Tian Ma - Gastrodia Root

TCM Materia Medica

Tian Ma TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "tian ma" which in english is Tian Ma herb"gastrodia root", is categorized within the "herbs that extinguish wind and stop tremors" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the liver channels and exhibits neutral (ping) 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: 3-9g
  • 0.9-1.5g powder

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

  • Calms the liver, extinguishes liver wind from either heat or cold patterns - spasms, tremors, headache, epilepsy, numbness, dizziness, wind-stroke, childhood convulsion, can be used for problems due to heat or blood deficiency.
  • Extinguishes wind, alleviates pain - headache, dizziness, migraine headaches that occur with wind-phlegm patterns, hemiplegia, dizziness, numbness.
  • Disperse painful obstruction due to wind phlegm - numbness and pain of the lower back and extremities.

Tian Ma may potentially be used, in coordination with a well tailored formula (in most cases), to influence the following conditions: back pain, dizziness (vertigo), epilepsy (seizure), headache, leg pain, migraines and/or numbness

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

ViewBan Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Wan (Pinellia, Atractylodis and Gastrodia Combination)

Nausea with possible vomitting from combination of damp with liver qi stagnation causing rebellious qi. Dizziness, migraines, and vertigo from damp and liver wind rising. Heavy or oppressed sensati…

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…

ViewBu Nao Wan (Brain Supplementing Pills)

A range of psychiatric, cognitive decline, trauma issues - benefit and clears the brain, transforms phlegm and tonifies kidney qi and the blood. Often used for both general cognitive decline/dementi…

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 …

ViewTe Xiao Jing Zhui Tong Wan (Patent Neck Pain Relief Pills)

Stiffness, pain, and/or tightness of the neck.

ViewTian Ma Gou Teng Wan (Gastrodia and Uncaria Formula)

Headaches, vertigo, dizziness, tinnitis, floaters or blurry vision, insomnia as a result of liver yang rising.  Siezures, spasms, convulsions or other types of involuntary muscle activity due to liv…

As noted above, tian ma is within the herbs that extinguish wind and stop tremors functional group. All the herbs in this category are listed below.

(truncated intro "... for internal wind. results from liver and kidney imbalances - yin deficiency, ascendant liver yang, blood deficiency, high fevers. symptoms: headache, dizziness, blurred vision, tinnitus, irritability, vomiting, palpitations with anxiety…)".

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