribution: World-wide.

Parts used: Glue prepared from the hides.

Nature: Sweet; neutral.

Affinity: Lungs, liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to blood; hemostatic; nourishes yin; demulcent to lungs..

Indications: Blood deficiency: sallow complexion, dizziness, heart palpitations, blood in urine, stool, or sputum, menorrhagia; insomnia and restlessness of heat excess.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

LONGAN FRUIT

    EUPHORIA LONGAN

Natural distribution: Southern China, Japan.

Parts used: Dried flesh of the fruits.

Nature: Sweet; warm

Affinity: Heart, spleen.

Effects: Cardio-tonic; sedative; tonic to blood: digestive.

Indications: Heart and spleen deficiency; absent-mindedness; insomnia; heart palpitations; weakness, fatigue due to blood deficiency.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

Remarks: The kernels are ground to powder and applied as a styptic to abscesses, sores, wounds, etc.

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Chinese Medicine Health

Yang Tonics

Yang tonics are used in ailments caused by yang deficiency. The kidneys house primordial yang-energy, and thus most yang-deficient ailments come to rest in the kidneys, and yang-tonics primarily tonify and “warm” that organ. Common symptoms of kidney-yang deficiency are fear of cold, cold hands and feet, impotence, spermatorrhoea, nocturnal emissions, premature ejaculation, urinal incontinence, etc Sexual potency falls within the domain of yang and also centers about the kidneys and surrounding glands. Thus, the most renowned Chinese aphrodisiacs fall into the yang-tonic category. Aphrodisiac tonics, how- ever, should only be used in cases of yang-deficiency. If used by people with yang-excess and/or yin-deficiency, they further aggravate the yin/yang imbalance by injuring the already weak yin-energy.

The other organs affected by yang-deficiency are the spleen and the heart. Spleen-yang deficient ailments are similar to those of “spleen-empty”, described above under “Energy Tonics”. Heart-yang deficiencies, which display symptoms of profuse cold sweats, pale complexion, and weak, irregular pulse, are injurious to the blood and circulation and are best treated with drugs which “warm” the blood and with energy tonics. The liver and lungs rarely display yang-deficient ailments: on the contrary, yang- excess is the most common imbalance in those two organs.

Yang-tonics are generally warm and drying and should be used sparingly by patients with chronic yin- deficiency or fire-excess.

Tonics: Legend of the Horny Goat Weed

SPOTTED DEER

                CERVUS NIPPON

Natural distribution: Northeastern China, northwestern China.

Parts used: Horn, velvet antler.

Nature: Sweet and salty; warm.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to kidney-yang; tonic to the 13th and 14th meridians (meridians of “Life” and of “Conception”); nutrient tonic to semen, marrow, sinew, and cartilage; aphrodisiac.

Indications: Kidney-yang deficiency (insufficient secretions of sexual hormones): impotence, watery semen, cold extremities, lumbago, clear and profuse urine, anemia, weight loss, slow growth in children, weak bone and sinews, dysmennorhoea, leukorrhoea; 13th and 14th meridian deficiencies.

Dosage: Pure powder —0.3-1 g; decoction —3-5 g.

Remarks: This is one of the most renowned and popular sexual tonics in the ben cao; the best is tender new horn still in velvet with the dried blood still visible in the cartilage; the most potent essence is obtained by drinking the fresh blood and secretions directly from the freshly cut horn.

HORNY GOAT WEED

    EPIMEDIUM SAGITTATUM

Natural distribution: China, Japan.

Parts used: Leaves.

Nature: Pungent; warm.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to kidney-yang; eliminates “wind-damp” ailments (rheumatic); aphrodisiac.

Indications: Kidney-yang deficiency: impotence, spermatorrhoea, premature ejaculation, lumbago, cold hands and feet, fear of cold; rheumatic discomforts of “wind-damp” excess; spasms; numbness.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

Remarks: The drug dilates the capillaries and larger blood vessels; lowers blood pressure; common ingredient in “Spring Wine”; remedies absent- mindedness by flooding the brain with blood.

BROOMRAPE

       CISTANCHE SALSA

Natural distribution: Northern China, Mongolia, Siberia.

Parts used: Fleshy stems.

