Gui Zhi

Both the twigs (Gui Zhi) and bark (Rou Gui) are used medicinally - the bark is considered to be the hotter of the two and affects central parts of the body. Gui Zhi, on the other hand, is seen as warming the exterior and peripheries - in the same way that twigs represent the outermost parts of the tree. Gui Zhi first appeared in a Tang Dynasty herbal in around AD660 and is considered to be less strong than Ma Huang.

BOTANICAL NAME: Cinnomomum cassia

COMMON NAMES: Cinnamon, Cassia

FAMILY: Lauraceae


TASTE: Pungent, sweet


MERIDIANS: Heart, lung, urinary bladder

ACTIONS: Antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, analgesic, relieves flatulence and indigestion, improves heart function, stimulates urine flow

TRADITIONAL USES: • to warm the channels and collaterals • to disperse cold • to improve circulation of yang Oi • to strengthen heart yang

TYPICAL CHINESE DOSE: 3-9 grams (1/10 - 1/3 ounce)

COMBINATIONS: Often used with Mo Huang for exterior cold - such as common colds and arthritic problems. Used with Fu Ling, Gan Cao, or Dan Shen for various heart-related problems, including angina pectoris, and with Wu Zhu Yu for abdominal and period pains associated with cold.

CAUTIONS: Avoid in feverish conditions, excess heat or fire, and throughout pregnancy

Return from Gui Zhi to Chinese Medicine

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