Sha Shen - Glehnia Root

TCM Materia Medica

Sha Shen TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "sha shen" which in english is Sha Shen herb"glehnia root", is categorized within the "herbs that tonify yin" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the lung and stomach 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: 9-15g

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

  • Moistens the lungs, stops cough - dry, non-productive cough due to lung yin deficiency.
  • Nourish the stomach, generate fluids, clear heat (after febrile disease or yin deficiency) - dry mouth or throat.
  • Moisten the exterior - dry itchy skin aggravated by cold and dry weather.

Sha Shen has some precautions to be considered (see our precautions list).

Our clinical staff have made the following notes, regarding sha shen:

There are two types of sha shen - bei sha shen and nan sha shen.  Bei sha shen is most commonly used.

A single herb is not often thought of as an empirical way to influence a TCM diagnostic pattern. Sha Shen, however, is a strong candidate to be considered when needing to influence lung yin deficiency.

Sha Shen may potentially be used, in coordination with a well tailored formula (in most cases), to influence the following conditions: cough

While it may not always be included depending on the manufacturer or herbalist making the formula, sha shen is generally included in the following 2 formulas:

ViewSha Shen Mai Dong Wan (Glehnia and Ophiopogonis Decoction)

Important formula for stomach yin deficiency - benefits the stomach and the lungs - a range of digestive issues (gastritis, epigastric pain), possibly with dry throat, thirst and/or cough. Diabetes …

ViewYi Guan Jian Wan (Linking Decoction)

GI issues from yin deficiency (liver and kidney) with liver qi stagnation leading to stomach yin issues - gastritis, ulcers, reflux, bloating. The underlying factors lead to dryness of the blood, th…

As noted above, sha shen is within the herbs that tonify yin functional group. All the herbs in this category are listed below.

(truncated intro "... yin tonics are generally sweet, cold, enriching and cloying. they are inappropriate for spleen or stomach deficiency, internal dampness or phlegm, abdominal distension, and/or diarrhea. general symptoms by system: lung yin defic…)".

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