In this series of blog posts we will highlight some of the herbs that we carry that are infrequently used. Take a few minutes to review the herbs and see if you can find an appropriate place for them in some of your formulas! Happy herbing!
Chi Xiao Dou: Adzuki bean. Used to drain damp, this herb is sweet, sour and neutral and goes to the Heart and Small Intestine. Can promote urination and reduce edema, alleviate urinary difficulty and leg qi swelling. This herb directs downward. Chi Xiao Dou can also be used to facilitate the resolution of dampness and heat for mild cases of jaundice due to damp heat and is helpful with dispersing blood stasis, reducing swelling and reducing fire toxicity. Also good as food therapy for patients!
Chi Xiao Dou and Dang Gui can be used together to resolve toxicity, harmonize the blood, and expel pus, and is commonly used for intestinal wind due to damp heat.
Luo Shi Teng: Used to dispel Wind-Dampness; this herb is bitter and slightly cold and goes to the liver. The main functions include dispelling wind damp and unblocking the collaterals for [hot] painful obstruction and for spasms of the sinews. This herb can be used to cool the blood and reduce swellings for hot painful abscesses and other toxic sores or for painful obstruction of the throat.
Use with Pu Gong Ying for deep rooted sores and abscesses.
Use with Jie Geng and She Gan for pain and swelling of the throat.
Wa Leng Zi: Regulates the blood; this herb is salty and neutral and goes to the Liver, Spleen and Lungs. The main functions of this herb are to invigorate the blood, dissolve phlegm and dissipate nodules. Often used for abdominal masses involving blood stasis, stagnant qi, or accumulation of phlegm (also useful for scrofula or goiters). This herb can also absorb acid and alleviate chronic pain in the stomach.
Use with Hai Piao Xiao and Chen Pi for epigastric pain accompanied with acid regurgitation.
Use with Xiang Fu and Tao Ren for dysmenorrhea from qi stagnation and blood stasis.
Ci Shi: Used to calm the Shen, this herb is acrid, cold and salty and goes to the Kidneys and Liver. Ci Shi is used to anchor and calm the spirit for patterns involving restlessness, palpitations, insomnia or tremors. Often used for Kidney xu leading to upward blazing of Liver fire harassing the heart; can also be used for dizziness or vertigo for patients with a similar pattern. This herb also nourishes the Kidneys to aid in grasping the qi and thus can be used for asthma.
Use with Dang Gui, Shu Di, and Suan Zao Ren for patients with anemia, palpitations and insomnia.