Nature: Sweet and salty; warm.

Affinity: Kidneys, large intestine.

Effects: Tonic to kidney-yang; demulcent laxative; aphrodisiac.

Indications: Kidney-yang deficiency: impotence, spermatorrhoea; premature ejaculation, lumbago, weak bones and sinews; constipation due to dry intestines.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

Remarks: Tonifies yin as well as yang; lowers blood pressure.

BLACK CARDAMON

       ALPINIA OXYPHYLLA

Natural distribution: Southern China.

Parts used: Seeds.

Nature: Pungent; warm.

Affinity: Spleen, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to kidney-yang; nutrient to bones and sinew; inhibits excess urination; antidiarrhoeic; astringent; stomachic.

Indications: Kidney-yang deficiency: impotence, premature ejaculation, frequent and profuse urination, urinal incontinence; “cold” spleen symptoms: diarrhea, profuse salivation, cold and pain in abdomen.

Dosage: 3-10 g.

CALTROP

     TRIBULUS TERRESTRIS

Natural distribution: China, Australia, Africa, South America.

Parts used: Mature fruits.

Nature: Sweet; warm.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to kidneys; nutrient to bones, sinew and cartilage; tonic to liver: improves vision.

Indications: Kidney-yang deficiency: impotence, premature ejaculation, spermatorrhoea, frequent and pro- fuse urination, ringing in the ears, lumbago, leukorrhoea; blurry vision due to liver deficiency.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

Remarks: The drug facilitates labour contractions during difficult child-births.

DODDER

       CUSCUTA JAPONICA

Natural distribution: China, Japan.

Parts used: Seeds.

Nature: Pungent and sweet; neutral.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to kidneys; nutrient to bones, sinew and cartilage; tonic to liver: improves vision Indications: Kidney deficiency: impotence, premature ejaculation, spermatorrhoea, ringing in ears, frequent and profuse urination, urinal incontinence, lumbago, leukorrhoea; blurry vision due to liver deficiency.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

Causes of Disease – Excesses and Emotions

CNIDIUM MONNIERI

       CNIDIUM MONNIERI

Natural distribution: China, Vietnam, Laos, eastern Europe.

Parts used: Fruits.

Nature: Pungent and bitter; warm.

Affinity: Kidneys

Effects: Tonic to kidney-yang; anti- rheumatic; antiseptic; aphrodisiac; astringent; stimulant.

Indications: Kidney-yang deficiency: especially impotence and female sterility; external application to vaginal itching and infections, abscesses and ringworm.

Dosage: 5-10 g.

Remarks: A decoction of this herb is a highly effective antiseptic wash for vaginal itching, yeast infections, parasites, etc.

TEASEL

         DIPSACUS ASPER

Natural distribution: Central China.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Bitter; slightly warm.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to kidneys and liver; nutrient to bones, sinew and cartilage; promotes muscle growth; hemostatic.

Indications: Kidney deficiency; liver deficiency; lumbago; cold extremities; traumatic injury to bone and sinews; menorrhagia; bleeding during pregnancy.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

Remarks: Effective hemostatic action in female menstrual disorders; eliminates pus from abscesses and wounds.

EUCOMMIA

       EUCOMMIA ULMOIDES

Natural distribution: Central China

Parts used: Bark.

Nature: Sweet; warm.

Affinity: Liver, kidneys.

Effects: Tonic to liver and kidneys; nutrient to bone, sinew and cartilage; sedative to restless foetus.

Indications: Kidney deficiency; liver deficiency; lumbago, dizziness; head- aches; weakness and fatigue; impotence; frequent urination; weakness, dizziness restless foetus and lumbago in pregnant women.

Dosage: 10-15 g

Remarks: The drug lowers blood pressure; preventive in miscarriage; an especially effective remedy for lumbago due to kidney deficiency.

