[PDF] Heat clearing and fire purging Chinese medicinal herbs
This kind of medicinal herbs take the main action of clearing away and purging pathogenic heat from qifen or the qi phase. They are mostly bitter in flavor and cold in nature while some are sweet and cold, so they are mainly indicated for sthenic heat-syndrome at qifen marked by febrile disease with high fever, restlessness, thirst, perspiration, full and big pulse and even coma and delirium. They are separately indicated for fire-heat syndrome of zang and fu organs due to lung-heat, stomach-heat, heart-fire, and liver-fire, etc..
Shigao Gypsum Fibrosum
It is the monoclinic system of gypsum ore, containing hydrous calcium sulfate, its producing areas are in the provinces of Hubei, Gansu and Sichuan and can be mined all year round. The crude one may be pounded or calcined for being used as a medication.
Medicinal Properties Bitter and sweet in flavor, extreme cold in nature and attributive to the lung and stomach meridians.
Actions Clear away heat and purge fire, relieve restlessness and thirst, and induce astringent and promote tissue regeneration.
It is used for high fever and excessive thirst. With strong actions of clearing away heat and purging fire, and relieving restlessness and thirst, it is the essential medicine to clear away sthenic heat in qifen of lung and stomach meridians. For sthenic-heat syndrome manifested as seasonal febrile disease in qifen, high fever, excessive thirst, and perspiration, it is often used together with Zhimu (Rhizoma Anemarrhenae), such as Baihu Tang (Decoction). For pyrosyndrome involving both qifen and xuefen with high fever, coma, delirium and maculae, it is usually combined with Shengdihuang (Radix Rehmanniae ) , Mudanpi ( Cortex Moutan Radicis ), Xuanshen (Radix Scrophulariae ) and others that can cool blood.
For stagnation of heat in the lung manifested as cough, thick sputum, fever and thirst, it is often combined with Mahuang (Herba Ephedra ), Xingren ( Semen Armeniacae Amarum) to strengthen its action of relieving cough and asthma, such as Ma Xing Shi Gan Tang (Decoction).
For up-rising of stomach-fire with headache, swelling and pain of gum, it is often combined with Huanglian (Rhizoma Coptidis), Shengma ( Rhizoma Cimicifugae) and others that can clear away stomach-heat, such as Qingwei San (Powder).
Externally used for inducing astringent and promoting tissue regeneration, pyocutaneous disease, eczema, burned or boiled wounds and bleeding due to trauma. It can be used in single or together with Qingdai ( Indigo Naturalis), Huangbai ( Cortex Phellodendri ), etc. to clear away heat and remove toxic materials, eliminate dampness and treat ulcer.
Usage and Dosage 15 -60 g is used in decoction for oral use and the crude is suitable to be broken and decocted early; externally used with suitable amount, calcined and then pounded into powder which is mixed with water, being covered on the wounded area.
Notes It is contraindicated in the patient with deficiency and cold of the spleen and stomach, or interior heat due to yin deficiency.
Zhimu Rhizoma Anemarrhenae
The source is from rhizome of a perennial herbaceous plant, Anemarrhena asphodegoides Bunge, family Liliaceae. The producing areas are mainly in the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi, and Northeast China, etc.. The medicinal material is collected in spring and autumn, the crude without hair or external skin is dried in the sun and cut into pieces or stir-baked with a salt solution for use.
Medicinal Properties Bitter and sweet in flavor, cold in nature and attributive to the lung, stomach and kidney meridians.
Actions Clear away heat and purge fire, nourish yin and moisturize dryness.
For overabundance of pathogenic heat due to seasonal febrile disease with symptoms of high fever and excessive thirst, it is usually combined with Shigao (Gypsum Fibrosum), such as Baihu Tang (Decoction).
The medicinal herb is used for symptoms of cough due to lung-heat, dry cough due to yin deficiency, since it can nourish yin and moisten the lung as well as clear away heat and purge fire from the lung. For cough with yellow sputum due to lung-heat, it is used together with Huangqin (Radix Seutellariae ), Beimu ( Bulbus Fritillariae), Sangbaipi ( Cortex Mori Radicis ) and others that can clear away heat from the lung and resolve phlegm. For dry cough and dryness of throat due to dryness of the lung and yin-deficiency, it is combined with Shashen (Radix Glehniae), Maimendong (Radix Ophiogonis) and others that can nourish yin and moisten the lung.
For the hyperactivity of fire due to yin deficiency marked by hectic fever, night sweat and restlessness, it is often combined with Huangbai (Cortex Phellodendri ) that is added to yin nourishing medicinal herbs so as to strengthen the action of nourishing yin to reduce fire, such as Zhi Bai Dihuang Wan (Pill).
For Diabetes due to yin deficiency manifested as thirst due to consumption of body fluids, constipation due to dryness of intestine, it can be combined with Tianhuafen (Radix Trichosanthis ), Gegen ( Radix Puerariae ) and others that can clear away heat and promote the regeneration of body fluids.
Usage and Dosage 6 - 12 g is used in decoction for oral use. The crude is suitable for clearing away heat and purging fire; the stir-baked form with salt solution for nourishing yin and reducing fire.
Notes Contraindicated in the patient with diarrhea due to spleen-deficiency since the drug is cold in nature and moistening in property, and can lubricate the intestine.
Zhizi Fructus Gardeniae
The source is from a fruit of Gardenia jasminoides Ellis var. radicans (Thunb.) Makino, family Rubiaceae. The producing areas are maily in all provinces to the south of the Yangtze River. The medicinal material is collected in autumn and the crude or the one stir-baked to brown or the carbonized can be used.
Medicinal Properties Bitter in flavor, cold in nature and attributive t