Ep 01: Wind Cold Dispersing Herbs. Ma Huang, Gui Zhi, Qiang Huo, Zi Su Ye. Series: Herbal Medicine:


Hello I am dr. Daohing Ni department chair
for the doctorate degree program at Yo San University of traditional Chinese
medicine and I’m James Skoien, senior faculty for the doctor degree program at
Yo San University. please join us as we explore Chinese medicinal herbs and
their clinical applications. hello everyone welcome to herb cast and with
me I have professor James Skoein hi Jim hi doa good talk with you again
very good to speak with you and today we are going to be spending some time with
four very important herbs and these are Ma Huang, Gui Zhi, Qiang Huo, and Zi Su Ye. Let’s jump right in because these are wonderful wind cold dispersing herbs and
used for wind cold conditions and let’s first go through herb,
Herba Ephedra, just like all the other three herbs it’s in
the biao exterior relieving herb in the wind cold elimination category and in China
there are 11 different types of Ma Huang that’s been used there is […] ma huang
there is [mood say] ma huang and there’s […] ma huang and there are many
different ma huang and it’s been domesticated or agriculturally planted
in a very large area in China the quality is good and and basically this
is a the most common use have to be [moo dsay] ma huang and let’s move forward
to talk a little bit about the characteristics
of this herb yeah ma huang is an herb which is pungent and taste and bitter
it’s a warm temperature herb and opens into the lung and bladder channels
it’s dosed in general between 1.5 and 9 grams but it can be dosed higher by edema
9 to 15 and on occasion it’s dosed quite high up to 20 to 25 grams
but that dosage it has to use with caution well I know that there are some
people who like to use ma huang raw and there’s some people like use ma Huang to
be baked with honey in those two situations do you think that we might
change the dosages of these two particular kinds yes in general the dose
with the herb which has a strong diaphoretic action all should not be
very high again with the exception of using it for edema and I think you would
mention right there I think we now know that Ma Huang is mainly use really of
three different actions and obviously when you consult with a lot of different
text books there’ll be some minute and minor actions and it’s quite could be
quite meaning of them but I’m gonna focus on three of them the very first
one is that it has a diaphoretic function or sweating function and that
sweating function helps to relieve biao syndromes and the second action
is that it does have lung dispersing and as well as asthma calming or elimination
action and the third action is that it benefits the water another word for that is diuretic and it help to reduce swelling these are three
main different actions that we have so Jim what are some the indication would
you use it for well it’s used as main herb in formulas to dispel the wind
called and treat symptoms like general body aches muscle aches and pains with
an acute condition fever and a strong shivering sensation or an aversion to
cold it’s also particularly used when there’s a no sweating as part of a wind
cold pattern but it also is used for lung specific symptoms like cough a
relatively acute strong productive cough within white mucus it’s also used as you
mentioned or affecting the lungs ability to control respiration so it’s used for
dyspnea or difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath and asthma a main or
for asthma and then the last indication related to its function in affecting
lungs water passages is to treat edema especially facial edema and edema of the
upper extremities and I think just to supplement a little bit it also has been
used for wind cold bi syndrome in some of the patients and as
a combinations go ma huang tends to combine with Gui Zhi which is the next
herb we’re going to be talking about when you combine these two herbs
since Gui Zh can penetrate to the yin portion of the blood it actually helps
to smooth and allow the smooth flow of the yin portion for nourishment so
it’s when you have both combined it does do well in both diaphoretic and biao
relieving actions and the second combination is ma Huang with Xing Ren
we’ve seen them when combined together really helps even more in
dispersing the lung stop cough and asthma and sometimes also ma huang can
combine with Gui Zhi and Bai Zhu to not only help with
diaphoresis and relieve biao it also dissipates cold and damp and the last one is you can come by with
Gypsum which it’s a pungent and cool and dispersing so it can be used to clear
