Da Huang - Rhubarb

TCM Materia Medica

Da Huang TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "da huang" which in english is Da Huang herb"rhubarb", is categorized within the "herbs that drain downward" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the heart, large intestine, liver and stomach channels and exhibits bitter (ku) and cold (han) 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: 3-12g
  • Raw has a more purging effect
  • Wine/Vinegar mix has a more blood invigorating effect
  • Charred will treat bleeding disorders

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

  • Drains heat and purges accumulations - high fever, profuse sweating, thirst, constipation, abdominal distention and pain, delirium, yellow tongue coating, full pulse which indicates intestinal heat excess or yang ming stage illness.
  • Drains heat from the blood - blood in the stool from bleeding hemorrhoids or heat in the intestine; vomting blood or nosebleed accompanied by constipation; painful eyes or fire toxin sores due to heat in the blood level.
  • Drains damp-heat via the stool - jaundice, dysentery, lin syndrome.
  • Invigorates the blood and dispels blood stasis - amenorrhea, abdominal masses, fixed pain due to blood stasis (recent and long-term blood stasis).
  • Clears heat and reduces fire toxicity - for burns, hot skin.

Da Huang has some precautions to be considered (see our precautions list).

  • Avoid During Pregnancy and During Nursing
  • Avoid in exterior disorders and deficiency of qi and/or blood

Da Huang may potentially be used, in coordination with a well tailored formula (in most cases), to influence the following conditions: abdominal pain, amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), constipation, deafness (hearing loss), delirium, fever, jaundice and/or sweat problems

While it may not always be included depending on the manufacturer or herbalist making the formula, da huang is generally included in the following 18 formulas:

  • Ba Wei Dai Xia Fang (Eight Herb Powder for Vaginal Discharge) - Clearing damp heat in the lower warmer, particularly with u…
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  • Ba Zheng Wan (Eight Herb Powder for Rectification) - Painful urination when it arises from damp heat syndrome - …
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  • Chai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li Wan (Bupleurum, Dragon Bone, and Oyster Shell Formula) - Palpitations, anxiety, restlessness, agitation/irritibility…
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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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  • Da Huang Mu Dan Pi Wan (Rhubarb and Moutan Combination) - Breaks up heat, moves blood stagnation and reduces swelling…
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  • Huang Lian Shang Qing Wan (Coptis Clearance Pill) - Dispels wind heat, clear toxic heat - generally used short-…
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  • Hui Chun Wan (Recovery Special Pill) - Most often used for childhood convulsions (possibly with …
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  • Jiang Tang Wan (Lower Blood Sugar Pill) - Nourish the yin and tonify qi with particular emphasis on d…
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  • Li Dan Wan (Benefit The Gallbladder Pills) - A range of gallbladder, liver and related digestive/obstruc…
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  • Ma Zi Ren Wan (Hemp Seed Formula) - Constipation with dry/difficult to expel stools along wit…
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  • Nei Xiao Luo Li Wan (Internally Reducing Cervical Lymphadenitis Pills) - Phlegm obstructions - generally benign masses, lumps, swell…
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  • Qing Bi Wan (Clear The Nose Decoction) - Sinus issues arising from damp-heat pattern in Chinese Medi…
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  • Run Chang Wan (Lubricate the Intestines Pills) - Constipation primarily from blood and/or yin deficiency pat…
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  • San Huang Xie Xin Wan (Drain The Epigastrium Decoction) - Damp-heat excess with interior climbing - fever, restless…
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  • Tong Bian Wan (Constipation Pills) - Constipation from heat or fire that has damaged the yin flu…
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  • Xie Xin Wan (Drain the Epigastrium Formula) - Signs of damp-heat with interior clumping which may settl…
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  • Yin Chen Hao Wan (Artemisiae Scopariae Decoction) - Used for a range of liver, gallbladder and pancreatic disor…
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  • Yi Zi Wan (Decoction B) - Hemorrhoids and/or constipation from an accumulation of dam…
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    As noted above, da huang is within the herbs that drain downward functional group. All the herbs in this category are listed below.

    (truncated intro "... purgatives - constipation from interior-heat or interior-cold (both are interior excesses). moist laxatives - often nuts or seeds, lubrica…)".

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