Mu Xiang - Costus Root

TCM Materia Medica

Mu Xiang TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "mu xiang" which in english is Mu Xiang herb"costus root", is categorized within the "herbs that regulate the qi" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the gall bladder, large intestine, spleen and stomach channels and exhibits acrid, 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: 1.5-9g (add during the last 5 minutes)

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

  • Promotes the movement of Qi, alleviates pain - stagnant qi of the stomach and/or spleen causing lack of appetite, abdominal pain, distention, nausea; liver or gallbladder qi stagnation causing flank pain, distention.
  • Regulates stagnated Qi in the intestines - diarrhea, abdominal pain (common herb to treat tenesmus).
  • Strengthens the spleen and prevents stagnation, used with tonifying herbs to reduce side effects.

Mu Xiang may potentially be used, in coordination with a well tailored formula (in most cases), to influence the following conditions: abdominal pain, diarrhea and/or nausea

While it may not always be included depending on the manufacturer or herbalist making the formula, mu xiang is generally included in the following 10 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…

ViewGui Pi Wan (Restore the Spleen Formula)

The formula is used to tonify both the spleen and heart which can be damaged from excessive overthinking, compulsions, etc. along with poor dietary habits and stressful lifestyle.   Anxiety, phobias…

ViewHui Chun Wan (Recovery Special Pill)

Most often used for childhood convulsions (possibly with wheezing, nausea, nighttime crying, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive mucus/saliva) or other conditions that involve fever, impaired or loss of …

ViewJian Pi Wan (Strengthen Spleen Pills)

For stomach and spleen qi deficiency with dampness that has potentially generated mild interior-heat - diarrhea, abdominal pain, poor appetite, epigastric pain. May be used in early pregnancy for mo…

ViewJia Wei Gui Pi Wan (Augmented Restore The Spleen Decoction)

A combination of jia wei xiao yao wan and gui pi wan - similar effects but with more spleen qi and blood tonification. A range of stress related issues - essentially mixes of stagnation with underly…

ViewLi Dan Wan (Benefit The Gallbladder Pills)

A range of gallbladder, liver and related digestive/obstructive issues - clears damp heat from the liver and gall bladder in TCM terms.  Symptoms may include gallstones and/or a range of digestive is…

ViewShu Gan Wan (Liver Comfort Pills)

Abdominal and/or Hypochondriac pain, cramps or spasms resulting from liver qi stagnation. Alternating chills and fever. Nausea, bloating, acid reflux, alternating stools, or IBS like symptoms cause…

ViewXiang Lian Wan (Aucklandia and Coptis Pills)

Diarrhea expecially with bright blood or mucus and foul smelling resuling from damp heat. Nausea, abdominal cramps or bloating, with possible loss of appetite from damp accumulation. Vomitting, hic…

ViewXiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Wan (Aucklandia, Amomi & Six Gentlemen Pills)

A modified version of the base, zhi zhu wan, which is used to treat qi stagnation and food retention from qi deficiency.  This modification includes herbs which add more movement and damp drying. Di…

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, mu xiang is within the herbs that regulate the qi functional group. All the herbs in this category are listed below.

(truncated intro "... used with qi disorders involving deficiency and stagnation. these herbs are primarily used for stagnation involving the spleen and stomach, constrained liver qi, and stagnant lung qi. )".

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