lung and stop asthma. so Jim what are some of the precautions we need to have using
this herb? well the first point is it’s an herb that’s especially useful for
exterior cold excess patterns so using it by exterior heat pattern would not be
a good idea especially of course but that pattern involves when that pattern
involves sweating it’s also not particularly appropriate in a deficiency
pattern in general even if it’s an asthma condition or a condition with
cough which are some of its indications it’s not particularly indicated when
there’s a deficiency related to those symptoms and liver yang rising as well
as conditions with hypertension should be mentioned here as this
medicinal may affect hypertension negatively and aggravate those
conditions of liver yang rising as well. yeah I would add unto it’s also with the
liver yang rising also heart fire situation with insomnia I think when
someone has insomnia, taking ma huang especially at nighttime might
be too stimulating to do so at night so in the classics there is a
incredible amount of documentation on this herb. we can always start with Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing which talks about ma huang is mainly used for wind stroke
used for […] headache useful basically wind disease malaria and it helped to
relieve the biao sweats gets rid of heat and pathogens help to stop nausea as
well as asthma as well as cough gets rid of cold and heat and breaks up […] and
any kind of tumor so that’s what is talked about in Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing And […] adds on how this
herb is wonderful in relieving […] or fascia tissues as well as
muscles […] talk about how ma huang is the lungs main herb and uses a lot in
pulmonary lung issues and we see in Zhang Zhongjing’s book of Shang Han Lun we talk about when you don’t have sweating then you use ma huang and
when you have sweating you use Gui Zhi so these are just some of the classics
that I would like to share with you. In pharmacology basically ma Huang
has evaporative oil that can stimulate our sweating and we have seen in certain
high temperatures in people utilizing ma huang can actually increase
secretion of the sweat glands it also stimulates the heart function and obvious
diuretic diaphoretic functions and ma Huang also been used to stimulate a
heart, contracts the blood vessels, raises blood pressure – so I think people who
have excitability insomnia as well as hypotension – this is something you want to
use with care. so this is basically what I can find in classics as well as in
pharmacology Jim do you have anything else to add about this herb? well just to
underline it’s a main herb for lung function for exterior
conditions involving wind and cold just repeating those two key points for the
listeners to understand otherwise there are numerous additional actions and
we’ll leave those for the moment go on to the next herb. our
next herb is another wonderful and used quite extensively just like ma huang it is
useful in wind cold conditions – Gui Zhi (Ramulus Cinnamomi) it’s basically
produced and created domesticated in guanxi Guangdong in Yunnan Fujian
provinces especially the mostly seen in Guangxi province and its basic harvest
in the spring and summer is usually dried up or baked dry and cut into
slices to be used and so Jim what are some of the characteristics of this?
first of all its pungent and it’s also sweet so it has two tastes associated
with it it’s also a warm herb and it’s dosed in general between three and ten
or three and twelve grams it opens into the lung channel the heart channel and
the bladder channel. And as for action goes there are three main actions
kind of similar to ma huang but different in the sense of ma huang is much more
lung oriented while Gui Zhi is much more systemically oriented it goes into
channels and collaterals and it can go to the […] portion it can go into the
yin portion it’s a very versatile herb. You can use it a carrier to other herb effect
to a particular location you want to treat so the very first action is that
disperses wind cold the second action is it warms up the channels and it
dissipate cold sometimes some people say that channel in
Chinese is the same thing as menstruation so it’s not just warming up channel it is
also used to warming up menstruation another way to say is that actually is
used for menstrual hormone related body aches that kind of stuff as well as
dysmenorrhea issues which Jim will talk a little bit about. and the third action is
that it can raise it can open the yang Chi and help the bladder’s […] chi
function which helps the bladder and is diaphoresis function
and helps with urination and so let’s move on to indications.
