Examples from Traditional Chinese Medicine & Pharmacology CD-ROM


Ephedra (Mahuang)

Pharmaceutical Name: Herba Ephedrae
Botanical Name:
1. Ephedra sinica Stapf;
2. Ephedra equisetina Bunge;
3. Ephedra intermedia Schrenk et Mey.


Common Name: Ephedra, Ephedra Mormon tea
Source of Earliest Record: Shennong Bencao Jing
Part Used & Method for Pharmaceutical Preparations: Herbaceous twigs or stems are collected from the Beginning of Autumn (thirteenth solar term) to Frost's Descent (eighteenth solar term), dried in a shady place and then cut into pieces and used either raw or baked with honey.
Properties & Taste: Pungent-spicy, bitter and warm
Meridians: Lung and urinary bladder
Functions: 1. To promote diaphoresis;
2. To pacify asthma;
3. To benefit urination

Indications & Combinations:
1. Wind-cold type of exterior syndrome manifested as chills, fever, headache, general pain, nasal obstruction, absence of sweating, thin and white tongue coating and superficial and tense pulse. In such cases, Ephedra (Mahuang) is used with Cinnamon twigs (Guizhi) in the formula Mahuang Tang.
2. Cough and asthma due to invasion by exogenous wind and cold. Ephedra (Mahuang) is used with Apricot seed (Xingren) in the formula Sanniu Tang.
3. Edema with exterior syndrome. This disease in traditional Chinese medicine is similar to acute nephritic edema in Western medicine. Ephedra (Mahuang) is used with Gypsum (Shigao) in the formula Yuepi Tang. Dosage: 1.5-10 g

Cautions & Contraindications: This herb causes heavy sweating. It should be used cautiously in deficiency conditions with sweating or asthma and cough due to failure of the kidneys in receiving qi.

 

Cinnamon twigs (Guizhi)

Pharmaceutical Name: Ramulus Cinnamomi
Botanical Name: Cinnamomum cassia Presl
Common Name: Cinnamon twigs, Cassia twigs
Source of Earliest Record: Shennong Bencao Jing
Part Used & Method for Pharmaceutical Preparations: The twigs are picked in the spring, dried in a shady place or in the sunshine and then cut into slices or pieces.
Properties & Taste: Pungent-spicy, sweat and warm
Meridians: Heart, lung and urinary bladder

Functions:
1. To promote diaphoresis and relieve exterior syndrome;
2. To promote blood circulation;
3. To warm the meridians and disperse cold
 

    Indications & Combinations:
     

  1. Wind-cold type of exterior syndrome. Cinnamon twigs (Guizhi) used with Ephedra (Mahuang) increases the diaphoretic action of the herb.
  2. Wind-cold type of exterior deficiency syndrome manifested as sweating, aversion to wind, fever and superficial and tardy pulse. Cinnamon twigs (Guizhi) is used with White peony root (Baishao) in the formula Guizhi Tang.
  3. Arthritic pain caused by invasion of exogenous wind, cold and damp manifested as soreness and pain in the joints, limbs, shoulders and back. Cinnamon twigs (Guizhi) is used with Prepared aconite root (Fuzi).
  4. Deficiency of yang in the heart and spleen manifested as palpitations, edema and shortness of breath. Cinnamon twigs (Guizhi) is used with Poria (Fuling) and White atractylodes (Baizhu).
  5. Weakness of yang in the chest (including what is known as Angina pectoria in Western medicine) manifested as pain in the chest, palpitations, or intermittent pulse. Cinnamon twigs (Guizhi) is used with Macrostem onion (Xiebai) and Trichosanthes fruit (Gualou).
  6. Amenorrhea abdominal pain due to cold invasion and blood stasis. Cinnamon twigs (Guizhi) is used with Peach seed (Taoren), Moutan bark (Mudanpi) and Poria (Fuling) in the formula Guizhi Fuling Wan.

Dosage: 3-10 g
Cautions & Contraindications: The herb is contraindicated in warmfebrile disease as well as cases of deficient yin with heat signs. It should be used with caution in pregnant women.

 

 

Perilla leaf (Zisuye)

Pharmaceutical Name: Folium Perillae
Botanical Name: Perilla frutescens (L.) Britt.
Common Name: Perilla leaf, Purple perilla leaf
Source of Earliest Record: Benjing Jizhu


Part Used & Method for Pharmaceutical Preparations: The leaf is picked in July and August and dried in the shade. Properties & Taste: Pungent-spicy and warm
Meridians: Lung and spleen
Functions:
1. To release the exterior symptoms and disperse cold;
2. To promote the flow of qi in the spleen and stomach;
3. To alleviate fish and crab poisoning


Indications & Combinations:
1. Wind-cold type of common cold manifested as fever, chills, headache, nasal obstruction and cough. Perilla leaf (Zisuye) is used with Fresh ginger (Shengjiang), Tangerine peel (Chenpi), Cyperus tuber (Xiangfu) and Apricot seed (Xingren) in the formula Xing Su San.
2. Qi stagnation in the spleen and stomach manifested as nausea, vomiting and fullness sensation in the chest or abdomen. Perilla leaf (Zisuye) is used with Agastache (Huoxiang) for cold manifestations. If there are more heat signs, Perilla leaf (Zisuye) can be prescribed with Coptis root (Huanglian). For cases with qi stagnation and accumulation of phlegm, Perilla leaf (Zisuye) is used with Pinellia tuber (Banxia) and Magnolia bark (Houpo). For vomiting during pregnancy, Perilla leaf (Zisuye) is used with Tangerine peel (Chenpi) and Amomum fruit (Sharen).
3. Fish and crab poisoning manifested as vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Perilla leaf (Zisuye) is used with Fresh ginger (Shengjiang) and Dahurian angelica root (Baizhi).
Dosage: 3-10 g
Cautions & Contraindications: This herb should not be boiled for a long time.

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