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Chinese Medicine Health

Herbs to Boost Energy: Tonics

Herbs which restore strength and tonify weakened tissues when the body is ” empty” —deficient —are called “tonic” They are used to repair damage caused by “empty” ailments. Clinically tonics are used for two purposes. One is to increase the body’s resistance to disease when resistance has been impaired by excess “evil-qi”. Combined with drugs which dispel excess “evil-qi” tonics are used in ailments caused by excess “evil-qi” or deficient “pure-qi.” They tend to restore the body’s original primordial energies. The second clinical use is to restore energy and accelerate recovery in patients who have become weak and vulnerable due to long-standing chronic ailments. Tonics are among the most useful of all drugs in Chinese herbal medicine.

Tonics are primarily used in “empty” ailments, which are divided into four types: energy deficient, blood deficient, yang-deficient, and yin-deficient. Tonics are thus similarly sub-classified as energy tonics, blood nourishers, yang-tonics, and yin-nourishers. “Tonic” and “nourish” are interchangeable terms, though customarily “tonic” is used to describe yang and energy herbs, while “nourish” is used for yin and blood herbs.

In clinical application, it is important to match the right type of tonic to the equivalent type of deficiency, such as using yang-tonics for yang-deficiency and so forth. Energy deficiency and yang deficiency are interrelated (energy belongs to yang) and their symptoms often appear together. Degeneration of vital energies and impairment of vital functions are the main indicators. Similarly, blood deficient and yin-deficient ailments often coincide (blood belongs to yin), and their main symptoms involve internal damage to the body’s vital fluids and fluid balance. Therefore, energy- and yang-tonics are often combined in therapy, as are blood- and yin- nourishers. In cases of both blood and energy deficiency, or combined yin- and yang-deficiency, both types of tonics are applied.

In patients who have not fully recovered from “full” ailments, restorative tonics should be used sparingly in order to avoid retention of some of the “full-evil” excess.

Energy tonics or “tonify qi”

These tonics are used against ailments caused by energy qi- deficiency. They primarily tonify lung energy and spleen energy where energy deficiencies usually come to rest. The spleen regulates digestion and distribution, and when it is “empty,” common symptoms are fatigue, loose and lumpy bowel movements, poor appetite, abdominal pain and pressure, hernias, prolapse of rectum, and others. The lungs regulate qi. When they are “empty”, common symptoms are lack of energy, shallow and strained breathing, aversion to talk, slow and sluggish movements, cold sweats, and others. Energy tonics are used in all the above ailments and symptoms.

In therapy, energy tonics are often used together with blood nourishers because “qi is the general of the blood” and regulates its production and its circulation. Thus, when qi is deficient, blood also suffers. In cases of extreme blood deficiency, such as due to profuse loss of blood, energy tonics are used with blood nourishers to facilitate renewed blood production.

Excess or prolonged use of energy tonics may result in oppressive sensations in the chest and abdomen and loss of appetite.

GINSENG

         PANAX GINSENG

Natural distribution: Northeastern China, northern Korea.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Sweet; neutral.

Affinity: Spleen, lungs.

Effects: Very tonifying to primordial energy; tonic to lungs and spleen; nourishes vital fluids; aphrodisiac.

Indications: Energy deficiency: weak pulse, asthma due to “empty” lungs, dyspepsia, lack of appetite, prolapse of rectum, hypertension, insomnia, heart palpitations; diabetes.

Dosage: Normal —2-8 g; acute —15-20 g.

Remarks: Strictly avoid tea and turnips when using ginseng; ginseng regulates blood pressure and blood sugar as well; promotes secretion of sexual hormones in men and women; promotes blood production by tonifying qi.

CODONOPSIS TANGSHEN

CODONOPSIS TANGSHEN

Natural distribution: Northern China.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Sweet, warm.

Affinity: Spleen, lungs.

Effects: Tonic to spleen and lungs; stomachic.

Indications: Energy deficiency: fatigue, shallow and strained breathing, lack of appetite, dyspepsia, facial swelling, prolapse of rectum.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

Remarks: Similar in action to ginseng, but not as strong; this drug is often substituted in places or at times when ginseng is too expensive.

ASTRAGALUS MEMBRANACEUS

ASTRAGALUS MEMBRANACEUS

Natural distribution: Northern China, Mongolia, Manchuria.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Sweet; slightly warm.

Affinity: Spleen, lungs.

Effects: Tonifies energy; diuretic; impedes perspiration; promotes suppuration of abscesses.