well this is theherb which complements ma Huang in a condition of exterior
cold excess it treats also symptoms like body aches, aches around the joints
or muscle aches, as well as well as the general pattern where there’s no
sweating yet this is also an herb which can be a main herbal form for an exterior
cold deficiency pattern condition where there’s sweating going on with
cold present on the surface of the body in fact it’s a main herb for that type
of condition so an herb for the exterior it’s also an herb for as you mentioned
menstrual complaints involving stagnations especially or cold in the lower
part of the body and that’s one of the indications of an herb like Gui Zhi
when it’s combined with other blood moving herbs especially treating also
dysmenorrhea as well as amenorrhea with cold as well especially with cold. now I
want to back up and mention its action with the bladder it’s combined with
diuretics in classical formulas for urinary retention and dysuria and edema
it’s also an herb an important one for the heart in fact it can be used as a
main herbal formula for improving heart function and treating palpitations
and irregular pulse. and looking at the herb combination of you were
talking about the wind cold situation relieving the tissues and the muscles
and for common cold, wind cold biao syndrome a lot of time you can combine
with ma Huang for example and it help to strengthen the sweating effect and if you’re looking at the warming up the channels and dissipate
cold we are talking about frequently combined with Fang Feng or […]
or other herbs such as Dang Gui, Chuan Xiong such as in Wen Jing Tang,
and as well as you can for heart deficiency and palpitation and where you
have irregular heart beat we can add on baked licorice
as well as Codonopsis (Dang Shen) and E Jiao, some of these are combined together
such as in […] used to what we call return the pulse, and as for
bladder I think Jim earlier talked about, I would suggest we add […] into
the mix things Fu Ling (Poria), Zhu Ling […] that kind of herb to create a
five mushroom type of fungus or a mushroom type of herbal formulation that
kind of helps to relieve a lot of edema and water retention. so Jim is there any
caution that we need to have with this herb when we use it? well one would be
it should be used with caution or with other herbs to balance this action when
there’s a heat condition for example or heat condition on the […]
because it induces heat so to speak it has a warming nature so it should be
used with caution when there’s an external heat excess or even if there’s
a yin deficiency condition as well. it could also be one which should be used
with caution if there’s excessive bleeding involved in a condition of stagnation
with heat and one other would be to use with caution during pregnancy yeah I
think the excessive bleeding sometimes can make it worse and the bleeding
sometimes I I think sometimes it can actually interfere but a lot of times
you have to probably take a lot or combine with other herbs that might be too strong
and that can create a problem. so if we look at the classics
there’s definitely just like ma huang, no shortages of documentation and
explorations for example Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing talks about Gui Zhi is
really used to descend chi descends reversal of lung chi with
cough and asthma and any kind of nodding of Chi any kind of a sore throat any kind
of excessive vomiting or clear fluid and benefits arthritis as well and
[…] talked about how this Gui Zhi can be used for some home […] and
headache, and opens up the fascia helps to relieve biao and promotes sweating and gets
rid of a skin eczema kind of situation so and […] talks about how
this herb is can be used to benefit arthritis, benefit joints, warms up the
channel opens up Meridian and passageways and even talked about there
six simple understanding of Gui Zhi: one, it harmonized yin, second it opens up the
yang, third it benefits the water, fourth it pushes the chi downward, five
it can clear up stagnancy six it tonifies the middle. these are
the six major discussion about what Gui Zhi can do – Gui Zhi can do. so that’s the classics and in pharmacology Gui Zhi has many
different components and what we have found and even in today’s world we have
found that it’s used to strengthen the heart stop the pain strengthen the
stomach the digestion gets rid of wind and you know in modern-day usage we’ve
been using Gui Zhi to control blood sugar so in some cases where I think
there is more of a wind cold type of condition I think in that situation will
probably work better. so that’s research and pharmacology. Jim do you have anything else to add before we move forward? I think you
explained very well and your references to the classics can be helpful and
understanding this herb once again perhaps there are a number of other
actions here which listeners can be aware of in time as
well. wonderful and let’s going to Qiang Huo (notopterygium) in systems
Qiang Huo is we are still in the wind call elimination area here and
Qiang Huo originated and is produced broadly in Sichuan province in gansu
province in Ching hai Sun Chien also quite a bit of places that you will see
Qiang Hu grown. insects and bugs really like this herb so what
you want to do is clean this up wash it clean and bake it dry in low
temperature and maybe even process and then put it in a dry container. if you
don’t put it in a dry container you’re gonna get some parasite parasite very very
quickly. so let’s go to the characteristics Jim maybe enlighten us
on this herb how this herb might be different from the previous two. well from
the taste it’s also pungent as as all of the herbs in this wind
cold exterior relieving category are but it’s also bitter. we just saw that
cinnamon is sweet and this herb is bitter as ma huang is also bitter so
it’s also from temperature warm and in this – it’s warm and it opens up
to the kidney and bladder channels its dosage is relatively low generally I
keep it around three to six grams but there are a few rare cases where it can
be dosed quite high if other herbs in the formula used to balance that dosage
or a main action is emphasized. great and as action goes again Gui Zhi like on the
previous – I mean Qiang Huo like the previous ones have three main actions. the very
first one is that it dissipates wind cold and then the second one
is that it dissipates wind damp and stops Bi syndrome and then the next one is that
it is very good in stopping pain it has a certain amount of pain management
action and function. so Jim how would you use this herb?
