Cang Zhu - Atractylodes

TCM Materia Medica

Cang Zhu TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "cang zhu" which in english is Cang Zhu herb"atractylodes", is categorized within the "aromatic herbs that transform dampness" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the spleen and stomach channels and exhibits acrid, aromatic, bitter (ku) and warm (wen) taste/temperature properties.

Dosages and preparations will vary according to each individual and the overall approach of a formula, but generally this herb has the following dosage and/or preparation guidelines:

  • Dosage: 4.5-9g

Of many possible clinical applications, it may be considered to influence the following issues/symptoms:

  • Strongly dries dampness, strengthens spleen - low appetite, diarrhea, epigastric distention, fatigue, vomiting, greasy tongue coat.
  • Expels wind-damp-cold (bi-syndrome) in extremities.
  • Clears damp-heat from lower burner (combine with clear-heat herbs, however, as this has a warm nature (for example, Er Miao San) - vaginal discharge, swollen and sore joints.
  • Induces sweating, release the exterior.
  • Improves vision.

Cang Zhu may potentially be used, in coordination with a well tailored formula (in most cases), to influence the following conditions: diarrhea, epigastric pain, fatigue and/or vomiting

While it may not always be included depending on the manufacturer or herbalist making the formula, cang zhu is generally included in the following 11 formulas:

  • Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Wan (Pinellia, Atractylodis and Gastrodia Combination) - Nausea with possible vomitting from combination of damp wit…
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  • Bao Ji Wan (Protect and Relieve Pills) - Cramping and/or painful distension of the abdomen. Foul sm…
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  • Chu Kou Wei Wan (Chu Kou Wei Wan) - Acid reflux and/or burning sensation in the epigastrium, th…
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  • Mu Xiang Shun Qi Wan (Saussurea Qi Promoting Pills) - Bloating, lower abdominal pain, sluggish bowels. Acid refl…
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  • Ping Wei Wan (Calm the Stomach Powder) - Damp cold stagnation in the middle jiao - poor appetite, in…
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  • Qian Lie Shu Wan (Prostate Comfort Pills) - Frequent and/or urgent urination, dribbling, incontinence. …
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  • Qing Shu Yi Qi Tang Wan (Clear Summer Heat and Augment the Qi) - Please note that there are two formulas with the same name …
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  • Shu Jing Huo Xue Wan (Relax The Channels and Invigorate The Blood Decoction) - Primarily used for blood stasis with wind-damp in the chann…
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  • Si Miao Wan (Four Marvels Powder) - Damp-Heat Bi-Syndromes in Chinese Medicine terms - arthriti…
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  • Xiao Feng Wan (Clear Wind Pill) - Itchy and red skin lesions, possibly with weeping -psoriasi…
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  • Yue Ju Wan (Escape Restraint Pill) - An important formula for plum pit qi and related issues ari…
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    As noted above, cang zhu is within the aromatic herbs that transform dampness functional group. All the herbs in this category are listed below.

    (truncated intro "... the concept of dampness indicates a damp pathogenic influence which causes stagnation in the middle warmer (i.e. the stomach and spleen ch…)".

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