Indications: Energy deficiency: fatigue, prolapse of rectum, womb, or other organs; profuse sweating due to external “empty” ailments; stub- born abscesses; facial swelling; diabetes.

Dosage: 8-15 g.

Remarks: The drug is also cardio-tonic, and lowers blood pressure and blood sugar; improves circulation in flesh and skin.

ATRACTYLDDES MACROCEPHALA

        ATRACTYLDDES                          macrocephala

Natural distribution: China, Korea, Japan.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Sweet and bitter; warm.

Affinity: Spleen, stomach.

Effects: Tonic to spleen; drying; diuretic; impedes perspiration

Indications: “Empty” stomach and spleen: full feeling after small food intake, fatigue, diarrhea; phlegm and swelling due to damp-excess; profuse perspiration due to “empty- cold” ailments.

Dosage: 3-10 g.

Remarks: The drug is sedative to restless foetus.

CHINESE YAM

      DIOSCOREA OPPOSITA

Natural distribution: China, Japan.

Parts used: Roots (tubers).

Nature: Sweet; neutral.

Affinity: Spleen, lungs.

Effects: Tonic to spleen, stomach, and lungs; stomachic; digestive.

Indications: “Empty” spleen and stomach: lack of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, leukorrhoea; chronic coughs; nocturnal emissions; spermatorrhoea; frequent and scanty urination.

Dosage: 10-30 g.

Remarks: The drug also lowers blood-sugar and is used in diabetes.

CHINESE JUJUBE

           ZIZIPHUS JUJUBA

Natural distribution: China, Japan, India, Afghanistan.

Parts used: Fruits.

Nature: Sweet; neutral.

Affinity: Spleen.

Effects: Tonic to spleen and stomach; nutrient; sedative.

Indications: “Empty” spleen and stomach; general energy deficiency; fatigue; hysteria.

Dosage: 3-5 fruits.

Remarks: The plant is added to many strong tonic prescriptions as a metabolic buffer to slow down and prolong their effects.

CHINESE LICORICE

   GLYCYRRHIZA URALENSIS

Natural distribution: Northern China, Mongolia, Siberia.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Sweet; neutral.

Affinity: Enters all 12 meridians and organs.

Effects: Tonic; antipyretic; antidote; demulcent to lungs; expectorant; analgesic.

Indications: “Empty” spleen and stomach; blood and energy deficiency; toxic abscesses; swollen and sore throat; coughs; asthma; acute abdominal pains.

Dosage: 2-10 g.

Remarks: This is the most commonly used Chinese herb, appearing in almost all prescriptions; it benefits all the organs; its flavor improves the taste of all prescriptions; it slows and prolongs the effects of strong tonic prescriptions; antidote in mushroom poisoning; emollient in peptic ulcers.

DRIED HUMAN PLACENTA

Natural distribution: World-wide.

Parts used: Dried placenta tissue.

Nature: Sweet and salty; warm.

Affinity: Heart, spleen, kidneys.

Effects: Tonifies energy, blood, and vital essence.

Indications: Extreme blood and energy deficiency; general weakness and fatigue; asthma due to lung deficiency.

Dosage: 3-5 g.

Remarks: Also an effective tonic in impotence, sterility and neurasthenia.

Categories
Chinese Medicine Health

Antitussive and Expectorant Herbs

Medicines which facilitate the bringing up or the transformation of phlegm from the respiratory tract are called “expectorant.” Those which control coughing and soothe the throat are called “antitussive.” Expectorants generally have antitussive action and vice versa, which is why they appear under the same heading. Expectorants are used not only against excess phlegm due to coughs and colds, but also against other phlegm excess related ailments such as goitre, swelling of the lymph glands, epilepsy, certain types of fainting spells and others.

In clinical applications of these herbs, attention should be paid to the following points: both internal and external ailments can induce excess phlegm accumulation and coughing. When selecting expectorants and antitussives for therapeutic use, they must be combined with other types of herbs appropriate to the original causes of the problem. Phlegm and coughs due to external ailments should be treated in combination with diaphoretic herbs which “release externally”; “empty” ailments should be treated in combination with tonifying medications. When there is blood in the phlegm, avoid using expectorants of a highly drying nature, which would increase blood seepage. While coughing is one of the early symptoms of measles, do not use warm or astringent antitussives in such cases.

