Qian Niu Zi - Morning Glory Seed

TCM Materia Medica

Qian Niu Zi TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "qian niu zi" which in english is "morning glory seed", is categorized within the "herbs that drain downward" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the kidney, large intestine, lung and small intestine channels and exhibits acrid, 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: 4.5-9g
  • If used alone: 1.5-3g

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

  • Drives out water - for heat accumulation in the stomach or intestines, severe constipation, abdominal distention, urinary difficulty (water is expelled through urine and stool).
  • Unblocks the bowels and removes accumulations - constipation due to accumulation and stagnation of damp-heat in the stomach and intestines.
  • Drives out phlegm and congested fluids - cough, wheezing, chest fullness.
  • Expels intestinal parasites and reduces food stagnation - roundworm or tapeworm infestations and food stagnation.

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

  • Antagonist with Ba Dou
  • Avoid during Pregnancy.
  • Toxic, may cause nausea, vomiting.

As noted above, qian niu zi 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, lubricates the intestines; mild in nature - elderly or weakness from febrile disease or from child birth. h…)".

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