Mu Li - Oyster Shell

TCM Materia Medica

Mu Li TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "mu li" which in english is "oyster shell", is categorized within the "herbs that anchor, settle and calm the spirit" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the kidney and liver channels and exhibits cool and salty (xian) 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: 15-30g cook 20-30 minutes extra

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

  • Calms the spirit - palpitations, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia.
  • Benefits the yin, anchors floating yang - irritable, insomnia, dizziness, headache, tinnitus, blurred vision, bad temper, red flushed face due to yin deficiency with ascending yang.
  • Prevents leakage of fluids - continuous sweating in steaming bone disorder, aftermath of warm-febrile disease, spontaneous sweating, night sweats, nocturnal emission, spermatorrhea, leukorrhea, uterine bleeding.
  • Softens hardness, dissipates nodules - scrofula, goiter.
  • Absorbs acidity - stomach pain, sour taste in the mouth.

Mu Li may potentially be used, in coordination with a well tailored formula (in most cases), to influence the following conditions: anxiety, dizziness (vertigo), goiter, headache, insomnia, leukorrhea, night sweats (sleep hyperhidrosis), palpitations, tinnitus and/or vision problems

While it may not always be included depending on the manufacturer or herbalist making the formula, mu li is generally included in the following 6 formulas:

ViewChai Hu Gui Zhi Gan Jiang Wan (Bupleurum, Cinnamon Twig and Ginger Decoction)

Shaoyang disorder with water accumulation - A modification of xiao chai hu tang with gui zhi and gan jiang to work with mixed pattern cases of "heat above, cold below".  Generally for patients with e…

ViewChai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li Wan (Bupleurum, Dragon Bone, and Oyster Shell Formula)

Palpitations, anxiety, restlessness, agitation/irritibility, and insomnia from heat due to liver yang or fire. Mental disorders such as including biopolar and schizophrenia resulting from distrubed …

ViewDa Bu Gan Wan (Major Liver Nutrition Pills)

Brittle nails, yellowing of the skin (jaundice). Abdominal cramping, distension or pain in the hypochrondia due to liver qi stangation Fatty liver, hepatitis and other liver diseases. 

ViewGu Zhi Shu Song Wan (Osteoporosis Tablets)

For bone disorders includeing osteoporosis and osteopenia. May help reduce or prevent further bone loss.

ViewRun Chang Wan (Lubricate the Intestines Pills)

Constipation primarily from blood and/or yin deficiency patterns.   Dryness of the skin, nails, and/or hair.

ViewWu Ji Bai Feng Wan (Black Chicken White Phoenix Pills)

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As noted above, mu li is within the herbs that anchor, settle and calm the spirit functional group. All the herbs in this category are listed below.

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