PINELLIA TERNATA

PINELLIA TERNATA

Natural distribution: Southern China, Japan.

Parts used: Tubers.

Nature: Pungent; warm.

Affinity: Spleen, stomach.

Effects: Expectorant; antiemetic; drying; prevents hardening of spleen.

Indications: Nausea and vomiting; chronic coughs; excess phlegm; gastritis.

Dosage: 3-7 g.

Remarks: Pregnant women should use herb sparingly; the fresh herb is slightly toxic, but the dried is not; the toxin is neutralized with tea or vinegar.

ARISAEMA CONSANGUINEUM

ARISAEMA CONSANGUINEUM

Natural distribution: Northern China, Korea, Japan.

Parts used: Tubers.

Nature: Pungent and bitter; warm.

Affinity: Lungs, liver, spleen.

Effects: Expectorant; drying; anti- spasmodic; analgesic.

Indications: Coughs; heavy, lumpy phlegm; gastritis; dizziness and fainting due to excess phlegm; epilepsy; tetanus infections.

Dosage: 3-10 g.

Remarks: The fresh drug is toxic, but not the dried; when used fresh, it is mixed with beef bile or Pinellia temata to neutralize its toxins.

BEEFSTEAK PLANT

        PERILLA FRUTESCENS

Natural distribution: Southern China, Taiwan, Indochina, India.

Parts used: Seeds.

Nature: Pungent; warm.

Affinity: Lungs.

Effects: Antitussive; expectorant; asthma preventive; laxative.

Indications: Excess phlegm; coughs; asthma; constipation due to dry intestines.

Dosage: 5-8 g.

Remarks: Leaves also used as diaphoretic and antitussive.

BALLOON FLOWER

PLATYCODON GRANDIFIDRUM

Natural distribution: China, Japan.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Bitter and pungent; neutral.

Affinity: Lungs.

Effects: Expectorant; dilates the bronchii; eliminates pus.

Indications: Coughs; excess phlegm; sore throat; lung ulcers; throat ulcers.

Dosage: 3-5 g.

Remarks: The drug induces secretion of mucus in the throat to dilute accumulations of hard phlegm and facilitate bringing it up.

YELLOW STARWORT

      INULA BRITANNICA

Natural distribution: China, Japan, Siberia, Europe.

Parts used: Flowers.

Nature: Bitter, pungent and salty; slightly warm.

Affinity: Lungs, spleen, stomach, large intestine.

Effects: Expectorant; antitussive; anti-emetic.

Indications: Coughs; excess phlegm, burping; nausea and vomiting.

Dosage: 3-10 g.

Remarks: This drug should be wrapped in a cheesecloth pouch when boiling to prevent irritating fibers from entering the broth.

 

DOG’S BANE

    CYNANCHUM STAUNTONI

Natural distribution: Southern China,

Parts used: Pungent and sweet; slightly warm

Nature: Lungs

Affinity: Antitussive; expectorant; antiemetic

Effects: Coughs; excess phlegm; acute asthma

Indications: Dosage: 3-6 g

 

FRITILLARIA VERTICILLATA

FRITILLARIA VERTICILLATA

Natural distribution: Central China, Japan.

Parts used: Corms.

Nature: Bitter and sweet; slightly cold.

Affinity: Heart, lungs.

Effects: Antitussive; expectorant; antipyretic; scatters blockage and softens hard tissues.

Indications: Chronic coughs; dry throat; “wind-heat” coughs; heavy, yellow phlegm; swelling of lymph glands; infected abscesses; lung and breast tumors.

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

Remarks: The variety from Sichuan is superior.

PEUCEDANUM DECURSIVUM

PEUCEDANUM DECURSIVUM

Natural distribution: Eastern China, Japan.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Bitter and pungent; slightly cold.

Affinity: Lungs.

Effects: Antitussive; expectorant; anti-emetic; antipyretic; diaphoretic.

Indications: Accumulations of excess heavy phlegm; coughs; asthma; bronchitis.

Dosage: 3-10 g.

Remarks: Induces secretion of mucus in respiratory tract to dilute hard phlegm in bronchial tubes and facilitate bringing it up.

