Huo Xiang - Patchouli

TCM Materia Medica

Huo Xiang TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "huo xiang" which in english is Huo Xiang herb"patchouli", is categorized within the "aromatic herbs that transform dampness" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the lung, spleen and stomach channels and exhibits acrid 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 (do not cook more than 15 minutes)

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

  • Aromatically transforms turbid dampness - abdominal distention, nausea, vomiting.
  • Harmonizes middle burner, stops vomiting due to dampness.
  • Releases the exterior (wind-damp-cold, summer heat), stomach flu.

Huo Xiang may potentially be used, in coordination with a well tailored formula (in most cases), to influence the following conditions: flu, nausea and/or vomiting

While it may not always be included depending on the manufacturer or herbalist making the formula, huo xiang is generally included in the following 4 formulas:

ViewBao Ji Wan (Protect and Relieve Pills)

Cramping and/or painful distension of the abdomen. Foul smelling belching or gas with diarrhea due to heat in the intestine. May alleviate some hangover symptoms. Also useful to treat food poisoni…

ViewHuo Xiang Zheng Qi Wan (Agastache Powder to Correct the Qi)

Acute flu or cold symptoms including fever, aversion to cold, headaches, sinus pressure, runny nose. Vomitting and diarrhea from interior damp with possible abdominal cramps or pains.

ViewTe Xiao Bi Min Gan Wan (Specially Effective Nasal Allergy Pills)

Generally useful for a range of allergy symptoms - seasonal allergies, rhinitis, sinusitis, dry or watery eyes, sinus headaches, etc.  Can be used both as a preventative and as a symptomatic aid for …

ViewXiang Sha Yang Wei Wan (Aucklandia Amomi Nurture Stomach Pills)

Low appetite, apathy towards eating due to spleen qi deficiency. Acid reflux, indigestion, epigastric pain, tendency to feel full even with small quantities of food. Food stagnation due to overeati…

As noted above, huo xiang 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 channels). general symptoms are - distension and fullness in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting or spitting…)".

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