Diaphoretic Herbs

Diaphoretic herbs are those which induce or increase perspiration in order to release “evil-qi” in cases of external ailments, such as exposure to excess wind, rain, or heat. The Internal Book of Huang Di states, “If it’s in the skin, sweat it out.” These herbs are most effective in the initial stages of such ailments, before they have moved inward. Diaphoretics are generally pungent and warm by nature and tend to scatter qi. Used in excess, they have adverse effects on fluid balance and yang-energy. There are two types: those used to dispel “wind- cold” and those used to dispel “wind- heat” symptoms.


              EPHEDRA SINICA

Natural distribution: Northern China, Mongolia, Europe.
Parts used: Stems.
Nature: Pungent and slightly bitter; warm.
Affinity: Lungs, bladder.
Effects: Diaphoretic; stimulant to respiration; dilate bronchi; diuretic.
Indications:Windcold” chills and fever; bronchial asthma; hay fever.
Dosage: 3-10 g.
Remarks: For asthma use with almond; for “wind-cold” injury use with cinnamon; for allergic skin reaction use with mint and cicada moltings. Roots are anti-diaphoretic.




Natural distribution: Southern China, Laos, Vietnam.
Parts used: Tender young stems.
Nature: Pungent and sweet; warm.
Affinity: Heart, lungs, bladder.
Effects: Diaphoretic; carminative; antiseptic; emmenagogue.
Indications:Windcold” chills and fever; diarrhea; nausea; menstrual disorders.
Dosage: 1-5 g.
Remarks: Fevers without sweat, use with Ephedra sinica; with sweat, use with Paeonia albiflora; for menstrual disorders, use with Paeonia lactiflora, Prunus persica, and Angelica sinensis.





Natural distribution: Southern China, Taiwan, Japan, India.
Parts used: Stems and leaves.
Nature: Pungent; warm.
Affinity: Lungs, spleen.
Effects: Diaphoretic; antitussive; stomachic; diuretic
Indications: Cold, headache, fever, chills due to “Windcold;” allergic reactions to fish and shellfish.
Dosage: 7-10 g.
Remarks: Especially effective for any type of congestion in chest and abdomen.





Natural distribution: Sichuan, Jiangxi Parts used: Stems and leaves, floral buds.
Nature: Pungent and slightly bitter; warm .
Affinity: Lungs, liver Effects: Diaphoretic; antipyretic; hemostatic
Indications: Fevers, chills, headache, pains, and sore throat due to “Windcold“.
Dosage: 4-11 g.
Remarks: This drug is also quite effective in stopping excess menstrual or post-natal bleeding.





Natural distribution: Northern China, Japan.
Parts used: Roots.
Nature: Pungent and sweet; slightly warm.
Affinity: Bladder, spleen, liver Effects: Analgesic in “Windmoist” symptoms; antipyretic; expectorant; astringent; hemostatic.
Indications: Pains and aches in muscles and joints due to all wind injuries.
Dosage: 4-7 g
Remarks: Especially effective in “wind-moist” ailments.




Natural distribution: Northern China, Japan
Parts used: Whole plant, roots are best
Nature: Pungent; warm
Affinity: Heart, lungs, liver, kidneys
Effects: Diaphoretic; expectorant; sedative; analgesic
Indications: All types of colds, fevers, chills, and headaches
Dosage: 2-5 g
Remarks: Effective relief for all types of pain in the head, including acute toothaches; the powdered herb is stuffed into the navel to eliminate abscesses in the mouth





Natural distribution:
China, Japan
Parts used: Roots
Nature: Pungent and bitter; warm
Affinity: Lungs, stomach
Effects: Analgesic in wind-injury; reduces swelling; antidote
Indications: Colds, headaches, aches and pains due to wind-injury; abscesses and swelling; leucorrhoea; congestion; snake-bites
Dosage: 4-7 g
Remarks: Important ingredient in antidote potions for poisonous snake-bites





Natural distribution: China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Laos
Parts used: Whole plant, with flowers
Nature: Pungent; slightly warm
Affinity: Lungs, stomach
Effects: Diaphoretic; carminative; stomachic; diuretic
Indications: Ailments and swelling from “moist-excess;” “Windcold” injuries; summer chills; nausea and diarrhea
Dosage: 4-8 g
Remarks: This herb is also used to eliminate bad breath