SNAKE GOURD

TRICHOSANTHES KIRILOWII

Natural distribution: Southern China, Vietnam.

Parts used: Kernels of the seeds.

Nature: Sweet; cold.

Affinity: Lungs, stomach, large intestine.

Effects: Expectorant; dilates bronchii; emollient; laxative.

Indications: Coughs due to excess heat in lungs; heavy, yellow phlegm; lung tumors; pains in chest and rib- cage; breast tumors; constipation due to dry intestines.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

Remarks: The root is antipyretic, and it promotes lactation.

LEPIDIUM APETALUM

      LEPIDIUM APETALUM

Natural distribution: Northwestern China, northern Asia, northern Europe, North America.

Parts used: Seeds.

Nature: Pungent and bitter; very cold.

Affinity: Lungs, bladder.

Effects: Expectorant; diuretic; reduces swelling; sedative in asthma and bronchitis.

Indications: Excess phlegm; coughs; asthma; facial paralysis; water- retention in chest and abdomen.

Dosage: 4-10 g.

GULF SEAWEED

    SARGASSUM FUSIFORME

Natural distribution: Coasts of China and Japan.

Parts used: Whole plant.

Nature: Bitter and salty; cold.

Affinity: Liver, stomach, kidneys.

Effects: Expectorant; diuretic; scatters goiter swellings.

Indications: Swellings of lymph glands; goiter; excess hard lumpy phlegm.

Dosage: 6-12 g.

Remarks: The herb contains 0.2 percent iodine and has been used for centuries in ailments due to iodine deficiency.

APRICOT

     PRUNUS ARMENIACA

Natural distribution: Northwestern China.

Parts used: Kernels of the pits.

Nature: Sweet and bitter; warm.

Affinity: Lungs, large intestine.

Effects: Antitussive; sedative in asthma and bronchitis; laxative.

Indications: Coughs; asthma; bronchitis; constipation due to dry intestines.

Dosage: 4-10 g.

Remarks: Mildly poisonous; toxic doses can be neutralized with a decoction of the rough outer bark of the tree.

A CREEPING VINE

   ARISTOIDCHIA DEBILIS

Natural distribution: Northern China, Japan.

Parts used: Fruits.

Nature: Bitter and slightly pungent; cold.

Affinity: Lungs, large intestine.

Effects: Antitussive; expectorant.

Indications: Coughs due to excess heat in lungs; excess phlegm; irregular breathing; asthma; bronchitis; chronic coughs; blood in phlegm.

Dosage: 3-10 g.

Remarks: Mildly poisonous.

LOQUAT

     ERIOBOTRYA JAPONICA

Natural distribution: Southwestern China, Japan, Indonesia; Europe.

Parts used: Leaves.

Nature: Bitter; neutral.

Affinity: Lungs, stomach.

Effects: Antitussive; expectorant; antiemetic.

Indications: Coughs due to heat excess in lungs; difficult respiration; chronic burping; nausea and vomiting; thirst.

Dosage: 10-15 g.

COLTSFOOT

      TUSSILAGO FARFARA

Natural distribution: Northern China, Europe, Africa.

Parts used: Flowers and floral buds.

Nature: Pungent; warm.

Affinity: Lungs.

Effects: Antitussive; expectorant.

Indications: Coughs; asthma; chronic coughs due to “empty” lungs.

Dosage: 3-10 g.

TARTARIAN ASTER

      ASTER TATARICUS

Natural distribution: Northern China, Siberia, Japan.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Pungent and bitter; warm.

Affinity: Lungs.

Effects: Antitussive; expectorant.

Indications: Coughs, irregular breathing; accumulated excess phlegm; chronic coughs due to “empty” lungs.

Dosage: 4-10 g.

Remarks: The drug’s primary effects are expectorant, not antitussive.

STEMONA TUBEROSA

       STEMONA TUBEROSA

Natural distribution: Central China, Indochina, Taiwan, India.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Sweet and bitter; slightly cold.

Affinity: Lungs.

Effects: Antitussive; demulcent to lungs; anthelmintic; kills lice.

Indications: Coughs; chronic, dry coughs; whooping cough; tape- worm; external application to lice.