well you know wind cold condition with general symptoms and signs like body
aches and posterior neck pain and occipital headaches in a classic wind
cold pattern where the tai yang channels are affected tai yang channel
means bladder channel in this case I would use it for that in the case of
wind and damp reiterating neck pain for example when the back of the head is
affected the posterior neck aspect and even upper back pain it also is used as
a guide herb in a formula with wind damp to directed to the upper extremity
direct the formula action to the other extremity and therefore used for pain in
the shoulder an occasional pain of the upper extremities and in terms of its
action on pain I just mentioned the neck pain shoulder pain it’s often used for
the general symptom of pain with other herbs directing to the surface
especially towards the upper body. so that’s wonderful and of course is a
contrast to […] which is for more lower part of the body which we’ll
discuss that much much later for wind cold headache Qiang Huo is actually a
very good herb and and with a body ache it is frequently combined with Fang Feng
[…] and […] and Cang Zhu together such as you know a formula […] has some of these main herbs in there so this is basically the
combinations and so Jim how how would you is there something we need to be
concerned when we are using this herb? well there’s two indications that I think of
them what is be cautious when there’s a deficiency especially a blood deficiency
when using this herb is pungent and warm and has some drying properties related
to it it’s also an herb that shouldn’t be used in a large dose if there’s a
spleen and stomach deficiency as it may cause or induce vomiting. that’s great
and I would also want to say somebody who has profuse sweating and with
a deficiency condition they may not want to use this herb
because this got a little kick to it so its a pretty strong herb. now if we are looking at
classics again just like the previous two herbs there’s not
a lack of classic description of this formula and let’s goes through it. so the
very first one is Ben Cao where it talked about how Qiang Huo and […]
both are very good in getting rid of wind damp and benefit the joints benefit joints.
and then […] talked about how this herb Qiang Huo can be used for the
fevery wind where that someone is aphasic or lost voice or cannot speak
well and or if there is many different blood tumor or what we call […] in the abdomen,
it’s also used for paralysis facial paralysis and Bi syndromes throughout the whole
body. so it’s basically a wonderful discussion in some of these classics. so
the pharmacology is that Qiang Huo contains evaporative oil and amino acid
and alkaloids and some of these Qiang Huo is used for example is germs or
bacteria it actually suppresses and actually kills their action
function so very very good or any more thoughts on this? I think we’ve covered this well
often used in pain patterns perhaps underline that and that goes together
with the approach using it not only when cold but also a bi pattern condition
with wind damp cold or wind cold damp. okay wonderful wonderful
and that’s shall we move on to – Oh another thing I want to talk about is
that in the pharmacology Qiang Huo actually has been useful inflammation stopping
pain relief fever and it also has been used for basically blood flow deficiency
going to the heart of where you can actually strengthen the blood flow so
this is some the pharmacology I can find. do you have anything else to add? you
know not at this time let’s go on to the next one. okay let’s
go to Zi Su Ye – just like the previous three herbs but now we
are really besides this in a category of wind cold elimination
it now has other function the other herbs kind of different in this one
first of all the Zi Su Ye it’s a beautiful herb and the leaf is quite
purplish and I really enjoy really looking at and playing with this herb I
myself I love this herb. it’s very easy to cook it actually taste not bad and
has been useful in stomach flu stomach issues and and there are different parts
of this plant Perillae we call it Folium Perillae that
we can use. right now we’re going to be talking about the leaf but Zi Su Ye the
the branch as well as Zi Su Ye the seed all of them have definitely unique and different
functions from the main herb – or the leaf – so but we’ll go ahead and focus on
the main leaf so the that’s look into the characteristic of this
herb Zi Su Ye. so it’s pungent and warm and opens up into the lung channel the
spleen the stomach channel all three channels of the tai yin and the yang
min here lungs spleen stomach. its dose is generally between 3 and 9 grams and
although it can be dosed much higher by specifically fish and crab poisoning, not
particularly an every day application in herbal clinic, but one that should
be noted here. in that case it’s dosed as high as 30 to 60 grams as well. yeah
and I think for relieving like alcohol poisoning or relieving
drunkenness I think a large dosage could be even more helpful. so as indications
go this earth relieves biao dissipates cold and it circulates Qi, harmonizes
stomach, so it’s been useful when cold wind – wind colds, and has been
