Tag Archive | properties

Four Properties and Five Tastes

When we speak of the four properties and the five tastes, we can differentiate degrees of intensity. herbs may be cold, slightly cold and very cold; bitter, slightly bitter and very bitter; etc. Some herbs, such as schisandra fruit(wu wei zi), possess several tastes. In any event, every herb is cataloged as having a taste and a property. These two characteristics are used to describe the complicated actions of the herb. Therefor, ephedra (ma huang) is pungent-spicy and warm and disperese wind and cold; lily bulb( bai he) is sweet and cold and promotes the production of body fluids; and astragalus root(huang qi)  is sweet and warm and replenishes qi.

Herbs that descend and sink move downward and inward, conduct qi downward, promote urination and defencation, subdue yang and clam the mind. Examples include perilla seed (su zi), red ochre ( dai zhe shi), rhubarb( da huang) and cinnabar(zhu sha).

In gerneral, the functional tendency of a herb is related to its taste, property, quality and processsing. Herbs featured as ascending and floating must be pungent-spicy or sweet in taste as well as warm or hot in properiy, while herbs characterized as descending and sinking must be bitter, sour or salty in taste as well as cool or cold in property. The well-known doctor Li shizhen once described the relationships this way:” Sour or salty herbs have no function of ascending, pungent-cpicy or sweet herbs have no function of descending, cold herbs have no function of floating and hot herbs no function of sinking.

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Traditional Chinese Medicinal Herb-Gastrodiae/Tian Ma

1912079_161058905000_2Tian ma, Traditional Chinese Medicinal herb, in Latin is Rhizoma Gastrodiae, and the dried tuber of Gastrodia elata Bl. (Fam. Orchidaceae).

Gastrodiae/Tian Ma is mainly produced in Yunnan, Sichuan, Shanxi and Guizhou provinces. It is also produced in Dabie Mountains and southern mountain district in Anhui province. In Shanxi and Guizhou provinces, it is usually grown.

Gathering and Processing Gastrodiae/Tian Ma is collected from winter to the next spring. The tuber is dug out, and should be washed very clean after the fine roots and mud are removed, steamed or boiled thoroughly, spread out and dried at a lower temperature to 70-80% in dryness. Then it is taken out, squashed and fully dried afterwards.

Pharmacological Effects Tianma has protective effects on the heart, microcirculation, blood vessels and blood pressure, on nerve cell injury and can enhance immunity. It also has anticonvulsion, sedative-hypnotic effects analgesic effects, nootropic and anti-aging effects.

The properties of Gastrodiae/Tian Ma is weet in flavor and neutral in property, and attributive to the liver.

Actions Subdue the liver-wind and arrest convulsion, soothe the hyperactive liver yang, eliminate wind and remove the obstruction from meridians.

1. Internal stiring of the liver wind, seizures and convulsion For acute and chronic infantile convulsion, it is usually combined with Lingyangjiao, Gouteng, and Quanxie ,etc.; for chronic infantile convulsion due to spleen deficiency, it is combined with Renshen, Baizhu , and Jiangcan, etc.; for the treatment of tetanus with convulsion, combined with Tiannanxing , Baifuzi, etc.

2. Vertigo and headache For vertigo and headache due to hyperactivity of liver yang, it is usually combined with Gouteng and Huangqin,etc; for headache and dizziness due to up-attacking of wind-phlegm, combined with Banxia and Baizhu , etc.; for vertigo in staggering and headache, combined with Chuanxiong .

3. Nerve pain Intramuscular injection of 2~4ml of 20% Tianma Injection is obviously effective in curing trigeminal neuralgia, sciatica and supraorbital neuralgia. In treatment of nervous pain by gastrodinea, bout 70% effective rate is achieved.

4. Epilepsy Vanillyl aldehyde tablet made from the active component of Tianma is effective in treating a bad fit or slight fit of epilepsy.

5. Vertigo syndrome Tianma Injection is used to treat this syndrome with about 90% effective rate.

201303191452076. Rheumatoid pain, numbness of the extremities, distorted mouth and eye, and difficult movement of hands and feet For these morbid conditions, it is combined with the medicinals for expelling wind and dampness such as Qinjiao and Qianghuo, etc.

7. Hyperlipidemia Armillaria tablet has certain curative effect on high cholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia and hypertension.

Usage and Dosage Oral administration of decoction 3-9g.