Anemarrhena Asphodeloides (Zhi mu)

Anemarrhena Asphodeloides is also known as Zhi mu

This is a liliaceous plant with a thick rhizome covered with erect yellowish or reddish hairs. The flowers are purplish on the inside, yellowish on the outside, and resemble those of the garlic plant. The herb is sold in flat, irregular, shriveled pieces about 10 centimeters long and 20 millimeters thick. It has a bitter taste but a pleasant odor. The herb contains the saponin asphonin, which has antipyretic properties, and a large amount of mucilage.

The herb grows plentifully in the mountains north of Peking and in most of the northern Chinese provinces.

MEDICINAL PARTS: rhizomes, stems

Energy: cold
Flavor: bitter
Affinity: kidneys, lungs, stomach

THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS: antipyretic; demulcent; emollient to bowels; diuretic; Feduces swelling (TCM: nourishes kidney-yin; clears internal heat)

INDICATIONS: nocturnal emission, night sweats, impotence, insufficient erection due to adrenal deficiency; diarrhea; constipation; thirst, insomnia, and irritability due to excess internal heat; pneumonia and bronchitis (TCM: empty kidney-yin; empty yin)

DOSAGE: decoction: 6-12 grams, in two doses, on an empty stomach

powder: plain, capsules, or pills; 5-10 grams, in two doses, on an empty stomach, with warm water or wine

CONTRAINDICATIONS: TCM: empty-cold conditions in spleen and stomach; diarrhea that has become completely watery; prolonged use may cause chronic loose bowels

INCOMPATIBLES: iron preparations; iron utensils

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