Zhi Mu - Anemarrhena Rhizome

TCM Materia Medica

Zhi Mu TCM Herb Classifications and Usages

The TCM herb "zhi mu" which in english is "anemarrhena rhizome", is categorized within the "herbs that drain fire" functional grouping. It is thought to enter the kidney, lung and stomach channels and exhibits 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: 6-12g

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

  • Clears heat, drains fire - high fever, irritability, thirst, and a rapid flooding pulse in patterns of excessive heat in the lungs and/or stomach; cough due to lung heat with thick yellow sputum.
  • Nourishes yin, moistens dryness - deficiency of lung and kidney yin, night sweats, steaming bone disorder, irritability, afternoon or low-grade fevers, bleeding gums, five-center heat; also for kidney heat signs - spermatorrhea, nocturnal emission, high sexual desire.
  • Generates fluids and clears heat - oral ulcers and inflammation due to yin deficiency, wasting and thirsting disorder.

Zhi Mu has some precautions to be considered (see our precautions list).

  • Avoid in patients with diarrhea from spleen deficiency.

Our clinical staff have made the following notes, regarding zhi mu:

  • Ideal choice where heat has dried the yin fluid.
  • The herb may be fried in salt water to enhance the nourishing kidney function.
  • Often combined with tonifying/warming herbs when they may be too hot/drying (Huang Qi, Gui Zhi, Zhi Fu Zi, etc.).
  • Research has shown this herb to have antibacterial properties.

While it may not always be included depending on the manufacturer or herbalist making the formula, zhi mu is generally included in the following 14 formulas:

  • Bai Hu Wan (White Tiger Decoction) - In 6 channel theory, Yang ming channel heat or the "4 big…
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  • Bi Yan Wan (Nose Inflammation Tablets) - For acute or chronic rhinitis resulting from the combinatio…
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  • Chu Kou Wei Wan (Chu Kou Wei Wan) - Acid reflux and/or burning sensation in the epigastrium, th…
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  • Er Xian Wan (Two Immortal Decoction) - Kidney Yin and Kidney Yang deficiencies with Empty Heat - h…
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  • Jiang Ya Wan (Repress The Blood Pressure Pills) - Hypertension particularly with ascendent yang and heat sign…
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  • Li Dan Wan (Benefit The Gallbladder Pills) - A range of gallbladder, liver and related digestive/obstruc…
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  • Mai Men Dong Yin Zi Wan (Ophiopogon and Trichosanthes Combination) - Lung and stomach yin deficiency - this is a modified versio…
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  • Qing Hao Bie Jia Wan (Artemisia Annua and Soft-Shelled Turtle Formula) - Heat at night (nightsweats, sensation of heat) with a sen…
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  • Shen Jing Shuai Ruo Wan (Stress Reducing Pill) - For common variants of the modern western lifestyle - in Ch…
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  • Suan Zao Ren Wan (Sour Jujube Decoction) - Shen related issues when arising from liver blood deficienc…
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  • Te Xiao Zao Ren An Mian Wan (Peaceful Sleep Tablets) - Insomnia, vivid dreaming, nightmares. Acute emotional inst…
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  • Xiao Feng Wan (Clear Wind Pill) - Itchy and red skin lesions, possibly with weeping -psoriasi…
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  • Xin Yi Qing Fei Wan (Magnolia Flower Drink To Clear The Lungs) - Colds and/or allergies with heat signs (yellow mucus and/or…
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  • Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan (Eight Flavor Rehmannia Teapills) - Steaming bone syndrome - dry and intensive persuasive sensa…
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    As noted above, zhi mu is within the herbs that drain fire functional group. All the herbs in this category are listed below.

    (truncated intro "... very cold - for high fever, irritability, thirst, delirium associated with febrile disease. qi level or yang ming level disorders. )".

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