Dosage: 5-10 g.

Remarks: Recent applications have found the drug to be effective against tuberculosis.

JIMSON WEED, LOCO WEED

             DATURA METEL

Natural distribution: Southern China, southern Asia, America.

Parts used: Flowers.

Nature: Pungent; warm

Affinity: Lung.

Effects: Antitussive; sedative in asthma; analgesic.

Indications: Asthma; irregular or difficult breathing; shortness of breath; stomach ache.

Dosage: 0.1-0.25 g.

Remarks: Poisonous; the dried flowers are smoked in a pipe to relieve asthma without phlegm excess; not suitable for use in children; traditionally, the drug has been used as a local anaesthetic before topical surgery; the leaves and seeds are used as local anaesthetics as well.

Categories
Chinese Medicine Health

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.

Categories
Chinese Medicine Health

Digestive and Stomachic Herbs

Stomachics and digestives are those herbs which tonify the stomach and spleen, promote digestion, facilitate distribution, and accelerate, movement of accumulated excess food in the stomach. Digestive ailments requiring treatment with these medications are indicated by symptoms of oppression and swelling in abdomen, belching, coughing up bile, nausea and vomiting, irregular bowel movements, dyspepsia, and all “empty” spleen and stomach symptoms. In cases of “empty” spleen and stomach, stomachic herbs should be combined with spleen tonics. In cases of “cold” in spleen and stomach, use with drugs which are “warming” to interior. When the digestive problems are due to damp-excess, combine with aromatic “moisture trans- forming” herbs. When energy stagnation is the source of problems, use in combination with energy regulating herbs. If symptoms include constipation, include cathartics in the treatment.

Causes of Disease – Excesses and Emotions

HAWTHORN

         CRATAEGUS PINNATIFIDA

Natural distribution: Eastern China, Japan.

Parts used: Fruits.

Nature: Sweet and sour; slightly warm.

Affinity: Spleen, stomach, liver.

Effects: Digestive; stomachic; moves stagnant excess food; antidiarrhoeic.

Indications: Stagnant, undigested food accumulated in stomach; excess consumption of meats and fats; diarrhea; post-natal abdominal pain; scrotal pain and pressure.

Dosage: 6-15 g.

Remarks: The drug is especially effective in promoting digestion and movement of meats and fats; it dilates the blood vessels to lower blood pressure; dissolves cholesterol deposits in lining of blood vessels.

CHICKEN

GALLUS GALLUS DOMESTICUS

Natural distribution: Common world-wide.

Parts used: Gastric tissue from gizzard.

Nature: Sweet; neutral.

Affinity: Spleen, stomach, small intestine, bladder.

Effects: Stomachic; digestive; moves accumulated excess food in stomach.

Indications: Stagnant, undigested food in stomach; oppressive, full feeling in abdomen; gastroenteritis; urinal incontinence; spermatorrhoea.

Dosage: 4-8 g.

Remarks: Dry-fried with lumps of charcoal and powdered, it is applied to painful abscesses in the mouth.

BARLEY

       HORDEUM VULGARE

Natural distribution: China, Europe, America.

Parts used: Dried, germinated sprouts.

Nature: Salty; neutral.

Affinity: Spleen, stomach.

Effects: Stomachic; digestive; suppresses lactation.

Indications: Stagnant, undigested food in stomach; pressure and fullness in abdomen; loss of appetite due to weak spleen and stomach; excess lactation; weaning.

Dosage: 10-20 g.

Remarks: The herb has abortifacient properties which facilitate contractions during childbirth; it is especially effective in promoting digestion and movement of grains and vegetables.

Categories
Chinese Medicine Health

Energy Regulator Herbs: Tonics

Drugs which regulate and balance the flow of vital-energies in the body and remedy illnesses due to energy imbalances are called “energy regulators.” Such ailments are of two types: energy deficient and energy stagnant. Energy deficient ailments are treated with tonic medications, which appear under the “tonic” section. Energy stagnant ailments are treated with drugs which “manage and discipline qi.”