Natural distribution: Northern China, Mongolia, Siberia
Parts used: White stalks and rootlets, fresh plant only
Nature: Pungent; warm
Affinity: Lungs, stomach
Effects: Diaphoretic; stomachic; antiseptic
Indications: Colds and chills from wind injuries; stomach ache
Dosage: 5-10 g
Remarks: A paste of this fresh herb with honey is used as ointment for abscesses and pus-infections; a decoction with fresh ginger-root and raw sugar is highly effective in eliminating wind-chills


              MENTHA ARVENSIS

Natural distribution: China, Southeast Asia, Europe
Parts used: Tender stalks and leaves
Nature: Pungent; cool
Affinity: Lung, liver Effects: Diaphoretic; carminative; stomachic; stimulant
Indications: Colds, headaches, and sore throat due to “wind-heat”
Dosage: 2-4
Remarks: For “windheat” injury make a decoction with chrysanthemum and Schizonepeta  tenuifolia; ground to a fine powder and blown down the throat with a tube, it gives great relief for sore throats due to “wind-heat”



Natural distribution: China, Japan
Parts used: Unopened floral buds
Nature: Pungent; warm
Affinity: Lungs, stomach
Effects: Analgesic; decongestant
Indications: All ailments of the nose;sinusitis
Dosage: 5-8 g
Remarks: Incompatible with Astragalus membranaceus





Natural distribution: Northern China, Europe
Parts used: Seeds, sometimes the root
Nature: Pungent and bitter; cold
Affinity: Lungs, stomach
Effects: Antipyretic; antiphlogistic; diuretic; expectorant; anti-toxic
Indications: All “windheat” ailments; throat infections; pneumonia; inflammations of urinal tract; abscesses
Dosage: 3-10 g
Remarks: A tincture of the seed applied topically is effective in curing psoriasis inveterate, hemorrhoids, and chronic sores



               MORUS ALBA

Natural distribution: China, Japan, Southeast Asia
Parts used: Leaves
Nature: Bitter and sweet; cold
Affinity: Lungs, liver Effects: Antipyretic; sedative to liver; improves vision; refrigerant
Indications: Colds, headache and coughs due to “windheat” injury; swelling and pain in the eyes
Dosage: 5-10 g
Remarks: The root is used as an antitussive and expectorant in asthma, bronchitis, and coughs




Natural distribution: China, Japan
Parts used: Rowers
Nature: Sweet and bitter; slightly cold
Affinity: Lungs, liver Effects: Antipyretic; improves vision; anti-toxic; refrigerant; sedative; lowers blood pressure
Indications: Headache and fever due to “windheat” injury; swelling and aches in the eyes; dizziness and headaches due to liver inflammation
Dosage: 4-10 g
Remarks: An infusion is used as an eye-wash in conjunctivitis; it is applied internally and externally for abscesses




Natural distribution: China, Japan
Parts used: Root
Nature: Sweet and bitter; neutral
Affinity: Spleen, stomach
Effects: Antipyretic; demulcent; refrigerant
Indications: Cold, fever, and chills with attendant aches in shoulders, neck and back; dry throat and stomach
Dosage: 4-11 g
Remarks: Especially effective in relaxing tight, painful muscles in neck, shoulders and back due to “windheat” injury




Natural distribution: Northern China, northern Europe
Parts used: Root
Nature: Bitter; neutral
Affinity: Pericardium, liver, triple-warmer, gall bladder
Effects: Antipyretic; sedative to liver

Indications: Intermittent fevers and chills; malaria; black water fever
Dosage: 2-5 g
Remarks: This herb is quite effective in treating prolapse of internal organs such as rectum, womb, etc



                 GLYCINE MAX

Natural distribution: China, Japan
Parts used: Seeds (beans) of black variety
Nature: Sweet and slightly bitter; cold
Affinity: Lung, stomach
Effects: Carminative; sedative; antipyretic
Indications: Colds, fevers, and headaches due to “windheat” injury; oppression in chest; insomnia
Dosage: 10-15 g
Remarks: Black soybeans must be fermented before becoming medically useful




Natural distribution: China, Taiwan, Japan
Parts used: Exuviae (molting)
Nature: Sweet; cold
Affinity: Lungs, liver Effects: Antipyretic; antispasmodic
Indications: Cataracts; “windheat” injuries; convulsions
Dosage: 3-5 g
Remarks: For cataracts, mix with Chrysanthemum morifolium


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