used also for different conditions that that Jim will talk about. the second
thing is that it also gets rid of any I think what I said earlier is that it can
be used to circulate Chi and harmonize the stomach but not only that it just
is good for Chi circulation it’s good for any kind of chest congestion so it’s
not just for spleen and stomach and as you can tell there’s many different
incident situations where that the spleen and stomach chi congestion is can
be prevalent. so Jim how would you use this herb? well the first indication
would be the common cold wind cold type of pattern again
that we mentioned with ma huang Gui Zhi and Qiang Huo – the first three herbs
in this category. if there was one symptom I tend to focus on with this
herb it would be in the wind cold pattern with a cough so I want to mention the
cough and that would be with a clear white or yellow discharge or
white-ish discharge suggesting the cold as you mentioned it’s a chi regulating herb
and it’s used for stomach Chi stagnation with nausea especially and
vomiting and it’s combined with other herbs that help that function improve
the stomach function. but it’s also as you mentioned a good herb for moving
the chi in other cases in fact it’s used in a application for Qi stagnation that
essentially leads to a phlegm more fluid and phlegm blockage in the throat
leading to a symptom like globus hystericus or a feeling of something
stuck in the throat as well as perhaps some distension and blockage sensation
in the chest. that’s great Jim and then basically when you use it to treat cold, frequently we combine with Chen Pi and and Xiang Fu especially when there’s a
cough situation and such as in Zheng Qi San and then if you have Chi stasis in the chest as well as in a mid gastrin we usually would come by with Xiang Fu
and Chen Pi such as Liu Su San and a and and we we are treating for just spleen
and stomach chi stasis and if we look here quite a bit of heat symptoms but
maybe we can combine with Huang Lian (Coptidis) to help to treat this
congestion of the spleen and stomach chi. we can also combine with Ban Xia
and Hou Po and use for chi stasis and when there is phlegm involvement. As for nausea
and vomiting due to pregnancy we frequently combined with Chen Pi and Sha Ren which is
very good in stopping nausea and cough but it also calms the fetus. and as Jim was discussing about the poisoning or shall we say
allergic reaction from eating crabs for example fish causing abdominal pain and
vomiting we can in that situation combined with ginger and […] into the
mix to help in that situation. so this is some of the combinations that we can use. and
Jim is there any kind of caution we need to talk about for this herb, when we use
this herb? I would like to mention two one is for the pattern of exterior
deficiency where there is some sweating due to an exogenous factor on the surface
of the body and the second would be to be aware that a long-term use of this
herb may lead to some depletion of Qi or may lead to symptoms of Qi deficiency so
it’s generally speaking relatively safe to use this for shorter periods of time
but over a long period of time especially when there’s no longer
pathogens just on the surface of bodies should be restricted in its application.
very good and in the classics again there is not a shortage of explanations and i
think the main description about this herb came from this very
famous physician named Tao Hong-Jing where he described very clearly what this Zi Su Ye is all about in fact to a point i almost think that he really loved this
herb tremendously but that’s how come some the classics where it discusses
about this herb such as […] where it talked about how this herb can descend chi, gets rid of coldness in the middle jiao and Ben Cao Jing talks
about how this herb can open up the heart channel and benefit and spleen and
stomach and Ben Cao […] talks about how this herb is used to circulate
chi, opens up the middle, dissolves phlegm, benefit lung, harmonizes
the blood warms up the middle, stops the pain, and it’s
good for stopping asthma and also good for calming the fetus – calming the fetus- so quite a bit of discussion but a lot of them
discussing its effectiveness not just as a diaphoresis herb but also what it does
to the middle jiao – such a soothing herb such a shall we say a very
non-toxic herb that’s why it’s so safe to be used during pregnancy during
pregnancy. and in pharmacology this herb basically has an antipyretic effect it stops
fever also calms and has an antibacterial effect and it also helps, it is used for nausea in pregnant women it also facilitates peristalsis of
the intestines in rat model and so this is just some of the things I can find in the
pharmacology. Jim do you have anything else to add? I think you’ve
added quite a lot of information here I appreciate that.
well I think we have spent some time with these four herbs and they’re all
very interesting herbs. I think our time is up
otherwise let’s come back and do this again next time. thank you Dr. Dao. thank
you for joining us in our discussion of these Chinese medicinal
herbs and we look forward to visiting with you again in our next episode. In the
meantime we wish you well wellness and health.