Energy stagnation occurs when qi does not flow freely through the body’s meridian network. Qi is literally “blocked” in the meridians, depriving the rest of the body of vital energy. Energy stagnation is caused by extreme imbalances between “hot” and “cold” energies, sudden emotional outbursts, poor diet, over-eating, prolonged hunger, excess phlegm, damp excess, bruises and clots due to traumatic injuries.

Tonics: Legend of the Horny Goat Weed

Common symptoms of energy stagnation fall into three categories.

  • Spleen and stomach energy stagnation: abdominal swelling and discomfort, poor appetite; dyspepsia, rising bile, nausea and vomiting, stomach aches, irregular bowel movements.
  • Liver energy stagnation: pain and pressure in rib-cage, painful testicles and scrotum, dysmenorrhoea and swelling, pain, or tumors in breast.
  • Lung energy stagnation: shortness of breath, irregular respiration, oppression in chest, cough, asthma.

Depending on the type of stagnation, these drugs have a variety of effects: they clear meridian blockages, alleviate pain, eliminate mental depression, facilitate energy flow, expand the chest cavity, scatter stagnant qi, suppress “rebellious qi” tonify the stomach, promote digestion and others.

The drugs are mostly “pungent” and “warm,” properties which tend to scatter qi. Patients with energy- and yin-deficiencies should use them sparingly.

 

MANDARIN ORANGE

     CITRUS RETICULATA

Natural distribution: Southeastern China, Taiwan, Vietnam.

Parts used: Rind of the fruit.

Nature: Pungent and bitter; warm.

Affinity: Spleen, lungs.

Effects: Regulates energy; digestive; stomachic; expectorant; antitussive; anti-emetic; drying.

Indications: Energy stagnation in spleen and stomach: abdominal pain and pressure, nausea and vomiting, dyspepsia, etc; oppression in chest, cough, stagnation due to excess phlegm.

Dosage: 3-8 g.

Remarks: The rind contains Vitamins A, B, and C; the white fibers of the rind are the most effective parts as expectorants; the seeds are analgesic.

TRIFOLIATE ORANGE

       PONCIRUS TRIFOLIATA

Natural distribution: China, Japan.

Parts used: Unripe fruits.

Nature: Bitter; slightly cold.

Affinity: Spleen, stomach.

Effects: Regulates energy; stomachic; antidiarrheic; expectorant.

Indications: Dyspepsia; undigested food in intestinal tract; abdominal fullness and pain; constipation; diarrhea; oppression in chest due to phlegm.

Dosage: 5-10 g.

Remarks: When stomach and spleen stagnation cause constipation, the drug purges; when it causes diarrhea, the drug facilitates complete evacuation of bowels so the condition will stop. Research has shown it to be effective in shrinking distended stomach and in prolapse of rectum and womb.

COSTUS

           SAUSSUREA LAPPA

Natural distribution: India, Yunnan.

Parts used: Roots.

Nature: Pungent and bitter; warm.

Affinity: Spleen, large intestine.

Effects: Regulates energy; analgesic; stomachic.

Indications: Abdominal pain and pressure; abdominal noises; discomforts of dysentery.

Dosage: 1.5-8 g.

Remarks: Juice of the fresh root is an effective asthma remedy.

NUT GRASS

        CYPERUS ROTUNDUS

Natural distribution: Asia, Australia, America, Europe.

Parts used: Roots and tubercles.

Nature: Pungent, slightly bitter and sweet; neutral.

Affinity: Liver, pericardium.

Effects: Regulates liver energy; emmenagogue; sedative; analgesic.

Indications: Liver energy stagnation: oppression in chest and pain in rib-cage, stomach ache, dyspepsia; amenorrhoea; dysmenorrhoea.

Dosage: 5-10 g.

JAPANESE PERSIMMON

          DIOSPYROS KAKI

Natural distribution: China, Japan, Vietnam, eastern India.

Parts used: Peduncle.

Nature: Bitter; neutral.

Affinity: Stomach.

Effects: Regulates stomach and spleen energy; controls hiccups and coughs

Indications: Hiccups.

Dosage: 4-6 g.

Remarks: For effective control of hiccups, use with clove and fresh ginger; the ripe, dried fruit is stomachic and astringent; the juice of the fresh, unripe fruits lowers blood pressure and is used in hypertension.