Niu Huang - Cattle Gallstone

TCM Materia Medica

Niu Huang TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "niu huang" which in english is "cattle gallstone", is categorized within the "herbs that open orifices" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the heart and liver channels and exhibits bitter (ku), cool and sweet (gan) 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: 0.15-1g

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

  • Clears the heart, opens the orifices, awakens the spirit, vaporizes phlegm - delirium or coma due to wind-heat or hot diseases with hot phlegm obstructing the pericardium.
  • Clears the liver, relieves toxicity, extinguishes wind, stops tremors - spasms, tremors, convulsions with high fever due to heat entering the liver.
  • Drains heat and relieves fire toxicity - red, painful, swollen, or ulcerated throat as well as for sores, carbuncles, boils, and a wide variety of hot swellings.

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

  • Do not use during pregnancy.

While it may not always be included depending on the manufacturer or herbalist making the formula, niu huang is generally included in the following 3 formulas:

ViewAn Gong Niu Huang Wan (Calm The Palace Pill With Cattle Gallstone)

Resuscitates, clears heat, calms shen, and expels phelgm - coma arising from stroke, convulsions, loss of consciousness.

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 …

ViewMa Ying Long (Musk Hemorrhoid Ointment)

Hemorrhoids and/or constipation from an accumulation of damp-heat and toxins in the lower jiao - possibly bleeding hemorrhoids, pain, rectal prolapse, anal itching.  Shrinks swollen tissue, helps to …

As noted above, niu huang is within the herbs that open orifices functional group. All the herbs in this category are listed below.

(truncated intro "... opens up sensory orifices and awakens the spirit - delirium, coma, locked jaw, clenched fists, rigid limbs, seizures. there herbs are scattering by nature and can drain yuan qi; treats symptoms, not the root. )".

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